Getting building material data into the 3D model can be an essential step for accurate estimates and quantity takeoffs. At times it can be a struggle for builders to input such data, often recreating information, which can be a time-consuming task. Lately though, more building product companies are stepping up and adding 3D models of their products and materials to help ease the process.

Window and door company Kolbe,, Wausau, Wis., recently added a new Revit 3D model of its six-panel Ultra Series TerraSpan Lift and Slide door. These models are able to link with external data sources to help compile quantity takeoffs for residential and commercial building projects.

The company says its models allow users to customize the width, height, panel width, wall offset, and other features of Ultra TerraSpan doors’ expansive entryways. These doors can incorporate up to 10 panels per unit with a 12-foot maximum panel height with a choice of screens, hardware and other accessories. According to Kolbe, design options present more than 900 potential, operational configurations and provide universal access that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Another residential supplier offering 3D models to builders is CertainTeed Corp.,, Valley Forge, Pa. Through partnerships with Edgenet and its Big Hammer Pro Deck Design software, the building supply manufacturing company is offering 3D visualization software to help building professionals can increase their design capabilities, save time, and improve the efficiency and accuracy of jobsite estimates.

“With the Big Hammer Pro Deck Design service, building professionals can show homeowners how a certain deck layout will look on their home by simply uploading a photo of their house,” says Doug Mucher, product manager for CertainTeed Fence, Railing, and Deck. “This clear visualization, combined with the program’;s automatic product updates, makes Pro Deck Design the ideal tool for professionals seeking to decrease design time while increasing efficiency and sales. And, with the access it provides to the wide variety of rich color blends and natural woodgrain patterns in the EverNew product line, the design options are virtually endless.”

Big Hammer Pro Deck Design offers building professionals such features as CAD with photo imaging, custom layouts with 3D rotational views, updated product information and pricing, and customized material lists to help with compiling accurate estimates, among other features.

CertainTeed says it is providing the software through its Master Craftsman program. Through the program, the company says, building professionals gain a complete understanding of product installation through advanced education and training. Upon completion of required courses, participants receive a personalized certificate of completion, are included in CertainTeed’s online company directory, and gain access to the Master Craftsman Website.