Zone finder propagates data from zone geometry within your models onto objects that are either contained, or partially contained, within them.
For zone finder to work, you must have zone geometry within your model that contains information you wish to propagate onto your model elements. iConstruct Zone finder will identify the zones (nominated by the user) and run algorithms over the model geometry to append specified zone properties onto objects. Originally created for applying work area information onto equipment, the zonefinder tool is widely used for applying room, department and functional information onto model objects for scheduling, visualization, room data sheets and reporting.”
The key to using Zone Finder is in the quality of the zone geometry. If pre-existing geometry is not available, you can create your own in a CAD package such as Autodesk AutoCAD. Draw a region with the outline of the required zone area and then extrude up by the required height. Note that the height is adjustable in the zone finder configuration but the base of the zone is not so the base must be in the correct elevation.
Zone Regions in Autodesk AutoCAD
Extruded Regions in Navisworks
The following example shows a typical piece of equipment in a model that contains no information on the room that it is contained within. As room and departmental names can change throughout projects, or be unknown at the time of modeling, it becomes a somewhat laborious task to go back and add the information as a project parameter.
Using zone finder, the room geometry is selected, and the room’s name is identified as the property we wish to populate to the object.
After running the routine, the nominated information now resides on the object’s user data tab, which can be saved with the model allowing users to better manage their BIM projects.