BIM and ARES—Further Notes on AERTWORKS US Deal

BIM and ARES—Further Notes on AERTWORKS US Deal

InGraebert’spressreleasethisweekannouncingtheirnewresellerpartnershipwithUSCADdistributorAERTWORKS,theGermansoftwarecompanymadenotethatAERTWORKShasdiscontinueditsUSdistributionofBricsCADinfavorofARESCAD.

ARESCAD,whichcomeswithalicenseandcostequivalenttonine(9)yearsofARESforthesamecostasoneyearofAutoCAD,hasbeenthechief(.dwg),file-basedCADcompetitorofBricsCAD,inamutuallysharedattackonUS-basedAutodesk’sAutoCAD.Foritspart,Autodeskhashardlyrolledoverinthispitchedbattleforitslegacy2D/3DCADdominance.Still,theUS-basedCADcompanyappearstohaveasignificantweaknesswhencompetingforlargeenterpriseaccountsduetothefactthatwhetheritbeGraebertorBricsys(nowapartofHexagon)thecosteconomicsofferedbythetwoEuropeancompaniesarehighlycompetitive.Thismaybeaclassiccaseof“comparativeadvantage”givenwhereeachofthesecompaniesisbasedandwhatstaffandtalentresourcestheyemploy.

PartneringwithSergeJonnaert(AERTWORKS’CEO)madesenseforbothcompanies.CédricDesbordes,BusinessDevelopment,andMarketingDirector,Graebert,sharedwithmethattheGermanCADcompanyfeelsnowisthetimetomaketheUSAitsnextpriority.AERTWORKShasasuccessfultrackrecordofmovinglargeenterprisecustomersfromoneCADsolutiontoanotherformultipleadvantages(presumablyforworkflowdynamicsinadditiontobettereconomics).

TheexactreasonforAERTWORKS’decisiontoterminateBricsCADinfavorofARESisn’tforfulldisclosureatthistime.Butthepressreleasefrombothcompanieshasnowmadethepreferenceswitchknown.ThispositionsGraebert’sARESCADtechnologiesforthetypesoflargeaccountsAERTWORKSiswellknownfor.WhilebothBricsCADandAREShavedevelopedCADstrategiesandtechnologiesthatdifferentiatethemselvesfromAutoCAD,GraeberthasbeenfocusingonsomeuniqueBIM-centricfeatures.

TheGraebertfolksarenotaimedatbuildingaBIMalternativetoRevitoranyoftheothermajorBIMsystemsoutthere.Rather,theyaimtobebetterthanAutoCADorevenRevitatcreating2Ddrawingsinthe(.dwg)fileformatthattypicallyareproducedalongsidetheAECprocessonBIMprojects,particularlythosethatareoperatingwithintheAutodeskRevitecosystem.

Graebert’sCédricDesbordeswritestousthat“BIMsoftwaredoesapoorjobatcreatingdrawings,withahigherlevelofdetail,andthisiswhyinthesecondphaseCADsoftwareareoftenusedtocreatemosttheexecution(construction)drawings.Theprogram,however,isthatinthemeantimetheBIMmodelwillcontinuetochangeandthisisawasteofresourcesbecauseinAutoCADorotherCADsoftwarethedrawingswillconstantlyneedtobeupdatedmanually.”

GraebertcontendsBIMtoAutoCADworkflowsshouldbecomeBIMtoARESworkflows.ARESCommanderfeaturesnumerousautomationcommandsthatbetterstreamlinethedrawingsprocesswhilemaintainingconnectivitytoBIMmodelchanges,saystheBerlin-basedCADcompany.

TheworkflowthatGraeberthasdevelopedissquarelyaimedatAutodeskofficeswhichutilizebothRevitandAutoCADfortheirworkflow.Thisworkflowisbroken,asnotedabovebyDesbordes,butGraebertisaimingtoaddressthisspecificproblemwithARESCommander.ThethreeproblemsthatARESCommanderissolvingforCADusersworkingonRevitBIMprojectsinclude:

BIM and ARES—Further Notes on AERTWORKS US Deal

PartofthebigemphasisGraebertisfocusingonistheutilizationofautomationandintelligenceleveragingtherichBIMdata(whichsavestimeindrawingcreation).Anexampleofthisprocessisthecommandhatchallmywallsofthissamewalltypewiththesamehatchpattern,orcreatelabelsforallmywindowswithBIMinformationinside.

Asironicasthismightsound,GraebertcontendsARESCommanderisastrongerpartnerapplicationtoAutodeskRevitthanAutoCADitself.ThecompanyhasbuiltfeaturesintoARESthatareaimedatdownstreamAECBIMandCADusers,likesubcontractorsandmanufacturers.Itsfilterstechnologyisonespecificareawithahonedworkflowforthesetypesofusers,includinggeneralcontractors.ThesetypesofusersneedtoextractdatafromBIMandCADfiles.OftentheyareworkingfromPDFversionsofdrawingsandusingpopulartoolslikeBluebeamtogeneratequantitativedataforpricingandordering.WorkingdirectlywiththeBIMdatainARESCommanderausercanquicklyisolatealldoorsinamultistorymidrisebuildingandbothvisualizethem,reviewtheirproperties(eg:material=oak)andextractthatdatatoExcelfileformat.

ARESCommanderfeaturesefficientfiltertechnologythatenablesAECusers,particularlydownstreamusers,toisolateandvisualizeBIMobjectdata,andextractthatdataforworksheets,tables,andExcelexport.

ThemappertechnologiesinARESCommanderenabletheusertomapgraphicalstandardslikespecifichatchpatternstospecificBIMobjectgeometry.Oncemapped,alldatamatcheswillproperlyself-assignthesehatchproperties.SmartdimensiontechnologyinARESwillassociatewiththeBIMgeometrydata,suchthatiftheBIMdatachanges,likeawallorwindow,moveslocation,theARESCommanderdrawingwillautomaticallyself-adjustupontheupdatecommandoftheBIMreferenceobject.

AREScanalsolinklabelstoinformationinsideBIMobjectsandextractthatinformation(thatoriginatedinsayRevit)andplaceallorapartofitinsidethelabelinARESCommander.Inshort,GraebertARESoffersthemarketuniquefeaturesandtechnologyandadvancedtheideathattheconsolidatedBIMauthoringtoolsdon’tyetoffertheusertheabilitytocreateactual2Ddrawingswiththesamelevelofcontrol,flexibility,andprecisionthatmanyAECBIMusersstillsaytheyrelyonAutoCADtohandle.Thedifferenceis,GraebertislookingathowfolksareusingAutoCADinconjunctionwithBIMtools,especiallyRevit,anddevelopingAREStosolvethingsthatAutoCADisfailingtoaddress.

FinalArchitoshCommentaryandAnalysis

ThoseuserswhoarewhollycommittedtoBIMtoolsanddonotfallbackon2DCADprogramsmaybebiasedtolookattheGraebertMcLeemyCurveshownintheimageaboveandbeconvinced.WhatGraebertistryingtoshowwiththecurveisthatinactualityfirms(manyfirms)arerelyingonAutoCADtotrulycompletethedocumentationandthuslivetodaywiththetwomajorpeaksofeffort—aBIMmodelpeakandanAutoCADdrawingsproductionpeak.AnotherpitchGraebertismakingisdirectedatdownstreamusers,someofwhichmaybethinkingtheymustbasetheirworkonthesametoolasthearchitectsandengineers(BIMtools).Thisiswhathappened25yearsago.Graebertisessentiallysaying“youdon’thavetodothat,youcanstaywithanAutoCADtypeCADprogrambutonethathasautomatedcommunicationwiththeBIMmodels.”

GraeberthasfourinterestingvideosthatshowcaseexactlyhowARESCommanderworkswithIFCandRevitBIMmodels,addressingthethreeworkflowitemsnotedabove.Wearelistingthembelowforthereadertowatch.

(1)BIMandRevitImportwithARESCommander

(2)ReadandExportBIMPropertieswithARESCommander

(3)DWGdrawingsfromRevitandIFCBIMprojectswithARESCommander

(4)BIMDrawingsAutomation:MaterialsMapper,BIMLabels,BIMDimensions