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Thread: Best BIM modelling software package

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    Default Best BIM modelling software package

    Hi everyone

    Couldn´t find a better forum to put this one in...

    I am teaching at the Danish School of Architecture in Copenhagen and I have persuaded my boss to help finance a course in BIM modelling or whatever name it goes under - what I mean is drawing objects in Cad that have information attached to it and has the capability to show differently in for example plan and section. - and whatever wonders it might do.

    I have worked a little bit with ADT and have had good results but I´d like to know your opinion on the subject before I go for a specific course.

    So - what in your experience is the best solution for BIM modelling?!?

    Thanks in advance!
    Regards

    Ras

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    Smile Re: Best BIM modelling software package

    HI Ras

    For me Revit the best choice.Im moving from ADT to Revit and fill big difference.

  3. #3
    Member angelo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best BIM modelling software package

    ADT is very powerful (and in being so, very complex). It's main downfall is that it's built on top of AutoCAD which limits the intuitive character found in other BIM solutions.

    Revit is very good, but at the moment not great for large team projects (ADT reigns supreme in this area).

    Microstation Triforma for Architecture has been around a while, but not making many inroads...

    Archicad is the senior of the entire group--very powerful and able to model very complex buildings while keeping the intelligence of each object intact.

    If you are teaching young students, then I would go for the more progressive solutions (Revit, Archicad) which will prepare them for what firms will be using within the next decade. If they are "non" traditional students, then it might be more relevant to teach them what most firms in Denmark are using now.

    Just remember, what most firms are using might not be the best, it's just because it's what everyone else is using!

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    Senior Member Kerry Thompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best BIM modelling software package

    Hi Ras



    Difficult to say as success in BIM depends on the many factors outside the choice of software. Successful BIM projects, rely on the attitude of the company carrying out the work and the managements skills of the users of the BIM system.

    I went to a seminar promoting a “successful” BIM project using ArchiCAD and the impression I came away with was that the ArchiCAD was irrelevant, the directors of the architects company were committed to making it work and managers (manager) of the CAD system was very skilled in making ArchiCAD do its thing (and the scale of the project meant that they had to split up the “single” database). One guy was responsible for enforcing the standards and making the various objects for the project. The other interesting thing was that the associated consultants (engineers etc) did not use the data from the model!!!

    I use ADT my self and, from my perception, it does provide the greatest flexibly for me - but then I am very experienced in AutoCAD type systems. Another issue is that BIM objects can be complex and there is no silver bullet. “Simple to use systems” often produce “less than elegant” results. Architecture can be very complex - take a curtain wall object, and then design a BIM parametric object to manage the definition, provide the flexibly and manage all the parts that make up that object, - hard enough in the real world without having to computer model it. So much of the traditional process of drawing is implicit. I know some of the users of Revit are now finding the software becoming “complex” because the problem of BIM is complex and as the software moves towards fully dealing with the issues, it is complex.

    The important thing is to gain experience in the understanding of BIM and how to manage the concepts and processes – learning any of the software packages will start you on this.

    Kerry

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    Junior Member mnisbett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best BIM modelling software package

    I teach in CAD in Maine using primarily Autodesk software. We are fortunate enough to have most of their primary software's. Which include Revit and ADT. We teach ADT classes as part of our curriculum mainly because we listen to our local firms and businesses. This is currently the software of choice in our area. I also have introduced students to Revit, taking about 2 weeks or 8 hours of instruction/labs. The results are remarkable. Although ADT is very robust it is complicated to learn. The students had the ADT class for 15 weeks and produced good drawings but they also experienced a lot of frustration along the way. In the 2 weeks that they used Revit, they produced similar drawings with better results, less frustration and much more interest. They keep asking me when we will do more with Revit! The problem is, there are no companies using Revit in our area, and our program is driven by industry. If it were up to me I'd use Revit fulltime, it’s a great software!
    Mnisbett :cool:

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    Junior Member mnisbett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best BIM modelling software package

    I forgot to mention you can get a 60 day free trial from AutoDesk. Most of my students downloaded the trial to use at home as well.
    Mnisbett :cool:

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    Default Re: Best BIM modelling software package

    Hi Everyone

    I Teach at the Colchester Institute, Colchester, Essex, Uk and I would agree with others comment, I think that ArchiCAD is the better product, I looked at Revit but our main platform is ADT and it has the biggest base here.

    Most can get into it quickly if they come from AutoCAD where the others are better if you are going straight to them in my opinion.

    Regards

    BobM
    BobM

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    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best BIM modelling software package

    Thanks guys

    I think I´ll try to get people from Autodesk, Lasercad and Bentley to come out and demonstrate Revit and ArchiCad and Microstation. I think they would love to get a bite of all the future Architects to come out of here.

    For some reason nobody here in my department is very keen on ADT - it seems that the eternal argument "everybody uses ADT" has backfired and people have become stubborn. This is an art-academy (say no more...)

    I´´ll be looking forward to getting this new knowledge. I have my own studio on the side and will also benefit from it as a "fieldworking" architect(opposed to teaching).

    Anyway thank you very much for your advice.
    Regards

    Ras

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    Default Re: Best BIM modelling software package

    FYI ArchiCAD is actually made by Graphisoft International and not Lasercad as you mentioned. They have headquarters in the US and in Budapest.

    As for the topic, while I would want to try and refrain from giving an opinion either way and to rather let you decide for yourself, you should note that all the BIM/Virtual Building design solutions you mentioned have various comparable strengths and shortcomings that tend to sway people to extreme positions based on their preferences of the various softwares' usabilities. IMHO none is really superior to the others, as each have carved out a distinct niche in the AEC field. Microstation and Vectorworks seem to have a stronger presence and leaning to the engineering end of the field based on their experience and other softwares that are popular with engineers. ADT has both its strengths and weaknesses based on the complexity of its program's structure and interface as well as the fact that it is built on top of AutoCAD ( easier for AutoCAD users to migrate to and specialize in, but notoriously difficult to customize and adapt to various other aspects). I should also mention that the reason that the "eternal argument that everybody uses ADT" persists as you put it, is rooted in part to the fact that "everybody" also "uses AutoCAD" and because they are developed by the market powerhouse (some would say bully) Autodesk, they are able to "brute market" it along with AutoCAD due to their vastly significant resources as opposed to Bentley or Graphisoft. And not necessarily because it is superior to Revit, ArchiCAD or Microstation. However, due to the increasing popularity of Revit and past market practices of Autodesk, the future of ADT is rather murky at the moment ( and to some extent that of Revit as well, pending it's adaptability to larger scale projects and intergration into the Autodesk system as a whole) as they decide which of the 2 systems to take forward and send the other the way of Lightscape.

    And speaking of Revit, along with ArchiCAD, they sit at the top of the BIM field at least in terms of popularity ( and the zealous loyalty of their respective customers). Its greatest strength is the powerful parametric Engine which dynamically and concisely links every single element in the project to other elements and consequently to the entire project as a whole, such that small or local changes are instantenouesly propagated throughout the rest of the project in terms of the effects and consequences. While this saves quite a bit of time in the sense of coordination and intergration of the project elements, its a drawback on creativity as the design process is boggled down by the discrete rules and guidelines that the parametric engine runs by.
    ArchiCAD on the other hand - while it also has a powerful parametric engine that is not necessarily as tightly controlled as Revit - affords its users more flexibility for creative design due to this "looseness" in the parametric engine as well as the powerful GDL scripting language of its objects. They also have the distinction of being the market's 'old dog', in that their experience in the field (dating 20 years) vastly overshadows that of any of their closest competitors and affords their program a host of features that others are only beginning to intergrate into theirs. And of all the BIM solutions out there, theirs is the most inter-operable and intergratable with a wider-range of other software and formats ( from DWG to OBJ to VRML to 3DS etc) making it easier to phase-in from other systems or alternatively fit into other systems like into an AutoCAD-run office for example.

    But at the end of the day, like you mentioned , I imagine the decision will be driven by which BIM solution holds the greatest potential for marketability in the field for the students - and this of course, depends on what is most popularly used in Denmark and to a great extent what will be most popular in the future, which is hard to predict, anyways ( ArchiCAD and Revit are unheard of in certain places, while AutoCAD is dying a rapid death in others). Good luck with your decision.

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    Default Re: Best BIM modelling software package

    the future of ADT is rather murky at the moment ( and to some extent that of Revit as well, pending it's adaptability to larger scale projects and intergration into the Autodesk system as a whole)
    Revit is very good, but at the moment not great for large team projects (ADT reigns supreme in this area).
    When you speak of Revit, and its adaptability to larger scale projects, It's already been proven that it can do large scale projects. There are currently over 30 people from SOM and a range of consultants working on the World Trade Center Freedom Tower in Revit. This will be the tallest building in the world, and it's being completely designed and documented in Revit. Even the Structural engineers and MEP engineers are using Revit to model and document those systems. Revit Strutures and Revit Systems have not been released, so those enigineers are finding ways within Revit Architecture to engineer their portions of the work.

    The integration of Revit into the Autodesk system as a whole has already begun. Sometime in the first quarter of 2005, Revit Structures is to be released. It was shown at Autodesk University, that an ADT user will be able to take an ADT model into Revit Structures to do structural analysis. When asked if a structural solution will be created for ADT, the answer was "Why? You'll use Revit Structures." Revit is the solution of choice as far as Autodesk is concerned. There was such a huge buzz about it this year at AU.
    Last edited by Scott Davis; December 11th, 2004 at 03:05 PM.

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