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Revit Plugin Series: CASE STUDY 3: CNC

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

What was the issue?

Our client was a manufacturer of wall panels. Their work often involved the usage of Computerized Numerical Control (CNC); a technique, which uses computer software and pre-coded patterns to draw different geometric shapes on various types of materials. These patterns are drawn using specially designed ‘CNC Machines’.

The client had to make use of CAD operators to feed the numerical values and types of cuts. They also had to work with Revit, as the initial designs were made using Revit. They then had to compare the outputs generated via Revit with the ones they were making using the CNC Machines.

This whole process of feeding cut types and other values into CAD software by technicians, and then manually comparing the results with Revit output was creating problems for the client as their workflow was getting continually delayed. It was a very time-consuming process, and as there was no existing technology, or a script for Revit, they were thinking about hiring more CAD technicians, costing them extra money, while only minimally improving workflow and productivity.

What we did do?

The client wanted us to create something that would help automate some of the processes, while still retaining the accuracy and quality required for CNC Cutting. We started by creating a simple and easy-to-use UI that helped him insert values more easily. By using different Geometric Operations, we were able to make the operations more accurate; geometric shapes came out with increased accuracy, within a reduced time frame.

Lastly, to solve the problem of Revit model output comparison, we programmed a separate application; this application automated the process of CNC Cut comparison with the output of different Revit Models.

The whole process of application generation and creating a custom UI took us around 3 months, with a client cost of approximately $18,900. To compare the cost with the benefits, it is necessary to mention that the client was working with a single CAD technician, but his workflow requirements were not being met. He was going to have hire 3 more technicians to meet his requirements; costing him around $210k per year (considering the usual CAD technician pay is around $70k per year).

The client not only saved $210k per year but by using our technological solutions, he was able to automate most of the processes, thereby, increasing his production outputs by 500%


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