Published 22 October 2007
|Written by Martyn Day|
Page 1 of 3
Many software firms claim to have invented BIM. When development work on a 2D/3D intelligent modelling system started in 1982, you might have the best claim to the title. By Martyn Day.
For the last few years, you have probably been bombarded with messaging about Building Information Modelling (BIM), which will be the next big thing in building design and construction. Both Bentley Systems and Autodesk have been pushing their respective modelling tools - Bentley Architecture (formerly TriForma) and Autodesk Revit. Each company is trying to convince the AEC industry that the move from dumb 2D drawings to 3D models has many benefits. With the number of Revits that Autodesk is shipping, it would seem that there is indeed a move underway to a different design and documentation paradigm.
Probably what you havenİt heard is that the original desktop BIM solution, ArchiCAD, now in Release 11, is still doing very well and has been enabling architects to design parametrically in 3D for years. ArchiCAD is developed by Budapest-based Graphisoft and is one of the few modelling applications that is developed for both the PC and the Apple Mac.
Virtual Building overview
Pre-BIM, Graphisoft was pretty much a lone voice selling the benefits of creating 3D models to automatically generate all the 2D documents, sections, plans and elevations.
The Virtual building concept means that ArchiCAD stores all the information about the building in a central database; changes made in one view are updated in all others, including floor plans, sections/elevations, 3D models and bills of material. ArchiCAD uses intelligent building elements like doors, windows, and columns which understand and react to their environment. It builds a virtual prototype of the building, which accelerates work, makes the management of the project easier and allows you to design instead of draft.
There are a number of ways of working, through a number of intelligent representations of the design, so itİs possible to work from drafted lines, arcs and splines, as well as interact with the full 3D rendered model. Talking of rendering, ArchiCADİs rendering tools are very simple to use and even provide Virtual Reality (VR) presentations and animations and can be generated directly in the application.
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