Steve Scaysbrook at the Konstrukshon CPD Weblog has some important thoughts regarding CAD File Formats. In this age of the Building Information Model (BIM) where practitioners of different arts and crafts collaborate on the same drawing there should be a cross platform, cross application standard format.
There should be no reason (and if there is, I am sure it is a programmer ‘thing’ rather than a user ‘thing’) why I should not be able to use my preferred CAD application; Vectorworks and that I should not be able to share information and collaborate with a colleague who prefers another application.
Don’t get me started on the DWG/DXF file format. It should die. Soon.
For those who unfamiliar with BIM, this means creating spaces in 3D and allowing others to insert their information in the same file. For example, an architect could create a space and send the file to their engineer who would add the structural elements. Working in 3D helps to ensure that everything actually fits together and allows for rapid updating of views as projects evolve. In the performing arts set, lighting and sound designers can easily collaborate and shops can insert technical data and structural elements.
It is the future and the future is now.