I wanted to comment on " the goal: to build a building" but blogspot appears to be blocked in China. So I am sending my comments like this.
I notice in your last paragraph that manufacturers figure as an etcetera in the "entire project team", but it is they who have the level of detail needed to manufacture and promote their products. If they were to produce the models (or digital counterparts, as I prefer) then other members could choose whether to view images in 2D or 3D, or what data (cost, timing, specs, standards etc) to view or analyse. I have tried to introduce this idea in the BIMForum (under xuriwan) ... no reaction so far.
Designers should be responsible for assembling counterparts of real things (within defined constraints), selecting from options, defining modifications (cutting, trimming etc. where practical), positioning and reviewing results. If no thing (say, a product) exists in the form required, the designer should take up the role of manufacturer and assemble a counterpart from components much in the same way ... and so on.
Links within the Web represent a counterpart library not only of product options but machinery needed to assemble and/or process. "Models" and "replicas" conjure up images, whereas as "counterparts" seems less visual and more comprehensive. More importantly "digital counterparts" can be used for any physical thing or assembly of things, and thus not be constrained to what is subjectively seen as the building industry. For example, is a spindle moulder part of the building industry or joinery manufacture? Provided the library is appropriately linked and crosslinked it doesn't matter, and that leads on to the question of creating unique linkable identities.
Sorry not to be able to use your system, but hope you find my seemingly off-the-wall ideas interesting.
I don't find this idea off-the-wall at all. I have to admit that I don't completely understand it, but I look forward to corresponding with the author of this comment to fully grasp the concept.
I do agree that manufacturers should create BIM-compatible 3D objects (or "digital counterparts") of their products. This will take some time, as manufacturers need to see the value in creating objects. (
Either way, the author of this comment is correct: manufacturers should be included in the project team. This will be especially important when objects from the BIM are exported and used to create CNC code for automatic-manufacturing.
That's right: when, not if.