In this lesson you work on model based scheduling tasks to create 4D/5D analysis. In general terms, 4D/5D analysis can be used:
- presenting project construction schedule to various project partners (4D/5D)
- showing project cost according to construction tasks for on-time allocation of project budget (5D)
- showing environmental, financial or social aspects of the project that are affected during project construction period (for example CO2 emissions per hour/day/week etc.)
We continue from the previous tutorial where we created a complete VDC model and carried out clash detection studies. You can find the tutorial file package from the first page. In this tutorial, ensure that you have installed (or can access) the following products:
- Explorer (included with the MAGNET Modeler and/or VDC Design installation, or as a separate installation)
General workflowIn Explorer you can add tasks:If a special column named VdcGroup is recognized from the *.xml file, you get the following dialog:
We use the model that we got from tutorial 02 Combined VDC model or from previous step (01 Value based clash detection). Please note that if you decide to start from the saved project file that is included in this tutorial folder, you first need to ensure that all links are current and fixed. Therefore it is recommended that if you worked in previous tutorials, then you use your own saved project file as the starting point.
Please refer to MAGNET Explorer user guide to get the feeling of main user interface elements in Explorer. In this tutorial we try to keep the workflow as simple as possible and focus only on those tools that we currently use. To start creating a new project, you can click on New button or simply go to Explore tab.
Open the project (or start from your own saved project): 02_4D5D / Combined-08_Start.vmpx
Before you start to create 4D/5D analysis, it is good to fix the current or existing situation. It basically means that you show only those submodels (groups) that describe the current or existing conditions. Start from the Explorer palette, where you show/hide those submodels that should be visible/hidden before the construction starts. Note that you hide everything that is in group Design (meaning: new, proposed), and also some double components like: ProjectAreaCorridorCut, EG_ProjectArea_Surface.
After showing/hiding various submodels, please save this state through Topics list. Give a name: Existing
Please save you project as: Combined-09_Scheduler.vmpx. You are now ready to start scheduler tools and continue to create 4D/5D analysis.
Scheduler - creating a 4D/5D analysis
Please continue from the previous project or open: Combined-09_Scheduler.vmpx
You start 4D/5D analysis by opening a separate palette called Scheduler. You can find it from the ribbon interface: Schedule > Scheduler. If it has a blue shadow beneath the icon, it means that it is already opened in the user interface element.
The default location for Scheduler palette is below viewport. For example, if Topics list is opened, then it appears as a separate tab.
Basically 4D simulation consists of various tasks that are ordered based on their construction timeline. Each task is connected with respective model element (group) with some specific transition (work type). This transition (work type) can be for example: adding, removing, temporary work, repair, redesigned etc. If you add cost value (parameter) for each of your task, 4D model becomes 5D model. But that additional parameter can be also any other parameter that needs to be simulated. For example CO2 emissions at construction site.
- manually (one-by-one)
- automatically (generating for each model group a separate task)
- importing from MS Project XML file (in that way you can easily ensure that you use the same task name as in project planning software)
In the current tutorial we first follow the manual way and later import the schedule also from MS Project XML. You can add new tasks from the ribbon (clicking on Add task) or doing a right click in the Scheduler area and selecting Add task. Right click enables to add also subtasks. Please create the following list of tasks. Do not worry about task Id values this time, as those are generated automatically, but please do follow the task/subtask structure.
After adding a task, it should be connected with model group (subgroup), you do that from the Group column. Simply select the appropriate cell and select correct group. Because this list follows the same hierarchy as in Explorer palette, it is once again important to mention that you should add you models into correct groups from the beginning. It makes later steps much more easier.
As you see we do not add groups for each task, because some of those are more like a general name, work group name. Follow the next picture to select remaining group names.
While connecting a group to a task, you see from the viewport, that some model components may start to appear that were hidden beforehand. Let's turn our attention to Transition column. From here you select a specific work type for each of your task. Just click on the cell to see the list.
While Temporary shows and object during the timeline only, Add highlight brings the component in with an highlight and Remove will hide the component that was shown beforehand. Follow the next image to select all other transitions.
With each task you add, a default timeline is added to the right hand side (blue bars). By default those start from the current date, but you can easily shift those to correct timeframe and change its length using a mouse (dragging one end) or doing a double click.
If you have sub-tasks, then it makes sense that the main task length is a sum of sub-tasks. Let's define a simple schedule here. New task begins when the previous one ends (of course in reality tasks happen in parallel). Follow the next image to rearrange blue bars.
Note: In the top image we do not use a summed up timeline value for Preparation, because we want to show that component only temporary.
We also want to add cost value for each task. Please fill in those values according the following image. Note that by a manual workflow you need to sum up sub-tasks manually.
Adding a cost parameter, you will see that in the Scheduler top bar, Costs value box changes its value during a simulation. You can simply drag the red line from left/right/left or click on a green play button to start a simulation (click again to stop the simulation).
By now you should be familiar how to start your own first 4D simulation project. Therefore we delete the current schedule, import the full list from MS Project XML file and add group/cost data to all tasks.
Let's first delete the current schedule. Do a right click on top-most row, and select Delete.
You have now empty schedule. You can import a schedule from MS Project XML file. You can import that *.xml file using the same Import tool that you used to bring in model data, or go to ribbon tab Schedule and choose Import tool from there.
Select the following *.xml file: /02_4D5D/MS_Project/Scheduler_w_Cost.xml
After import you should have the full schedule with cost data available in Explorer.
You can now connect your tasks to your model groups and define a transition type.
Note: You can also add group connections already in MS Project file and export those into *.xml file. For that, a special column should be added in MS Project. You can test this workflow as well.
Delete the current schedule. Now import the following file: /02_4D5D/MS_Project/Scheduler_w_VDCGroup.xml
Click Yes, and you should have complete schedule with connected group and cost data. You now need to add only Transition. Because most of the data will be made visible during the simulation, you simply leave those to default values Add highlight. But you need to change those groups that should be hidden or shown temporary as follows:
- Preparation, Existing/Terrain/Remain/NoMap/EG_ProjectArea_Surface = Temporary
- Site cleaning, Existing/Terrain/Remain/Mapped/ProjectArea = Remove
- Remove existing structure, Existing/Structures/Demolish/Bridge = Remove
- Remove existing, Existing/Utilities = Remove
You can now play the full 5D simulation. Click on green play button to start a simulation. You are free to navigate inside your model while the simulation is playing. Pay also attention to simulated cost value.
It is also possible to add some other data into your schedule. This data should be specifically formatted and more info can be found from general Help file. Using MS Excel, please open the file: Scheduler_add_CO2.xlsx
From the file you can find an additional column named as CO2. For example, you goal is to show CO2 emission rates during a project you can add that data as an extra column.
Close the Excel file and return to Explorer. Using Import tool, select the file: Scheduler_add_CO2.xlsx
If you import other parameters into your schedule, you can also use Schedule cost graph to see those values cumulatively or as single parameters.
Final version of this tutorial is saved as: Combined-11_Finished.vmpx
You can continue by testing various 4D/5D settings that are more common to your own project. Also, you can edit Excel file and add some other information as separate column and import that into Explorer.