CAD/BIM Tips & Tricks
What Lies Beyond BIM?
5 January 2023
It was a mere ten years ago that Adele suggested we “Set Fire to the Rain,” while Gotye reminded us that now we were just “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Ten years, but it feels like yesterday.
When it comes to the CAD and BIM tools that we’ll use to design our future, and how those tools, themselves, are expected to transform, the timeline, according to most predictions, is around a decade for us to see some pretty dramatic changes. Ten years may sound like a long time, but it isn’t really. So, what can we expect?
The CAD/BIM Relationship
According to SketchUp® designer John Bacus, “While BIM systems are capable of doing so much more, most users today are still essentially using them to create construction documents.” Autodesk agrees that most firms are using their BIM software like it’s a CAD program.
Things that took months will be done in a day.
Mikhail Dikov, principal software engineer at Autodesk, states, “If you’re in the AEC space, switching to BIM gives you more job opportunities.” This seems to be borne out by the opinion at archdaily.com, which states, “It’s a truth universally acknowledged that BIM is booming. It’s the future ...” There also appears to be consensus that BIM specialists are in high demand. Architects with BIM skills, for example, typically earn 40% higher than the industry average. But while archdaily.com states that BIM is the future, Autodesk is already looking one step beyond — at BIM’s successor.
According to Autodesk, BIM’s successor may be something known as BIO (Building Information Optimization). Per Autodesk, “Rather than manually drawing walls, doors, and columns for what we think is a good design, we will feed the computer ‘rules’ instructing it to give us a building’s optimal footprint, structural load capacity, and thermal performance. Things that took months will be done in a day.”
BIO will rely heavily on AI. Imagine sitting down at your computer in the not-too-distant future, consulting your notes, and gathering your thoughts before you clear your throat and announce, “Computer, I need a warehouse 800 feet long, 200 feet wide, with a total of 16 four-by-eight windows optimized to increase natural light while limiting solar gain. Optimize for cost, environmental impact and sustainable building materials.” While you go and top up your coffee, HAL 9000 — or whatever you’ve chosen to call your computer — quietly gets on with it. When you return to your desk, you can check out the various options HAL has come up with, and tweak as needed.
"Computer, I need a warehouse 800 feet long, 200 feet wide, with a total of 16 four-by-eight windows optimized to increase natural light while limiting solar gain. Optimize for cost, environmental impact and sustainable building materials."
If you’ve seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, you can see how this could be equal parts scary and exciting, but one thing is certain: the amount of time saved could be astronomical.
Here and Now
While thoughts of future possibilities may send chain reactions of inspiration along our synapses, here and now is what matters most today, along with finding clever ways for you to save time immediately.
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As a Revit® user, you can appreciate a tool that allows you to import data from Word or Excel with flawless formatting every time. Not only that, but your Word imports aren’t mere “snapshots.” They can be edited, searched and — as with your Excel data — linked to the source data for automatic updates. And those PDFs? Forget about importing them one page at a time.
Axiom’s Office Importer™ is like a multitool for Revit imports: a tool that saves you tons of time and reduces frustration. Call 727-442-7774 to talk to a Service Consultant about your Revit needs or visit AxiomInt.com for more information or to request a free trial. (No credit card required.)
By the way, if your computer ever softly tells you, “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that ...” shut it down immediately and call the IT department, pronto!