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Autodesk Revit 2022.1 Update is Now Available!

As of September 23, 2021, Autodesk has released the Revit 2022.1 update. With it, are many improvements and added features To Design Productivity, Interoperability, and Documentation Efficiency.

Design Productivity

Duplicate Sheets

Revit 2022.1 - duplicate sheetsProject documentation gets even easier and faster with the ability to duplicate sheets in Revit 2022

In the Project Browser, right-click any sheet and select Duplicate Sheet in the context menu.

You have three options:

  • Duplicate a sheet as a new empty sheet using the same title block;
  • Duplicate a sheet and any detail elements on the sheet, such as legends, schedules, keyplans, and sheet-specific linework; or
  • Duplicate a sheet with views.

Here, you can choose to duplicate all placed views as independent copies, include view-specific elements in the copied views, or create dependent copies.

Note: This option will be disabled for view types that do not support dependent copies.


Dynamo for Revit 2.12

Revit 2022.1 - Dynamo for Revit

Revit 2022.1 installs the latest release of Dynamo; this update includes many new features and user-requested improvements to help streamline your automation workflows.

User interface enhancements- The Dynamo user interface offers several improvements in this release.  A new Dynamo tab provides general information about your installation.  A new Extensions top-level menu controls the display of default and custom View Extensions.  And a new collapsible Export menu is now available.

Preferences panel- Control your Dynamo settings faster with the new Preferences panel.  The General settings control language, number, and scale formatting. The Features settings define the default Python engine and enable experimental packages.  The Visual Settings control rendering precision and display parameters.  And the new Package Manager allows you to explore the properties of installed packages and select a default save location for custom package content.

Node AutoComplete – Learn Dynamo faster with the enhanced Node Autocomplete UI.  Enable it under the preferences’ Experimental subpanel. This feature helps you build Dynamo workflows more quickly by automatically finding nodes to connect for you when you double left-click on node ports.  These nodes will also display a link to the Documentation browser, providing an expanded node description and instructions for use.

Graph Properties Extension – Annotate your workflows and share better information about your graphs with the new Graph Properties extension.  Save a custom description, a thumbnail image, an author name, and URL links together with your graph


Generative Design in Revit updates

Revit 2022.1 - Generative Design in Revit Updates

Revit 2022.1 installs the latest release of Generative Design in Revit, featuring a new set of powerful enhancements:

Export outcomes – You can now share study results in other applications by exporting data in the CSV file format. Use this exported data in applications such as Microsoft Excel, Power BI, Tableau, or DFM software.

Outcome thumbnails – Navigate faster through generated outcomes with thumbnail images. This will help you navigate outcomes more quickly and easily.

File path input nodes – You can now load custom files as inputs.  Browse and select a CSV or XLS file directly from the Create Study dialog.  You will no longer need to build these attachments into your Dynamo scripts.

Include file dependencies – You now have the option to include file dependencies when saving your Dynamo graph.  This allows you to package up your custom files and definitions together with your study files, making it easier to share your study types with others.

Easily open a study type in Dynamo – Access study types faster in Dynamo.  You can now review and modify a study type directly from the Create Study dialog by clicking on the new “pencil” icon.

Display input updates in real time – Your updates to Dynamo graphs will now be displayed instantly under the Create Study dialog, expediting your design process.


Edit multiple rebar set constraints at once

Revit 2022.1 - Multiple Rebar Set Constraints

Model and details rebar sets in Revit more efficiently in Revit 2022.1. The improved rebar modeling and detailing for structural engineers and detailers, make it easier for you to move from disconnected CAD workflows to BIM, and enabling you to model and detail faster and more accurately. You can edit the rebar constraints to adjust the bar lengths or distances to the concrete faces of multiple rebar sets at the same time.


Automatically match coupler size to rebar type

Revit 2022.1 - Coupler Size to Rebar Type

Connect Revit rebar with couplers more quickly and easily. The rebar coupler size is automatically adjusted to match the bars you are trying to connect or match the sizes you set for the already connected bars. A matching coupler type is selected from the same family, if it exists, or from another family loaded in the project. If a matching coupler type does not exist in the project, a new coupler type is created.

Couplers are no longer deleted when they do not match the connected rebar, and you can quickly place couplers between bars of different diameters without errors.


Adjust Slope

Revit 2022.1 - Adjust Slope

Autodesk Revit 2022.1 offers several improvements to sloped layouts using fabrication parts, including new slope adjustment tools. When detailing a sloped layout, it is now easier to control how branch connections are made. Detailed fabrication parts now use similar controls to design intent elements, providing a consistent modeling experience for detailers working in Revit. You can slope branch work into the main using the Change Slope tool, or you can connect your branches horizontally and drop them into the main using the Add Vertical tool.

The improvements to sloped layouts using fabrication parts, also includes better alignment behavior for pitched pipe offsets, and improved connectivity when modifying layouts.

Maintain alignment of pitched pipe offsets – In previous versions of Revit, rigid fittings did not allow main and branch work to maintain perpendicular alignment automatically when modeling a sloped layout. The user needed to take the extra step of manually aligning the branch in plan views. With this release, wye fittings automatically adjust to maintain perpendicular alignment for sloped layouts using fabrication parts, saving you time and effort when detailing.

Improved connectivity when modifying layouts – Prior to Revit 2022.1, if you adjust the elevation of a primary branch in a complex sloped layout, you might observe a shift in the centerlines of connected elements. This release improves element connectivity when modifying sloped layouts, resolving this issue for most scenarios.


Electrical Performance Enhancements

Revit 2022.1 - Electrical Performance

Response times when working with electrical content have been dramatically improved on large and/or complex projects:

Edit Circuit Performance – See performance gains of up to 30x when editing a circuit.

Select Panel Performance – See performance gains of up to 20x when selecting a panel.

Re-hosting Electrical Families Performance – See performance gains of up to 4x when selecting a new host for an electrical family.


Category Name Search

Revit 2022.1 - Category Name Search

Find categories and subcategories faster while working in Revit. You can now search for categories in many dialogs using keywords without navigating through the entire list. These dialogs offer this new functionality:  New Schedule/Quantity, New Material Takeoff, Parameter Properties, Loaded Tags and Symbols, Object Styles, Visibility/Graphics Overrides, and Modify DWG/DXF/DGN export.

You can also use a partial input.  For example, if you type the letters “duct”, all results that include those letters will be shown.


Duplicate Existing Family Parameter

Revit 2022.1 - Dup Existing Family Parameter

In Revit 2022.1, this new feature helps you create and modify family type parameters more quickly. While editing a family, you can create a duplicate of an existing parameter by selecting the new “Duplicate Parameter” icon in the Family Types dialog. Family parameters and built-in parameters can be duplicated, and the duplicated parameter may be edited later.


Import or Link CAD Formats at Any Level

Revit 2022.1 - CAD Formats

With this new release, you can pick any level when importing or linking CAD formats. During insertion of a file via the Import CAD or Link CAD commands, you will now see an option to select any level in the current model from the “Place at” pull-down list.

Note: This feature is available in plan, section, elevation, and 3D views—making it easier for you to insert CAD content wherever you need it.


Zoom to Fit Work Plane Viewer

Revit 2022.1 - Zoom to Fit Work Plane

Save time and better understand the context you are working in. When using the work plane viewer to make edits, the window automatically opens zoomed to the extents of the model. Once opened, you are still able to use zoom tools to focus on the area of work.

Note: This feature also applies for Revit LT


Compatible Shared Parameters

Revit 2022.1 - Compatible Shared Parameters

In past releases of Revit, you might encounter the error message “Shared Parameter File Cannot Be Read” when loading a shared parameter file created in a newer version of the software—a result of unrecognized category information in the file. This behavior has been improved in Revit 2022.1.  If the issue is detected when loading a shared parameter TXT file, you will now receive a detailed explanation and guidance to create a copy of the file that will work properly with the current version of Revit.


Family Load Error Message

Revit 2022.1 - Load Multiple Families

In Revit 2022.1, the “Cannot Load Family Files” message which can occur using the Load Family command after starting to place an element, has been enhanced to provide a better explanation why some families were unable to be loaded.


Load Multiple Autodesk Families

Revit 2022.1 - Load Multiple Families

Load the right family content more quickly. The Load Autodesk Family tool now allows you to load more than one family at a time into your model. Click each family individually or use Shift+click to select multiple adjacent families.


Open Any Synced Version of a Revit Cloud Model

Revit 2022.1 - Revit Cloud Model

Revit 2022.1 enables you to open any synchronized version of a Revit Cloud Model.

From Revit Home, locate the cloud model you are interested in and click on the ellipsis menu.  You will see an option for Version History. Selecting this option will open a list of all previous syncs for that cloud model.  The version history panel displays the number of syncs, the name of the user that synced each version, and a timestamp for each version. After finding the desired version, you can open (with or without auditing) that version of the file.  The model will open as a detached copy of the project file with the version number and timestamp in the file name.


Performance with Complex Sketches

Revit 2022.1 - Complex Sketches

See faster response times when working with complex sketches. Here are some areas when you will see significant improvements in performance:

– When selecting a complex sketch

– When clicking the “Edit Boundary” button for a complex sketch


UI Enhancements

Revit 2022.1 - UI Enhancements

In Revit 2022.1, a couple of dialog boxes that were formerly fixed in size are now resizable, making it easier to work with long lists and names at any resolution.


Developer Tools

Revit 2022.1 - Developer Tools

Additional enhancements to Revit 2022.1 includes new API functionality for custom add-ins.

  • You can delete worksets in a project via the API
  • You can split a schedule across sheets via the API



OBJ and STL File Format Support

Revit 2022.1 - OBJ and STL

Connect BIM workflows to CAM and 3D printing with STL and OBJ file format support. Revit 2022.1 supports new file types, expanding your ability to connect your model with a broader set of CAD formats.

  • You can now import stereolithography models directly into Revit, making it easier to connect your documentation with computer-aided manufacturing and 3D printing workflows.
  • You can also import and export OBJ files.  The OBJ format is a simple and open format that preserves both color and texture information and is the preferred format for precise, multi-color 3D printing.


Import and Link Rhino 7 and SketchUp 2021

Revit 2022.1 - Rhino and SketchUp

Revit 2022.1 now allows you to link and import Rhino 7 and Sketchup 2021 files. Streamline your documentation process with improved support for SubD shapes in Rhino 7 files, as well as support for Sketchup 2021.

Link Rhino or Sketchup files in Revit and expedite your documentation updates.


IFC ODA Toolkit Update

Revit 2022.1 - IFC ODA

Experience improved IFC support through integration of the IFC ODA Toolkit. The integration of the ODA-based IFC SDK in Revit 2022.1 allows for a consistent data mapping in IFC file. The toolkit allows Revit to translate data from a wide range of applications, without the need to write complex code.


Revit Levels in FormIt

Revit 2022.1 - FormIt

Improve your iterative design exploration workflows with the support for Revit levels in FormIt Pro. Using 3D Sketch, you can launch a FormIt session directly from Revit and include all or selected Revit levels into the FormIt layers palette. Continue your design exploration in FormIt using Revit geometry as your background context.  Apply imported level data to new geometry groups in the FormIt Levels palette to display gross area and volume calculations.


Documentation Efficiency

Snap to the Middle of Two Points

Revit 2022.1 - Snap

In Revit 2022.1, you can use snaps to select a midpoint between two selected points. This temporary snap override is available when placing a component, during sketching, and while using Modify tools.  You can access this feature using a keyboard shortcut or from the in-canvas context menu.

Right-click in the drawing window, expand the Snap Overrides sub-menu, and select “Snap mid between 2 points” to enable the temporary snap override.  Choose your first point and then hover over the second point to view a temporary line and midpoint indicator.  Click on the second point to place a component at the midpoint between the two selected points.

When drawing a wall, floor, stair, or similar elements, the “Mid between 2 points” temporary snap override is available at each point of sketching.

When using tools from the Modify menu, such as Copy, Move or Rotate, the “Mid between 2 points” temporary snap override is available to help you easily relocate your elements to the desired position.


Select All Instances Enhancements

Revit 2022.1 - Select All Instances

The Select All Instances functionality has been extended to include more element categories and permit the selection of multiple element types simultaneously.  The “Visible in View” and “In Entire Project” options are retained. New categories supported by the Select All Instances command include Rooms, Areas, Spaces, Model Lines, Detail Lines, Reference Planes, Revision Clouds, and more.


Find in Project Browser

Revit 2022.1 - Project Browser

In Revit 2022.1, you can select elements in your model and right-click to locate those elements in the Project Browser. This new feature connects your drawing canvas to the Project Browser and helps you find elements in your project faster. With nothing selected, the active view (or sheet) is highlighted in the Project Browser.


Split Schedule Across Sheets Improvements

Revit 2022.1 - Split Schedule

Introduced in Revit 2022, the possibility to split a schedule into multiple segments and place each segment on sheets has been enhanced in Revit 2022.1.

Contextual information displays in the “Split Schedule and Place on Sheets” dialog box, to help you make better decisions about the schedule segments. This also has an impact on the Split & Place button which gets updated dynamically, keeping it greyed out in case of incorrect definition.

Another improvement is about keynote legends, you can now use the Cut and Paste functionality to cut and paste the legend to multiple sheets.


Automatic Lock for Align Tool

Revit 2022.1 - Align Lock

When using the Align tool, all settings have been moved to the contextual tab of the ribbon. Checkboxes are available for “Multiple Alignment” and “Lock”.  The latter locks elements automatically when you align them; you will no longer need to click the lock icon to lock elements one by one after aligning them. You can also select your preference for “Wall centerlines” or “Wall faces” from a pulldown menu.


Performance with Large Numbers of Views

Revit 2022.1 - Large Views

Revit 2022.1 comes with improved performance when working with projects containing large numbers of views. Here are some areas when you will see significant improvements in performance:

– When using the toggle reference view checkbox in the contextual tab

– When opening a plan view containing a large number of section views

– When clicking the “Schedule/Quantities” button for the first time



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How to Install AutoCAD

When Autodesk first released its new design and drafting software AutoCAD in 1982, no one expected it would become as big as it did. Yet, several decades and many versions later, AutoCAD is still every designer’s and architect’s favorite program. And by the looks of it, it will be a while before some other software takes its place.


So, what makes AutoCAD software so special? When it first appeared, it was nothing short of revolutionary. Using a computer program to create 2D and 3D models and draft blueprints instead of doing everything with pen and paper? To engineers, architects, and designers, it sounded like a dream come true.


And the truly impressive part is the level of commitment Autodesk has to this project. AutoCAD has come a long way since that original software in 1982 — in fact, improved versions are released almost every year. Some of these versions come with revolutionary new features that make the user’s job far easier, while others only contain minor changes and fixes. Still, just the fact that they’ve been working on the software for nearly 40 years shows how much they care for their customers.


Thus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone in the design, engineering, or construction industry who hasn’t heard of or used AutoCAD. In fact, most universities in these fields use precisely this software to teach their students.


Introduction to Installation of AutoCAD

If you’re a designer, architect, or engineer, AutoCAD is an absolute must-have. This software will make your life so much easier and your designing process smoother and quicker. However, you may be a little hesitant about downloading such an advanced program. For that reason, we have decided to make tutorials for installing it on both Windows and Mac.


How to Download AutoCAD for Windows

Before you can install any program, you need to download it, and AutoCAD is no exception. Downloading this software isn’t particularly difficult, but you should know that there are several ways to do it. Those include:

  • Downloading the program from your Autodesk Account
  • Downloading and installing the software using the Autodesk desktop app (only available for Windows)
  • Using Autodesk Virtual Agent (AVA) for downloading

All of these methods are fairly simple, and you should have no trouble getting your software. But just in case, we will cover all three of them:


With Autodesk Account

To use this method, you need to first create an account on the Autodesk website. This part is no different than registering your account anywhere else — simply fill out the form with your first and last name, email ID, and password. If you already have an Autodesk account, skip this step and just sign in.


Once you’ve signed in, go into the Products tab on Autodesk’s main menu. There you’ll see a list of Autodesk products such as Revit, Maya, 3ds Max, Civil 3D, and, of course, AutoCAD. Choose AutoCAD from the available options, and you’ll be redirected to its product page.


On this product page, you can choose to download a free trial or buy a subscription to this Autodesk software. The current version you access automatically is AutoCAD 2022, but you can purchase AutoCAD 2021 and earlier versions as well. To do that, click on the System Requirements link on the product page and then to the Downloads section of the menu that opens next. There you’ll see a drop-down menu with available AutoCAD versions.


Once you select your version and subscription plan, you’ll get a dialog box with information on the product you’re buying. Copy the serial number and product key from the box and then click on “Download Now.”


We should also mention that educators can get a special license type for using AutoCAD. If you are one, go to the Product section of the main menu and choose “Educational Access.” Then, click on the Educators tab in the new menu and follow the instructions there.


With Autodesk Desktop App

Downloading AutoCAD with the Autodesk desktop app is even easier — you simply need to find the software on the app and click on the download link there. And getting the app is just as easy. All you have to do is visit this link and click on Install Now. Then, read and accept the license agreement, and you can begin your download and installation process.


With Autodesk Virtual Agent (AVA)

Finally, you can get AutoCAD for Windows using the Autodesk Virtual Assistant. Simply launch AVA, go to the Quick Links tab, and select Download Autodesk Products from the drop-down menu. AVA will ask you to sign in to your account first, and then you’ll just have to follow its instructions to successfully download the software.


Installing AutoCAD on Windows

When you begin the installation process, first you’ll have to read the “License and Services Agreement.” Once you have, click on the “I accept” option to proceed.


Next, you’ll have to install the AutoCAD Download Manager. This part is simple, as you’ll just need to specify which folder you want to save it in and then click OK. The manager will then extract the necessary files and start the AutoCAD installer.


In this installer, you’ll once again need to specify where the software should be installed. Then click on the Install button, and a new window will open, allowing you to configure the installation process further. Make sure to select the custom installation type and then check all the features in the drop-down menu below.


Finally, the installation will begin, and you’ll have to wait for it to finish. That may take some time, but once it’s done, click on Finish. Then, double-click on the .exe file to launch the program. At this stage, it might ask you to provide the activation code before you use it, so just paste the product key that you copied earlier.


If you forgot to save the product key, don’t worry — your Autodesk account definitely still has it. Sign in and go to the All Products and Services tab, where you’ll find all the software you purchased. Find AutoCAD on the list and click on More Actions drop-down menu, and then select Serial Numbers. You’ll find the code you need there, so just copy it to activate your program.


How to Download AutoCAD for Mac

Luckily, AutoCAD isn’t limited to just one operating system, so even if you own a Mac, you can still install it. However, you’ll have fewer downloading options — namely, you won’t be able to get the program through the Autodesk desktop app.


The downloading process for Mac is fairly similar to the one for Windows, but you’ll need to specify what OS you’re using. To avoid any confusion, let’s quickly go over the steps you need to take.


First, visit the official Autodesk website and click on the Sign In option. Once you complete your registration or logging in, go to the main menu and the Support section. Choose the Downloads option from the drop-down, and then Download Your Software.


On the next page that opens, you’ll notice the Get AutoCAD for Mac option. Click on it, and then choose the version of AutoCAD you want from the available ones. Also, make sure to double-check if the selected operating system is Mac OS, and then pick the language you wish to use.


Under these options, you’ll see the serial and product keys, which you should copy before you start the installation. Finally, if everything else is in order, go ahead and download the program.


Installing AutoCAD on Mac

Downloading may take a while, but once it’s finished, you’ll be ready to install your software. You’ll find it in the form of a DMG file in your download manager. Open it and select Install Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac. The installer will launch, and you’ll need to read and agree to the licensing agreement.


After that, you’ll be asked to enter the product key and serial number into two boxes. You copied them before, so just paste them here and click Continue. However, you can also choose a 30-day free trial version which will allow you to use the program without these two numbers.


The installation shouldn’t take too long — perhaps around ten to fifteen minutes. Click Close and give AutoCAD a try afterward. If you’ve done everything correctly, it should work perfectly well. But if not, you might need to uninstall and try again.


Using AutoCAD

While downloading and installing AutoCAD isn’t too difficult, learning how to use it certainly can be. The software is famous for its array of tools and fantastic options, but that’s exactly what makes it so intimidating for beginners. And while it’s possible to master it all on your own, it can take many months, which you may be better off using in a more productive way.


Luckily, there are countless AutoCAD courses online — some available on LinkedIn, some on our own website, and some on Autodesk’s. Autodesk also has its own vast community that’s willing to help and answer questions whenever you find yourself stuck. Ultimately, if you want to learn, you’ll find that there is no shortage of resources.


In Conclusion

AutoCAD has undoubtedly made countless designers’, architects’, and engineers’ lives easier by allowing them to digitally make 2D and 3D models, design buildings, and play with ideas. Thanks to its numerous functionalities and tools, the software has become almost indispensable now, and most people working in the designing and engineering fields are expected to know how to use it. But before you can use it, you need to download and install it.


Luckily, with this guide, you shouldn’t have any issues getting this program. In fact, once you purchase the subscription, it should be yours in less than half an hour. Then you can finally begin designing various models and building plans in AutoCAD. You’ll be surprised at how much difference this software can make!


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If you have any job that involves construction, you’re probably familiar with two terms: BIM and CAD. However, depending on what you do, you might not have had the chance to work with both methods. So even though you’re aware of their existence, it might be hard to explain the difference between the two.

For a long time, architects and engineers have relied on computer-aided design (CAD) programs to design their projects. And these programs work great — they allow the design of extremely detailed 2D and 3D models.

However, since building information modeling (BIM) appeared, many architecture and engineering firms readily embraced it. Others, though, are still reluctant and wondering if it’s possible to just convert CAD files to BIM. The short answer to their question is no. But that won’t resolve the confusion that seems to exist when it comes to CAD and BIM.

So, in this article, we’re going to tell you more about both CAD and BIM, and break down the differences between the two programs. Also, we will explain which one you should gravitate toward depending on the industry you’re in.


What Is CAD?

CAD refers to the use of computers in the creation, modification, or optimization of a design. It allows architects and engineers to create high-quality drawings for projects that require multiple parts to fit perfectly within a more complex construction project.

As we mentioned, CAD users can create 2D and 3D models of the parts they plan on building or making. What’s more, CAD makes it possible to review a construction before the production process begins. Due to its versatility, CAD is used across many industries — from architecture and design to mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering. In fact, 3D CAD software has redefined both the construction process and manufacturing over the past couple of decades, making production faster than ever before.


What Is BIM?

On the other hand, BIM is a method that uses some of the CAD concepts in building design. It allows designers to create detailed models for the entire lifecycle of a design process that include not just the physical but also the intrinsic properties of a building.

BIM is a relatively new methodology with which a team of engineers, architects, and contractors work together to design and build a building. And they can do that using the same database and in real-time, so communication is much easier. Similar to CAD, a team using BIM has the option of 3D visualization. Thus, the team can work out even the smallest details before the construction starts.

Apart from the 3D modeling, BIM technology has evolved to 4D, 5D, 6D, and 7D dimensions. Each dimension has its own purpose. For instance, as you already know, 3D BIM represents the three dimensions of a building. Then, 4D adds the element of time, 5D allows cost estimation and budget analysis, etc.

In short, we can summarize BIM as a digital representation of a real building. BIM software, Revit for example, can include all the functional systems, such as HVAC and the electrical system, as well as all the structural elements (walls, door, windows, etc.).


The History of CAD

Although its significance is clear to anyone who ever had a job in the construction industry, CAD’s origin is not as easy to pinpoint. To explain the beginnings of CAD, we have to go back to 1957. That is when Dr. Patrick Hanratty, now dubbed “father of CAD”, developed Pronto. Pronto was the first numerical-control programming system. Then, in 1960, an MIT student named Ivan Sutherland created Sketchpad, the first program that showed that it was possible to make technical drawings on a computer.

There is some debate as to which one is truly responsible for the creation of CAD, since Hanratty’s system is more of a CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) system. However, many experts agree that his invention was the one that led to CAD as we know it today. But Sutherland’s Sketchpad is also pretty significant. It allowed a designer to use a pen to draw on a monitor, which was extremely advanced at the time.

So, we believe it’s safe to say that both inventions were important contributions to CAD software, and in turn, to the industry as a whole. Over the last several decades, CAD has been constantly changing and improving. And with it, the industry was changing as well. For instance, its influence on aerospace technology alone is enough to see its significance, but it has truly advanced any manufacturing activity. Nowadays, it’s impossible to find an engineer that hasn’t used at least one CAD software. It’s basically become a job requirement. What’s more, with computer technology still constantly developing, it will be interesting to see what CAD will be like in the years to come.


The History of BIM

As for BIM, it has existed as a concept since the 1970s when the first software tools for modeling buildings appeared. However, these were expensive, so widespread use was not yet possible.

The term ‘building model’ was first used in a 1986 paper by Simon Ruffle. In the paper, Ruffle states that CAD systems have evolved enough to create models that “more closely represent the way buildings go together.”

The actual term ‘building information model’ first appeared in 1992., in a paper by G.A. van Nederveen and F.P. Tolman. But it wasn’t until 2002 that the acronym ‘BIM’ entered common use when Autodesk published a white paper titled “Building Information Modelling.”

Although it doesn’t have as long a history as CAD, BIM technology has been equally important in its own niche. BIM, in a way, was built with an architect in mind. Since it is focused on one industry, specifically on building projects, BIM can create advanced features that cater to architects and their entire team. The design process is now much easier than it was just ten or even five years ago. And just like CAD, BIM is always improving and we are excited to see how the future of architecture is going to be influenced by that.


What Is CAD Used For?

In general, engineers across multiple industries use CAD programs, such as mechanical and electronic engineering, plant design, and civil engineering. Its utility is best showcased by the fact that in CAD you can design a variety of products, from a toaster or a phone to an airplane.

CAD is especially useful for projects that involve multiple parts that are then connected into a larger unit. With CAD software, you can create 2D drawings and 3D models of all these parts, which makes the manufacturing process easier. Some of the more popular formats for 2D drawings are DXF and AutoCAD DWG. 3D formats that are the most prominent include Solidworks, Creo, and a couple of others. In addition, if you’re ever short on time, you can check out some websites that offer ready-made CAD models.

In the past 20 years, 3D CAD software has been in widespread use. It all began with manufacturers trying to adapt their production processes to more strict guidelines. They also wanted to improve the time it takes to create and manufacture a new product. Nowadays, CAD is a must for high-quality products to reach the market more quickly than ever.


What Is BIM Used For?

BIM’s main use, on the other hand, is in the design and construction of buildings. As such, it’s most valuable to architects. But architects don’t work alone. Architects, engineers, and contractors all use BIM in a collaborative effort to build a building through the same database.

The BIM tools make it possible for all the stakeholders to digitally adjust both the interior and the exterior parts of a building. In short, it allows you to take care of MEP engineering in just one program. That includes walls, doors, windows, but also plumbing, lighting, etc. And that is where BIM’s biggest advantage lies: interactivity. In BIM software, all the components of a building design are interconnected. That means that you can make any adjustments you need in a single edit, which makes project management much easier.

In comparison, if a design needs a change in CAD, all the layers affected by the change have to be adjusted individually. And if there are many layers to a design, making the adjustments is going to take a considerable amount of time. That means that BIM is more time-efficient, and, in turn, more cost-efficient.

Like with CAD, you can also find a ready-made BIM model online, if not to use them, at least to get some new ideas.


Which One Should You Use?

Well, as CAD is typically used in mechanical and electrical engineering, you’ll want to stick with it if you’re in one of these industries. That is where CAD works best, and there truly is no better option for designing multi-part assemblies.

BIM, on the other hand, can only be used in the design and construction of buildings. So, if that is what you do, we strongly recommend you opt for BIM. It is becoming the industry standard, and for a good reason.

But no matter which AEC industry you belong to, you should at least know the basics of both methods.


What Does the Future Hold For CAD and BIM?

Although even people in the industry sometimes mix the two types of programs up, we expect them to become increasingly different in the future as each becomes more specialized.

CAD hopes to evolve so that even smaller teams that don’t have a big budget can design virtual prototypes, perform fatigue tests, and other kinds of tests that used to require many people and a lot of work in the past.

Meanwhile, BIM will continue its development as a building model software. In the future, we expect that it will become even more optimized so that architects won’t have to manually draw much. All they’ll have to do is input some parameters, e.g. the load capacity the building should have, its optimal footprint, etc. A process that would normally take weeks will take just a couple of days. That will allow the firm to devote more time to the actual building.



Ultimately, whether you need BIM or CAD will depend on the individual project. 2D CAD software has become obsolete in recent years, and more and more construction managers turn to BIM methodology. However, CAD 3D models are not going anywhere and are only to become better. As you now know, CAD works across industries for both electrical and mechanical engineering projects. Meanwhile, BIM is a program for the design and construction of commercial buildings.

Thus, in the architecture domain, it’s safe to say that BIM is winning the BIM vs CAD  battle. And if you’re an architect or a part of construction management wondering if you should switch to BIM — you absolutely should. You’ll save time, money, and you’ll get better quality buildings. But in other industries, CAD is still the go-to for engineers and it seems like that won’t change soon.

Here at Microsol Resources, you will find support for anything related to CAD and BIM. Be it adapting to advanced workflow, implementing a new strategy, or tech issues, we’ve got you covered! Whichever building model you decide is best for your next project, we’ll help you execute your plan and achieve success.

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