BIM and 3D Modelling – what’s the difference?

3D modelling starts with taking measurements from buildings or structures to create virtual 3D objects. These can be used for design, clash detection, visibility/right of light analysis and site visualizations/animations. Models are 3D digital objects built, usually, from laser scan data.


BIM is Building Information Modelling. It is a construction design method based on information sharing, which applies 3D modelling to building construction. BIM ‘objects’ may look like 3D models, but they have a wealth of data embedded too (installation/maintenance dates, weight, thermal performance, etc).

These objects can be inserted into a BIM design system, such as Revit, so the whole construction team can understand how the object fits into the design, and identify any problems at the drawing stage rather than on-site. BIM is now a standard requirement for many new building designs, particularly for the public sector.

Benefits & Applications

  • Brings structures to life. 3D models enable architects, engineers and clients to provide animations and designs, to help communicate ideas with vision and passion. Models also allow structures to be explored virtually, to help develop plans and review and estimate risk factors, sometimes through VR
  • BIM-compliant models. BIM models can be brought into BIM software to contribute to the construction process and to aid the future maintenance of the building

Consider 3D modelling also if you need:

  • Animations
  • Brochures and portfolios
  • Clash detection
  • Demonstrating design concepts

Service Provision

Glanville Geospatial Can

  • Provide ‘scan to BIM’ services – collecting point cloud data to facilitate the production of BIM ready models
  • Develop 3D models to any desired level of detail – from basic geometry all the way to every nut and bolt in a chemical plant facility
  • Prepare the model and assist with the metadata input for full BIM compliance

Each project starts by clearly identifying what our client needs and collaboratively creating a scope of work.

We carefully plan how we can use the full range of equipment and software to the best effect, so our clients get the deliverables they need.

Contact us now to discuss your BIM and Modelling requirements.