Safety expert's tunnel boring machine

Thierry is a civil engineer, who was looking for a 3D visualization solution for his underground safety projects. He built a whole tunnel boring machine and it’s surroundings from scratch, just to show his co-workers how he imagined the site.

boring machine in the building 3d model

Thierry' background

I have a degree in civil engineering – so as a natural transition – I work on calculating the realization of civil engineering works. Specifically, the realization of underground projects. On top of this, I am a member of a professional committee that advises on hygiene, safety and working conditions of projects.

Throughout my career, I noticed that a 3D graphics visualization in the corner of a sheet is more demonstrative than a big speech. I started experimenting in the field. 15 years ago I did some graphic representation and even played around with animation, but nothing serious. I used Bryce 3D.

Designing a machine for visualization

When I just started, designing the tunnel boring machine was more interesting than sitting down with a plan.

As I was making progress in realizing the small utility, I noticed I have made more and more gambles. I couldn’t fight the urge to make the model more complex every time.
boring machine showcase

My workflow always starts with an idea, which usually comes to me after spending hours reflecting on a problem. When the idea breaks, you just need to be prepared. A blank sheet of paper and a couple of pencils should do the job. The problems I’m working on often arise from a lack of clarity or a need for improvements in a technical document.

I need to show the problem and its realization in a clear way, or need to have the ability to easily point out the technical difficulties.

It all depends on the size/dimensions of the object. Looking at the example featured in this interview, I’d say it took hours of reflection and the same amount of time for realization. It is a complex model, with not just only the tunnel boring machine, but its secure environment also.

What’s next?

Until now, the giants of CAD and DAO (Data Access Object) software were mostly developed for PC-based platforms. Luckily we see a shift in this regard towards tablets. Shapr3D is a pioneer in this movement.

boring machine 3d model

Today, systems like AutoCAD are much too heavy and complex for a simple and fast use (and, again, were mostly developed for PC-based platforms). They are essential for the technical realization and dedicated to the production units. SHapr3D is appealing due to its simplicity. It is well positioned to be an intermediate solution between the need for dimensional accuracy and a global general view of the subject.

As I see it – and I’m pretty much involved in consulting industry – the building and civil engineering consultants need this kind of tool to present their ideas effectively.

Now that I have a realistic version of the model, I’d like to go and animate it.  Give the viewer an even better understanding of how my construct will work.

boring machine 3d modeling

Before the app, I mainly created 2D technical illustrations with pen & paper, or in AutoCAD. What separates Shapr3D from other tools, is that it is intuitive and easy to use. Additionally, it has most of the practical elements I need for my line of work.

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