Bentley AECOsim Building Designer V8i

This review explores the capabilities of Bentley’s new integrated multi-disciplinary BIM application, AECOsim Building Designer, which combines all of Bentley’s diverse BIM applications for different disciplines in one single product. It looks at the additional improvements made to its BIM capabilities including consistent tool dialogs, a new utility for clash detection, and hypermodeling which links all the drawings created from a model and the sheets on which they are placed. It also looks at how a new project is set up in the application, given its preferred distributed file approach.


4 thoughts on “Bentley AECOsim Building Designer V8i

  1. I totally agree with your assesment of this program. It is probably one of the best in the marketplace, BUT..(and this is a huge but) it is very complex and hard to master.

    Also, Bentley really needs to wipe the slate clean… as they say, and start again, as the origins of this program are so old that there is a lot of bloated mechanics in it which make it painful to use in some situations.

    Bentley needs to be bold and drop the old legacy parts of the program and trim it down to a more user freindly product.

    But apart from that, it is very awesome to use. File sizes are a pinch compared to Revit and Archicad. Processing times are much faster as a result. You can build ANYTHING in 3d very easily, (compared to the finite objects you can have in Revit and Archicad). Rendering is a breeze nowadays. The best thing I like is the ability that Microstation has to XRef in Sketchup, Rhino, and Autocad files. No conversions are needed.

  2. The review was more than fair. Seemed to harp on redesign of the interface quite a bit. However, I must say that one reason Bentley is more difficult to learn is that has such a rich set of tools compaired to other BIM tools. That said, some parts could be made easier. Certainly the Project Manager is a little opaque.

    As a modeler, Microstation and Generative Components can’t be beat! The fact that this software is built on that platform is the reason that the modeling is fantastic. Also, base Microstation comes with sooooo many features that, as one example, the equivalent of 3DS in built right into it. That’s the reason it is so good with Design Visualization and so many other things.

  3. “Neither Bentley’s extensive built-in documentation nor its fairly comprehensive online help (…) provided inputs on how to actually get started with a new project.”

    I think this tells a lot… No matter how good it may be, if you can’t easely work with it (or actually start it) it bevomes irrelevant. I looked into Bentley Architecture a long time ago and gave it a “no go”. From time to time, I checked again and again, and I feel that Bentley is actually strugglling with it and missing the point. Tools are about usability. The main batch of tools need to be dead easy to grasp, otherwise drafters/ architects will spend more time trying to make it work, than actually working with it.

    Besides, people resist change. If you leave 2D tools easily available, on a deadline, people will always go back to what they’re more comfortable with.

    BIM is a paradigm shift in the way architects work. The tool should reflect this, and in Bentley’s case, it still doesn’t appear to.

  4. After having spent some time with both AECOsim and Revit and having watched others learn the software, I’d have to say one is as complex as the other. I think that the review isn’t entirely fair. It is correct about the difficulty of using AECOsim; however Revit is equally as obtuse. This comes not from how easy the software is to use, but how powerful it is. The AECOsim v8i SS3 interface is actually quite good, perhaps one of the best on the market. In my mind, it doesn’t need the massive overhaul that the review suggests. I imagine the interface is somewhat different to those coming from an Autodesk background; however that does not make it bad. Stepping into any software without proper training is a real no, no.

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