Trimble a Surprise BIM Software Leader
Roopinder Tara posted on December 09, 2016 |
A tradition in surveying hardware, a series of acquisitions positions Trimble as a BIM leader.

Trimble Connect

“We’re all about position and accuracy,” said John Fingland, who may have, in one fell swoop, summed up the Trimble core belief as he shows me Trimble Connect, the software formerly known as GTteam, part of the Gehry Technology acquisition. Trimble Connect already claims 300,000 users, per Fingland.

Trimble Connect on an iPad showing a 3D model. (Image courtesy of Trimble.)
Trimble Connect on an iPad showing a 3D model. (Image courtesy of Trimble.)

Connect, while instantly more explanatory than its former name, happens to be what Trimble competitor Bentley also calls its similar technology, but let's move along.

Trimble's Connect is like Dropbox, but tailored for AEC and with a lot more bells and whistles. You pour all the drawings, models and documents into a project on the cloud that Trimble hosts. Any stakeholder, from architect to construction worker to owner, can find and examine the information they need, on whatever device they prefer, be it desktop PC or iPad. For example, a steel detailer can see all the I-beams that will need to be joined. A “single point of truth” exists, for the entire project, all accessing the same database, rather than what is all too common, working off the wrong or outdated plans.

The BIM model, while accessible for viewing and measuring, remains protected and safe from an unwitting change or deletion.

Collaboration is built into Connect. Users can markup the model and share it with others, who may be offsite or in the office. A supervisor can make to-dos for his/her staff.

Recognizing the job site may be remote, unconnected or even underground, Connect lets you download documents and drawings to your mobile device so they can be used even if the connection is nonexistent, overcoming a shortcoming in may Web-based collaboration tools.

Working with all building software from Trimble (SketchUp, Tekla), Connect also reads/writes to external data formats (in AEC, that's Autodesk's DWG, Bentley's DGN, Tekla and Graebert formats) as well as map data formats and 2D and 3D formats. Connect works on all the current platforms—desktop, Web and mobile as well as future ones. It can already serve up AR models visible in 3D with the HoloLens.

You can try Trimble Connect for free here with a personal version good for a single project shared with five users and with 10GB of storage. The Business version costs $10/month, which doesn’t seem much for unlimited storage and projects and more users. When you compare that to buying an onsite server, which has to be maintained and risks hosting data that is out of synch with other servers, Trimble Connect is a no-brainer.
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