Author Topic: Should I Bim or Vanilla?  (Read 10869 times)

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T-Square

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Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« on: September 16, 2009, 12:41:07 PM »
Hello,

I am upgrading my whole system. Alienware laptop(64 bit and maxed) coupled with what flavor of AutoCAD...BIM? I dunno.

To BIM or not to BIM. Not sure BIM for MEP is the way to go for me. How much BIM do I need to do shop drawings? Would having BIM get me more work as a contractor or is BIM really meant for Archies and Enginerrs? Yeah... I said Enginerrs. :-)

I do a lot of Low Voltage systems and the company I do most of my work for is really interested in making the move to a higher level. I'm not certain having BIM would be worth the cost versus just using vanilla AutoCAD.

I'd prefer to have the Revit Structural Suite as it offers the detailing aspect. I like detailing.

Ideally I would like to have both MEP and Structural Suite and I may be able to. Lots of money, but you have to spend money to make money.

So, I guess I am not certain which version I should get. Can anyone give me a clue? I do mostly shop drawings for electrical and I am starting to get more steel detailing work. I like them both. Electrical keeps my computer on and the level of steel work I have right now is more for fun than paying bills. hahahahaha....

Ideas, suggestions?

Thanks Folks. Have a Great Day!

mjfarrell

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 12:48:33 PM »
I would say leave BIM in the background, and buy what you need or want to deliver the level of service or type of clients you know you can attract.  Study and understand the concepts of BIM.  And when there is opportunity to profit from BIM, go right ahead and upgrade/add software as the profits provide.

Be your Best


Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

T-Square

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 01:00:22 PM »
MJ,

Kind of what I was thinking. I have loved the idea of 3D since I first saw it back in R12... for DOS. :-) I thought to myself, uhhhh.... why aren't we always drawing in 3D, isn't that how we build it? Guess it was always something like, if you build it.... hahahaha.... seriously though. It was the technology that took time to catch up. Heck... a P90 was a smoking hot machine back then.

Yes, I think what I should do is utilize the vanilla portion of the Structural Suite for my electrical and try and utilize the Structural BIM for the "possible". What I like most about the electrical aspect is what I perceive as better "calculations" of devices, the device panels, loading of panels, warning of overloads, circuit lengths for estimating wire lengths and calculations and the inherit intelligence of symbols... directly tied to the calculations. Right now I don't have that. Elec would do that, structural won't. But, LISP is still around and I still type most everything from the command line anyway. hahahahahaha... I'd say that "Git err.... thing right now, but I just can't do it.

Righto... back to my lines and circles.

Would love to hear from more folks about this.

Have a Great Day!


James Cannon

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 01:04:42 PM »
Have you considered any middle ground, such as getting Autocad MEP, which contains Autocad Architecture with it as well?

It's not full fledged BIM, but it could be quite beneficial in expediting your processes... unless you're quite set up with customizations that you wouldn't part with them.

Or are you just thinking that the ability to ADVERTISE that you have BIM software in Autodesk Revit that you are hoping to land more jobs?

mjfarrell

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 01:05:46 PM »
old school thinking here

if the tool doesn't make you any money

don't buy that tool

however if you want to OFFER BIM services....then the burden of BIM is on you to learn, manage, and have the software.
and then find clients and projects that will have needs for that service.
Be your Best


Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

Bob Garner

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 01:16:47 PM »
I second everything Michael said.

I recommend you download the trial versions of Revit (or?) and spend some time learning the basics.  Then you can "talk the language" with potential clients, and when advantageous, jump in with your wallet. 

I did just that and it's paying off so far.  I'm at the "talkin the language" stage and when a client looks serious, I'm prepared to buy.  I have so far done two trial downloads of Revit over the last couple of years and the product is evolving rapidly.  I don't want to buy in until the last minute (I don't do the subscription thing but maybe that should be considered).

Good luck with this.

Bob G.

T-Square

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 01:24:23 PM »
Good thoughts.

I have a few customizations. Relatively speaking in today's terms. Lisp.

Middle ground is better since you mentioned the Architecture. I currently use Chief Architect 10 for residential...which I have done very little. Only enough to pay for the software. However, I would like to upgrade the Chief Architect to their 64bit version, when it comes out.

I did not know Architecture came with MEP. That's interesting. I may yet still be able to afford both steel and MEP. See, I am in a "very" unique position right now. It's one of those things, do it now or you probably won't be able to. It's a lot of $$. I feel like my "old school" still works, but not for long. Besides, it's awesome when you can command more intelligent power. ya ya ya...

The BIM aspect of things? Yeah, I think I will be able to utilize it and in the steel arena, I can't imagine drawing shop drawings without the power offered by RV Structure. I read the most recent post about the detailing and I don't doubt it will have problems. They all do. Customization problems? Yup. All have... still do. Thing is, as much as Autodesk is bashed and praised, there are other software titles out there(as noted in the post), Autodesk is bread and butter software and admittedly quite good at what they do. It also helps that it is pretty much the only software I have ever used in 16 years. :-)

Autodesk... hears a thought I had. I love the "similarity" between MS apps and AD's interface. Largest manufacturer of CAD software...Autodesk. Largest OS manufacturer.... MS. Largest.... or one of the Largest electrical Tech. Co. ... GE(NBC... errrr... MSNBC). Ever notice the use of cyan for them all? :-)

Sorry.... I digress.

So, more ideas on to BIM or not to BIM?

I like the idea of MEP, w/Archy. Could alleviate the need for upgrading the Chief Architect. However, I could just go ahead and upgrade the CA and then get the Revit Structure, tweak the autocad that comes with structure with some lisp, menu, etc... to accomplish a slightly more robust cad intelligence that just might be enough to satisfy the needs of my electrical client. Interesting Jeeves... interesting indeed.

:-)

JohnK

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 02:00:02 PM »
I am still trying to understand what you mean by `BIM' and how you are going to use it.

Let's establish a base line here first.
BIM = Building Information Modeling.
The Information part is the term to define here. Information can be obtained many different ways; be it spreadsheet, 3d DWG, Spefifications, Schedule, etc.

Autodesk pulled a genius marketing move out of their rear-ends when they slapped that acronym on Revit. Oh and some other facts for you: BIM is yet to be defined. Autodesk is on the BIM committee (you bet your butt im insinuating something--looks like a duck, walks like a duck...).

But anyways, on with the thread. I would say that it all depends on what you need and how you need it. Can you export data for use in another program? Can you import that data back in? What are you going to do with that information? How are your clients going to use that information? ...If i --your client-- ask for a spreadsheet and you send me a DXF file and say its all in there, am i going to to have the knowledge, capability to obtain the information i want or am i just going to tell you to provide the information i wanted.
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T-Square

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2009, 02:55:56 PM »
7,

More good thoughts.

I guess I was leaning on the BIM end more for the structural component. So, I guess I am not really interested in the engineering part of the software, more like the ability to draw in 3d and output shop drawings. If for some miracle of a reason I could obtain the structural enginerrs model, I could quite possibly create the shop drawings from that model. I know that is probably an impossibility, but seems like the last link in assuring that it's detailed as it was designed.

My lean for software would primarily be toward the steel end of things. I do imagine I can customize the vanilla AutoCAD world for my electrical client. There is not a lot of customizations needed right now that could not be done with lisp, cui, etc. My clients right now get everything I create. I give them the excel sheets, the dwgs and anything else. They sometimes make the minor changes that happen. I have asked about them hiring in house and they do not want to do it. They save an enormous amount of money using me as a contractor instead of paying someone for overtime, overhead, retirement, vacation, sick leave, etc. I am disposable. :-) So, I don't see them moving in that direction. At least not anytime soon.

I am trying to be diversified so that I can weather the storm(economy) before, during and after.

Bob Garner

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2009, 03:09:07 PM »
Pursuant to another post we had going on, I now have a copy of the structural analysis file used in the new cruise ship terminal here.  It is a Risa file, purely structural, but it is supposed to be a direct read-in for Revit.  This is the kind of file you might expect from your structural engineer.  If you want, I can send it to you (or anyone) to check compatibility, or whatever.

Bob G.

JohnK

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2009, 03:24:50 PM »
A 3d model? you can get that at any street corner now a days (Every cad package allows/generates a 3d widget ...heck go get "fast cad").  

Again, its about what you are producing and how you can utilize it, not so much as what you use to produce it. You can share your 3d widget in any of the exchange formats available (sat, ?IFC? and etc).

If your disposable, make yourself in disposable! Generate widgets faster and better then anyone else. Use what YOU can use most efficiently (Pen and paper, AutoCAD, MEP, Revit, Microstation, your finger, whatever) and send them what they need. ...Garbage in, garbage out.

So what if they wont hire you on. Right now your smaller and faster. Roll with it. Work that savings to your advantage.

Diversified? How can you diversify information or services?
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JohnK

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2009, 03:26:26 PM »
> ... a direct read-in for Revit.
> ...
> This is the kind of file you might expect from your structural engineer.

This is exactly what i am talking about.
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T-Square

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2009, 03:59:04 PM »
Uhhhhh..... I am just trying to get a feel for which one to go after based on what I feel is going to keep me employed. I only know Autodesk. I have never been, never claimed to be, nor will I probably ever be at the caliber of most of the folks around here. I am just a cad guy in Alaska. I just want to stay employed. I don't give a rats whose software it is. Again, I only know Autodesk and I believe it's good software. Conspiracies amongst companies... Hell yeah. Am I going to change it... No. Not my topic... Don't give a shart. Too old and too many fish to catch.

So, I detail. Can I offer a service to the clients I know up here with the software I am looking at. Absolutely yes. Why? Because of that conspiracy... errrrr... collaboration. Politics. WFE.

I can't justify a client paying for software that will essentially offer them no more than vanilla AC will do with some customizations. So, I need a benefit. T-Square's benefit. Lead, follow or get the feck out of the way. My momma said that. :-) Steel. That's my benefit. I live in Alaska folks. Soon we will be pumping our gas to you. I am an Alaskan and local hire... ya ya ya... I know the whole economy thing. Yeah, I get it... I am there. Like I said earlier... I am in a very unique position right now and I don't want to miss it. It's an investment in the future and I will have some time to master the software to "Fit" my clients needs. That's pretty much it.

Again, I don't want to make the wrong decision. I could still get the MEP(non-BIM) and get the advantage of Arch. However, don't I get the same "collaborative" advantage with imports from other "collaborators" software design and analysis? MEP might be another market for me to help keep the lights on, but steel could be better, plus I like steel better.

So, yeah. There. Uhhhhh... Ramble on.

Anyone Detail Steel? Any comments on the Detailing end of the Revit Structural Suite?

Thanks folks. I appreciate the advice... all of it. ;-)

sinc

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2009, 11:35:24 AM »
I've been getting a lot of email from Avatech lately telling me that, as a Civil 3D user, I need to get into BIM.  Maybe it's because we're Surveyors and not Engineers, but I've seen no point, so far.  On our end, what we REALLY need first is to integrate our work with GIS, and that's not happening all that quickly - the primary Autodesk GIS product (MAP) is completely incompatible with the primary Autodesk Civil product (Civil 3D), despite the fact that they are sold in the same package.

Dinosaur

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2009, 12:15:26 PM »
BIM might be useful for subdivision development when trying to extract quantities, but frankly we never tried to come up with a very accurate number.  The only times our numbers were used was for the developer to obtain a performance bond.  Around here, detailed quantity sheets were not provided and it was left to each individual contractor to study the approved plans thoroughly to determine his estimate.  What really caused trouble was when the developer would release preliminary plans clearly stamped "NOT FOR BIDDING PURPOSES" to a buddy for a ballpark quote to get financing.  That number became the benchmark from that point on regardless how much changed due to the approval process or unforeseen site issues that forced changes to the layout.

JohnK

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2009, 09:09:00 AM »
Let me lay it all out on the line for [you]. You already are `DOING/USING/BLAH' BIM. BIM is about the information and how you use it NOT a software package.

I say get the free trials and test the packages out.  I cant tell you what software to buy.

sinc, when you get an email that says that ``you need to get into bim'' reply with a resounding `go away'.  The BIM standard is a an attempt at a standard method for using that information (blah, blah, blah. youve seen it a thousand times.) As you very well know, information is a two way street. You need to read it and write it. Right now there isnt really a way to read it. You can write it all day long. -e.g. You can generate geometry with AutoCRAP, write it out to a .xyz file but your `calc' program can only read certian aspects of an .xyz file (but if you can get a .abc' file your life would be golden). ...

BIM maybe useful for a lot of things but the traditional roles are flipped like Diněsaur eluded to.
> we never tried to come up with a very accurate number. 
> The only times our numbers were used was for the developer to obtain
> a performance bond.
Exactly the problem with the BIM concept.  ...I get a kick out of Architects that tell me that they want to ``utilize BIM''. I think its funny that if they would put those buzz words in real language they would flip out at what they were really saying; `I want to adopt a standard which isnt fully defined to create more work for myself which im going to do for the same pay as before.'' Of course there are inherent benifits to BIM later but... And of course im not going to be the one to tell them any of this cause i'm just a lowly designer/cad manager/whatever --like they would listen anyways-.

Anyways, BIM is a moving target. The best advice i can give you is to think about how you do things and see if there are any improvements you want to make and then test out different packages and evaluate the change, cost, time, etc..
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sinc

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2009, 10:10:57 AM »
sinc, when you get an email that says that ``you need to get into bim'' reply with a resounding `go away'.

To tell you the truth, I'm still waiting for any email from Avatech to illicit any response at all...   :-D

I actually don't even remember how I ended up on their email list - probably something related to AUGI.  I suppose I could unsubscribe, but I like to read about their "push du jour".

mjfarrell

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Re: Should I Bim or Vanilla?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2009, 10:28:07 AM »
Civil users do not BIM exactly, what we typically produce, IS later fed into, or up to a GIS network.
Sadly, all of the 'export' modalities that Civil 3D offers, does NOT generate GIS ready information; as one could do with Land Desktop.  Autodesk, needs, or must reintegrate MAP, with C3D objects, and allow us direct access to the object, and it's built in intelligence (properties) such that one could SEAMLESSLY use the BIM information that one is already generating in the process.
Not create the intelligent model, then export it in some STUPIFIED format, groom that data to add the intelligence that was just stripped out of it back in and then use the data in our BIM (that would be GIS system; as the 'building' we are building is infrastructure, not houses and buildings)

I already know that I am already doing BIM, now I just wish the software would.
Be your Best


Michael Farrell
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