Prefast takes panel house production to the next level
This Czech firm specializing in timber panel buildings has found great value not just in AGACAD’s unique Revit® framing add-ons and CNC export tools, but also in its ongoing support as a BIM technology partner.
Prefast CZ s.r.o. is a fast-growing regional producer of wood frame houses based in Brno, Czech Republic. It works with customers from idea to turnkey delivery, through design, offsite panel production, and rapid construction. The company also supplies timber panels to other builders and individuals with projects.
As it expanded, Prefast realized that AutoCAD and 2D drawings were no longer efficient for its processes or sufficient for its needs. The company decided to move to 3D design and building information modelling, picking Autodesk’s Revit® platform for BIM as the most reliable name it knew on the market.
“Switching to a new way of designing meant complications for the team, even if we knew it was a step in the right direction,” Vítězslav Dovrtěl, an engineer at Prefast, says.
The company needed specialized tools to do wood framing work in Revit and, even more, an expert partner to help it set up and learn to use the software’s full power, he adds. Prefast was keen not just to streamline 3D design, but also to automate fabrication of panels at its factory, based on the new BIM models.
“Automation of production was to be another step in the company’s growth,” the engineer notes. There, too, it needed tools and expert help.
Research on the web led Prefast to AGACAD and its solutions for wood framing and CNC automation. They noticed that Autodesk itself had named AGACAD an AEC Industry Partner for wood framing and more, and got in contact.
“We found them very accommodating and managed to understand each other’s capabilities and needs very easily,” Dovrtěl says. Thus, the company went forward in acquiring AGACAD’s tools for Revit, specifically:
The AGACAD Wood Framing Suite of BIM software with advanced framing automation for multi-layer timber-frame walls, floors and roofs.
AGACAD’s Weinmann BTL CNC Exporter, which lets you predefine in Revit the operations and rules for wood-frame module production – all sawing, drilling, trimming, and marking for every framing member.
With close support from AGACAD, deployment was swift, even amid the pandemic: “Despite COVID’s complications, the Revit wood framing solution and the panel production line were put into operation, with the connection of Revit to the production line via the CNC exporter.”
Prefast felt the benefits of the BIM software in “a significant simplification and speeding up of the production process,” Dovrtěl says.
“Now production documentation is uploaded directly to the CNC with no need for manual programming. Problems and errors related to reading documentation and incorrect data entry have disappeared. And it has proved possible to process panels in greater detail,” the engineer notes.
He also praises AGACAD’s spirit of partnership in training, in timely support and accompaniment, and in finding ways to do specific things that were needed – even when that requires incorporating new functionality into its software.
“Changing our whole way of design and production was challenging. Without AGACAD, it would have been very difficult, perhaps impossible.”
A year later, Prefast continues growing and views AGACAD as a “a stable partner who will support us in our further growth – growth not only in volume but also in a gradual transfer of more construction activities from the building site to the production plant, to minimize errors and downtime and cope as best as possible with the labour shortage in the construction industry,” Dovrtěl says.
Written by Bryan Bradley of Textus Aptus.
This client relationship exemplifies the AGACAD ideal of “Building BIM Together!”
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