Which is better software Autocad vs Bim

What distinguishes the best BIM software in 2020

The fact that Building Information Modeling (BIM) is not software has been repeated like a mantra for many years and can now be recorded as a known fact. However, since BIM is used in practice with (activated) BIM software, it is important to consider BIM software. BIM software is an indispensable technology for building design these days. It enables architects, engineers, site managers and others involved in the construction process to work together during the planning. BIM software is critical to visualizing designs and putting ideas into practice.

However, BIM software comes in different versions and sizes: some have advanced features, others are specifically designed for specific industries. For this reason, when choosing the right BIM software, companies must consider factors such as building design, company size and project life cycle. BIM prevents delays, improves communication between all project participants and minimizes budget overruns.

When selecting the best BIM software, we paid special attention to the functions, user friendliness and benefits. The ability to integrate and analyze was also part of the consideration. With all these features in mind, the following four BIM programs stood out.

1. Autodesk Revit and BIM 360

Autodesk sets the standard for a complete, seamless BIM and construction planning platform. So it is not surprising that Autodesk is considered one of the best BIM programs: with its widely used AutoCAD applications, it has a high profile in the building and construction industries. Autodesk Revit covers a wide spectrum of users, from architects and planners to civil engineers and project managers.

The software is very much geared towards numbers and data. It gives users great flexibility in terms of creating their own content and modifying existing data. In addition, Revit includes the powerful graphic programming function "Dynamo". This application enables even the less experienced and unfamiliar with IT to create complex geometries and perform data-driven tasks such as import, export and parametric modeling based on data.

In addition to its established BIM software, Autodesk has created a cloud-based ecosystem for design data management: BIM 360. It builds on standard functions such as 2D modeling, 3D drawing and conflict tracking. It also serves as a central repository for all design and construction documents. Users can access documents via the cloud and get full visibility into every detail of the project.

For large companies or projects, and for great results, BIM 360 is one of the best solutions.

2. Vectorworks for architects

For creative and design-oriented employees, there is hardly a better solution than Vectorworks for architects. This BIM software is essentially design based and has some of the best modeling, drafting and documentation capabilities of any BIM solution on the market. With its advanced 3D modeling, Vectorworks stands out from the crowd for architects and gives architects and designers tools with which they can develop their creativity.

Even if the design and project management functions are not a complete solution like those offered by other BIM systems, Vectorworks has components that enable smooth collaboration. This includes software for mapping construction sites, industrial lighting, and event venues.

For architects and planners who are looking for a BIM solution with which they can implement projects and designs, Vectorworks for Architects is a sensible decision.

3. Tekla Structures

Tekla Structures is a leader in civil engineering. Tekla Structures was developed by software giant Trimble and is based on steel structure modeling software called XSteel. Trimble has focused on structural steelwork and architectural design at Structures; integrating glass, wood, concrete and other building materials.

Tekla Structures is well suited for large industrial projects that use BIM to help manage building materials and resources. Tekla Structures has been used to design projects from bridges and airports to sports stadiums and large shopping centers.

Steel and concrete workers as well as contractors and structural engineers can efficiently plan and manage projects with Tekla Structures.

4. Graphisoft ARCHICAD

If there was a BIM software equivalent to the Swiss Army knife, it would probably be ARCHICAD. This BIM software is used by architects, designers, engineers and city planners for a wide range of projects. ARCHICAD's user interface is functional and simple, which makes it a more accessible BIM software application suitable for beginners. ARCHICAD was published around 30 years ago, making it one of the longest-running BIM software products on the market.

ARCHICAD can render all kinds of 3D models - from landscaping for an office park to the entire campus. However, one of the main advantages of ARCHICAD is that it is an Open BIM, which means that it can write and read BIM data in a vendor neutral format (IFC). This enables a smooth exchange of data with other project partners - regardless of which other specialist models they use. ARCHICAD offers very powerful and sophisticated applications and functions for creating BIM models. Its scripting engine - i.e. implementation in a specific programming language - enables the creation of intelligent and flexible models that represent more than just collections of data.

If you need a versatile BIM solution that offers powerful content creation and visualization capabilities, ARCHICAD is an excellent option.

The right choice of the right BIM software

Just a few decades after the first prototypes, today's BIM technologies offer the most important support for creating building designs. As innovations become more widespread, BIM developers keep adding new functions to the versions currently available.

In summary, the right BIM solution for each project is unique and depends on its scope. The increasing competition among the leading providers of BIM software will make day-to-day business much easier for planners.

Dr. Quay at Oberste-Ufer

Kai is a civil engineer with a focus on IT and is senior manager for digital planning at dormakaba digital. With his work he wants to answer the question: "How will we plan, build and operate buildings in the future and how can we better support this process digitally?