Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a powerful concept in visual design, with features that analyse building performance from the start of your project development right through to the end. Shifting from the 2D world of CAD to the 3D world of BIM has many benefits, and you will gradually develop the ability and capability to do things you previously couldn’t have hoped to achieve. But the transition from CAD to a BIM platform can be tricky, especially for smaller firms, as it can be time consuming and costly.

To help you out, we’ve compiled some essential tips to make the transition from CAD to BIM as smooth as possible.

  1. Realistic expectations

It will take roughly three months of daily use to grow proficient using your new BIM software platform. As long as you enter into the process with the realistic expectation that it will take some time (and an occasionally frustrating learning curve), you will be fine. The end result is inevitably a system that saves you a shed load of time, streamlines your processes, and has massive benefits.

You should also plan for a certain degree of time delays initially in your product production. Work your deadlines around this so you’re not caught out. Don’t transfer all projects immediately to your new Building Information Modelling system – if you need to complete a job quickly to meet client requirements, stick to the method you’re already proficient in.

2. Templates

Spending time and resources developing templates is never appealing, but it’s a necessary investment in the long run. If you already have standard CAD templates, these are a good starting point, but be aware that the process for using them may change and you need to be ready for this.

Project templates can take a big chunk out of the time needed to coordinate sets of drawings in BIM and are well worth investing in early on, to ensure consistency and efficiency throughout your work.

3. Practice, practice, practice

As powerful as Building Information Modelling is, it can often be a little more complex than you anticipated You make a small change – say, to a single door – and inadvertently change every door in the building. Such mistakes are easily made and easily missed, and they can have costly consequences. The only way to avoid them is to completely familiarise yourself with the new system, make every mistake going, and learn. It comes with practice.

Initially, you’ll want to practice a lot. Set up dummy projects that have no real-world consequences if they’re screwed up while you’re getting the hang of things. Yes, it requires you to expend time working that doesn’t benefit any of your projects directly, but it will save you a lot of time and potential expense.

4. Build a standard library

Much like setting up perfect project templates, a library of standardised components will seriously streamline your production process. It’s essential that you have components that function correctly and are easily customised.

Spend some time identifying time-consuming areas of production, and build a library of standard details and components that will improve these processes. BIM components are similar to modifying or reusing CAD details in that they can take a big chunk out of the project time required to produce design evaluations of the highest quality.

5. Get your clients on board

Be open with your clients about your new processes and educate them about the benefits of using BIM. Demonstrate the extra value they will receive as a result of the change over and, if need be, ask that they bear with you during the transition, emphasising that the job will ultimately be done to a higher standard as a result of your new BIM system.

Showing potential clients that they will be able to see their project visually, through 3D renderings and well-rounded perspectives, rather than relying on two dimensional means, is a great way of swaying their decision and convincing them to hire you.

For more information and advice about transitioning to BIM, or for anything CAD, contact Restoric Design today to speak to our team.

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