I have previously written about a software named Tekla BIMsight which is a good option for collision detection for building models. (Click here for article) After I first encountered this program and wrote the article about it in February of 2011, Tekla has continued to improve the software. The great part about this software is that it is still FREE. It is still a very viable option for designers who need collision detection capability, but can’t afford software like Navisworks Manage.
Tekla has a new update out for BIMsight and I still believe that it is a decent program and should be investigated to see if it meets your needs. The current (new) version is 1.9.
Upgrading the software is very easy. If it is not up-to-date, there is a notification box in the lower right corner of the home screen that tells you that the software is not current. You only need to pick on that notification to upgrade the software and it just takes a few minutes to perform the upgrade. I really like how they have made this update process so easy.
One of the big improvements in version 1.9 is that Tekla BIMsight now supports Trimble SketchUp (.skp) models. (While Tekla BIMsight still does not directly support Revit (.rvt) files, they can be saved as IFC files and brought into BIMsight.) The new version also has other improvements, including rebar measurement and improved clash detection. More about this particular release can be read at http://helpcenter.teklabimsight.com/helpcenter/helpTopic.jsp?topic=bim_RN_1_9.
I recommend you check out this FREE software and see if it is something that would be valuable to you.
Tekla BIMsight Note is now available for the Android and can be downloaded from Google Play.