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3D Model Lifecycle Management Guide for Process Plants

 3D Model Lifecycle Management Guide for Process Plants

An informative guide to scoping a 3D model for use in capital projects and asset digital twins and to the activities & investments necessary to build and maintain it throughout the facility lifecycle.


The 3D Model Lifecycle Management Guide was developed on the back of the Facilities Lifecycle 3D Model Specification (FL3DMS), which is a practical, application-neutral specification for the structure and content of 3D Models, designed to guide the creation and maintenance of 3D models in capital projects and assets.  It is based on existing company standards and best practices of the FL3DMS participants and includes technical requirements for the creation and handover of 3D models to enable use-cases in projects and operations.  The first version of the 3D specification was issued in 2021.  

In parallel with the second revision of the FL3DMS standard, work started on educational guides for implementing the FL3DMS standard in a 3D Model and managing and maintaining 3D Models for the entire asset lifecycle. The team has also developed a business case for maintaining the 3D model during the lifecycle of a facility. The FL3DMS implementation guide for the FL3DMS standard is under development and will be released later in 2024. 

Scope and target audience 

The Lifecycle Management guide aims to enable owners of 3D models to manage and use their 3D models for the entire facility lifecycle, thereby optimising the business value generated from the 3D model. It is written so that all managers and stakeholders with little or no 3D model experience can understand the content and establish the strategy for the lifecycle of their facility 3D model. Everyone involved in a facility's design, construction, operation and maintenance have different needs from the 3D model. The intent is to deliver a 3D model that satisfies their requirements.  

The guide also provides information on the development and maintenance of 3D models for the lifetime of a facility, from ‘cradle to grave’, including:  

  • 3D model application selection. 
  • 3D model ownership, hosting and support.
  • 3D model contracting strategy. 
  • 3D model deliverables development, review and data validation. 
  • Construction and as-built processes for evergreening the 3D model. 
  • Operational use of the 3D model. 
  • Benefits of an evergreen 3D model. 
  • Foundations for visualisation of extended dimensions— such as schedule/planning, cost and sustainability. 


Cost / Benefit Considerations for 3D Model Content Requirements 

The lifecycle guide also gives guidance on the strategic options when scoping a 3D Model to ensure that it meets project and operational requirements at the lowest possible cost and includes a model for mapping content versus resource/cost impact. 


How do I get hold of the 3D Model Lifecycle Guide and the FL3DMS standard?

You can download the FL3DMS 3D Model Lifecycle Management Guide for free by clicking this link. Please share the Lifecycle Management Guide with anyone who may benefit from it.  

To accelerate the adoption of the FL3DMS 3D Model standard, the FL3DMS standard is also available for the public to download. You can request a download of FL3DMS from USPI by contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. USPI FL3DMS requests a voluntary contribution of €500 to download the specification. If you contribute, you will receive perpetual updates on the standard and associated documents, such as the business case for maintaining the 3D Model as Built and the FL3DMS implementation guide. You will also be invited to provide feedback to influence future standard updates. USPI members can request the standard free of charge.  By downloading the FL3DMS Specification, you agree to use it within your own organisation and within the projects that are executed by it only. You agree not to share the specification with other organisations outside this scope. The intellectual property of the standard remains with USPI. 


Full FL3DMS membership is encouraged, given the need to accelerate the standardisation of 3D models via learning and alignment across organisations. Your organisation is invited to join USPI and FL3DMS as a member. Your company representatives will get full access to all USPI and FL3DMS members' meetings and working group meetings, as well as to the FL3DMS SharePoint or Teams (Microsoft) site, where all project information is stored and accessed. Membership queries should be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


What are the next steps planned for the FL3DMS standard? 

The third revision of the standard will be released in Q2 2024 and includes complete requirements identification, such that its content can be transparently embedded within the standards of owner-operators and EPC contractors and can be specified for (sub-)contractors via requirements management systems. 


FL3DMS is moving from a 3D Model specification to an interoperability model via the collaboration with our MOU partners in CFIHOS for asset data, DEXPI for P&ID data and CII for Advance Work Packaging (AWP) data.  The coming versions of the standard will contain a data model for 3D Model content that extends the CFIHOS data model and identifies data required for AWP that is typically developed using the 3D Model.  It will also contain a mapping to the CFIHOS and DEXPI tag classes to ensure consistency across the application landscape of projects and assets.