BIM Vs. CAD Files: difference?

For decades, product design engineers have used computer-aided design (CAD) programs — such as Autodesk’s AutoCAD — to design various parts and components. These sophisticated programs are capable of creating extremely detailed 2D and 3D models.

BIM is a new process and methodology by which a team of architects, engineers and contractors work collaboratively to design and build a commercial building utilizing the same database and computer model. This allows the team to analyse and visualize design decisions long before a project even breaks ground. BIM offers a digital representation of the real facility, including function systems (HVAC, electrical) and aesthetics (walls, roof, windows).

Don’t use CAD and BIM as Interchangeable Phrases.

Many people confuse the two terms. There is a relationship between CAD and BIM. However, they aren’t the same thing. BIM is not just 3D modelling, which is something that many people forget. Instead, it is a philosophy that you have to commit to if you’re going to get the most out of it. A major difference between BIM and CAD is the interactivity of the different dimensions during the editing process. In BIM, the dimensions that comprise an object are interconnected. Therefore, any adjustment that needs to be made in a building design, such as the width of a wall or corridor, can be done in a single edit.

The Future for CAD and BIM

We predict that in the future, the areas of CAD and BIM will continue to run alongside each other, with more developments happening as the world of construction becomes more and more advanced and specialised. As we have seen already, BIM will continue to grow and develop the more it is used to the point where CAD designers will no longer need to draft the building. Instead, they will just tell their software what the optimal footprint is and what load capacity is needed, and the system will do the rest. This will make the design process much shorter, meaning that more time can be spent on the actual build. How do you see them evolving in the future? Let us know in the comments below.


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