Architects Need More Than Revit Files. They Need Native BIM Files.

Why you need more native BIM files than just Revit

You might be missing out on leads and sales if you only provide Revit files to architects.


If you manufacture products used in commercial, residential or industrial spaces, you have probably heard of BIM (Building Information Modeling). 

BIM is a leading CAD trend with an impressive potential for growth. BIM software is the preferred tool for architects, contractors and engineers in the civil and structural industries. In the latest report from Business Advantage, nearly half of the respondents said they currently use or plan to use BIM within 3-5 years.

Moving forward, it becomes essential for manufacturers serving these audiences to provide BIM files to architects and designers, similar to the need to provide CAD files to engineers today.


The problem is: BIM is not one-size-fits-all.

Different designers need different BIM files. The BIM software used by residential architects will be different than the BIM software used by commercial architects and structural engineers. 

Autodesk Revit is the most-popular file format among commercial architects in the U.S. For this reason, several manufacturers have assumed that providing Revit to their audience is enough.

Just as providing a STEP file and one native CAD format isn’t good enough for your engineering audience, your BIM audience requires multiple options for native BIM downloads of your products.


Building Information Model of metal structure. 3D BIM model. The building is of steel columns, beams, connections, etc. 3D rendering. Engineering, industrial, construction BIM background.


Which BIM formats do architects and designers use?

The current usage of BIM is highest in the Americas, Europe & Middle East, and for medium to large companies. To know which formats your audience needs, you must first consider who your audience is. 

  • Do you manufacture products for the residential, commercial or industrial market?
  • Do you sell in the United States or internationally?
  • Who is your target audience: architects, mechanical engineers, civil engineers, contractors or structural engineers?

Which BIM files you need to provide depends on your products and your answers to those three questions. For industrials who build products for both an engineering and architectural audience, providing native BIM files is a major competitive advantage.


The most popular formats used by architects and designers are: 

  • Autodesk Revit (57%)
  • AutoCAD Architecture (33%)
  • Navisworks (25%)


These statistics came from the Business Advantage report, and it highlights the need for manufacturers to provide more than just Revit files. The report also suggests that is especially true for Asia Pacific, AEC, and medium-to-large companies. 

However, these three BIM formats just scratch the surface of BIM software, and they certainly don’t fit the needs of every audience.


The top BIM /CAD formats manufacturers need to provide today

At CADENAS PARTsolutions, we help manufacturers provide multiple BIM formats as native downloads to their many audiences. Our unique catalog software supports BIM software used by city planners, product developers, commercial architects and every sector in-between.


Here are the top formats you may need, depending on your audience:


  • Fabrication
  • Civil3D
  • Advance Steel
  • Navisworks
  • Infraworks
  • Microstation
  • Archicad
  • Vectorworks
  • AutoCAD
  • NX
  • Catia
  • Fusion360
  • Inventor
  • Solidworks
  • Creo
  • 3DS Max
  • Sketchup
  • Chief Architect
  • Softplan
  • Allplan
  • Revit


Where should you put these files?

Once you have CAD and BIM files of your product models, where should you make them available for architects and engineers to download?

Architecture firms are looking to BIM as the standard for product information. As it turns out, the best way for manufacturers to connect with architects is their website. 

85% of architects visit manufacturer websites to find product information and keep up on product trends, according to a study from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The manufacturer’s website is the #1 place architects go to research a new building materials product. Architects also reported that manufacturers and their websites are important influencers in the products they select for specification. 

It is here, on your website, where you should give them the most-helpful piece of information about their products: BIM files.


Learn more about providing native BIM formats

If you’re interested in learning more about the top BIM formats and how you can provide native BIM downloads to your audience, request a demo today. Our team of product experts will help answer your questions around which software your audience uses.


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Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Marketing graduate from the Miami University, Farmer School of Business in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.