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Which software BIM is the best for me?

Pick yours from this curated list of the best software of the market

Software - Hardware Protocols
Published: 28/05/2018

As a professional of the AEC sector, you might have had the chance to encounter with a BIM software anytime. This kind of tool gathers all the information that architects, engineers and designers need to know about a project. All the lifecycle of an asset gets under BIM. That makes very easy when it comes to preparing timetables, budgets, costs and much more. There are a lot of software BIM but not all of them are suitable for every step of the project. 

We have picked a list of the most common software BIM of the market. Pick yours!

Why is Revit software so popular?


The most common and known Building Information Modeling (BIM) software from the CAD giant Autodesk. Revit includes architectural design, MEP and structural engineering and construction. Its intelligent model-based technology allows you to plan, design and manage any type of building. Also, all the actors of the project can work on a single platform. That prevents mistakes in the communication between them that can cause major problems in the future.

That means an extensive client support both from Autodesk and the community of users. They gather in forums, specialized websites and Facebook groups. So if you have a doubt while using Revit you can post it online and you will get the answer in minutes. And if you can't get the answer you aim for you always have tonnes of information and tutorials.

Using Revit means that you can get full connectivity with the entire Autodesk suite of products, including Dynamo, Navisworks, BIM 360 and a broad compatibility with AutoCAD. Although BIM means interoperability, not all software is ready for it. There are a few incompatibilities while working with different software, especially if they do not belong to the same company. Thus, staying within the limits of Autodesk products means a successful experience. This does not mean that you can not work with other tools. On the contrary. Because of the largest community of users, more software companies are including compatibility with Revit in their products, even if that means low income for them.

How does Revit work?
  • For architects: they will be able to create levels, floor plans, 3D views and renderings. Also, you will get a cost estimation and analysis optimization building performance along the design process.
  • For MEP engineers: manage simulations and clash detections before you start the construction phase. With Revit you can model for MEP fabrication by using tools that automate the fabrication model layout. 
  • For structural engineers: they can create detailed reinforcement designs and shop drawing documentation.

Archicad - BIM software for architects


The second most-used BIM authoring software solution from Graphisoft. It is considered by many the first real implementation of BIM. Actually, the company was the founder of the Open BIM concept. Graphisoft is a direct competitor of Revit. Thus, they had to develop new innovations like the recent Stair Tool addition in Archicad 21. This allows the user to create optimized stair designs based on parameters input by the own user. Yet, the main difference between Archicad and Revit it comes down to user preference. Anything that can be done with one software can be done on the other, although they have both their own advantages. 

Archicad has developed a range of innovative tools that create models and automatically generate elevations, schedules and sections. The software also allows the user to store a large amount of data in their 3D models. It takes all your RAM of the computer but also improves BIM performance because of its Predictive Background Processing feature. 

In case you need to present any project, Archicad allows you to generate stills, animations or interactive models. Its MAXON's CineRender technology provides photo-realistic renderings. So, you can take advantage of fully-interactive design presentation packages that run on mobile devices.

Allplan is a leading European provider of Building Information Modeling solutions


This software is not as used as Archicad and Revit, but it is a capable BIM software solution that was created in 1984. It has been developed by the German company Nemetscheck and it is mostly used within Germany and other European countries. The Allplan Architecture is a solution for architects. It allows them to produce detailed design drawings and unparalleled information quality. With Allplan, users can get to chose if they want to work in 2D or 3D. Thus, it is possible to build a virtual model and avoid costly delays in the construction phase.

Along with Allplan, the user can find other software solutions for a BIM projects such as engineering, facility management, cost management and management solutions. However, it is complicated to find support outside the Nemetscheck customer service. While Revit and Archicad users have a lot of information online, for a software like Allplan it is more complicated. This can be an advantage because there are more companies looking for users that use this software instead of Revit or Archicad.

Vectorworks Architect - Provides a solution that supports the creative process


This software provides the users with the ability to manage every construction detail along the building's lifecycle.  Designers will find useful the broader range of drafting and annotations tools that is not possible to find in any other BIM application. Through the BIM model it's possible to create custom schedules and construction documents. For the exporting phase, Vectorworks includes an interesting import and export capabilities (IFC formats), which means that you can move your BIM models through different industry packages. 

Vectorworks includes more features not found in other software like Revit or Archicad, and provides a collaborative environment. This allows the different actors of the project to work simultaneously on the same project. 

Use AECOsim Building Designer and see how it is advancing BIM


Bentley is the successor to MicroStation and has become a leader in the infrastructure sector. The company has been known for their efficiency while handling the data of large projects, to the point you could work with your BIM model without crashing your computer. 

While other software are more architecture oriented, AECOsim allows the users, especially civil engineers, to control the whole life cycle of any project. This software is used in some of the largest projects worldwide like the Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal Building Project.

MicroStation and all Bentley BIM applications are built on the same comprehensive modeling platform


MicroStation is a CAD software with extensive BIM capabilities developed by Bentley Systems. It can be used in different disciplines to create very realistic BIM models and allows large teams to work on the same project. Every document attached to the project remains synchronized in a cloud server. 

Using MicroStation allows you to work with other Bentley's application. That means that you can also enforce standards along the design process, like applying templates to control geometry and data standards. 

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