Last edited 28 Dec 2020

Origin point for CAD and BIM

For building information modelling (BIM), the origin is the setting out point for a project or programme using coordinate geometry or related to based on real world coordinates, such as the OS or geospatial reference (as defined by PAS 1192-2).

Every computer-aided design system uses a Cartesian coordinate system as a means of positioning elements. The position of every element, relative to an origin or base point, is dictated by the X, Y and Z coordinate values. A common origin point is required in order to synchronise discipline-specific models referenced from within viewing and clash detection software.

The production of construction documentation often requires setting out coordinates to be provided for certain elements of the building. These coordinates are generally relative to the national grid coordinate system.

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