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Best BIM software

Finding the best BIM Software for your business is now faster and easier! Compare prices, reviews, features, and get free consultation to find the perfect software.

Table of Contents

What is BIM Software?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) software is a type of computer program that helps architects, engineers, and construction professionals design and construct buildings easily and more effectively. It offers intelligent tools, technologies, and contracts that facilitate the generation of digital representation of buildings and structures.

The concept of BIM solutions is not new. It dates back to the 1970s. But it was not until the early 2000s when BIM technology became the standard of architecture and construction across the globe.

Types of BIM Software

BIM is a vast technology, and one tool can’t fit all your requirements. BIM tools are task-specific and provide specific outcomes. For example, some tools help with drawing production, some with model checking, some with scheduling. There are hybrid tools, as well. For instance, some construction management solutions may offer scheduling and model checking capabilities.

That said, most tools focus on specific tasks. Let's take a look at the common types of BIM solutions.

1. BIM authoring platform:

These tools cover the basics of architecture, such as structural and MIP. You can use BIM authoring tools in the design for generating data for various uses, and to develop a design from concept to construction documentation.

2. BIM analysis tools:

Building information modeling has more to it than creating digital data and information. You need a system to make sense of the data and utilize it to make informed decisions. Here's where a BIM analysis tool can help.

These tools enable you to perform a wide range of analysis in the design and development of an asset during the project lifecycle. For example, you can use analysis tools to evaluate an asset's energy requirements, thermal performance, wind flow, orientation, etc.

3. Specification tools:

In a design project, not all information is graphical. You could be working in a coordinated data environment, where you'll come across graphic data, non-graphical information, and documents. Specification platforms come in handy when you're working with non-graphical information.

4. Construction management platforms:

These solutions offer a holistic view of model information. Construction management tools integrate 3D models with project schedule applications to provide a 4D model with construction sequencing, scheduling, and simulation capabilities. When it comes to preventing injury and accidents, construction sequence insights offered by these tools can be beneficial.

5. Facility management tools:

Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) platforms are mostly web-based and combine with CAD and relational database systems. These tools act like collaboration and file-sharing tools. They allow you to store, retrieve, analyze, and share data from multiple sources.

Features of BIM Software

Every BIM software tool is different, and so are the features each software entails. However, there are a few characteristics you'll typically find in any BIM solution. These include:

Features Of BIM Software

2D design import & export

If you are transitioning from 2D to 3D drafting, BIM software can lubricate the process. These solutions enable you to upload your 2D drafts and continue design in 2D or upgrade the design to a 3D model.

3D modeling

One of the essential features of BIM tools, 3D modeling, allows you to design 3D objects that become the foundation of a structure or building. This feature lets you add intricate details to a model and make it analogous to the actual structure.

3D rendering

This feature allows you to render a 3D model and visualize it in a virtual reality environment. You can then fine-tune the graphical settings of the rendered model to scale and navigate it and interact with it in real-time.

Building Information modeling software enables you to design and render details as minute as windows and doorways of a multi-story building.

Sequencing

The sequencing feature of BIM solutions lets you plan each step of the construction process by using models and sub-models. By using this feature, you can sequence the steps and include details like materials and crews needed for different phases of the project.

Document storage

The construction business is document-heavy. Teams, designs, edits, materials, and workflows are some of the elements that require consistent documentation. BIM software systems allow you to store, manage, and access all project-related documents within the platform.

MEP fabrication detailing

Several advanced BIM platforms also offer mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) fabrication detailing. This feature allows you to model an MEP system and see how it integrates with the building design in real-time.

How is BIM Software useful?

BIM software offers large-scale benefits at every phase of the project lifestyle. Here's how BIM software can add value to your business.

1. Enhanced collaboration:

BIM solutions offer a 360 ecosystem that allows for sharing project models, collaborating, and versioning that traditional paper drawing sets lacked. Furthermore, cloud-based BIM enables you to take office on-site and access updated project information anytime.

2. Cost estimation:

Most AEC companies struggle with the estimation of accurate construction costs during the planning stage. BIM tools offer model-based cost estimating capabilities that allow you to quantify and apply expenses easily and more precisely.

3. Project visualization:

Needless to say, BIM tools allow you to visualize the entire project without laying a single brick on the ground. This way, you can make any modifications before the construction begins and minimize time-consuming changes later.

4. Improved coordination:

Building information modeling software lets you better coordinate subcontractors and trades. It further allows you to detect any internal or external clashes before the construction begins. Clashes can lead to expensive reworks. With BIM, you can review unforeseen issues with automated clash detection.

5. Reduced cost and risk:

The best BIM solutions can save you money in more ways than you can think. First, it encourages closer collaboration with contractions, which reduces tender risk premiums and insurance costs. Second, it offers a better overview of the project before starting, which reduces waste on unwanted materials. Third, it eliminates the cost of documentation and other recurring tasks.

6. Increased safety:

BIM software can improve construction safety by identifying hazards before they become catastrophic. These platforms avoid physical risk by planning and visualizing physical risks ahead of time.

7. Enhanced productivity:

Improved collaboration, reduced risk, and alleviated costs collectively enhance the productivity of your firm and enable you to make better use of your time and resources.

Importance of BIM software in making your business grow

BIM may be a costly undertaking, but the return on investment BIM yields in a short period of time is substantial. It can help you streamline your projects by estimating costs, containing information, mitigating risks, and increasing efficiency.

BIM can also play a critical role in the success of your business if you're looking to pursue government contracts. In fact, various government projects now demand BIM for implementation.

Using BIM can give you an edge over competitors, as you will be able to show your clients a 3D model of the proposed building.

In all, BIM can directly add to the revenue and growth of your business.

How to Choose the Best BIM Software?

With a myriad of BIM solutions out there, finding the one that aligns with your requirements can be difficult. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting a BIM system for your business.

1. Be open:

Chances are the BIM software is not the only tool you'll be using. So, look for a solution that integrates with other systems and supports multiple exchange formats.

2. Easy-to-use and flexible:

If you haven't used design and construction tools before, shifting to a BIM solution can be challenging. Thankfully, there are specific tools that focus on beginner-friendliness and flexibility. Be sure to look for BIM software solutions that are ideal for new users.

3. Prioritize your needs:

As discussed, most BMI tools are task-specific, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. So, determine your requirements, and find a solution that adds value to your day-to-day business operations.

Top 5 BIM Software

There are hundreds of BIM solutions to choose from, but we've shortlisted the five best BIM Software for you.

Showing 1 - 25 of 15 products

#1

ActCAD

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#2

ArCADia BIM

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#3

VRcollab LITE

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • There's no specific answer to this question, as every BIM software solution is different. Find the tool that aligns with your requirements.
  • BIM enables AEC companies to use intelligent 3D model-based processes to efficiently plan, design, and construct infrastructures and buildings.
  • Architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) companies are the primary users of BIM software.
  • No. While AutoCAD allows you to create precise 2D and 3D drawings, it doesn't offer tools to create intelligent 3D models for buildings.
  • Revit, Blender, and Sculptris are some of the BIM solutions known to be better than SketchUp.

Himanshi SharmaBy Himanshi Sharma | Last Updated: October 22, 2020

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