This week Nemetschek unveiled its new generation AEC product, Allplan BIM 2008, which uses the Building Information Modelling (BIM) industry term favoured by Autodesk and Bentley. Greg Corke reports.
Nemetschek, the German developer of software for the AEC industry, has now adopted the industry term Building Information Modelling by rebranding its Flagship AEC product ÙAllplan BIM 2008.Ý Nemetschek is no stranger to BIM – it pioneered the use of a central multi-disciplinary model for the design, build, and manage stages of the construction process. However, this latest re-branding looks like a positive attempt to use marketing to align its Allplan product – which is hugely successful in German speaking countries – with US developed products, such as Autodesk Revit and Bentley Architecture.
As with previous releases of the software, a major focus for Allplan BIM 2008 is on the accurate generation of quantities. An enhanced Design2Cost module enables architects and engineers to provide detailed cost estimates and compare designs as they evolve or change.
Design2Cost consists of Allplan BIM Architecture, Allplan BCM (Building Cost Management) and Allplan IBD (Intelligent Building Data). Allplan BCM is an evolution of the Allright tenders, awards and invoicing software and is developed on a country by country basis, to support local building materials and products.
Interoperability also plays a major role in the new Allplan release. Following on from its partnership with Adobe made earlier this year, Nemetschek now enables Allplan users to import and export 2D and 3D PDF data using the original Adobe PDF libraries.
Beta tester, Daniel Peter, p+p Hausbau, explains: ýWith only one mouse click I can import and process huge volumes of information like manufacturersÝ catalogues into my CAD plan. The PDF function is saving me a lot of time and opens up new ways of exchanging data with partners and builders.¯
More intelligent data transfer via IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is also possible with Allplan BIM 2008 and architects, civil engineers, structural engineers and facility managers can exchange model data via a certified 2×3 IFC interface.
For improved collaboration on Allplan projects, Nemetschek has also added a Workgroup Manger, which enables simultaneously working by managing multiple usersÝ data and regulating the access rights of who is allowed to make changes. And the overall structure of BIM projects has been enhanced with a new building structure and storey manager, which is particularly suited to large projects modelled in 3D.
Nemetschek has also concentrated on updating the look and feel of Allplan and the new version allows users the flexibility to adapt the user interface to suit his or her working method, the current type of project or the current project phase.
General modelling capabilities have not been ignored either and freehand surfaces and solids can now be created using three and four-point canopies, plus a new Parametric Designer allows users to model bespoke 3D building components such as railings or garden fences.
For the 3D design and detailing of reinforced concrete, Allplan BIM 2008 Engineering includes a range of new functions for reinforcing round components (such as circular foundations, walls or slabs), an optimised way of collaborating, and up-to-date 3D manufacturersÝ data.
Allplan BIM 2008 Engineering also includes what Nemetschek terms ÙRound-Trip EngineeringÝ to support the interaction of CAD and analysis. ÙRound-TripÝ means the complete model, including object intelligence, is transferred from Allplan into SCIA.ESA PT, the structural engineering software package from Belgian subsidiary SCIA. When changes are made to a design inside Allplan BIM 2008 Engineering, these are then transferred to SCIA.ESA PT and the differences listed and displayed graphically in the analysis software. Depending on how they impact the load-bearing behaviour, the structural engineer decides whether the changes are to be accepted or ignored and the structural system is then automatically adapted and updated.