CAD specialists in the building industry – a new target group
Subcontractors as a special target group
By Lambert-Jan Koops
“While developing its software the ISD always keeps an eye on the latest trends, tailoring its functions to meet the requirements of the future”, explains Willem van Kreij, sales agent at the ISD Benelux. “Future-oriented developments such as full 2-D/3-D associativity, maximum flexibility during drafting and designing, or the integration of PDM/PLM have already been implemented in HiCAD and HELiOS the past. For the building and construction industry these features offer many advantages in practice, e.g. the possibility to create the 3-D model on the basis of an open, neutral file format such as IFC. Such 3-D models in HiCAD enable a fast and easy generation of BOMs, cutting lists, architectural details, workshop or mounting drawings. The most obvious positive effect of such innovations consists in the effortless control of production and mounting processes, and the elimination of human errors. As a result, customers can save time and significantly improve product quality.”
IFC and BIM
Besides the automation of design data generation, the topics of BIM and IFC have become increasingly important in our HiCAD development team. “Loading a supplied IFC file and using it as a basis for drafting work is possible without any problems in HiCAD, since all functional and collision checks can also be performed with an IFC model”, says Willem van Kreij.
Besides IFC data, users can also include files in the traditional DWG format into their workflows. Van Kreij points out that not only the choice of file format, but also the general working method of the HiCAD users may differ: “There are companies working with IFC, and others working with DWG. For instance, one of our customers works exclusively with the IFC models of his clients to avoid double work. But we also have customers who work only with DWG, because this format is currently sufficient for them. With the current focus being on BIM one tends to forget that many companies still realize their projects in 2-D, and that the affected companies are in need of efficient support. Therefore we have therefore decided to offer our HiCAD users a combined 2-D/3-D approach: Some of our customers are currently still working in 2-D, and if they wish to switch to 3-D one day, they will be able to do so with ease. The functions of the software are strictly practice-oriented: For example, you can apply modifications to the model in all view types, or extract sectional views or structure details from the model. Since changes to a model during the design phase are nothing unusual, such functions are very helpful for HiCAD users.”
The building and construction industry covers several fields of industry on which the ISD is focusing. In the field of steel engineering we can mainly find companies that build stairs, railings, fences or platforms. Facade engineers, too, play an important role here. “Our strengths are special constructions”, emphasizes Willem van Kreij. “For instance, HiCAD enables us to effortlessly create double-curved profiles for the building industry. In facade engineering we can offer the bidirectional LogiKal interface or the integrated ALUCOBOND module for composite facades. HiCAD also offers company-specific CAD functions for the outer building shells, such as smart connections, a multitude of beams and profiles, as well as different practical working methods. Another interesting feature is the special module for facade construction that allows you to place panels on a defined surface, rapidly finishing the outer sides of buildings with the help of library parts.”