The MasonryiQ Revit Plugin from 3DiQ, Inc. Is a Game Changer!
Architects using Revit can now let their creativity and imagination loose when it comes to masonry. Instead of a standard "color swatch", they can choose specific masonry products from local producers and create intricate and impactful designs. The 3D modeling features let them see exactly what the final product will look like in great detail!
Masonry is the oldest building material that I can think of. I think the Tower of Babel is probably the earliest reference to bricks being used. So the oldest structures that survive today, they're masonry. We think of the Pyramids and if you go to Europe, it's all the masonry structures. So obviously it's an incredibly durable product.
It's probably one of the more aesthetically pleasing products out there. You have a great variety of material and texture and you have modularity and shape that's been sculpted and crafted in so many forms through the years.
In terms of design palate, it's virtually unlimited. It's potentially the highest performing wall system that you can find. You've got a material that is durable, that's low maintenance, that performs excellent in seismic events, that has the ability to resist wind. You look at the hurricanes and what buildings are left, it's masonry. You look at fire and the effect it has on construction, it's the masonry walls that survive.
You want to do acoustic isolation, you want to isolate for hotels. Masonry is excellent there.
You think of safety. Where do you go in a tornado? You're in a basement and what are you surrounded by? Masonry. So it kind of gives people, gives civilizations, I guess, a sense of stability and security.
Also, it's a material that easy to maintain. You don't have to repaint it, no coatings. And it's a very natural, durable material.
So there's all kinds of features that are excellent. You get a high thermal mass. So you get a good energy building just by having the cave like effect from masonry.
The challenge is the more performance you want out of a any wall system, the more complicated it becomes. And it's true for masonry. We've got rebar used structurally to reinforce masonry walls. If we're going to use several bond patterns and materials, we're adding complexity to that wall system. We're going to have an air cavity and a cavity wall. We're going to have maybe some insulation in there. So there's all these different performance characteristics that come into a masonry wall and now it's complicated. And we've got a lot of materials that are difficult to coordinate.
So the more performance we want, the more complexity we add to it, the more support we need from design tools. And so if we're going to get those walls that perform and give us all this value, we really need a tool that will allow us to manage all of the elements that are inside that wall.
Historically, masonry is a craftsman's material and if you had a great craftsmen, you could rely on them to put a great design and a great structure together. In our modern era, we're in a world of computer modeling and documentation and litigation and we need to design thoroughly. We need to document carefully, we need to have legal documents that really carried the design process forward. And so those tools can be a hindrance to certain trades that are more craftsmen oriented. So we've seen masonry maybe fall a little bit out of favor with the design tools that are really popular today.
So when I came into the masonry industry and saw there was really no use of 3D modeling in commercial construction at the time, I saw an opportunity because I knew the tools could do it and it was a matter of applying those tools in a place they really weren't being used.
In the last three or four years there's been a real move into modeling as a means of solving construction problems. So clash detection, coordination. Masonry didn't have a place at that table because we didn't have models and so the idea kind of became okay, could we automate this modeling process so that we could use software to build these models?
By nature, architects are creative and the masonry industry hands them virtually an unlimited palette of color, texture and material and shape and size and pattern. In order to be creative with a pallet like that, you need a tool that allows you to play with pattern and color and texture. And there's really not a great tool in the market currently for that and that's the space we're trying to fill. Let's empower the creative tools of architects and designers with a material and give them a solution where they can play and be creative with the material the way they really want to be. And make it easy and make it fun.
Masonry IQ will generate all your sections for you automatically. So it's going to do all that detail work for you. It'll do the same for plan views. So your detail plan views are going to be laid out by the tool. It's going to create your elevation views. So you're able to create custom patterns. Virtually anything you want to do in masonry, you can do in Masonry IQ. It's going to generate those patterns in elevation for you.
And then finally you can go in and find local producers material. You can map that to a pattern and now you can render that masonry wall in a photo realistic manner with the basis of design from a local material that will pull that random range of material in and give a very photorealistic, natural feel to the masonry walls.
Like anything, the more creative you become with the material, the more complicated the pattern, the more difficult it becomes to really know how it's going to look, how it's going to install, what's happening with windows and doors. What about the length of walls? We're doing layout, are we introducing a lot of cutting? So Masonry IQ allows you to explore complex patterns and it gives you visual feedback on the type of cutting that would be involved in laying out pattern. So it allows you to be very successful while being very creative at the same time.
We've begun a great solution. We're continuing development. Please Checkout 3diqinc.com for future updates.