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Contecht, a Forge Certified Systems Integrator, is a consulting and software development firm that supports companies’ virtual design and construction (VDC) needs and the complete lifecycles of IT solution implementations. Based in Germany and serving clients globally, Contecht consultancy provides VDC training, VDC project implementation, and services that support organizational change. Contecht also provides firms with custom-tailored BIM (Building Information Modeling) and geographic information system (GIS)-focused web and cloud applications that draw on complex geometrical algorithms, deep learning, system simulation, advanced data mining/analysis, and visualization methods.
As architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) companies implement BIM-and VDC-based projects, the vast number of file formats in any given project demand time-consuming conversion processes that create challenges for software developers and slow projects.
Contecht faced these challenges when developing applications that provided 3D visualizations. Each client had multiple file formats, so Contecht had to build separate processing tools for every format. Plus, the firm found its tools to be lacking in stability and efficiency, which demanded time-consuming back and forth with clients as the firm worked to ensure stable peak performance. Developing a proof-of-concept viewer took months, and demanded extra workforce that created higher costs for customers. Despite Contecht’s deep civil engineering knowledge, the firm was aware that its inability to speedily produce vital solutions could hinder its growth.
In 2017 Contecht was tasked with developing a portfolio management/asset management solution for a company that wanted to track information on departments, conditions, and tenants in multiple buildings. As Contecht expected, the company had multiple file formats and Contecht decided to explore Forge as a solution to its development problem.
Contecht immediately understood that the platform’s APIs changed the playing field. Right out of the box, Forge provides tools that Contecht previously spent extensive time implementing. The Model Derivative API can translate more than 70 file formats into output files. Now, Contecht can input different 3D models because the Model Derivative converts all files into a single unified internal Forge format that can be queried and displayed in the Forge Viewer API as a 3D model, which is accessible to stakeholders in any web browser, regardless of device. The time Contecht had to spend developing a 3D viewer has been eliminated. Now the company can build a prototype in 15 minutes.
Contecht usually combines the Data Management and BIM 360 APIs to automate tasks that civil engineers perform manually, saving huge amounts of time. The firm uses the Webhooks API as a tool that notifies users when a task is complete or saves the outcome of the task into a database. And the Design Automation API is used to change internal model structures and perform format conversions.
With Forge power, Contecht can provide clients with a proof of concept in a couple of days. The time previously spent building viewers from scratch is now focused on developing features. Plus, Forge expands the firm’s functionality to include formats like Revit building design software, which the company couldn’t accommodate previously. This is key in an industry that relies heavily on Autodesk products. With Forge, Contecht is ready to integrate Autodesk’s products and the firm can be sure to have robust support for its solutions. Great examples of this are the firm's construction apps 4D-Planner, which adds the fourth dimension-time-to construction planning and scheduling, and TransferApp, which enables users to seamlessly transfer files between BIM 360 hubs and accounts.
Forge highlights include the following:
“A proof of concept used to take us a couple of months. With Forge it takes a couple of days.”—Lucian Ungureanu, Technical Lead, Contecht GmbH