Industry-Changing Technological Advancements for Construction and Manufacturers: BIM and Digital Twin

According to the United Nations, by 2050 the worlds population will reach 10 billion. This massive growth in the population of almost 3 billion people means the world will need efficient building expansions and resilient infrastructure to support the influx. The responsibility of providing these new social and economic spaces for the population as well as maintaining and restoring the infrastructures already in use falls on the manufacturing, engineering, and construction industries. Not only that, right now these industries are losing money and time during the creation process due to a lack of information and not being able to anticipate future complications. Due to this, these industries need smarter and more efficient ways to design and build. The technological innovations of Building Information Modeling (BIM) Digital Twin and the incorporation of them into rugged tablets are here to meet these needs.

What is Building Information Modeling? 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives construction professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently design, plan and construct buildings and infrastructure through virtual exploration and manipulation. For a BIM, a database generates a 3D image within which every detail of a structure can be modeled  — allowing it to be used for in-depth analysis and exploration of design options. Thus, the BIM process can build, view and test a structure in 3D. These abilities allow revisions and the assembly of accurate details in real-time. According to bei Bitcoin Code, the detailed data collected during this process permits design, clash detection, cost, and scheduling. A BIM also creates a clear visualization of a project to help the investors, stakeholders, and manufacturers understand what the structure will look like before its built. 

Similar to BIM, the concept of a Digital Twin is also supporting these industries in ways that are changing the process. 

What is a Digital Twin? 

Exactly as its name indicates, a digital twin is a digital replica of a living or non-living physical entity. This technology allows manufacturers to create a digital twin of any type of infrastructures such as roads, bridges, and buildings as well as replicate a process like wetland restoration or landslide mitigation. The valuable and wide applications of this technology have brought the concept of Digital Twin into the forefront of current computing solutions for manufacturers and the construction industry.

The key component of a digital twin that makes it highly applicable to industrial purposes is the synchronization of a piece of the physical world with its cyber representation. This is established by smart components that use sensors to gather data about real-time status, structure, working conditions, and position of the physical entity. The components are connected to a cloud-based system that receives and processes all the data the sensors monitor. This input is analyzed against other known information and contextual data for the project. 

The goal of a digital twin is to perform real-time optimization in the field. Through this synchronization, opportunities are discovered and lessons are learned within the virtual environment that can be applied to the physical world. Its the optimal way to test processes, plans, and ideas because it simulates the real outcome before actual implementation.

Are BIM and a Digital Twin the same? 

While the digital 3D model aspect of BIM and Digital Twins are similar, they are not interchangeable and hold a key difference when it comes to when and how they are used. A BIM is a picture of what the real-world structure should be once its built and allows for assessments to be pre-production, where-as a digital twin is a live digital copy of an existing entity that updates as the real entity is changed. 

A BIM model is excellent for pre-production measures and to allow investors, stakeholders, and manufacturers to visualize what it will look like. A digital twin is optimal for real-time analysis. As is the case with all projects, changes to the design and process of building constantly occur, and once the first change happens, the BIM is outdated and a digital twin is needed. 

Current prime examples of the applications of BIM and Digital Twin: 

The recent event of Notre Dame being partially destroyed by a fire is a prime example of the monumental applications of how a BIM model and a digital twin of the building wouldve been monumental in the reconstruction process. With digital files of every detail and aspect of the cathedral, architects, designers, and builders would save immense time, money, and energy on the rebuilding process.

Another instance where BIM and digital twin technology would be radically beneficial is Oregons DOT case study: managing risk in rapid renewal projects. The goal of this study is to test the implementation of a new risk management process that agencies can use to anticipate, assess, and manage risk for projects of any size and type. With BIM and a digital twin, agencies can have a digital blueprint of the project laid out as well as run hundreds of possible risk scenarios, see the outcomes, and receive solutions to any problems that arise through the process. With this 3D digital technology on-hand, the efficiency of and risk assessment can be multiplied and agencies will save time and money by being able to identify and mitigate risks earlier. 


BIMs and digital twins are powerful technological tools that drive innovation and performance. 

With a 3D version of a blueprint right in-hand within a rugged tablet, manufacturers and builders can virtually step into and walk around the inside of buildings that have not been constructed yet as well as have access to unlimited information that will allow them to make necessary changes and become aware of future problems. 

In 2017, IDC predicted that companies who invest in BIM and digital twin technology would see a 30% improvement of cycle times of critical processes. That prediction has undoubtedly come to pass.

We are on the cusp of 3D model explosion and it is already changing the game for manufacturing and construction industries around the world.