The process of shifting form CAD to BIM comes along with some decisions and one of them is a necessity as a matter of fact it is inevitable. As there is a few dozens of BIM- caplable software out there and everyone one of them claiming to have the best solutions for your business, therefore investing in BIM and choosing the right software is a big decision especially for small firms that are not so financially buoyant. Some people will tell you to use the one you are more comfortable with and easy to use, but considering the time and effort spent on testing out all the available software on the market, this approach might work but time consuming. In the light of this, I want to give some more tips on what could also be consider when making this decision. These considerations can be used as an informal guide to help you narrow down your search before investing your time on software training.
- Get more knowledge about BIM process
- Pay attention and evaluate your present business workflow in order to define where you are not adding values.
- Identify what you would like to accomplish when you finally shift to BIM in other words, what is your goal or what do you want the BIM software to do for you.
Although there are many things to consider when deciding on the software based on your discipline but I will highlight general considerations regardless of discipline.
- BIM software should be able to translate your model to currently acceptable Industrial Foundation Classes (IFC) format.
- Check the interoperability between different software applications. For example , if you have been using CAD, you should check if you can transfer your CAD drawings to the BIM software without redrawing from scratch.
- Produce traditional 2D documentations with approved IFC compliant.
- Price: Although your biggest investment is not going to be the BIM Software itself but the process, it is still necessary to compare the prices and try to leverage between software solutions to your business and cost.
- Download size and operating system compatibility: Some software package are bigger than the other in terms of size, check the size of the software and the operating system recommendation to know if your machine is capable or you need to upgrade your system.
Although this might not be that important but it might help to narrow down your search as well. Find out what software is commonly used in your location and in your field. This will reduce the issues of software interoperability when working on integrated projects in your location.
Here are lists of some software you might want to check
|Onuma Planning System (OPS), DProfiler, Tokmo, CodeBook|
|Authoring – Design
|Revit Architecture, Bentley BIM, ArchiCAD, Tekla, Vectorworks|
|Authoring – MEPF
(Engineering & Construction)
|ArchiCAD MEP, Revit MEP, AutoCAD MEP, Bentley BIM, CAD- Duct, CAD – Pipe, Auto Sprink, PipeDesigner 3D|
|Authoring – Civil||Bentley Inroads and Geopak, Autodesk Civil 3D|
|Coordination (clash detection)||NavisWorks Manage, Bentley Navigator, Solibri Model Checker, Horizontal Glue, EPM Model Server, BIMServer|
|4D Scheduling||Synchro, Vico, NavisWorks Simulate, Primavera, MS Project, Bentley Navigator|
|5D Cost Estimating||Innovaya, Vico, Tokmo|
|Specifications||Speclink – e, E – Specs|
|Model Checking Validation,||IFC File Optimizer, Solibri or equal|
|COBIE||Tokmo COBIE exchange|
|Energy Analysis||EcoDesigner, Ecotect, eQuest, Green Building Studio , EnergyPlus , Trane/Trace , DOE2|
Please note that I might not have the name of all BIM software on my lists, therefore if you know one or are using one that is not listed here , let us know by writing in the comment below. Thank you.