CEO Altaf Ganihar shares his journey of making his collaborative building design software Snaptrude. Finding a better, more sustainable way to build for the community has always been his moral compass.
Snaptrude is a web-based collaborative 3D building design tool powered by automation and intelligent BIM. With Snaptrude, design teams can build more efficient & sustainable buildings while saving weeks compared to legacy tools with data & design automation. All of this while collaborating in real-time with their team, stakeholders & gathering real-world feedback around budget, compliance, climate etc for faster approvals.
Snaptrude is aimed at architects & design teams as the primary audience and focuses on the early design exploration to the design development stage of the construction process.
It all started with my exposure to the architecture & design industry during my undergrad days, where I was involved in the IDH (India Digital Heritage) project. We were working towards creating a seamless workflow to reconstruct any cultural heritage site in 3D & I spent a lot of my time in computer graphics and geometry research. On the sidelines, I was working on a hobby project to create 3D models out of floorplan images as a plugin to Sketchup, which garnered enough interest to gave me the courage to pursue entrepreneurship after my undergrad over joining a Ph.D. program.
I spent the next 2 years in the AEC industry building plugins for SketchUp Revit, Unreal, and web-based 3D applications with the help of a small team. This is where I closely experienced how broken & complex the design to construction journey is and quickly realised building plugins is like slapping band-aids on much deeper problems.
In late 2017 we started conceptualising what Snaptrude has become today, building the ability to do freeform design that designers love while the parametric BIM models are generated under the hood to enable a seamless workflow that can democratise good design in conjunction with BIM.
Design & data are considered disparate today by current generation design tools. Existing tools force AEC teams to wait for weeks to months, bringing up designs to basic specifications, before they can start aggregating feedback around real-world data. The biggest losers of this process are regular citizens who inherit unsustainable, expensive to build & maintain buildings. In an industry where the impact lasts for years, this lack of actionable feedback causes decisions to get severely delayed, resulting in humongous cost implications for retrospective corrections. This might be the biggest choking point for the future of efficient and sustainable construction/maintenance of the built environment this decade demands.
This is what we are attempting to solve with real-time access to data around design decisions. This enables design teams to quantitatively & qualitatively study the impact of their decision decisions in real-time and helping them build more efficient, sustainable designs while saving weeks' worth of time & effort.
I won't be able to share any public designs done by our users as it would fall under the user-generated content & they have the copyright to it. However, sharing the image of a conceptual pilot project, we recently did:
Like: The impact of the industry.
Dislike: Slow to change/adopt new technology.
Probably Engineer: Deep in my heart, I'm still an engineer. I still like tinkering around with the codebase and build things.
We are actively working on parametric component designer & auto interior module. These two will pave the way for detailed design implementation on Snaptrude but with a very slick & intuitive experience.
Albert Einstein. As an outsider working in the patents office with little exposure to the complex world of theoretical physics, he could redefine modern physics with his astonishingly accurate theories that hold good even today. Since I was a kid, he really inspired me that anyone with sustained curiosity and hard work can contribute to any field, even as an outsider.
For the last few months, it's been a Harry Potter music box that was gifted to me by my wife.
Recently I stumbled upon the quantum erasure experiment and made me realise again how strangely our universe operates.
I recite the table of 7 till as much as I can when I'm anxious or tensed.
I have immense respect for competition, both large companies, and startups. This industry is at an inflection point right now, and technology adoption will solve some critical problems around sustainability, the housing crisis, the economic downturn that are looming large. And I look forward to everyone contributing to make this happen.
This was somewhere near Lindis Pass, South Island, New Zealand.
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