In a short period of time, Building Information Modeling (BIM) has revolutionized the collaborative relationship between all levels of the building process. BIM covers geometry, spatial relationships, code information, product quantities and details. It offers a new way of working collaboratively using a model created from reliable design information to facilitate faster decision making, optimize material combinations and streamline product specification.
“The greatest development in design software in the past 5 to 10 years is Building Information Modeling technology,” says Jay Moore, business developer for Ameri-CAD. “No longer are designs created using lines, arcs, circles to represent real-world objects, BIM technology now allows us to design using ‘intelligent’ objects that have both 2-D and 3-D properties as well as property sets that can specifically define the product, manufacturer, supplier and more.”
“BIM programs allow a designer to draw in the familiar 2-D environment while the program simultaneously creates a 3-D model,” says Moore. “The 3-D models are much more valuable in the design process by providing more accurate designs, construction documents and renderings that can be used for pre- and post-build validation and sales purposes.”
Ameri-CAD’s VisionREZ creates intelligent 3-D models that can be exported to manufacturers’ programs for walls, panels and trusses. Upon completing the panel or truss drawings, the newly created data can be returned to the original VisionREZ drawing to coordinate all building data for delivery out to the field for construction. This link increases the value of the VisionREZ residential BIM information by reducing product development cycle times, managing resources properly and creating more value for the builder and strengthening the relationship with the designer.
“Today, more and more clients are able to use design software since the learning curve has become much easier with the increased use of object-oriented design tools,” says Brad Finck, vice president of business development for Cadsoft Corporation. “The trend toward BIM has also become more of a common practice instead of previously where only the upper 5 percent of users could manage this approach to design. Because of this, designers and clients are more aware of the design intent before the project actually gets underway.
“The creation of BIM models allows for the automated extraction of working drawing components such as elevations, sections, details, schedules and bill of materials,” says Finck. “This saves the designer time during the contract document phase of the project.”
Cadsoft‘s Envisioneer 4.5 was designed in response to actual requests from Envisioneer’s client base. Clients can boost productivity for faster and more accurate designs and working drawings. Envisioneer’s new feature set includes customizable Quick-Key keyboard shortcuts for all menu and toolbar command sequences, Materials Eyedropper tool and History tab, and a new Boundary Hatch tool that recognizes polygon boundaries in real time. The product’s new features also include a time-saving block attribute mechanism, the ability to use user-defined profiles for wall and opening trim, and improved retention of content when importing or exporting to DWG files.
“Also, it is now much easier to gain client approval, and expectations are more easily met,” says Finck. “An actual virtual building is created digitally that carries with it information about the project which then can be used by the various construction disciplines. For the client, they gain trust in their designer since the design intent is more easily communicated. They are also able to see and make choices about their project and have it reflected instantly in 3-D.”