3D-Printing and No-Code-Platforms and Digital Twins, oh my!

Nicolas Waern
8 min readJul 2, 2021


EMAIL INTERVIEW — Nicolas Waern and Ken Sinclair

Nicolas Waern, WINNIIO

“ The Building Whisperer”



3D-Printing and No-Code-Platforms and Digital Twins, oh my!

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently,
that which should not be done at all.” — Peter Drucker

Ken Sinclair: Nicolas, two articles this month? And an interview? What is going on? You are leaving everyone else in the dust! Let us limit this to 3 questions, shall we?

First of all, what’s new?

Nicolas Waern: Hopefully, I can get my podcast going, as well as the newsletter. I have 8 podcasts/meetings recorded around some interesting topics. After all, it is the data companies do not have that will change their life, and that is why I am trying to share information.

“The Data to Impact loop will be at the core of every strategy”
- Nicolas Waern

And about article writing, well, I hope it is quality I am putting out there and not just quantity. But you are right, it has been an eventful month, to say the least. All this Covid and Corona craze the last month has made me even more productive than before and I have had phenomenal conversations and new customers coming in, and even more in the pipeline.

Discussions this month have been around these topics.

  • Construction companies are starting to digitize more and more, understanding that everything can be improved, and realizing that even more can be removed.
  • Smart City initiatives where data harmonization from different silos need to be merged and trusted for citizen happiness indexes.
  • Smart City initiatives focusing on existing and future resiliency metrics around critical infrastructure and supply chains. Such as food supply, water supply, energy supply, and others.
  • Smart City initiatives incorporating a Digital Twin Strategy to find missing data by providing contextual information around hundreds of thousands of missing assets in the city.
  • 3D printing companies selling printers able to print 1500ft2 structures up to 4 stories high, ready to ship all over the world, also with engineering expertise to help companies from start to finish.
  • Data Centres utilizing plug and play wireless mesh to see vast improvements affecting insurances, green certifications, and of course resiliency and efficiency on a platter.
  • Blockchain and IoT incorporated in resilient Smart City metrics to understand important trends about the past, present, and future.
  • Industry 4.0 initiatives where edge analytics is done locally reducing cloud spending by over 90% utilizing distributed logic.
  • 5G initiatives where both private cloud and hybrid clouds strategies will be the norm.
  • Organisational/Ecosystem-wide data strategies emerging as one of the most important aspects of any organization.
  • Digital Twin creation platforms utilizing an ontology of ontologies and a Google/Facebook approach to data manipulation (possibly getting rid of the standards-wars, and taxonomy-wars out there) to get data from hundreds of thousands of assets out in the field in less than 1,5 milliseconds.
  • No-Code/Low-Code Platforms will be the next VERY big thing in traditional industries, enabling people and companies to adopt technology like never before.

Ken Sinclair: That sure sounds like you are living on the edge! Very interesting Nicolas. But it seems like there’s very little method to the madness. Can you please explain how all these things fit together?

Nicolas Waern: That is exactly what my customers pay me to do! But I can say that with new and modern tools, it gets easier and easier to create the things people have always dreamed of, by the people have had the dreams for a lifetime.

Take the Low-code/no-code platforms for instance. Imagine domain experts doing the job of 10 developers, not having to translate information back and forth between different disciplines. Reducing the time, the cost, and the complexity needed to do something ground-breaking will certainly make the world a better place much faster than ever before.

Combine that with data harmonization platforms that can take data out of existing systems and silos and create new end2end processes where there is a red thread of all the data. And enabling companies to make sense of not only existing data but also the data that they did not know they needed.

Utilizing platforms like Platform of Trust allows companies to break silos, see the data trickle out, use self-service tools to make sense of the data in a faster way. And not only stopping at data harmonization, but state of the art Digital Twin Platforms like SEKAI can also stream data from different applications enabling data to become tied to physical objects. As such, people from different disciplines can make sense of data together through Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality, being able to make decisions around a shared truth. All of this without any need for vendor-specific standards, protocols, and taxonomies.

And thus, turn data into information, and information into insight, which will hopefully lead to action and an impact, that is then turned into data, and there we go. The data to impact loop is born, and it will be at the core of everything.

  • Data harmonization at the top.
  • Digital Twin “storage” as the one true source. As it should be.
  • Minecraft world, here we come.

Ken Sinclair: That is truly democratizing smart city innovation… very interesting. I thought that Digital Twins were all about the visual aspects, but you are saying that it is more than meets the eye? Any information/documentation to share? Any other final comments?

Nicolas Waern: I want to tell you about 3D printing, but first Digital Twins. It depends on what you mean. As always. A digital twin can mean a lot of different things depending on whom you are asking. In fact, I facilitated a presentation last week for 31 industry professionals about True Connected Digital Twins that I believe will revolutionize existing and future developments in all areas. Here is an audio recording of the session and the folder also contains an amazing presentation (just reach out to me if you are interested in knowing more).

It was an 82% turn-out of the ones invited, which showed that it was something people are interested in knowing more about. Industrial companies with factories, turbines, solar farms, wind farms, automotive, etc are the usual suspects. This due to the fact that they have money, have a need, and still trying to make sense of data in order to improve up-time in factories, and also extend the lifecycle and efficiency of products out in the field.

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently,
that which should not be done at all.” — Peter Drucker

However, Construction companies were one of the more interested parties because they have so much information from all different places. Which also makes them very interesting. And construction sites seem to be riddled with coordination challenges, where a no-show might lead to almost exponential cost increases and delays. By pooling in information from different sources, tying that to a physical location/asset, it can save millions for large construction sites.

i. Digital Twin Creation Platform for construction, systems integration, real estate and Smart Cities

Doing more with less, and utilizing modern tools is the key. But with the advent of thousands of platforms and technologies, it becomes even more important to tie them into strategy and decision-making. Because even though many companies try to throw some technology at a problem, it is (unfortunately) not always that they can find management buy-in. It is more of a norm that companies have a solid business case, and a way to scale up technology initiatives internally as well as externally.

Knowing where to get started, get going and how to succeed with anything digital these days require an understanding of the global landscape, business as well as technology, and how to piece all these things together. It is as Peter Drucker has famously said,

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently, that which should not be done at all.”

Which is the cue for 3D printing.

I have talked to professionals and companies that have done various initiatives with 3D printing over the last month. And it has been mind-blowing, to say the least. 3D printing was just a novelty for me, but having seen videos like the largest 3D-printed buildings in the world, made in Dubai last year, I can’t state enough how impressive I think it is.

I believe we will see much more of a demand for rapid strategies, rapid construction, due to the changing landscape of both businesses, and… well the landscape. Due to Climate change a lot of people will be displaced and now also with Covid and Corona, I fear that we will see more homeless people than before. And more people in need of affordable housing. With modern technologies, cities will have the possibility to create new areas for people and families in no time. There is also a convergence in technology where people can control home energy systems from distances including heating, electric, lighting, and ventilation systems. And for cities to be able to provide security services based on CCTV footage data in the vicinity.

This gives cities and municipalities cutting-edge tools required to create spaces and places where people can feel safe and have control of their life in an improved way.

Companies like Black Buffalo 3D not only provide the aforementioned IoT and Blockchain solutions, but also build 3D printers for houses. These can print 4 stories high, and in sections of 1500ft2 (by combining segments very large structures can be built at a fraction of the cost and time of existing ways of working), and the 3D printing industry is still in its infancy, which means that we will see amazing developments happen in the not so distant future.

I definitely think that forward-thinking construction companies need to start taking this seriously. Especially if they do not want to spend millions of dollars, and time, on making obsolete ways of working more efficiently.

  • It’s not the data that companies have that will change their life.
  • It’s the data, as well as the technology, they don’t have that will change their life forever.

And that is why we are here to tell companies what the world is going to do a month, a year, a decade from now. WINNIIO has a complete understanding of what is needed to stand out from the competition, advise on pros and cons, and be the strategic partner for both technology and organization-advice in a Smart World Environment (Construction/Industry/Smart Buildings and Cities).

And if you or someone you know need help with questions regarding strategy, innovation, and figuring out how modern technologies can help you where you are today. Look no further. WINNIIO will always be by your side. Just reach out to me, Nicolas Waern, on LinkedIn or check out my Podcast Beyond Buildings if you need any assistance.

Nicolas Waern


Nicolas Waern is the CEO, Strategy & Innovation Leader, and a Digital Twin Evangelist at the consulting firm WINNIIO. He is a thought leader around Digitalization and Digital Twins, regarding Smart Buildings, Smart Cities, and future-ready strategies. And a firm believer that we have all the ingredients to make the world a better place for everyone.

Nicolas is working with leaders in several industries to understand how they can succeed in the age of AI. Assisting them in creating their future, by predicting what the world will do in a week, a month, a year from now. He does this through a Digitalization- Demand approach for anyone that needs to change before they have to.

Nicolas is also Podcast Creator & Newsletter Editor for The Beyond Buildings Podcast
Thought Leader regarding Smart Buildings & Building Automation for AutomatedBuildings
Speaker and Influencer Event Streaming Platforms as the Holy Grail for Industry 4.0 Applications
Subject Matter Expert Real Estate Digitalization Proptech Sweden — Digitalization Expert
And an active Member of Digital Twin working groups Digital Twin Consortium & Chalmers — Digital Twin City Centre

Originally published in May 2020 at http://automatedbuildings.com



Nicolas Waern

It took me 37 years to create an approach to solve all the challenges in the world. Now I’ll spend the rest of my life to get it done. Are you with me?