How do you select the right CAD software for facade construction?

You are a facade builder and are looking for good CAD software. But what do you need to look out for? Is it the communication? Is it the engineering possibilities? Or is it the reduction of the lead time of a project? A good selection and choice is made based on convincing points. In this blog, you will read what to look out for when selecting the right CAD software for facade engineering.

The construction world is changing rapidly, which makes the need for CAD software to change considerable. BIM is making its appearance and makes it all the more important that data is easily exchangeable. Both internally and with chain partners. Software grows along with a company, but sometimes too many modifications and a long lifespan mean that it is no longer possible to stretch and it is time for an improvement. This is certainly true for CAD software in view of construction developments in the area of sustainability and BIM. How do you select the right application for building facades? You do so by focusing on five points.

How does the CAD software communicate?

Communication plays a key role in the selection of CAD software. To what extent is your current CAD software suitable for exchanging data or designs internally? And with external parties? The importance of good communication (and therefore links) is enormous. Reading in documents, working further on them and sending them back to the architect must, above all, go smoothly. Working within a single CAD system makes this easier, especially if you can easily exchange between 2D and 3D software. In addition, a single point of contact at the software supplier is a major advantage.

Do the engineering possibilities fit your company?

More and more, a design has to be distinctive. This results in beautiful, but also increasingly complex designs. Is your current CAD software capable of making the transition to producing these more complex designs? Can you use it to control the right machines and can the process be improved? Does your engineer have all the freedom to model? Is he limited by the complexity of the product or the software? In many companies, the CAD application is one of the systems used. Do they work seamlessly together or do they form a limiting factor for the engineers? There are systems on the market, such as HiCAD from ISD, which combines both 2D and 3D CAD capabilities.

Does CAD help to shorten the time to market?

The third aspect that should definitely play a role in the selection of CAD software is the ability to shorten the lead time of façade construction projects. As a facade builder, you often have one goal; to complete an order from entry to assembly in a short amount of time. Those windows, doors and sliding doors are needed faster than ever. CAD software that is precisely tailored to your current processes can save you up to 20 percent of time. That is valuable time, time in which you can do more with the same number of actions or with fewer.

What support do you need?

As a facade builder, you want to have good service and support at your disposal. How quickly does your current supplier respond to a query and what are your wishes for a new supplier? What training does the supplier offer? The software must help you improve, and that includes support from the supplier. Do the supplier's promises match your needs as a facade builder?

What does the software offer?

CAD software is not cheap, but a modern system is certainly capable of paying for itself. Just think of the potential savings in duplicate operations. In addition, a modern system offers the chance to make yourself more attractive to technically trained personnel. Good software is of course an investment in the future. Perhaps it is already difficult to meet the requirements of an architect. In addition, it is definitely difficult to determine now what you will need as a facade builder in a few years' time. If you opt for HiCAD, for example, you know that you will meet the requirements for effective work in any case.  

Do not forget this!

If you are in the market for a new supplier and CAD software that suits you, make a shortlist of suppliers based on the above points. Then give them a hard time and ask them to show you what is possible based on a few scenarios. Do preliminary research, ask the market about advantages and disadvantages and carry out reference visits. Good software is important and deserves good preliminary work and a thorough selection process.

More information?

Curious about the experiences of façade builders who work with HiCAD? Then read the blog "Why facade engineers choose HiCAD". Or do you want more information about which aspects make a good CAD package? Read the blog "5 essential 3D CAD system features for facade engineering"

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