Monday, February 14, 2011

Tekla BIMsight - Free divided by Free is still Free!

Another item that came from attending BIMForum Winter 2011, Tekla BIMsight. I admit that my first reaction to hearing the name was, "Oh, a cloud sharing/viewing solution?" Then I saw the spelling of the name.

Using price alone, if we compare Autodesk's Navisworks Manage and Tekla BIMsight:

Navisworks Manage: $10k-ish (USD) $1.5k yearly subscription
Tekla BIMsight: $0.0k (USD) aka FREE (no subscription)

Okay, if BIMsight doesn't do everything that Navisworks does how fair is that?
Consider this comparison then:

I spoke to Andy Dickey (Business Manager - Construction North America) for a couple minutes and he said that it is Tekla's "bully pulpit" for IFC. The files that are supported by BIMsight are: .ifc, .ifcxml, .ifczip, .dwg, .dgn, .xml. That is a lot less than Navisworks but the price is a lot less too eh? Seems to me, between price and features, that Tekla is throwing down the IFC and price gauntlet? Here's a screen capture of their sample "model" which is comprised of 8 IFC files and 1 dwg file.

As for IFC, if people want to use the viewer and their IFC export data doesn't live up to expectations then it will put more pressure on each software developer to improve it. That's the assumption/expectation anyway. Revit will have some issues I'm sure as others will too. If they are successful applying pressure and it working then perhaps my concerns about IFC will be unfounded.

Triva department: The download is 46 MB. Revit's early releases were about the same size, been a long time since though. Interesting to me that a "viewer" tool is the same size download as early Revit. Though download file size is hardly a real measuring stick.

[Update 03/16/2011: 64bit Version now Available]


Anonymous said...

Yeah since the latest version on Revit is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2GB.

Ben May said...

Navisworks freedom certainly needs a few more features, starting with some markup tools. But I guess that is what Design Review is for

On the IFC side I have been using Solibri for review of IFC content but not for marking up, I will defiantly give this a look

dJOLE said...

While Solibri is probably the best of the BIM model analysis tools and Navis is riding the wave of Autodesk omnipresence, this is infinitely better.


Divide the functionality with the price.

While a lot more functions could be added, what is available is 99% of what the average client/ceo/project manager will need.

What is difinitely missing is the 64bit architecture, as it can choke on an unruly big dwg, dgn or non optimized ifc.

Anonymous said...


Steve, thanks for nice review!
dJOLE, there is now 64bit version available at

Marko Myllymaa

Steve said...

Interesting timing, I just wrote a post about the 64bit support this morning.

Marko Myllymaa said...

Steve, The Tekla BIMsight 1.3 has been released. Could you review that?