Monday, December 17, 2012

“I’m thinking of going BIM way – what software packages should I consider?”

I’m so over this topic! Haven’t we all heard it before?
And soooo many times?
And seen helpful ‘would be advisors’, tripping over each other to be the first to fire questions back to the questioner asking to clarify –
Are you a small company? A large multinational?
Do you do residential? Industrial, commercial, healthcare?
Are you wedded to Autodesk? An indie-CAD supporter? A closet Sketchup-er?
A traditional soft penciler or prefer the ‘H’ range?
Would you choose Staedtler over Rotring?
Is your butter paper yellow or white? Thin or thick? Rolled or in sheets?

I’m so over all of this…..
‘Déjà vu’ is no cliché stale enough for what I feel re-reading,
or even just skimming over these discussions…
And don’t tell me, I can always opt-out from reading them…
they ARE everywhere…

I hate seeing ‘real’ BIM-mers (myself included) walk into traps set by these quasi innocent questions and gift some of their hard-earned ‘BIM credibility’ to discussions that are nothing more than software advertorials or naïve, but lazy attempts to catch up with reality by, the up-to-now largely ignorant.

Butt out; let them be, stop the whinging! – you may say…
Well, I’ve got to carry on whinging;
This ‘Armchair BIM-ming’ is what needs to stop, or at least the real ‘doers’ need to resist the urge to participate in perpetual, sophisticated-sounding,
yet ‘oh-so-shallow’ forums
on what colour of ‘spatula’ to use to stir the same mushy ‘nothing’ of AEC project information…
The understated Jamie Oliver equivalents of the AEC asking for the type of oven to buy –
go electrical or stay gas, freestanding or built-in…

Just get on with the bloody cooking, will you?

So, if you’ve been already practicing in any of the fields of AEC for 5+ years and you truly do not know how to get started on BIM, but are eager to, go and try doing it!
Live, in real time, on a genuine project.
That will teach you a lot!
Including what sort of a ‘potato-head’ you’d been up till now.
You may also see how your luck is now running out and you do need a major change in attitude.
And you can succeed, if you finally get your hands dirty.

On the other hand, if you are asking these types of questions because you are a student,
go beat your lecturers with them!
They are supposed to know the answers to all of these…
Real armchair-BIM-mers, the majority… if you ask me…
(not that anyone does, but to counter that lack of action from others is what this blog is good for).


  1. How about a Suite of programs, a really interesting mix such as MySQL, PHP and AutoCAD?! ;-) That should take care of the I in BIM.

    The question isn't totally worthless. It just shows a great deal of cluelessness and confusion. But it also shows how if you ask the wrong question you will get the wrong answer.

    A better question might be, "How do I automate my design work and make it more intelligent -- maybe even cost and time sensitive?" just to get started...