I was given a 3D model of a problematic plant design to review in Navisworks recently as part of an expert witness engagement. This is the second time this has happened in recent months, and I must admit, I still prefer good old-fashioned general arrangement and isometric drawings.
As I discuss in my latest book, the main advantage of 3D models is to allow those unfamiliar with 2D drawings and 2D CAD software to review a design. This advantage comes at the cost of disadvantage for those who are familiar with the 2D CAD drawings which will actually be used to build the plant.
My experience of 3D models is mostly limited to their application to designs bad enough to require viewing by an expert witness, so I may be a bit jaundiced, but my experience of them so far makes clear that they do not seem to prevent poor plant layout.