While Revit has been a tremendous success for Autodesk in the AEC space, it has also in many ways disenfranchised its own traditional AutoCAD AEC users. Much revolves around the core file format. AutoCAD was built around .DWG, the ubiquitous file format used by more than 12 Million licensed (60M+ if you include pirated) architectural, design, engineering, and detailing users. Can any company afford to ignore such an install base? We don’t think so, and yet… Revit has its own proprietary file formats: .rvt and .rfa. While some would have you believe it to be the industry standard for Building Information Modeling (BIM), the global ISO 16739 standard is actually the IFC file format (or Industry Foundation Classes), developed and maintained by buildingSMART International, now recommended as an open standard by The American Institute of Architects (AIA), and now also mandated by the U.S. General Services Administration for all project milestones.
Does it matter? Sure. Did you ever ask your builders, contractors, suppliers, and detailers if they are happy to fork out the hefty sum for an Autodesk Revit or Architecture Collection subscription to be able to read your files? Most are still reeling from the forced transition to a subscription only AutoCAD. Some will consider it ‘the cost of doing business’, but it is definitely hard to justify the extra expense, and in our opinion, entirely unnecessary.
Architectural direct modeling (comparable to SketchUp), real 3D parametric design (e.g. for doors, windows, solar panels, garage doors,…), realistic rendering, and IFC compliant Building Information Modeling can be done entirely in .DWG, and it is a lot more affordable too. A perpetual license for the just announced BricsCAD BIM V17bundle runs $1,320. That is, you buy it, you own it. You decide if and when you want to upgrade, and no surprise renewals on your credit card statement. Remember those days?
“.DWG is the ubiquitous CAD file format”
What’s more, unlike other products that force you to translate back and forth between file formats (e.g. .rvt, .rfa, .nwf, and .skp for AEC) with the risk of errors and data loss with each translation, BricsCAD BIM allows you to work entirely in .DWG.
Is it up to the level? Well, how are you benchmarking? Do you do residential? Schools? An office complex or high-rise condominium? Preliminary evaluations show that BricsCAD BIM can handle large, forget that, huge models. Its geometry engine was redeveloped from the ground up for optimal 64-bit resource and memory utilization. BricsCAD goes much further by extending the .DWG file format with the most advanced technology, including AI (artificial intelligence), direct modeling, and its unique QUAD™ design interface.
It also includes some valuable architectural design features. You can visualize your intent by slicing sections, creating elevations and making presentation renderings to present your ideas with higher clarity. You can overlay your rendered model on a photograph using existing vanishing points and angular lines for a most realistic fit.
What about the BIM functionality? You can develop and explore your model instantly from site to room level detail. A single drawing file contains a site, which can have multiple buildings, each of which can hold one or more stories. All elements of your BricsCAD BIM project – walls, floors, columns, windows doors, etc. – are automatically classified in BricsCAD BIM, guiding you through the process of adding IFC-compliant data to building elements. Automatically generated 2D sections show all building details – keeping everything synched with the final construction document set.
See how BIM is possible in .DWG
BricsCAD BIM uses a built-in, ACID-compliant SQLite database to store the .DWG relational BIM data and to easily make them available through a set of APIs to other applications such as ERP, CRM, or accounting systems for parametric cost estimation, quotations, and planning.
Do you want to collaborate online? With Chapoo, the latest CAD/CAE cloud collaboration platform, everybody involved can view and annotate shared .DWG files, whether they use BricsCAD BIM or not. Chapoo’s cloud services allow you to communicate, manage files, assign tasks to project collaborators, and automate role based review and approval workflows. You can drag-and-drop reports and analyze live data in our cloud services any time you want and anywhere you are. A secure platform with full audit trail capabilities makes Chapoo ideal to meet today’s stringent regulatory compliance requirements. With the powerful built-in 3D accelerated viewer you can view, share, manage, and annotate entire model and project libraries, all in the cloud, all from your browser. The direct integration between BricsCAD BIM and Chapoo let’s you synchronize automatically each and every detail of the BIM geometry and relational data between your desktop and the cloud.
“Smart architects consider their entire ecosystem.”
Smart architects consider their entire ecosystem. It is part of the design thinking process. The ability to collaborate more directly with contractors, suppliers, engineers, and detailers are key to the successful completion of a project, hence the tremendous appeal of BIM. Making it more affordable and stress-free by allowing them to work in their familiar .DWG environment will however add to stronger, happier, and therefore longer term relationships.
This is why architects should revisit .DWG and explore the many BIM, direct modeling, and user experience innovations that the new BricsCAD BIM offers. With Revit you can do great early conceptual massing, schematic 3D work, quick changes, realistic rendering, and construction documentation. So can BricsCAD BIM, but all in the familiar .DWG environment, and at a much lower cost.
Check out BricsCAD BIM V17 at https://www.aertworks.com/bricscad-bim/
To try BricsCAD BIM V17 free for 30 days https://www.bricsys.com/common/download.jsp?site=2&ref=609
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