BIM migrates to Apple platforms

August 19, 2011 |
Jeff Yoders

Vela Systems Field BIM-Interactive will support both the visual geometries and the data of BIM on the iPad.

As the iPad continues to dominate tablet PC sales, several manufacturers of construction and design software are introducing new products to take advantage of its popularity.

Vela Systems, a producer of interactive BIM-for-construction software, announced the development of Field-BIM Interactive, a new software purpose-built for iOS and the iPad platform. Field BIM-Interactive will enable teams to bring a 3D model with them on their iPad to the point of construction, and use it to record and execute work in the field. A version of Field-BIM Interactive was shown at the BIM Forum in Chicago last month and the beta testing period for the product is scheduled to be open this Fall. Other Vela workflows, such as checklists, bar-code verification in the BIM model and intelligent push-pins on individual BIM objects will all be supported in Field-BIM Interactive.

“It’s giving the guys in the field the benefits of 3D without being Revit experts,” said Josh Kanner, a Vela spokesman. “Our goal is to support the workflows of all our users.”

Kanner said the beta of Field-BIM Interactive will support Revit and Navisworks support and add support for Tekla, Bentley Microstation and other Bentley products and the IFC file format later in the beta. Click here to sign up for the beta.

Autodesk, meanwhile, announced this week that it’s further expanding its product offerings for the Mac platform. Last year Autodesk announced the long-awaited availability of AutoCAD for Mac. Now, they’ve released AutoCAD LT, the little brother of AutoCAD, for the Mac and made it available as download from the Mac appstore network license-free. They’ve also released AutoCAD WS, the millions-downloaded mobile app for iOS, for the Mac and a new version of AutoCAD 2012 purpose-built for Mac OS X Lion. AutoCAD LT for Mac also supports some native Mac OS X behavior, including cover flow navigation and multi-touch gestures. While AutoCAD LT is a 2D-only program and AutoCAD 2012, itself, is not a BIM solution and allows only limited 3D design, the software family’s continued expansion to the Mac platform bodes well for Autodesk’s belief in the platform. 

“Bringing AutoCAD LT and AutoCAD WS to the Mac shows our continued commitment to making design more accessible for an ever-greater number of people to shape the world around them,” said Amar Hanspal, Autodesk SVP for platform solutions.

AutoCAD LT is available in the appstore for $899.99. AutoCAD WS is available as a free download. AutoCAD 2012 for Mac is available only by software license.

Jeff Yoders | BD+C Editors

For five years Jeff Yoders covered IT, CAD, and BIM as Senior Associate Editor of Building Design + Construction. He's a chair at-large of the Associated General Contractors of America's BIM Forum and speaks regularly to audiences about how to transition to digital workflows. Jeff has won four American Society of Business Publications Editors awards.

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