Posts Tagged Free

Free BIM : Tekla Announces BIM Sight : It’s all about the data

Tekla BIM Sight Interesting news that Tekla announces a new product for BIM communication, BIMsight, how this differs from Navisworks?  well it’s free, and if you’ve seen people line up for free stuff at conventions, carnivals, playgrounds, sporting events, etc. you have to understand that ‘free’ gets people excited, but free is not necessarily good.  I don’t doubt that Tekla put together an excellent product  but the true value of the product comes from the people using it, trained on it,  understanding and leveraging it, however, dropping the initial price hurdle to well, zero can’t hurt.  It seems that it works like Navisworks in that BIM information is brought in for clash detection and project communication, I also wonder how the data is dealt with and stored; since I believe who ever has the data wins.  That is, your in the Autodesk camp using their products, storing info in the cloud through them, barriers to exit start rising, you start using BIMsight to communicate with your clients/subs/etc. your then living in Tekla’s world.  None of this necessarily a bad thing as standardization brings a lot of good and a lot of productivity gains, ask anyone who develops products for Windows.

However, begs the question, what’s the business model?  As we used to see firms with their core product and developing/purchasing products to surround/extend their offering, and normally charge for it.  In this case, give it away for free.  Does this bring more people to Tekla Structure?  Is there something else at work?  Why do I ask these questions? Probably too much coffee or detective novels when I was kid.  Maltese Falcon by the way, great book and great movie.

You can download BIM Sight for free, here.


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BIM CAD Throwdown : Dassault Takes Aim with Catia Live Building and Draftsight

Holy frontal assault Batman.  Dassault, the french producer of CATIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application) / Solidworks is making a strong move into the world of architecture.  CATIA, generally used in the aerospace and engineering fields, has also been used successfully by Gehry to produce his curvilinear buildings.  They are now introducing 2 products aimed squarely at the Autodesk Bullseye, a CAD application developed through the IntelliCAD Consortium (ITC) and the Open Drawing Alliance (ODA) called Draftsight and its going to be free, yup free. And is available here.

And while it is available for the Windows Family of OS (XP / Vista / Seven) MAC and Linux versions are in the pipeline, take that into account that IBM, you’ve heard of them, markets these solutions worldwide and that complaints about Revit not handling larger products are scattered across user groups and BIM forums one can believe there is an opening.  Additionally, if they are following the SaaS path of putting Draftsight in the cloud for file sharing/integrity it becomes a pretty powerful argument to think about switching, especially if all the ingrained keystroke commands and shortcuts from AutoCAD are copied along with it.  Having seen the Intellicad interface, I think that most likely a yes.

Excellent article at AEC Magazine that covers the introduction in depth, and thanks to @amonle / John Allsopp twitter for bringing this to my attention. I’ve included a portion below.

Based on a future version of Catia and its data management system Enovia, Dassault Systèmes is developing a competitive parametric modelling solution to compete with Autodesk’s Revit BIM (Building Information Modelling) tool. I understand that the next update of Catia will store its data in the cloud and Catia will potentially be downloaded and licensed from the desktop. This will enable Dassault Systèmes to overcome the fact that it does not have a value-added reseller channel to sell Catia Live Building but needs to compete with an established and low-cost player.

The brief demonstration showed an architectural model being rapidly developed and edited using Catia. Bernard Charlès said that the new product could do modelling in seconds, what Revit would take 45 minutes to do. And Dassault Systèmes should know — it was among the many original investors in the start-up company that developed the first version of Revit.

While Revit has captured the mindshare here in the US and Down Under among other places no one can discount the Dassault / IBM alliance and their entrance into the AEC industry in a big way.  The amount of consulting opportunities and hardware sales  should have IBM salivating.  So if Draftsight is free, what is Live Building coming in at?


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