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CAD is an acronym for Computer Aided Design (or Drafting). CAD is commonly used in architecture, engineering, and manufacturing to develop 2D and 3D technical illustrations. CAD files are "to-scale" meaning draftspeople are able to draw in real-world dimensions such as feet, inches, meters and millimeters etc. Architectural CAD software facilitates the drafting of floor plans, elevations, and sections. There are several off-the-shelf CAD software packages available; each offering different levels of specialization, sophistication and cost. AutoCAD by Autodesk is the most prevalent CAD software in use today and the AutoCAD DWG file format has emerged as the defacto standard for sharing and distributing CAD documents.
BIM stands for Building Information Model (or Modeling). BIM is utilized by architects, builders and other stakeholders to simulate building construction, operation and performance. BIM files usually contain three dimensional building geometry, but may also incorporate additional information pertaining to structure, energy use, safety, and occupancy etc. Unlike CAD, which represents buildings with dimensionally accurate, but otherwise "dumb" line drawings; BIM endeavors to be a comprehensive building model composed of virtual walls, slabs, roofs, doors, windows, and MEP elements - each with their own parameters and specifications. There are several major BIM software platforms in the marketplace including Autodesk Revit, Graphisoft Archicad, and Bentley Microstation.
For many building management, construction, and marketing tasks, CAD files are an effective communication format. For advanced architecture, engineering, construction and fabrication, BIM is increasingly preferred by industry. Extreme Measures offers a variety of as-built services with both CAD and BIM deliverables.