Check out our list of free Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software. Products featured on this list are the ones that offer a free trial version. As with most free versions, there are limitations, typically time or features.
If you'd like to see more products and to evaluate additional feature options, compare all Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software to ensure you get the right product.
Autodesk® Revit® software is built for Building Information Modeling (BIM), helping professionals design, build, and maintain higher-quality, more energy-efficient buildings. Using the information-rich models created with Autodesk Revit software, architects, engineers, and construction firms can collaborate to make more-informed decisions earlier in the design process to deliver projects more efficiently. Any design changes made in Revit models are automatically updated throughout the model, kee
Subscribe to Autodesk® AutoCAD® including specialized toolsets and get access to industry-specific functionality, greater mobility with the new web and mobile apps, and the latest feature updates. Speed up your work with specialized features & libraries for mechanical design, architecture, 3D mapping, and more while working in a familiar AutoCAD interface. Only AutoCAD, with the new web and mobile apps, gives you the freedom and flexibility to work on anything, anywhere, at any time. Design
The most popular 3D modeling and design tool in the world, SketchUp users model everything from treehouses to intricate, energy-efficient buildings. Owned by Trimble Inc., an entrepreneurial company focused on leveraging technology to change how the way the world works, SketchUp is both intuitive and powerful for professionals and creatives of all kinds. The suite of tools within the program enhances workflows and creative concepts across a variety of industries including architecture, enginee
AutoCAD® Architecture software is the version of AutoCAD software specifically for architects.
AutoCAD® MEP software helps you draft, design, and document building systems.
Vectorworks Architect is the industry’s only BIM modeling, drafting and documentation software built with the design process in mind. As the architect’s BIM tool, the software enables you to tackle complex ideas in 2D and 3D, refine construction details, increase your energy efficiency and streamline costs. Additionally, high-quality renderings can be created with ease and directly inside files thanks to default textures within thousands of Vectorworks content library objects and our easy-to-use
Archicad is a professional building information modeling software solution complying with all digital-delivery requirements, offering an intuitive design environment, accurate building information management, open collaboration and automated documentation. An improved Integrated Design workflow and enhanced collaboration between project stakeholders make Archicad an even stronger tool for uniting architects and engineers in a shared model.
For projects that encompass elements of architecture, landscape and entertainment design, Vectorworks Designer software is the ultimate solution. Packing the power of the entire suite of Vectorworks’ products including Architect, Landmark and Spotlight into one robust program, Designer offers digital terrains, plants, lighting, rigging, BIM modeling and rendering tools to help users draft, model and present in a single interface. Additionally, high-quality renderings can be created directly insi
DataCAD is a professional-level Architectural CADD program for design, presentation, and documentation. DataCAD is one of the few software applications that are developed specifically for Architects, and it is the only CADD software ever to be endorsed by the American Institute of Architects (ca. 1987). Originally developed by an architectural firm more than 30 years ago, DataCAD is one of the stalwarts of the CAD industry.
Autodesk® Civil 3D® software is a civil engineering design and documentation solution that supports Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows on civil infrastructure projects, including roads and highways, rail, site development, airports, and water. Civil 3D helps civil infrastructure professionals improve project delivery, reduce risk, errors, and omissions, and respond faster to project changes. Additionally, users can streamline time-consuming tasks such as corridor design, (road and rai
Integrated BIM tools for building design, civil infrastructure, and construction. Get access to a set of integrated tools that equip you to meet any project challenge – now and in the future. Use powerful BIM and CAD workflows enabled by a comprehensive set of software and services to deliver your best work and stay competitive. Why a collection? • Be ready for anything with a full set of BIM tools Get an essential set of tools, including Revit and AutoCAD, at a great price. And with access t
BIM Track® is a web-based communication platform that empowers your team with better coordination workflows. BIM Track® provides a central hub for collaboration from design to construction. With direct integrations in major CAD/BIM software programs, you can resolve issues to provide much-needed visibility and transparency to all stakeholders. Powerful analytics help project managers to understand issue tracking performance through precise KPIs. Our web-based IFC viewer allows all stakeholders
IrisVR is the leading software for immersive design review and collaboration in virtual reality. It is used by BIM and VDC teams, design firms, and engineers who coordinate 3D models and implement design and construction processes. Because IrisVR integrates with Revit, Rhino, Navisworks, SketchUp, and other 3D tools out of the box, you can instantly create an immersive VR experience that allows you to present to clients and work more effectively with your team. IrisVR offers a desktop product
Design and make your products with our best Inventor, including in-canvas workflows for design, advanced simulation, 5-axis CAM, nesting, and factory layout. You also get access to the full breadth of specialized toolsets available with AutoCAD, along with new cloud-based technologies like Fusion 360. Why a collection? Professional-grade design and manufacturing Design and make your products with the full collection of tools that work inside Inventor, including Inventor Nastran, Inventor CAM,
Intended for architects and all who shape and create building forms. ArCADia-ARCHITECTURE contains specialized architectural functions and options to accelerate the creation of documentation, including: automatic cross-sections, automatic dimensioning or lists creation. Thanks to the BIM technology used, the designer creating the architectural design automatically receives a digital model of the building. Because to that, the design process can be controlled on the interactive 3D preview at all
Software that uses many solutions that significantly accelerate design work in the construction industry. By using objects such as a multilayer wall, doors or windows, the user can quickly create CAD drawings, without losing anything from the full compatibility of the project with the DWG format. Support BIM technology, object-oriented architectural design. Ready-made architectural elements: multilayer walls, stairs, bases, columns, chimneys, windows and doors. Comparing and merging documents. A
Edificius is an advanced BIM application with powerful design tools that are user-friendly, innovative, and expedient. The software is updated regularly to comply with the latest regulations and to be in line with the most recent technologies. Edificius is the leading BIM design software to have a real time rendering engine that seamlessly integrates with other features such as 3D design, cost estimation, and others. Apart from that, the application provides you with tools for maximizing extern
Kreo Plan is a cloud-based BIM platform run on artificial intelligence. You can upload any BIM model and Kreo's AI will: - Federate your model - Classify the elements in your model - Assign resources and build sequence - Calculate cost, schedule and 'what if' scenarios Kreo is also a 4D visualisation tool and bidding platform. Your entire pre-construction plan can be managed in one place.
ArCADiasoft company has over 20 years of experience in creating computer applications for the construction industry and more than 100 products for architects and engineers. The programs range from structural design, interior and installation design, energy performance of buildings calculations to buildings’ surroundings design. The ArCADia BIM is the flagship product which sells all over the world and has received numerous awards. It contains 20 industry-specific modules including installation s
BEXEL Manager is BIM software developed by Bexel Consulting and it specializes in construction project management activity. Our dedication to excellence in BIM software lasts for more than a decade of research and exploration of BIM practices and principles. Our software is also IFC certified and has BCF support which enables it to easily collaborate with other software who follow open standards. BEXEL Manager software solution enables you to: - Do design review & Clash Detection (3D BIM)
Kreo Design helps project owners, design teams and cost consultants to design and optimize residential and commercial building projects, evaluate their feasibility and estimate cost in a few hours.
A suite of software tools designed to help take the stress out of property development encompassing initial design in 2D and 3D as well as cost and project management to ensure the build goes to plan.
SierraSoft Land is a BIM software for land survey restitution and analysis. With SierraSoft Land, you can handle land survey of any size carried out with various types of tools, such as total stations, GPS, laser scanners, and drones. The entire flow of rendering of acquired data, 3D surface modeling, and section and volume calculation is managed in SierraSoft Land in a simple and comprehensive way.
WIZZCAD accompagne les acteurs de la construction dans leur transformation digitale afin de les aider à construire des projets de qualité, en toute sécurité, dans le respect des délais et du budget. La solution SaaS BIM-Native WIZZCAD permet de digitaliser les processus métier tout au long du cycle de vie des bâtiments, des travaux publics et infrastructures industrielles à travers une plate-forme collaborative unique afin de gérer la conception, la réalisation et l’exploitation de projets de c
Before building information modeling (BIM) software became common, designing buildings and other structures was dependent on 2D drawings. Various departments would have to pass these drawings back and forth between each other. A BIM tool allows users to generate and manage digital representations of characteristics and functions of building structures. In addition, BIM software provides information such as spatial relationships, light analysis, and geographic information. This process can also break down the actual building parts to piece together how they fit into one structure. These elements can include walls, columns, windows, door, stairs, and more.
This data can be extracted, networked to, or exchanged to facilitate decision-making regarding the specific building or structure the user is designing. For example, a user can manipulate this information to understand these elements’ behavior before building construction begins.
The attributes within these elements can perform actions as specific as automatically selecting and ordering new materials, along with providing cost estimates. Thanks to the data within BIM tools, you can extract various views from a model of a building, and these images are always consistent.
With BIM software, you can:
BIM solutions have completely changed the way buildings are designed. The introduction of software into this process gives users a number of benefits that manual design cannot offer.
Create quickly — Before BIM software, the building design process involved a lot of manual drawings. These solutions enable designers to draft up a BIM model far quicker than by hand. Digital models also include more information than what is in a drawing set. Ultimately, by facilitating a quicker design process, BIM software saves firms money and labor.
Design anywhere — The majority of BIM solutions are cloud-based, which means that you have access to your projects details from any device. Multiple project members can sign on from any location as well.
Avoid clashes — BIM software can detect clashing elements, such as electrical conduit or ductwork that run into a beam. Repairing the damage from clashes can be very costly. BIM tools have the ability to identify potential issues before they happen.
Capture reality — One of the foremost advantages of this software is BIM’s ability to accurately capture reality. BIM solutions can integrate with tools that offer mapping and provide precise images of the earth. Users then have the option to include aerial imagery and digital elevation with the models of their buildings. They can even include laser scans of existing site infrastructure.
Reduce errors — As BIM software takes away manual design, it also takes away a significant amount of human error. These tools help identify problems early on in the design and building processes.
Improve collaboration across your organization — Sharing digital information modeling for buildings is far easier than passing drawing sets back and forth between colleagues. The cloud-based model of many BIM solutions also means that colleagues working on different parts of the design and building process can access BIM models anywhere, at any time. As many colleagues as needed can review and mark up the model before the building is erected.
Simulate and visualize elements of your building — BIM software has the capability to visualize how certain elements can impact your building, such as sunlight during different seasons or the structure’s energy performance. These solutions apply rules based on physics to provide guidance for engineers and other team members involved in building the structure.
Sequence the steps of the building process — Constructing a building is an incredibly detailed process. Each part of this progression is a sequence of steps, materials, and building crews. BIM software can animate this entire process, facilitate all of these steps, and deliver a path to the end result.
Give a perfect presentation — It’s important clients get a preview of the building being designed. BIM software enables communication of the project scope, steps, and outcome. And as BIM can render images in 3D, you can give your clients the most realistic view of the building possible.
BIM is geared toward those designing buildings. However, many distinct roles contribute to the designing and constructing of these buildings, from planning internal systems to the outside structure of the building. BIM software can benefit those in a variety of career fields.
Infrastructure — BIM isn’t just for constructing buildings. It can be used to create large structures, such as bridges and ports. BIM can be used in these instances the same way it is for constructing buildings, namely integrating the plan, design, build, and phases of a project. These tools can ensure that any large structure is resilient to external circumstances, such as weather, before being constructed.
Construction — BIM software is commonly used in the construction industry. These solutions facilitate collaboration within any team involved in the process and the ability to gather aerial views of your structure. Laying the groundwork digitally ultimately gives a more productive worksite.
MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) — BIM software offers a suite of tools to help those in the MEP industry design and estimate mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems quickly and accurately. These platforms reduce risk and waste, driving better MEP fabrication. BIM solutions also assist in the installation process as well, to ensure these systems fit seamlessly with the rest of the structure they are a part of.
Plant design — BIM solutions allow you to design intelligent structures and create piping and instrumentation diagrams that will support factory operations. Whether the plant you are designing specializes in water treatment, food and beverage, or oil and gas, a BIM tool should have the functionality to create designs in any of these disciplines.
Structural engineering — Another common use for BIM software is by structural engineers. Users in this field utilize BIM tools to improve the structure of buildings to ensure they are as strong and resilient as possible. Structural engineers can streamline workflows to connect design to detailing, minimize errors, and improve the quality of your structure before it is constructed.
Architecture — BIM solutions allow architects to bring their most creative ideas to life. This software supports architects throughout their whole design process. BIM solutions provide tools that maintain model fidelity at every stage of the design process. This means that insight can be gained early on in this process to meet clients’ requirements to deliver the project they need.
While users in different fields utilize BIM software in slightly different ways, the end result is essentially the same—building a large structure. And while there are not necessarily different categories of BIM solutions, there are different versions of these platforms: open BIM and closed BIM.
Closed BIM is an environment where everyone involved in the project uses the exact same kind of software and exports files in the exact same format, eliminating the need for conversions. With open BIM, project members may use different kinds of BIM software with neutral file formats. This process has led to a number of open standards that have been developed to further the industry.
BIM software offers several features to support the design and building of large structures. Most tools support a multidiscipline design process for a number of different types of structures. Not all products will contain the same feature sets, but the following are common examples across many BIM solutions.
Collaboration — Projects that require BIM solutions have many different moving parts with multiple teams, so frequent communication is a must. Every BIM tool should have a feature that enables collaboration among colleagues. Collaboration features may include functionality such as real-time notifications and cross-platform communications.
Visualize — Since BIM tools give users the ability to design their structure in 3D, a BIM platform will likely have the ability to visualize outside elements such as how sunlight will hit a building or how energy efficient the building is, as well as detect any potential clashes in the system or structure. This knowledge ensures the structure you are creating runs at peak performance.
Sequence steps — Each phase of the construction process is planned out with models and even submodels. BIM software enables users to sequence out these steps with the specific materials and crews needed for every individual phase of the process. Some BIM tools even allow you to animate the steps of your building process.
Document storage/data management — When it comes to the design and construction of a building or large structure, different teams will contribute various documents to the project. This might include drawings, customer requirements, phasing plans, and more. BIM solutions should be able to store all this information within the platform and allow multiple users to access it.
Additional BIM features:
Some BIM products include features specific to certain disciplines. These features are not always a given in a tool, so it is important to confirm the BIM solution of your choice includes the additional feature you need before purchasing. Some BIM tools may include:
Cloud rendering — Produce realistic 3D visualizations of your building without integrating any special rendering hardware.
Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) fabrication detailing — A number of BIM products offer MEP fabrication detailing—the ability to create an intricate model of whichever MEP system needs to be integrated into the building. Specify the fabrication configuration and load services needed, and you should be able to create the model.
Import/export 2D sheets — As 3D designing is becoming the standard, it may become increasingly difficult to design in 2D. However, some BIM solutions offer the option to import/export 2D sheets into the platform, so that you can design as you need and potentially update these 2D designs to 3D.
Incompatibility with construction partners — BIM is not the universal standard in the construction industry quite yet, and a number of other tools can be used to create building models. As such, there is a possibility your contractors may not utilize BIM software to create buildings and therefore won’t be able to use your models.
Lack of expertise — BIM is a relatively new technology that is developing quickly. For that reason, there are a limited number of BIM software experts. Implementing a BIM solution on a project might require investment in additional training and support.
Legal ramifications — It is currently unclear where the ownership of BIM data falls. Whether it needs to be protected through copyright laws has also yet to be determined. When someone other than the original creator of a model contributes to the work, licensing issues may come up. And as there are many people involved in the design and construction of a building or large structure, this can potentially cause issues.
Cost — Moving to BIM software is not a cheap task. Not only do you have to pay for the tool itself, but you will likely need to invest in training or consulting. It will likely pay off in the long run, but the upfront cost may be a hit to your firm initially, especially if your business is small.