Automated BIM-based CNC file generator for wood panel framing machines in construction manufacturing




Construction manufacturing, Automation, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery, Building Information Modelling (BIM)


Construction manufacturing companies are endeavoring to integrate new technologies and machinery automation throughout the various project phases in the ongoing shift away from traditional stick-built methods. The current practice in constructing manufacturing supports the integration of automated computer numerical control machines, which can undertake various operations and thereby reduce manual work. However, shop drawings need to be obtained from the building information model and imported to third-party software (such as computer-aided design / computer-aided manufacturing software) to generate the corresponding computer numerical control codes. This underscores the need for a fully automated solution for computer numerical control machines in construction manufacturing that reduces the reliance on third-party software, thereby reducing the time, effort, and cost otherwise spent on managing multiple software solutions. As such, the aim of this research is to develop a building information modelling-based automated tool to serve as a direct connection between the building information modelling environment and the automated machine. The tool facilitates the generation of a computer numerical control file directly from the building information model that will serve as an input to an automated wood-wall framing machine. For the wood framing machine under study, a set of rules was developed by which to generate the computer numerical control file directly from the building information model. This included developing an identification system for the main operations that can be performed by the machine and extracting information from the model that may be of relevance to the process. An add-on was then developed in Autodesk Revit to generate the computer numerical control file. The proposed methodology was validated by generating computer numerical control files using the developed add-on and inputting them to the machine. Using the generated computer numerical control files, the machine was found to be capable of properly performing the operations as planned.