The Ultimate BIM Software List for 2019

There are so many BIM software solutions to choose from so choosing the right BIM software can be a challenge.

To help you select the BIM software that’s right for you we have created this comprehensive BIM software list with brief descriptions, images and video links.

We’ve grouped each BIM software into one of 10 categories following a BIM planning, BIM design, BIM construction and BIM operations workflow – a difficult task as some products are used in different parts of the workflow – but we have done our best 👍 

To help us all make more informed BIM software choices we’ll keep this BIM Software List updated with your feedback – bookmark to come back and see updates 😉  

Here are the 10 categories:

1. BIM Execution Planning Software

To fight Evil BIM one of the most important things you will need is the BIM Execution Plan (BEP) – or similar type of “project plan”.

The BEP is the rulebook for teams to agree on BIM standards, BIM processes, BIM execution planning workflows and BIM scopes. 

LOD Planner

Online BIM Execution Planning tool to agree on BIM processes and BIM scopes with free BEP Templates – find out more…

BIM Software - LOD Planner

2. BIM Content Management Software

BIM is not just drawing lines, arcs and circles – for BIM we must start with objects. 

These objects could be at various Levels of Detail/Development/Definition (LOD) and can also be pre-loaded with manufacturers information.

Management of this content is important to ensure that everyone is creating BIM from the same building blocks.

Free BIM content platform to search for thousands of BIM objects. BIMobject also develops and maintains branded BIM products for manufacturers.

BIM Software - BIM Object

Avail

BIM content management tool to find, apply and gain insight into how your digital assets are being utilized.

BIM Software - Avail

Unifi

Cloud based Content Management Software for architects who work with Revit to manage family libraries, reports and analytics about how your content is used.

BIM Software - Unifi

Modelling and engineering calculations with over 1,000,000 intelligent BIM objects of real MEP products from leading international manufacturers.

BIM Software - Magicad

Download high-quality BIM objects from international building product manufacturers directly in your chosen BIM software.

BIM Software - BIM&Co

Free online manufacturer products as objects in 20+ BIM and 150+ CAD formats / versions available in 16+ languages.

BIM Software - BIMcatalogs

3. BIM Modeling Software

An interesting category as teams argue for and against if some of these 3D modeling tools are “true BIM tools” or not.

The tools listed below could be used for a quick massing model, virtual construction prototyping, construction documentation and even detailed fabrication level design for an entire building. 

SketchUp

3D modeling tool known for its ease of use – some don’t agree it’s BIM. Draw lines and shapes and transform them into 3D forms. Also search 1,000’s of objects in the free 3D model warehouse.

BIM Software - SketchUp

Autodesk Revit

Architectural, structural, Engineering and Construction modeling. One of the most popular Autodesk software packages. Compatible with Microsoft Windows only. 

BIM Software - Autodesk Revit

Archicad

Regarded as one of the first BIM implementations, Graphisoft is a pioneer of CAD tools that have the capability of creating both 2D and 3D geometry. Open BIM. Windows or Mac.

BIM Software - Graphisoft Archicad

Vectorworks

BIM tool used to sketch, model and present. Create 2D drafting, 3D models, Site Information Models, and renders.

BIM Software - Vectorworks

AECOsim

Design, analyze, document, and visualize architectural, mechanical, electrical, and structural building designs.

BIM Software - AECOsim

Allplan

Nemetschek’s flagship BIM application for Architecture, Engineering, and most recently, Bridges.

BIM Software - Allplan

Tekla

Creation and management of fabrication level, accurately detailed, highly constructable 3D structural models.

BIM Software - Tekla BIM

Catia

Originally developed for aerospace (by the French company Dassault Systèmes) – sometimes used for architecture and buildings – mostly by Frank Gehry and crew.

BIM Software - Catia

Solidworks

Some AECs use to create BIM building blocks. Otherwise used for product/equipment design, layout and fabrication.

BIM Software - Solidworks

Design For Fabrication

Designed on the 3DEXPERIENCE cloud it provides integrative, parametric, associative and computational modeling. 

BIM Software - Design For Fabrication

Rhino BIM

Free-form 3D modeling tools to create, edit, analyze, document, render, animate, and translate NURBS* curves, surfaces, and solids, point clouds, and polygon meshes.

BIM Software - Rhinoceros or Rhino

BricsCAD BIM

Touted as a more integrated workflow for sketching/modeling > BIM > detailing.

BIM Software - BricsCAD BIM

Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) contractors use design-intent models to create detailed models ready for the fabrication and installation of building services.

BIM Software - CADMEP Screenshot

4. Generative Design Software / Algorithmic BIM Software

There are many buzzwords used in the Algorithmic-Aided Design (AAD) space 🙂

These tools are usually based on visual scripting rather than textual scripting.

They help to automate the design workflow and provide an abundant number of options for humans to make more informed decisions.

Dynamo

Open source graphical programming interface to create visual logic to explore parametric conceptual designs and automate tasks. Mostly used with Autodesk Revit.

BIM Software - Dynamo

Grasshopper

Graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3-D modeling tools. For designers who are exploring new shapes using generative algorithms. Mostly used with Graphisoft ArchiCAD.

BIM Software - Grasshopper

xGenerative Design

Cloud based generative design based on Catia – a mix of Grasshopper and Dynamo taking the strongest features of both while running on a cloud server.

BIM Software - xGenerative Design

The Hypar open source SDK makes it easy to get started writing code that generates buildings. 

BIM Software - Hypar

Algorithms that can automatically identify and extract walls and windows from point clouds and export them as Revit family objects.

BIM Software - EdgeWise

Natively available within Vectorworks software, Marionette delivers an algorithmic means to orchestrate and dictate design forms and customization without needed to be a programmer.

BIM Software - Marionette

5. BIM Performance / BIM Analysis Software

Intelligent 3D models can be used to automate building analysis before construction starts.

This could be a solar study, a structural analysis, modeling the flow of people for fire codes and all kinds of energy efficiency calculations for green buildings.

Test the effects of structural loads and verify code compliance.

BIM Software - Robot Structural Analysis

Early stage building performance analysis to study natural ventilation & HVAC systems for energy, daylight & comfort goals.

BIM Software - Sefaira

One of the most widely used structural analysis and design software products worldwide.

BIM Software - STAAD Pro

Combining structural engineering know-how with technology, to provide powerful structural analysis and design.

BIM Software - SCIA

Cloud-based service to run building performance simulations to optimize energy efficiency and to work toward carbon neutrality earlier in the design process.

BIM Software - Autodesk Green Building Studio

Perform detailed analysis of climate data to produce customized, interactive visualizations for environmentally-informed design.

BIM Software - Ladybug

6. BIM Collaboration Software

Building Information Models are usually created by many stakeholders.

In order for everyone to stay on the same page these models can not remain in silos.

These BIM collaboration tools allow teams to share and access the right models at the right times.

Construction management software to connect, organize and optimize. From design collaboration, documentation and reviews, to pre-construction, quality and safety and operations.

BIM Software - Autodesk BIM 360 Screenshot

A collaborative environment to make project information traceable, transparent, and accessible to help users to build better. Allows users to view, share, and access project information from anywhere, at anytime.

BIM Software - Trimble Connect Screenshot

Open BIM platform for all disciplines to collaborate with BIM data, information, documents and tasks managed centrally over the complete building life cycle.

BIM Software - Allplan BIMplus

Free collaboration tool to combine models for 3D navigation, automatic clash detection, mark-ups, IFC support, multiple model viewing, and object or model coloring and transparency.

BIM Software - Tekla BIMSight

Data management tool for workflow support and access to building information throughout the building lifecycle.

BIM Software - Drofus

Desktop and mobile tools to interactively present the 3D model and 2D documentation created with ArchiCAD through a much simpler and intuitive user interface.

BIM Software - BIMx

7. BIM Validation / BIM Checking Software

When combining 3D models from multiple project teams issues can often be uncovered.

These problems can be solved in the virtual model at a much lower cost compared to after the construction team has started the work on site.

Sometimes there are thousands of issues to track.

This is why the following BIM checking/workflow tools are essential to gain the true benefits of BIM.

OpenBIM webapp to centralize issues and communications for resolution.

BIM Software - BIMtrack

Real-time issue tracking software with a focus on collaboration and BIM project coordination.

BIM Software - Revizto Screenshot

Cloud-based software that helps owners and project teams work together to create complete, reliable model data.

BIM Software - BIM Assure

For opening, combining, review and navigation of 3D models. Features includes clash detection and model simulation.

BIM Software - Navisworks Screen Shot

For BIM validation, compliance, coordination, design review, analysis and code checking.

BIM Software - Solibri

Issue collaboration platform built on IFC and BCF open standards to store, share and solve issues with history tracking.

BIM Software - BIMcollab

For producing, merging, or using IFC files.

BIM Software - simplebim

8. PRECONSTRUCTION BIM 4D/5D SOFTWARE

BIMs can be used to gain efficiencies for contractors in their estimating and scheduling workflows.

Model elements can be scheduled over time to identify phasing and sequencing challenges.

Elements can also be automatically counted and tied to estimating databases to generate more accurate 5D construction estimates that will update as the model changes.

This is definitely not “Hollywood BIM”!

Manage BIM models, drawings & point clouds – perform design reviews, bid management, takeoff, change management and estimating.

BIM Software - Assemble

Constructability, estimating, cost management, schedule planning, procurement and change management processes.

BIM Software - Vico Office

4D BIM tool focussed on improving the quality, safety, productivity and efficiency through the visual sequencing of construction projects.

BIM Software - Synchro