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What’s the technical difference between CAD and BIM?

Speaking plainly, a rectangle in AutoCAD could be anything from a fish tank to a helicopter-pad, the geometrical shape alone doesn’t tell you anything about its intended use.

BIM (Building Information Management) adds a layer of data to the drawings. When you draw a rectangle in the 3D architecture software ArchiCAD, you also specify whether it is a floor, a door, a window, etc. Because BIM software understands the intended use of each object, it will automatically assign industry standard measurements and materials.

The approach of BIM software makes it very easy to produce coherent architectural designs. Architectural software of this kind also enables to calculate the mass of a building, the number of materials needed in an instant, and its overall cost.

BIM software like Revit is designed not only for the architects, but also MEP, electrical, mechanical, and structural design teams. The shared program facilitates communication between the teams and ensures that conflicts between the different aspects of the project get noticed long before the first cut of the spade.

In our list, we feature mostly BIM software. However, we have also added CAD programs that are specifically geared towards architecture. We also compared the prices to each other and gave you a quick look at the possibility every 3D architecture software has.

Based on these different criteria, we presented the different 3D architecture software and BIM programs to help you ease the struggle of choosing one.


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