Third-generation family business bets on 3D CAD-software

Kurt van Tomme

For the past sixty years, the company Kurt Van Tomme, a specialist in the installation and manufacture of aluminium structures, has realised the most extraordinary creations using 2D drawing software. Meanwhile, the third generation of the family business from Eeklo, Belgium, has decided to invest in 3D software to remain successful in the future. The choice fell on HiCAD from ISD Group. A conscious choice, according to Kurt.

The firm Kurt van Tomme processes Reynaers Aluminium profiles and is mainly active in the project market on high-end and technically challenging projects. "We do everything in-house, ranging from engineering and production to installation on site," Kurt enthuses. "Apart from the windows, we also provide peripheral items, such as screens and fitting pieces. In other words, everything that comes on and around a window. Since we see that the demand for being able to draw 3D in BIM models and IFC drawings is cautiously increasing in Belgium, we started looking in the market for a suitable programme for us."

This is the first package I say 'we're going to get there with that'. There is
potential in it."

Speed of visualisations

The need for 3D drawing is growing, Kurt acknowledges. "Especially with special constructions, it is surely nice to be able to visualise everything virtually and thus be able to interpret and resolve any conflicts in advance. For this, you need a 3D package, and preferably a solution that can communicate with the other software we already work with, such as LogiKal. AutoCAD is less suitable for this and Revit only synchronises in one direction. In terms of ICT infrastructure, we believe more in train carriages that can be linked together. HiCAD stands out above them all. The software synchronises in two directions; if you change something in one package, it also changes in the other package - a major trump card towards saving time. Moreover, the absolute advantage is the speed of visualisations in 3D. Other programmes falter rather quickly on processor speed or on the graphics card. With HiCAD, a 3D model is loaded once after which you can navigate it quite easily, without the image freezing or crashing."

Kurt Van Tomme started the process with HiCAD this year. "The first findings are super," says Kurt. "Of course, it will be a long trajectory anyway to fully master the software, but we can already make quick steps. The software invites us to move forward immediately. We suddenly see possibilities we didn't see before, also towards sheet metal connections. In terms of training, we have divided the tasks internally into who is going to specialise in what in order to be able to use many possibilities in the short term. The next step is to train each other. The future smiles at us with HiCAD. This is the first package I say 'we're going to get there with that'. There is potential in it."