CAD Models vs. Building Information Models

Maybe it’s my background in GIS – Geographic Information Systems that causes me to assume that most people understand that a BIM (notice I did not say “BIM model” – that is redundant, as in “GIS system”) is a combination of CAD graphics and database information. I guess that is what makes me wonder what “scan to BIM” really means.

Does anyone who understands what a BIM is really think that somehow a scanner can automatically create an intelligent building model? Don’t get me wrong that would be a very desirable outcome, but that is not going to happen any time soon. We can’t automatically extract CAD models, let alone a BIM.

That is not to say that there may not be a legitimate intersection of scanning and BIM. What about about storing the scan itself as information inside the BIM database, or attaching attributes to the scan data? I think these and I am sure other ideas would be worth considering.

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7 Responses to CAD Models vs. Building Information Models

  1. I agree again Gene. I saw “Scan to BIM” as a topic at SPAR last week and I thought the same thing.

    We define our process as producing “BIM-ready” CAD models. Our customers seem to understand and like this terminology. Often these customers are the folks that make BIM so they like to feel we’re not competing with them.

  2. David "Joshua" Plager, AIA says:

    “Point Cloud” is the term I hear most frequently to describe a laser scanned raster object.

    A “BIM?” … think Tower of Babel. Process vs Object, Noun vs Verb.

    “BIM” excites people because it simultaneously tries to be both a Product and a Service… it is also easy and fun to say.

    “BIM” = BIM/CAD/VDC (Application Level Securities) + FTP/DRM/EDM/PIM/OCPM (Operating System Level Securities)

    A “BimCloud,” is a term I am working to popularize to describe a GeoDiscoverable “security.”

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B7L2J4NWYe3TM2FmZDU2YjMtZmRlOC00ZDM4LWI2MTgtNTBlMzZiMmU3Nzll&hl=en

    “Connecting people to the world’s building information” is technically very achievable.

  3. Regarding Michael Raphael’s comment, I am curious as to the difference between a CAD model and a “BIM-ready” Cad model.

  4. Arik Degani says:

    I agree Gene, it is a terminology issue. I relaized most profesionals consider BIM as a synonym to Geometrical CAD model. Our scanners are dumb, even our computers and software are dumb, can we expect them providing us with inteligent data?
    It is all about BIM READY as Michael said, or CAD ready, since even models extracted from laser scanning postprocessing are 90% geometry with no information but that. Let us have first “some” intelligent in the way we generate geometrical model…. We try as you know.

  5. Igor Starkov says:

    That’s what we at EcoDomus enable with our software – converting CAD to BIM by linking information to geometry, with the ultimate goal of connecting BIM with FM and other systems, so BIM as-builts never “rot”. If the source was an intelligent BIM then it’s easier – we extract all that data, if it was a “dumb” 3D CAD file – then obviously manual work is required.

  6. In my opinion BIM Model should be oriented to “decission making” and CAD, just geometry. Current most of BIM Softwares are geometry + database, which performs some geometric analysis and that is not a Building Information System in my opinion.

    I believe BIM is in the same position that GIS was in the 90’s when they were defined as “a computer based system that provides four sets of capabilities to handle geo-referenced data: data input, data management, manipulation/analysis and data output.”

    BIM should be use to estimate/assess performances of buildings integrating not only geometry but “thematic” data as well, establishing relationships between variables in order to monitor them, understand their performances and make preventive actions. Obviously most of buildings do not need such a huge information, but some significative buildings, which keep particular conditions and changes in them could alter its balance could be the scope.

    Without any doubt it is a very interesting topic that will offer lots of debates in future.

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