Disclaimer: All views expressed in this post are my own and not the views of BuroHappold.
Well, this post is really for everyone. As in my previous article, I discussed The Ongoing Evolution of BIM in the whole AEC sector, the way by which our engineering practices are changing and the progression of digitalisation is happening. Undoubtedly, the current tools available in the market are fantastic and every year they come up with new exciting advancements. BIM is leading the whole industry and is a topic of concern for every professional. It has seen an impressive widespread throughout the leading nations of the world.
But one thing which is worth noticing is the fact that BIM is only adopted by the big-budget firms and consultants. No doubt, BIM covers up a lot of man-hours and reduces overall cost in the long run than the conventional CAD practices. But we must accept the fact that its initial setup cost is really high for a freelancer or a local architect, engineer or contractor as the licenses of the present commercial BIM software are really expensive for them to afford.
Due to this fact, some of the practitioners may adopt false practices of using a pirated copy of the tool which is not at all encouraged. While most of the professionals are left without experiencing the taste of BIM. However, during such moment, one should try to figure out alternate ways of getting their work done. FreeCAD – a FOSS (Free Open Source Software) – one of the brilliant parametric modeller with several other multiple workbenches including BIM, is a great option. It has a huge potential to spread the BIM movement among masses irrespective of their economic scale.
One can not compare a developing FOSS with its proprietary counterparts. But yes, it can still give a delicious taste of BIM to everyone with its fantastic centralised working than the conventional concept of federated models. Not just 3D modelling, but one can also perform a basic FEM analysis for the concept stage with Calculix included in it. 3D printing and prefabrication of the parts also find a place in it. It is really helpful for constructing parametric modular houses.
I just modelled a typical house in FreeCAD today for fun. Following are some of the images of the model rendered using POV-Ray: