BIM Software

Get the best BIM software for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.

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Revit Screenshot
Revit is a BIM solution developed by Autodesk to create higher quality designs coordinated across multidisciplinary teams. Architects, engineers, construction professionals, and other contractors can easily update and collaborate on 3D models and floor…
Price Range
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Starting Price
$173/month
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Autodesk BIM 360 Screenshot
BIM 360 is a unified BIM platform that connects real-time data with construction project teams to improve decision-making. BIM 360 integrates with a variety of solutions to connect your data and workflows. Some of the software categories BIM 360…
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Starting Price
$35/month/user
Client OS
Web, Windows, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
ARCHICAD Screenshot
ARCHICAD
ARCHICAD is a BIM and CAD software solution developed by GRAPHISOFT. ARCHICAD is used by designers, architects, builders, and engineers to collaborate on building projects. Facade Design Tools; Custom Graphic Labels; Import and Export ARCHICAD Element…
Client OS
Mac, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Vectorworks Architect Screenshot
Vectorworks Architect
Vectorworks Architect is a BIM and 3D modeling software from the Nemetschek Group. Vectorworks Architect links with other popular solutions like Revit and SketchUp to improve collaboration with others working on the project. Precision Drawing; Creative…
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Starting Price
$128/month
Client OS
Mac, Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Tekla Screenshot
Tekla consitsts of a suite of model-based software for structural engineering and construction industry professionals. BIM software that allows designers and engineers to create 3D models that incorporate a variety of building materials and generate 2D…
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Allplan Screenshot
Allplan
Allplan BIM software helps architects, engineers, and contractors collaborate throughout the design and construction process. BIM software solution desigend for civil and structural engineers, designers, and contractors. This solution includes optimized…
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
SketchUp Screenshot
SketchUp
SketchUp is a 3D design software geared towards individuals, professionals, and educators. Basic online 3D modeler; Cloud storage; Community support; and Standard model viewing on iOS and Android devices. Premium online 3D modeler; Unlimited cloud…
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Starting Price
$119/year
Client OS
Mac, Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Viewpoint for Projects Screenshot
Viewpoint for Projects
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Viewpoint For Projects is a document control solution for easily managing, accessing, and sharing large quantities of project documents. Viewpoint provides a comprehensive suite of software solutions with Vista that helps contractors synchronize all areas…
Client OS
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Stratusvue System Screenshot
The StratusVue System is comprised of three integrated, cloud-based software solutions: BidVue Invitation to Bid / RFP Management ; PlansandSpecs Project and Document Management ; and BIMfx BIM-Enabled Data Closeout and Turnover . BidVue offers fast…
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
CMiC Enterprise Planning Screenshot
CMiC Enterprise Planning delivers an enterprise view, a project view, and a sub-activity view of everything that has to happen in your construction firm now, and where it’s going tomorrow. Utilizing the latest developments in technology, CMiC allows you…
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows, Linux
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Project Management Software Screenshot
Bidtracer’s Project Management Software is fully integrated with the Bid Management Module but may be used as stand-alone system. With our online construction project management software, project coordination and document control is fast and easy…
Client OS
Mac, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Procore Screenshot
Procore
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Procore is your complete online construction management software. Procore provides cloud-based project management applications to help construction professionals build quality projects on time and within budget. Procore is designed to combine standard…
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Starting Price
$375/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Fusion 360 Manage Screenshot
Fusion 360 Manage is an integrated CAD, CAM, CAE & PCB software on a single, cloud-based development platform. Unify your design, engineering, electronics, and manufacturing all into one location. This software is designed for industrial designers…
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Starting Price
$60/month
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
InEight Screenshot
InEight
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InEight provides field-tested project management software for the owners, contractors, engineers and architects who are building the world. Over 300,000 users and more than 750 customers worldwide rely on InEight for real-time insights that help manage…
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
3D Repo Screenshot
3D Repo is the multi-award-winning digital platform for Building Information Modelling (BIM). 3D Repo is transforming how construction projects are designed and delivered by democratising data, mitigating risk, and reducing complexity for everyone…
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Starting Price
$49/month/user
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Edificius Screenshot
Edificius
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Edificius is the BIM software that meets any AEC professional’s needs and seamlessly deals with all BIM related design disciplines. The software includes the most complete set of architecture design and visualization tools in a unique highly professional…
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Starting Price
$41/month/user
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
PlanGrid Screenshot
PlanGrid
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★★★★★
(2)
PlanGrid is a construction management software and blueprint app for delivering real-time project information to workers in the field. PlanGrid lets you mark up your plans with notes and photos, record issues that need to be resolved, link into contract…
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Starting Price
$39/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted

We searched and searched, but we couldn’t find any products in our database that match your criteria. Perhaps our team of software experts can help? They’d be happy to provide a list of free BIM software recommendations that meet your exact requirements.

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BIM Software Buyer’s Guide

What is BIM Software?

Building information modeling (BIM) design software is a smart 3D modeling and visualization process used to efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings or infrastructure. By keeping a shared resource of project data, BIM helps keep architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) workers, managers, and stakeholders on the same page.

At a minimum, BIM visualization creates a 3D model of proposed buildings and infrastructure. More advanced BIM systems may include project management, such as scheduling, costing, and lifetime maintenance data.

As projects become more complex, it is significantly more difficult to manage the moving pieces and communicate changes to the right people in a timely manner. Having a solution that shows what the finished product should look like as well as how changes affect the project will go a long way in improving workflow efficiency.

BIM as defined by the National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee:

[BIM] is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition."

Key Features of BIM Systems

  • 2D drawings and 3D imaging: Create 2D or 3D images with computer-aided design tools (CAD), draft entirely digital technical drawings including floor plans, schematics, blueprints, and concept art
  • Design modeling: Use draft and modeling tools to create in-depth designs for new architecture and construction projects
  • Document management: Save all construction documents related to BIM projects, such as drawings and images
  • Scheduling: Coordinate schedules between multiple team members to ensure work is completed on time
  • Conflict tracking: Also called clash detection, ensure BIM plans match up throughout a project lifecycle and no elements intersect in incompatible ways
  • Advanced analysis: Review performance data to optimize the model of new construction and architecture projects

Best BIM Software Benefits

There are many advantages to utilizing a BIM software into your AEC business. Just a few include:

Consistent Designs

BIM software has collaboration tools to encourage more communication between team members designing new buildings, infrastructure, or other projects. Clients want to ensure their vision is being followed while architects and engineers need to address structural integrity. Everyone can be looped in on what is happening, when, and additional details as necessary. As a result, there are fewer opportunities for error from miscommunication or unauthorized changes to designs.

Next, finished BIM designs can be handed over to clients, facility management, or builders directly without needing to be converted into another file format, per interoperability requirements between applications.

Reduced Project Lifecycles

Delays are a major cause for concern with architectural projects, frequently the result of various interested parties all commenting on in-progress work. With better communication, you can complete projects faster than ever before.

Expedited design modeling facilitated by BIM software keeps projects moving forward with minimal delays by allowing key designers to instantly share any changes with relevant parties for approval in real-time. And finalizing a design on-time or early frees up your team to pursue new projects, increasing productivity and potential revenue.

Cost Savings

Finally, BIM software reduces the amount of time and resources needed to finish each project. Cost estimates for labor and materials can be made based on the designs which show exactly what is needed to complete the project.

For instance, if a BIM solution reveals the need for prefabricated or modular elements, orders can be placed early to keep the construction project on schedule. There is also the opportunity to source more cost-effective materials by creating time to analyze market price trends.

Finally, BIM can provide long-term cost of ownership benefits for completed projects by acting as guides for future development or maintenance. For example, an electrical system upgrade can be completed significantly faster by using the digital schematics rather than exploring a building to note every outlet and wire.

Autodesk Revit BIM Software
Work on multiple projects with Autodesk Revit.

When Should BIM Be Used?

BIM software is primarily used to streamline the design process of very large construction projects (often with a budget over $10 million). If your project is too small, BIM modeling tools may be a waste of time and money and you won’t see benefits from clash detection, scheduling, or cost tracking.

Who Uses BIM Software?

BIM is used by those involved in construction management, including:

  • Architects and real estate planners
  • Construction professionals, such as contractors and subcontractors
  • Structural engineers
  • Government agencies
  • Infrastructure project teams
  • Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) contractors

It should come as no surprise that architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) team members need BIM software products in order to collaborate throughout the lifecycle of a construction project. Real-time communication tools ensure construction goes smoothly and the end product fits the client’s vision.

The NBS National BIM Report of 2020 found both medium and large businesses have adopted BIM at a more frequent rate than smaller companies. However, BIM technology is starting to be used more by small businesses as well due to better productivity and reduced risk.

3D BIM Dimensions and Beyond

BIM dimensions broadly refer to types of building information required in a model. Some BIM dimensions include:

Dimension Description
2D BIM Drafting on X,Y planes
3D BIM Drafting on X,Y,Z planes
4D BIM 3D + project scheduling
5D BIM 4D + cost management
6D BIM 5D + lifetime maintenance planning

Some developers have added further dimensions of BIM including 7D and 8D. However, there does not appear to be a clear consensus on these terms yet, as definitions for the terms vary by source.

Cost of Building Information Modeling Software

BIM software is typically priced on a user-based subscription model. A popular SaaS solution can charge between $35 and $300 per month. Most BIM software solutions also require some form of training that can cost up to $2,000 on top of what you’re already paying.

For example, Autodesk Revit is $173 per month if a 3-year subscription is selected. Otherwise, the monthly charge is $290 per month. According to the NBS National BIM Report 2018, Revit is particularly popular for large commercial construction projects. This BIM software is utilized by architectural design, structural engineering, MEP engineering, and construction industry professionals to coordinate planning, design, and construction of buildings and infrastructure.

Other cost factors include whether you prefer cloud-based or on-premise hosting, and if you use Windows or Mac computers.

Free BIM Software Options

For many small businesses, BIM software is too costly to effectively increase ROI. However, some low-cost and free software options are available including:

  • SketchUp by Trimble - a free plan for SketchUp is available for personal use. This simplified version allows users to draw in 3D. Paid plans have more advanced features like AR model viewing on iOS and Android devices plus unlimited cloud storage. The paid version for professionals starts at $119 per year with these additional software tools. A cheaper plan for students starts at $55 per year for just creating 3D models.

  • Graphisoft BIMx - a free mobile app for iOS and Android devices that lets users view 2D and 3D models for free. This app is primarily for those needing to present plans to clients or contractors. The BIMx PRO add-on starts at $49.99 and gives you access to features including Smart 2D and 3D Measure, AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, and integration with external databases.

Most of the free construction management software is very limited in what it can do with 3D modeling. A paid software solution will have more useful functionalities like scheduling and cost management.

BIM Terminology

If you are considering adopting BIM software for your construction teams or architectural firm, here are some important terms and concepts to know:

What are BIM Objects?

BIM objects are simply reusable components software users can drag and drop into 3D models. Objects can range from building fabric to electric and plumbing components i.e. windows, pipe fittings, doors, support beams, etc.

Designers can get BIM objects directly from manufacturers, BIM catalogs, or create their own sets of reusable objects. Here are some popular libraries:

BIM Standardizations

There is a major push to create a set of shared standards for creating BIM objects. The goal being that each object is intelligent enough to allow for truly plug and play drafting regardless of who created the object.

Ideally, each object is more than just a 3D model. An object’s built-in intelligence can be aware of (and can contribute to) environment restrictions. For example, adding/removing a wall object could inform and adjust HVAC requirements on the fly. Or adding additional floors can change support requirements.

The NBS National BIM Report 2018 found that 70% of respondents do not believe BIM data is sufficiently standardized. Some of the participants stated that there are too many interpretations of the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) documents and the basic requirements of BIM standards are not known well enough.

Autodesk BIM 360
Collaborate on designs with Autodesk BIM 360.

BIM vs. CAD

Computer-aided design or CAD creates 2D and 3D image file formats for use in the design process, particularly for drafting and design. Unlike BIM, CAD systems do not incorporate construction components or various properties like manufacturer info, weight, cost, and compatibility. BIM also allows for performance characteristics and other factors. Put simply, BIM files can be better optimized than traditional CAD drawings. However, based on your exact needs, standalone CAD software may be better suited for your business.

AR and BIM

Augmented Reality (AR) is helping the construction industry gain a better look into every phase of the project lifecycle. 3D and reality modeling allows architects and project designers to move various elements around and identify any potential issues in the design before a problem arises.

With AR, clients can walk through the building before it is built. Clients will be able to get a better picture of the end result, allowing designs to be approved faster.

Combining BIM data management with AR lets users view 3D models visualized from BIM in the real world:

  • Architects can evaluate designs for function and aesthetics.
  • Construction contractors get a better idea of where to install fixtures or materials.
  • Electrical and plumbing systems can be placed more precisely to reduce installation errors.
  • Contractors, inspectors, and other users can place pins using AR to designate civil engineering areas with issues - comments along with the pins can be left to provide more details.
  • Maintenance is made easier by using AR - users can view information on schematics, work history, and work instructions for specific building models.
  • Prefabrication - Buildings or building components are built offsite by construction teams and then transported to the construction site once completed. Prefab is considered to be more efficient and faster than onsite construction. BIM software facilitates prefabrication by detailing the materials and design of a building and its components making it easier to plan the resources you need as well as schedule assembly.

  • 3D Printing - 3D printers are primarily used to create custom components or tools that are required based on the BIM model. Some BIM software solutions, like Revit, also allow you to export models for 3D printing. Clients and architects can compare the printed models side-by-side to decide on building layouts and other design elements. Some companies have even been experimenting with 3D printing entire buildings. For example, a Chinese company, WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, built 10 single-story homes in one day with 3D printing.

  • 3D Scanning - With 3D scanning, you can obtain accurate measurements and import the existing physical environment into your BIM system to use as a starting point for designing building additions and remodels.

  • Drone Surveys - Drones are being used to obtain aerial imagery of a building site’s topography. These drone surveys provide a better starting point to begin the design process. Drones can also be used to take aerial photographs throughout the construction process that you can use to compare to the BIM models.