In the upFront.Zine, Ralph Grabowski has a great article about a cloud-based BIM checking service, BIM Assure. The feature was written with Marty Chobot, VP of marketing at the system’s developer, a startup called Invicara with offices in Michigan in the US, India and Singapore. The application was also reviewed recently by Lachmi Khemlani in AECbytes. I won’t steal the thunder of these two articles – go and read them! – but here’s a quick outline.
BIM Assure in a nutshell
Development of the browser-based product started in 2013, with the focus being on the ‘I’ in BIM (a phrase often heard at BIM conferences), looking to interrogate beyond the geometry in a model, and to ascertain if required information has been created and modelled correctly to meet different milestones during a project. While other model checkers exist (Solibri’s has been frequently mentioned at various events I’ve attended, and has formed part of the BIM offerings from SaaS collaboration providers Viewpoint and Conject, among others), Invicara says BIM Assure is the only cloud-based one – though it is not a pure browser-based tool: users have to download a plug-in.
Currently, there is only an Autodesk Revit plug-in. This enables users to publish models to BIM Assure’s servers (hosted by Amazon Web Services) and then pull data from BIM Assure back down into Revit, while templates help with basic checks on doors, walls and equipment. Invicara is looking at other integrations with BIM authoring tools, and “working with customers to decide which one will be next.”
Interestingly, pricing is based on consumption, not on number of users or amount of storage. Invicara provides an evaluation subscription so that customers can estimate how much they might use the service, and then charges for analysis with customers buying tokens to run their checks.
(Incidentally, the name reminds me of BC Assure, the compliance application launched in 2011 by GroupBC, formerly Business Collaborator, and which I understand is also being used by some of its customers to support BIM process compliance.)