Fink Horejsh powers structural design business with AGACAD precast suite
This US-based structural engineering firm says the AGACAD Precast Concrete solution for Revit® has enabled it to streamline its project delivery processes and focus more on high-value tasks instead of routine drafting.
Fink Horejsh LLC is a structural engineering firm in Madison, Wisconsin, with a focus on precast concrete solutions that are economical and highly constructible, from hollowcore slabs to precast walls, columns and beams.
Fink Horejsh works closely with architects, other engineers, and contractors to integrate structural and other building systems to realize the project goals. To do so effectively, it saw a growing need to move toward 3D design and BIM.
“I started off 4 years ago doing this work with AutoCAD, like it was done until then, but it became apparent AutoCAD was very limited,” Structural Detailer Jacob Cabanban recalls, adding: “I couldn’t work fast and other problems started manifesting themselves.”
Efficient project delivery is vital for the firm, he notes, “and the only way I can manage that is to reduce some of the drafting work and focus on engineering, and by identifying problems early on.”
The team decided to try Autodesk® Revit®, the industry-leading platform for building information modelling and smooth collaboration among BIM actors.
“But out-of-the-box Revit was still quite slow,” lacking key functionality for modelling and managing the many elements that precast work involves. So Cabanban began investigating the many precast design packages on the market.
He ultimately chose AGACAD Precast Concrete – a set of tools for modelling prefabricated concrete walls, floors, columns, and beams with real-time project updates in Revit.
AGACAD is an AEC Industry Partner for Autodesk, which features the suite as third-party software that’s helping make Revit the environment of choice for BIM precast work. It offers split, update and modify options, as well as rules-based batch insertion of connection details, plates, grout tubes, etc., and easy element renumbering/marking. It generates views with dimensions and bills of materials and shop drawings for combinations of structural and architectural elements, ensuring quality production and accurate assembly.
One feature that convinced Cabanban was the use of templates: “You can just save a template of what needs to be installed and how your drawings should look, and with one click everything is reassembled. In plain Revit, you have to go one by one, which takes a lot of time.”
After starting to use the AGACAD software, Fink Horejsh’s team was thrilled.
“I estimate about 50% of my work is now done automatically,” Cabanban says. “We’re not a very large team and what AGACAD has done really, is take on the role of another drafter. It eliminates routine work and lets me do more high-value tasks like engineering and project management.”
Tools in the precast package include Smart Connections, which automates LOD 400 modelling, with easy batch insertion of grout tubes, cast-in plates, anchor bolts, lifting bolts, and cuts on any surface of beams and walls. Meanwhile, Sort Mark can sort and renumber elements and grids for any parameter and also add information. And Smart Assemblies combines hosted or nested concrete and steel elements into a single Revit entity and generates views, dimensions and assembly sheets. Then there is Floor Panel Layout for planning and splitting prefabricated floor panels, Smart Walls for easy wall and join management, Floor+M to create slabs using structural framing families, and reinforcement tools for placing rebar in beams, walls and columns.
Two years later, the structural engineering company remains satisfied.
“It’s still the best product I’ve come across, and I am always searching for new ways to increase productivity. I’ve looked at a lot of vendors,” notes Cabanban.
He’s also impressed by AGACAD’s continual development of its software with new tools and new features: “They regularly update the suite. They’ve released more plug-ins, like for rebar, and they’ve enhanced their system for identifying the origins of smart connections, for example, which is quite nice. That is bringing more and more of what I need in my work.”
Written by Bryan Bradley of Textus Aptus.
This client relationship illustrates AGACAD’s ambition of “Reducing BIM stress!” and making it easier to bring BIM to life.
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