Know the difference. Know which service is right for your project.

Today’s contractors, architects, and engineers depend on 3D scanning and visualization of spaces to modify designs, identify problems, and meet their goals. BIM and CAD are often used interchangeably in project management, but they are not the same.

Learn the difference between BIM and CAD to select the right technology for your projects.

Difference Between BIM and CAD

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

BIM is a set of tools that allow you to visualize an idea with the latest project product information, accurate dimensions, and measurements of the space from different angles. It allows work crews and design teams to virtually experience and collaborates using the same files before construction even starts.

Through BIM, you can create 3D versions of your designs and make changes throughout the project.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

CAD is a set of tools that enable you to establish 2D and 3D models of machines, structures, and buildings. It also allows workers and surveyors to review the structure before starting the work. However, CAD files lack the flexibility and collaborative platform that BIM models possess.

Originally, CAD was for 2D images, like floor plans, but it now allows you to create 3D models and get accurate representations of your ideas.

What Are the Advantages of One Over the Other?

CAD was traditionally utilized in the construction and building industry to create 2D designs. The transition of CAD into 3D modeling has been transformative as it enables designing complex models. On the other hand, BIM does that and much more.

BIM focuses on sustainability and collaboration. It enables you to gather all designs into a single database. BIM utilizes the cloud to provide access to all project members and the ability to work on the designs and update them. The modifications can be viewed by everyone in the team, and changes are made accordingly.

BIM has rapidly overtaken CAD as it provides real-time model analysis and visualization that is ideal for the construction and building industry. It allows engineers, contractors, and architects to work together using a single database to create the final model.

BIM goes beyond CAD by showing facilities management systems, like mechanical cooling and electrical containment systems. These help in enhancing the efficiency of the final design before construction starts.

3D Scanning Utilized in CAD and BIM

Even with multiple parallels between BIM and CAD, they are completely different tools. CAD exclusively deals with floorplans and designing models, while BIM offers you much more than that. BIM gives you real-time model analysis. Any modifications you make are updated in database and throughout the channels. BIM offers accuracy, collaboration, efficiency, and a smoother, streamlined process.