A flat 2D model lacks information
For a start, a 2D design is limited in the way it can communicate the construction process. This makes it impossible to deliver all the information of an actual, three-dimensional structure in a 2D model. It cannot, for example, reflect lengths, dimensions and relations as they are in real life. All these factors are paramount when it comes to calculating materials and quantities, estimating costs and planning construction. What’s more, it’s challenging to spot possible errors until they’ve already turned into costly rework.
In addition to 2D models being unable to include all essential information, there’s an even more significant disadvantage. This is simply the inability to visualise the end product. There is always a level of understanding lost when the idea of a building needs to be condensed into a flat model. It means constructibility is far from ideal, and each stakeholder has their vision of the result.
Sharing data and changes are limited
Furthermore, if you work with 2D drawings and they change, you have to essentially compare two drawings to detect any alterations. The more times this happens, the easier it is to miss changes down the line and stay up to date on the most current version of the construction model. If something is unclear, tracing the source and reasoning behind it is hard, sometimes even impossible.
Needless to say, when information is already restricted, sharing it with other stakeholders is inevitably limited too. Even if the information is there, moving it downstream is challenging. Firstly, design documentation needs to be standardised to make sure each stakeholder understands and interprets it in the same way. The more people involved in the process, the more problematic 2D documentation is because there’s always a higher chance of misinterpretation.
Not moving forward means you’re staying behind
It’s easy to think that because 2D models have worked for construction in the past, there’s no need to adapt 3D. Indeed, it’s undeniable that 2D has for many decades been the best option. However, times are changing and the alternatives available today prove that traditional design documentation is not enough for a truly constructible workflow. At worst, it results in costly miscalculations, information gaps and delayed projects, which nobody can afford.
In short, as stakeholders increasingly move towards digital options and 3D, anyone holding onto 2D tools will eventually find their workflows outdated. The disadvantages are two-fold. Firstly, the construction process is less reliable and less efficient. Secondly, your value as a business is consequently not as high as it would be with optimised workflows. The evidence is plain. Moving away from 2D enables offering a more streamlined, cooperative and cost-effective service, winning more bids.