- Walt Disney Imagineering is the research and development arm of The Walt Disney Company, responsible for the creation, design, construction and maintenance of Disney theme parks, resorts, cruise ships and other attractions worldwide.
They have140 different job titles falling under the banner of Imagineering, including illustrators, architects, engineers, lighting designers, conceptual designers, show writers, graphic designers, animation specialists, etc.,
Relationship Between SrinSoft and Walt Disney
- SrinSoft with its decade and a half expertise in Engineering and IT with key emphasis on mechanical design, BIM modeling, engineering design automation, design data exchange and lifecycle management, has been working with Disney as their only External Engineering Vendor for the past 5 years, since 2015 in providing end-to-end solutions for all their challenges faced.
- We have been incorporating a phased approach to work with multiple teams in understanding their existing workflow and systems in place and then coming up with tailor-made solutions to automate, integrate or provide custom services accordingly.
Different creative departments within Disney, use different platforms for their day-to-day design and modeling, like AutoCAD, Civil 3D, SolidWorks, SketchUp, Rhino, Revit, Maya, 3D Studio Max, Katana, Unreal Engine, Houdini etc.
- Designs of massive theme park structures are modelled in Rhino and Revit
- Infrastructure is modelled using AutoCAD and Civil 3D
- Mechanical components are designed in SolidWorks
- Conceptual designs and characters are developed using SketchUp, Maya and 3D Studio Max
- Animations, movies and games are rendered using Katana, Unreal Engine and Houdini
Collaborative work sharing across all the teams by exchanging design data to put all the pieces together from these platforms to develop a consolidated project was impossible and they were looking for a seamless solution for the same.
Also, since they work with so many platforms and have numerous huge projects, managing all the data became another Himalayan task. More so because the lifecycle of most of the projects at Disney spans for 10 Years, starting from the Star Wars movies to the Spaceships at the Disney parks. So, maintaining all the data throughout their lifecycle including reverse engineering them for maintenance and renovation is not an easy task to accomplish.
They were needing a holistic approach to all their work at hand that will help with the following:
- Design and data exchange
- Collaborative work sharing
- Reverse engineering and BIM Modeling
- Database and lifecycle management of all their projects
Data Exchange and Collaborative Work Sharing
SrinSoft started working with the Disney design teams to understand their existing processes and started helping them by developing small automation solutions to automate many of their everyday design workflow. Once the existing design processes were automated, the next big challenge to tackle was the data exchange between users.
SrinSoft proposed its groundbreaking Interoperability Solutions for design data exchange to solve one of their most standing issues of work collaboration. The BXF, a proprietary file format of SrinSoft is used to exchange geometry, metadata and other model information from one platform to other. The catch there is that once a BXF is exported from a software, the same can be imported in any of the other design platforms thereby defeating the need to convert the same model multiple times to be compatible with various software’s.
Based on SrinSoft’s understanding of Disney’s processes, a huge ODC team of more than 30 experts comprising of designers, software developers, engineers and project managers was formed to customize the entire BXF functionality tailored to their workflow and implemented the below features:
- Scheduled overnight conversions – To make sure they utilize the non-working hours to schedule the conversion of huge projects which would take a couple to many hours.
- Change Management Process – To avoid conversion of the entire models over and over again for the revisioning, so that only the components or their attributes that have been changed will be updated.
- Custom Conversion Features – Custom features for the users to pre-define and then later choose from, so that only required components and attributes meeting the requirements will be translated.
Reverse engineering and BIM Modeling
- Once the design process was established with the above solutions, the next point of order was to help with the reverse engineering process for maintenance and renovation of existing structures for all the projects.
- SrinSoft’s BIM team with expertise in structural, architectural, MEP, firefighting, clash detection and coordinated modeling, also helped Disney in converting their point cloud scan data into 3D BIM models for comparison between the actuals and existing structures so that relevant renovation plans can be drawn accordingly.
- We have worked with point cloud data of huge California Adventure rides to the Disney Spaceship models and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coasters, in effectively recreating the point data into 3D BIM Projects.
Database and lifecycle management of all their projects
SrinSoft identified Disney’s requirement to manage all these data generated through the designing and the conversions, the reverse engineering and so on, with a single database management solution. Also, a lifecycle management tool to manage, maintain, track and analyze the lifecycle of these projects from start to end.
Since SrinSoft, customized the proprietary BXF format to meet Disney’s standards and needs, users started using the BXF as their database as one BXF stores all the native data itself thereby defeating a need to store the same model in a hundred other formats.
BXF helps Disney to unclutter all their existing mounts of data and replace it fewer BXFs so that anyone in need of any of their projects in any format, just needs to pull out the BXF, import in their system and keep working on it.
SrinSoft also recommended our CloudBLM solution developed inhouse, as a hybrid tool to be hosted within their premises or on their own cloud managed within Disney, as a complete lifecycle management tool that they were looking for.
- All the BXFs are now being stored as Assets in the system and reused within multiple projects and sub-projects, by segregating them at the Global level and Project level.
- An interactive 3D viewer allows the users to view all the projects and their assets without needing a native software and also post issues for irregularities by tagging an element directly which will automatically be reflected in Revit.
- The CloudBLM platform is also easily integrated with their existing systems to consolidate all the data under one dashboard. Some of the integrations made and their applications are as follows:
- BIM 360 – Synchronization of BIM Data
- Revit – Direct publishing of BIM Projects and Assets
- Navisworks – Clash Detection
- SharePoint – Document Sharing and Management
- Power BI – Analytics and Report Generation
- Primavera – Project Management
- Aconex – Costing, Budgeting and Scheduling
- Quick turnaround time of projects by adopting collaborative sharing of models through interoperability.
- Improved collaboration across the supply chain, boosted the delivery and operational efficiency
- Better quality of work, reduced cost and improved value
- Enforced standards and better control of the projects from one dashboard
- Secured data and other proprietary information