Manufacturers of architectural products are faced with decisions about the types of product content they should make available. Their product content should communicate the right information to assist a specifying architect or designer in product selection and inclusion in their project specifications.  Building a library of all product information with a range of different types of content is ideal, but it takes time to get there and manufacturers may need to prioritize their efforts.  The demand for different types of content changes over time.  While the demand for BIM has grown in recent years, the need for CAD drawings remains.  We have created this blog entry to help manufacturers know if they need BIM models or CAD drawings.

Stay Connected With Architects

The costs associated with BIM development are higher than the development costs of AutoCAD models. While in general there has been a trend of growing adoption of BIM, knowing the demand for your specific product type can let you know if it is time to add BIM to your arsenal. Stay connected with the architectural community, specifically those that are considering your products. Have they adopted BIM? Have their colleagues? While many architectural firms have made that switch, landscape architects have been slower to adopt the technology. In recent years more landscape architects are realizing the benefits of intelligent models. If you know where your customers are, that is a good start in the decision making process. Also try to determine if your customer base is limited because of the limitations of your product content. You may not be speaking with firms using BIM because they have moved on to a competitor that has BIM models available. Keep in mind the adoption of new technologies can be swift, and stay in tune with your customers.

Be Aware of Your Competitors 

In addition to knowing your clients’ needs, you should also be aware of what your competitors are offering. If they have all long ago offered BIM models, you may be behind them but it is not too late. However, if the rest of your competition only has product brochures and cut-sheets, you may be able to gain an edge by starting with development of AutoCAD and consider testing out a small number of BIM models. By making these available, you may be able to reach the many firms that already use Revit or other BIM software for all of their projects.

Benefits of Both

If you are interested in both having Revit and AutoCAD models developed for your products, there are benefits to not only having both, but having your AutoCAD files created from your Revit files. 2D CAD is a portion of most BIM files, and detail components in Revit are 2D. Modelers can use BIM files to create a base for CAD files. The intelligence behind the BIM model can be translated over to the CAD files and can result in a more powerful AutoCAD offering in the end. Moreover, by the nature of BIM model development, in depth product review and knowledge is required and a development project can benefit from that as a whole, particularly for complicated products. Creating CAD from BIM files also ensures consistency between the models.

AutoCAD Is Part of the Basis for Project Contracts

Contractually, 2D drawings continue to form the basis for project contracts. This means 2D drawings continue to be a necessary part of the project as discussed by Allplan Blog. Design teams face balancing the efficiency of and capability of BIM and intelligent 3D modeling, while fulfilling the contractual obligations that require 2D drawings.

Development of CAD and BIM CADdetails.

Review and consider your options. While AutoCAD files may be all you need today, that can change quickly. Prepare for the coming demands and continue to offer relevant product content to your clients and prospects. If you would like to learn more about BIM and CAD development, check out our Manufacturer pages.