If you’re in the market for the best Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, you’ll be happy to know that there are many options to choose from! This blog post shares my thoughts on the top 10 best BIM software solutions.
It was extremely challenging just to select ten. Still, I picked each program for its own unique set of features and my experience with these BIM software tools – so it is essential to do your own research before making any decisions. The best BIM program for you may not be the most popular one!
I also added a 🎥 video of each tool to share as much as possible – here we go….let’s get right into my BIM software list!
1. Autodesk Revit
The first program on my list is Autodesk Revit. Revit is an established BIM design software that enables users to create, edit, and view building models in a three-dimensional environment. It is one of the most popular BIM software programs on the market and is used by architects, engineers, and construction professionals worldwide.
The use of Revit to produce 3D BIM models significantly reduces miscommunication and helps create better visualizations and construction documents.
How does Revit work?
Autodesk Revit is a powerful BIM software solution that can help architects and engineers to collaborate on projects and create high-quality design and construction documents.
Autodesk Revit coordinates changes made by different team members and tracks revisions made to the BIM model. The software also generates construction documents, such as floor plans, elevations, and sections.
If you want to learn more about Revit, Autodesk offers free online training courses to help users get started with Revit.
There is also quite a large community of BIM consultants, like the Balkan Architect, who produce a lot of Revit training materials like this video:
What makes Autodesk Revit different?
One of the main benefits of using Revit is sometimes just that everyone else on the project is also using Revit 💁♀️
This BIM solution is Microsoft Windows-exclusive, so you’ll have to run parallels if you are a Mac user.
The interface is quite user-friendly, and it has robust collaboration tools. Still, a growing set of disgruntled customers believe that there has been lower investment in development compared to other products in the market.
My simple view on Revit
In my opinion, Revit is still the best BIM authoring tool when it comes to creating BIM models.
2. Plannerly – The BIM Management Platform
I believe that if you’re doing BIM you absolutely need an organized approach and Plannerly makes it a breeze to define your BIM Execution Plan (BEP) and BIM project requirements and also verify the BIM deliverables.
How does Plannerly work?
Plannerly has Plan, Scope, and Verify modules in a simple web-based BIM application.
These modules make it straightforward to define all of your Building Information Modeling requirements using clear tasks.
These tasks can then be tracked and verified all in an integrated workflow.
Here’s a quick rundown on the complete BIM management workflow using Plannerly:
What makes Plannerly different?
Plannerly is unique because it focuses on BIM and Information Management specifically for design and construction projects. It is also possibly the most simple of all BIM tools around!
My view on Plannerly
Plannerly is unquestionably one of the most simple yet powerful BIM tools available, and I believe Plannerly to be an essential tool for every BIM project. However, I may be a little partial! 😃
3. Trimble Connect
Trimble Connect is a cloud-based platform that provides a central location for managing, viewing, and sharing construction data. Among its primary functions are design coordination and project management.
Those who could use it include MEP specialists, subcontractors, architects, etc.
I believe that a collaborative BIM construction software is the aim of Trimble.
How does Trimble Connect work?
Trimble Connect is a powerful tool to help project teams increase productivity and improve project quality.
Trimble Connect provides a secure, central repository for project data, making it easy for project teams to access and update information from any location.
Trimble Connect also has robust collaboration tools, making it simple for team members to stay connected and work together efficiently.
What makes Trimble Connect different?
Trimble Connect is different from other similar collaboration platforms in crucial ways. First, Trimble Connect is designed specifically for the construction industry, so it includes features relevant to construction projects, such as the ability to create and manage punch lists.
Second, Trimble Connect is constantly being updated with new features and improvements, so users can be confident that they are always using the latest version of the software.
Finally, Trimble Connect has a robust security system to ensure that project data is safe and secure.
Trimble Connect’s combination of features makes it the ideal platform for managing construction projects.
My view on Trimble Connect
Trimble Connect’s combination of features and focus on the construction market makes it an excellent platform for contractors and sub-contractors managing construction projects using BIM.
Revizto is a cloud-based BIM solution that helps architecture, engineering, and construction professionals improve communication and project coordination.
Revizto facilitates a seamless workflow between 3D and 2D, allowing the user to communicate with all participants within a collaborative environment.
Revizto software solutions can be used for all design and construction phases and their main features are some awesome clash management and issue monitoring workflows.
How does Revizto work?
The platform enables users to create combined digital models of their projects for clash detection, coordination, change management, and more.
Revizto also offers a wide range of features for communication and collaboration, such as format conversion, real-time markups, and file sharing.
What makes Revizto different?
Revizto provides a simple and interactive 3D environment where users can view, measure, markup, and share many types of 3D models. Revizto offers a variety of advanced features such as model comparison, clash detection, and an advanced Issue Tracker with predefined workflows. Revizto is also different because it is super powerful and easy to use, making it easy to share models and BIM data.
My view on Revizto
Revizto is an awesome tool used by some of the world’s leading architects, engineers, and construction firms and provides a great central, user-friendly solution to support many of your needs in one place.
BIMcollab is a BCF-based issue management system that works to eliminate the gaps between different BIM tools (see open BIM concepts for more about BCF). It’s intended to assist businesses working on construction projects in handling concerns throughout the design and construction phases.
How does BIMCollab work?
BIMCollab is a web-based application for model coordination and clash detection that helps AEC professionals to work together on BIM projects.
The features of BIMcollab include real-time collaboration, model comparisons, and visualizations.
The platform allows users to connect with project partners and view BIM models in real-time, facilitating collaboration and coordination. BIMCollab also provides a range of tools for markup, issue tracking, and version management, helping teams resolve issues quickly and avoid potential conflicts.
Check out more about BIMcollab here:
What makes BIMCollab different?
In addition, the platform offers a range of integrations with leading BIM software applications, making it easy for users to connect with their existing workflows.
My view on BIMCollab
BIMCollab provides an essential tool for construction professionals who need to collaborate on BIM projects.
Dalux is a BIM software that helps with construction project management. It is a cloud-based application that can be accessed from anywhere. The features of Dalux include progress tracking, cost management, scheduling, and resource allocation. You can also access BIM data analytics for valuable project insights.
How does Dalux work?
Dalux is a versatile BIM solution that helps you manage all aspects of your construction project from start to finish. Dalux allows you to control your project’s 2D and 3D models and collaborate with other team members in real-time. Dalux also provides various tools for managing construction documents, such as a document library, version control, and commenting.
Dalux has a free BIM viewer too:
What makes Dalux different?
Dalux is different because it offers a free version for small projects and a paid version for larger projects. Dalux also provides BIM data analytics, which gives you valuable insights into your project.
My view on Dalux
I believe that with Dalux, you can be confident that your project will run smoothly and efficiently from start to finish.
7. Autodesk Construction Cloud ACC / BIM 360
The ACC service attempts to centralize and improve decision-making at all stages of a project.
How does ACC/BIM360 work?
Some notable features include design review, BIM coordination, safety program checklists, issues management, and deliverable coordination, among other things.
What makes ACC/BIM360 different?
Seamless data exchange is enabled between field and office with ACC promoting better coordination and collaboration.
ACC also offers a suite of mobile apps that allow users to access data and documents from anywhere, at any time.
A special mention for Autodesk Navisworks
Historically Autodesk’s flagship coordination product has been called Navisworks. Navisworks was mainly used for clash detection.
I’d like to give it a special mention in my list because it has been fundamental to so many of my projects 👍
Navisworks has some of the most advanced import and model management to visualize and manage construction BIM models. It has, however, been around for some time now, and the more advanced, and cloud-based, Autodesk Construction Cloud is slowly replacing it.
My view on ACC/BIM360
Autodesk has many BIM tools – the ACC/BIM360 products help to perform data-driven tasks to improve project quality and coordination. The mobile apps are also convenient for users who need to access data on the go.
8. Graphisoft ArchiCAD
ArchiCAD has been regarded by many as the first implementation of BIM.
ArchiCAD is developed by the Hungarian company Graphisoft.
How does Graphisoft ArchiCAD work?
ArchiCAD offers a wide variety of BIM tools for handling all common aspects of the architectural design process, including project collaboration, MEP engineering, energy analysis, and construction documentation.
ArchiCAD also provides powerful software for rendering and presentation, making it easy to create stunning visuals that convey the unique vision of your project.
What makes Graphisoft ArchiCAD different?
Although the “Arch” part of the name might imply this, ArchiCAD is not just for designing architecture. It is also popular for designing structures, other buildings, and even cities!
Whether you’re working on a small residential project or a large-scale commercial development, ArchiCAD has the tools you need to bring your ideas to life.
My view on Graphisoft ArchiCAD
ArchiCAD is much more prevalent in Europe compared to the Americas. I do love the flexibility of ArchiCAD software, but sometimes it’s not helpful for BIM workflows that prefer more structured data and information management processes.
9. Solibri Model Checker
Solibri Model Checker (or SMC for short) is an open BIM model checking tool that helps architects and engineers to verify the quality of their Building Information Models (BIM). SMC can also be used to run rules and find clashes in BIM models.
How does Solibri Model Checker work?
Solibri is a desktop application that you can use to define extremely detailed rules for checking BIM models.
For example, rules could “check if all doors are ADA compliant” or “check if all stairs meet code requirements”.
By doing so, you can verify that the BIM model meets all the local building code rules and requirements.
The SMC analyses the model for potential problems and displays the results in an easy-to-understand report. This report or the exported BCF data can then be used to make changes to the model, ensuring that it meets all the necessary requirements.
What makes Solibri Model Checker different?
Solibri is different because it is one of the only BIM tools that gets into the weeds for model checking and BIM quality assurance. Solibri Model Checker helps to ensure that the final BIM product is of the highest quality.
My view on Solibri Model Checker
Solibri promotes better BIM quality assurance and control. I think it’s a great BIM software tool for preventing mistakes in the BIM model that could be costly and time-consuming to fix later on. Solibri can also be combined with the output from Plannerly’s BIM scope requirements.
10. BricsCAD BIM
BricsCAD BIM can be used for every stage in the design process, from sketching to the addition of BIM data for the complete building information model. The ability to manipulate different components and properties on your projects is pretty much unlimited.
How does BricsCAD BIM work?
BricsCAD BIM is an information modeling software used in the design and construction process to create a digital representation similar to Revit and ArchiCAD.
It also similarly helps to reduce the need for paper drawing and documentation.
BricsCAD BIM helps architects, engineers, and construction professionals to plan, design, and construct buildings. It also helps to communicate design information among team members.
The software provides a common platform for collaboration among design and construction professionals – check it out in this video:
What makes BricsCAD BIM different?
BricsCAD BIM says that they have a different vision for BIM. They focus on a CAD first approach (with a vision based on a familiar DWG platform) but it combines early design, BIM, and fabrication into a single, continuously developing workflow.
My view on BricsCAD BIM
Hexagon-owned BricsCAD BIM is a robust platform that offers an intuitive user interface, advanced 3D modeling capabilities, and robust BIM tools. I believe that Hexagon has made a wise decision to acquire BricsCAD, as the software complements Hexagon’s other offerings. I look forward to seeing how the software develops in the future.
Summary of my favorite Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools!
There you have it! 😃
As you can see, there are many different BIM software programs available on the market today. Each has its unique features and benefits that can help manage your construction project.
These are just 10 of my top BIM software picks:
- Autodesk Revit
- Plannerly – The BIM Management Platform
- Trimble Connect
- Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC)
- Graphisoft ArchiCAD
- Solibri Model Checker (SMC)
- BricsCAD BIM
Please note that this list is in no particular order.
Each BIM software program has unique features and benefits that can help manage your construction project.
Some are very popular paid BIM software programs, and others are still emerging.
When choosing a BIM software program, it is vital to consider the specific needs of your project and select a tool that will fit those needs.
Do you have a favorite BIM program?
This post will give you a good overview of some of the most popular BIM software tools available at no cost. If you’re interested in learning more about BIM software, I suggest checking out some of the other blog posts on this website. In particular, I recommend reading our post on the top free BIM software programs.
Do you have any experience with any of these programs? Let us know in the chat! And as always, if you have any feedback on my thoughts or questions, feel free to reach out using firstname.lastname@example.org, and your email will get to me! We’re always happy to help!
Happy modeling! 🤩
What is BIM in simple terms?
BIM stands for Building Information Modeling and is a process for creating and managing information about a construction project throughout its life cycle. BIM involves generating and managing 3D digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. BIM software is used to create these representations.
Which BIM software is the best?
There is no one “best” BIM software. The best BIM software for you will depend on your specific needs and goals. In this article, “The 10 Most Popular Paid BIM Software Programs” we highlight some of the most popular. These include Autodesk Revit, Plannerly, Trimble Connect, Revizto, BIMCollab, Dalux, Autodesk BIM 360, BricsCAD BIM, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Solibri Model Checker, and Autodesk Navisworks!
Which software is used in BIM?
There are many BIM software programs available on the market. This article highlights some of the most popular paid BIM software programs, including Autodesk Revit, Plannerly (The BIM Management Platform), Trimble Connect, Revizto, BIMCollab, Dalux, Autodesk BIM 360, BricsCAD BIM, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Solibri Model Checker, and Autodesk Navisworks!
How much does BIM software cost?
The cost of BIM software can vary depending on the features and functionality you need. Some BIM software programs are free to use, while others can cost hundreds or even thousands.
What is Autodesk Revit?
Autodesk Revit is a software product that provides a BIM (Building Information Modeling) framework for architects, designers, engineers, and contractors. The Revit platform uses Autodesk’s parametric BIM technology to create intelligent 3D models from which construction documents can be generated. Autodesk Revit has been specifically designed to support building projects from concept through completion. In addition to providing a shared data environment for all project team members, Revit also helps automate many of the repetitive tasks associated with construction documentation. As a result, Autodesk Revit can significantly improve the efficiency of the design and construction process.
What is Plannerly?
You might be surprised at how much more productive your BIM project can be with some help from Plannerly! Plannerly is a BIM management platform that makes BIM management simple. Plannerly is used to scope BIM requirements, manage BIM tasks, and validate the BIM deliverables against the BIM requirements. Plannerly has hundreds of free templates for BIM Execution Plans (BEP), Exchange Information Requirements (EIR), Asset Information Requirements (AIR), and more.
What is Trimble Connect?
Trimble Connect is a cloud-based BIM solution that provides centralized data management tools for construction data. It enables users to share and collaborate on project files in real-time from any location. Trimble Connect also offers integrated tools for viewing and markup, project scheduling, and tracking project progress. In addition, the platform provides access to a wide range of data analytics and reporting features. As a result, Trimble Connect delivers an efficient and effective way to manage construction projects of all sizes.
What is Revizto?
Revizto is a construction software platform that helps improve communication and coordination among project stakeholders. It provides versatile tools for viewing and sharing 3D models, 2D drawings, and other project data. Revizto also offers powerful collaboration features, such as commenting and markup, version control, and issue tracking. With Revizto, construction professionals can improve project communication, coordination, and quality control.
What is BIMcollab?
BIMcollab is a cloud-based platform that enables collaboration between Building Information Modeling (BIM) software users. It allows users to share and review BIM models in a secure environment and track changes and progress. BIMcollab also provides a range of features for model management, such as versioning and conflict resolution. In addition, the platform offers support for major BIM software applications, including Autodesk Revit, ArchiCAD, and IFC.
What is the Autodesk Construction Cloud?
The Autodesk Construction Cloud is a new software platform that offers a complete set of tools for construction project management. From pre-construction to construction and post-construction, the Autodesk Construction Cloud helps contractors and project managers to plan, execute, and deliver construction projects of all sizes. With its cloud-based collaboration tools, the Autodesk Construction Cloud helps construction teams to work together more efficiently and effectively. In addition, the Autodesk Construction Cloud provides access to data and analytics that can help improve project performance.
What is Autodesk Navisworks?
Autodesk Navisworks is a software application for building information modeling (BIM) coordination. It allows architects, engineers, and construction professionals to view, analyze, and communicate project information. Navisworks provides a platform to support coordination and clash detection between different disciplines. In addition, Navisworks offers powerful animation and simulation tools that can help to visualize the construction process. As a result, Autodesk Navisworks is an essential tool for anyone involved in the design or construction of buildings.
What is Graphisoft ArchiCAD?
Graphisoft ArchiCAD is a computer-aided design (CAD) software application used by architects, engineers, and designers to create 2D and 3D models of buildings and other structures. It is one of the leading CAD programs on the market, and its advanced features allow users to create highly detailed and realistic models. ArchiCAD also offers a wide range of rendering options, making it easy to produce high-quality visuals for presentations and marketing materials. While it is a powerful tool, ArchiCAD is relatively easy to use, even for users with no prior CAD experience. Whether designing a new home or renovating an existing one, ArchiCAD can help you bring your vision to life.
What is Solibri Model Checker?
Solibri Model Checker (SMC) is a software tool for analyzing and quality checking Building Information Models (BIMs). It was developed by Solibri, Inc., a privately held company headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. SMC can check for issues such as clashes, code compliance, and dimensional accuracy. In addition, SMC can generate reports and visualizations that can help improve communication and coordination among project team members. While SMC is not required for BIM projects, it can be a valuable asset for ensuring quality and avoiding problems during construction.
What is BricsCAD BIM?
BricsCAD BIM is a powerful Building Information Modeling (BIM) software that enables users to create, manage, and collaborate on 3D architectural designs. With BricsCAD BIM, architects and engineers can streamline the design process by creating intelligent 3D models that automatically update based on changes made to the design. In addition, BricsCAD BIM provides a centralized platform for team collaboration, allowing all project stakeholders to access and contribute to the design. As a result, BricsCAD BIM can significantly improve the efficiency of the design process and help to ensure that designs meet all stakeholder requirements.
I blog for the Five BIM Bloggers series.
Every week we share different perspectives on important BIM topics!