Update to Free 3D Model Review Software

In February 2011, I reviewed a new free beta product on the market for 3D model review named Tekla BIMsight by Tekla, Inc. (Read review)   Tekla has just released the new Tekla BIMsight version 1.2, and it is no longer considered a beta software.  The big point is that it is still a free product and Tekla stated in a webcast for bloggers that it will continue to be free for the foreseeable future.

As I mentioned in my first article on the BIMsight software, this is a basic clash detection software that allows you to bring several different 3-D models together for project collaboration and collision detection.  While it is not a robust software, it performs clash detection that can meet the needs of many people and that I believe warrants consideration.  It is a straight forward software that is not difficult in learning to use and also has a decent forum support system that is easily accessible from within BIMsight.

Some of the new or improved features include:

Model Grouping

  • Model files that are are linked into the project can be grouped by various categories, such as Structural, Architectural, MEP, etc.  It is easy to add additional groups as needed by simply picking on the New Model Group button.
  • Files that are linked (via the Add File(s) button) are easily relocated to a different location in the grouping section by simply dragging the file name to the desired group.
  • Entire groups can be turned on or off quickly by picking on the eye symbol adjacent to the group.  (This eye symbol is throughout the software for visibility control over various components or files.)
  • Model Groups are also used to quickly set up clash conflicts between specific groups, such as structural framing and mechanical ductwork.

Linking Documents

  • Documents of virtually any type can be added and linked to specific objects in the model.  Document types include PDF, AutoCAD drawings, word processing documents, spreadsheets, images, etc.  (Note that the files are saved into the .tbp-file.)
  • This can be a great tool to access related documents to the model, such as enlarged details, shop drawings, operation manuals, change orders, phone logs, code requirements, etc.
  • A button at the bottom of the View window quickly displays the locations for all linked documents in the project, as well as a button to display the notes in the project.  Double-clicking on the document (or note) quickly displays that document in an additional view.
  • I was very pleased with the ease of using this document linking feature.

Area Selection Tool

  • This feature allows you to quickly window an area that you want to either see by itself (with all other areas hidden) or hidden with other areas visible.
  • This is different than adding a clipping plane, as you can isolate a specific area of the building.


  • When performing a markup, you pick the plane to place the note.  The note will then be visible as you rotate around the problem area in 3D.


  • Conflict notes can be grouped by Conflict Rules.  You can see all clashes in a Rule at once, or one conflict at a time.
  • Notes are not only easier to find, but you can now see replies to the note as the project is passed along.

In summary, I think this is a great product to consider if you are on a limited budget.  Tekla seems to be responding to users’ wishes on this product and I think it will continue to see nice improvements.

The above information is not intended to be a full description of the features of Tekla BIMsight 1.2, but are some of the features that I found interesting.

Check it out at http://www.teklabimsight.com/.


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