CADFaster/Collaborate is a new online tool that lets you annotate and share 3-D BIM and CAD models across offices and national boundaries using cloud computing to compress large model files so they can be shared over the Internet.
CADFaster’s software component is an add-in for native design applications. Having just released its #D add-in for Bentley Microstation in March, CADFaster is now compatible with most of the BIM design world, since it already had add-ins for Autodesk Revit and SolidWorks. The Revit/Microstation/Solidworks add-in saves your model as an executable file that uses its cloud to reduce file sizes from about 120 MB down to about 10 MB.
You can then use the CADFaster site to e-mail other building team members to view their executable files. Once together in one file they can make mark-ups and discuss model issues in real time.
CADFaster’s executable files can’t make changes to a native design application’s files, since its executable files cannot be re-imported, but as a collaboration tool it’s very easy to use and gives an excellent representation of the native model. The software has been downloaded by 300,000 users to date and is being used by such AEC firms as Arup and HOK. Next month the company will be releasing its iPad app to open it up to more mobile users.