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BIM CAD

BIM stands for Building Information Modelling and has been around in CAD software since it was introduced by Caddsman Architect more than 20 years ago. Other architectural design software such as ArchiCAD were also early adopters of the concept of applying intelligence to the 3D model of the building so that downstream processes could benefit from information stored in the 3D elements of the building.

At its most basic BIM includes nothing more than a series of attributes attached to entities in the model such as the length and construction of a wall, manufacturer and size of a windows etc. Over the years additional apparent intelligence has been added to make sure that objects in a model act and behave in a rational manner with each other, mimicking real life situations. For instance when a designer is placing an opening in a wall the opening cuts a hole in the wall and inserts itself at the correct depth and then places waterproofing and framing to support the structure all automatically and all based on a series of rules. So this adds another level of intelligence to the concept of BIM, rules. Rule Based Modelling (RBM) is at the heart of any modern BIM design software. By setting modelling rules the 3D model can be created very quickly and information about the design can be extracted from the model. Model information can vary from something as basic as the area and length of a wall to something more complex such as its thermal properties, weight and amount time it takes to construct.

 

Each CAD software that uses BIM has its own set of BIM standards and no one software is particularly ‘industry standard’. This is the biggest problem in sharing data between disciplines such as from one architect to another or from the surveyor to the architect to builder to the quantity surveyor etc. The greatest benefit to date for BIM in CAD models is usually felt by companies that are multidisciplined and want to extract the information from each stage of the designs and construct process, using the same, untranslated model. For this reason many companies are beginning to adopt new design software that covers more than just drawing data and they look for software that assists in everything from creation of active shadow diagrams to framing of a structure to landscape design. Software such as ArchiCAD, Revit and Designer Pro are typical examples of the BIM enabled advanced modellers.

Another great advantage of using intelligent 3D models rather than traditional 3D is that sweeping changes can be made to the model by simply redefining the parameters that make up the intelligent objects. For example by redefining a wall type from say twin skin brick work to brick and timber frame with drywall construction the software will automatically not only adjust the appearance of the wall in 2D drawings but it will update the underlying structure and associated bill of materials, quantity lists and even the appearance of the model in 3D perspective presentations.

In simple terms, you cannot afford in this day and age to ignore BIM. If your CAD software doesn’t have true BIM then it’s not in the race. To find out more about BIM contact the team at CAD International. 

 

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