BIM – What does it mean and how do we use it in Topocad?

BIM Stands for Building Information Model/Modelling. BIM is known for including a lot of information on every object in a model 


Every object – what does it mean?

First, data is handled mainly in the ifc format (Industry Foundation Classes) which is a de facto industry standard. Ifc only contains objects which are solids or 3D-spaces. In other words, no points, lines nor polygons that we usually see in a map. It means that objects are solids or possibly spaces. This provides us with a three-dimensional model and information which creates a possibility for a fourth dimension, perhaps even a fifth dimension like time and cost.


Import and export

Common BIM formats are for example the ifc-format and the City-GML which also maintains BIM data. The format is read and creates solids or spaces in the drawing. Metadata, the information, stays on the object. The export is made to the same format, ifc and City-GML, and metadata is created with help from attributes which is then connected to the file. This data is both global for the file and unique for each object.


Stake out from a BIM-model

In this area there is plenty to develop, both in applications (mainly field computers) but also as a creator of data, for designers who handles BIM-models. A strong software system contains automatic functions to create polylines out of wire frame lines in solids.


Volume calculation using BIM

BIM is the same as solids, and solids are the same as volumes. Therefore, BIM is of course cut out for volume calculation! Solids can be used as a graphically result in a couple of calculations. For example, a cross sectioning always creates solids.


Surveying with BIM

Working with surveying and BIM, you can solve this using calculation functions in the code table. It even makes it easier to measure more with solids than to measure a regular polyline. Select both materials and a product code (for example AMA or CoClass) in the calculation function. If possible, use calculation features for pipes, pillars, piles, curbs and all types of longitudinal profiles, surfaces and cylinders.


Next phase within BIM

The next phase within BIM is called iBIM, ie an information model common to all parties involved with access to it via a server. It’s not really until then that BIM will be really good.


For more details, please visit:


Sophie Potten
Group Marketing Manager

+44 (0)1453 834747

[email protected]