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Building Information Modelling

Building Information Modelling

BIM stands for Building Information Modelling and is a process that both generates and manages all of the digital information and functional characteristics of a building. BIM combines a rich layer of information that can include items such as environmental performance, acoustics and fire ratings etc. This information helps represent a design as combination of ‘objects’ that carry their own geometry, relations and attributes. Essentially BIM covers more than just geometry, it provides the data that allows multiple parties involved in the construction of buildings such as Architects, Civil Engineers, Construction companies, Facilities management teams, and anyone else with a role, to be involved at all stages of the design and build to collaborate effectively.

This way of approaching building design is significantly different to traditional architecture. BIM pulls together multiple data streams to allow the design team to generate not only a comprehensive virtual 3D model of a building, but coordinate all data aspects of the project and ultimately provide it as a built model for facilities management.



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So how does SOLIDWORKS relate to BIM?

BIM objects are created in the platform-neutral Industry Foundation Classes format (.ifc) which has been supported by SOLIDWORKS for Import and Export for a number of years. The industry’s common 3D architectural software (AEC) including Autodesk Revit, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks and Bentley can import SOLIDWORKS models that carry BIM information into their designs.

For example, a lift assembly designed in SOLIDWORKS can be exported in a lightweight format that carries additional text properties and be imported into the architectural software and placed within the structural design. Conversely a building structure can be exported from an AEC package and brought into SOLIDWORKS so additional components can be designed in a virtual space to make sure they are right for the task required of them, such as the design and placement of a gantry within a factory or the air-conditioning on the roof space of a tower block.