Ugly drawings are the bane of many people in the early stages of
using understanding BIM.
Don’t fight your coworkers. Instead draw them in. Teach them.
When starting a project, whether it’s new construction or a remodel, I always want to see a clean plan as soon as possible. Whether that means adding 2D or 3D place holders to the model, I get to a spot where I can print out a legible plan that I’m not embarrassed by. Once that’s done I get elevations to that point. Then sections. I don’t ignore the model, but these drawings are still the foundation of the communication process with (too) many of our coworkers and clients. And from my experience, at the tail end of 2012, a larger majority of our decision makers within the AECO world still gauge progress and overall project quality by 2D printed drawings
If you can hide these drawings and only show legible 3D, great. In the grand scheme of things there are SO many better solutions than just sharing early printouts of the construction documents (Exhibit A and Exhibit B). But if your coworkers or clients still need to see plans, sections, and elevations, then you need to get them those drawings. Otherwise all the other great aspects of BIM are going to be ignored. Instead of discussing the design and potential of what’s next, all you’ll hear about is ugly drawings, high bills, and disappointment. And I know that you know that that is just crap and misunderstanding. But what’s the easier path to changing someone’s mind about working in a BIMworld: bad drawings and “but but but it’s all there, just wait, it’s not ready to show you” or by saying “fine. I’ll get you those drawings and then I’ll drop a crazy awesome model in front of you.” With BIM you know you’re doing both. It’s just about prioritizing and understanding the work flow. Your endgame might be a model as a deliverable, but there are going to be shorter term goals that look suspiciously like the checkpoints of yore.
And one final point: this isn’t backtracking or a dead end. Once you can produce really good looking preliminary drawings from a BIM, then you’ve already set yourself up for so much more. But we’ll talk about that in 2013.