In most cases this done during the design stage, by adding parameters / values, in one of the many design authoring platforms. But how can you do this if the design is frozen? Can data still be added to a BIM? Can maintenance information, from a separate database, be linked to the model? Can you add an additional classification system?
Through the use of Navisworks this seems possible. I will give a short instruction on how to do this. For more detail I refer to my AU2014 Class - AB6967 Navisworks And Classification Based Model Checking that I did together with Rob Oud. In this class we will go a bit deeper, however the principle stays replace A with B.
Select the data you want to link to and open the selection inspector.
Look through the fields and ensure yourself you have all the fields that will help you understand the data when you want to link it to other data. Make sure that you also include a unique indentifier. When you are done export to *.CSV
Open the *.CSV in Excel add columns with the new data. You could use search functions in excel to make it easier to yourself. It doesn't really matter how you do it as long as your new columns get filled with data. When you are done save your file as a *.xlsx
Now that you have enriched your data in Excel you will need to move the data to Access. Basically there are 2 way to do this.
- Import the entire worhsheet into Access.
- Copy the columns into Access
I am indifferent, but if you are new to Access I would start with this choice.
If you have done everything correctly you should see something like the image below. In that table I have added Uniclass and Omniclass to my dataset.
For this final step I will give some more instruction. If you make 1 mistake you data won't be linked.
In Navisworks click on datatools to open the wizard. Choose "New.." to create a new connection.
- Name your connection
- Choose Access in ODBC.
Other connections are also possible, but I found them to be either difficult or more prone not to work.
- Define a search string.
- Inform which field values you want to bring in.
Step 1 and 2 are reasonable self explanatory, the devil is in in 3 and some in 4. The search string needs to be done just right. A space to many or to few and the link doesn't work. I recommend to use Notepad when defining the search string.
I will now explain how this string is build up.
SELECT * from import
Select all from database table called "import"
The field in the database that hold the unique identifier. You can change this to the name you have chosen.
properties of the data in Navisworks for "Element ID" with "Value". This Value should be the same as the Value in field1.
Once the data is linked to your file you have to opportunity to store it within the file. This does not have my preference as I would like my data to be flexible. If you do want to try it out for yourself make sure your match the publish settings as per image below.
I sincerely hope that you will be able to get / add more out / in you BIM.