Architects, engineers, contractors and cartographers use Bentley Systems' MicroStation integrated CAD software to improve the way they design, model, visualize, document and map projects.
MicroStation V8 XM edition is the CAD platform at the heart of Bentley's integrated software suite. It features 2-D workflow tools for drafting and detailing, drawing composition, printing and publishing and design review. In addition, the software's 3-D workflows tools allow users to do conceptual, parametric and associative modeling, as well as analysis, visualization and constructability, according to Bentley. MicroStation is based on Microsoft's DirectX technology, and since this is a graphics-intensive tool, some users may need to install up-to-date graphics card drivers, the vendor said.
During development of MicroStation V8 XM, one challenge Bentley faced was simplifying users' interaction with the DWG and DGN file formats, which together account for 95% of the world's infrastructure format. (DWG is licensed by Autodesk, while DGN is supported by Bentley and Intergraph CAD software.) To address this, MicroStation V8 XM incorporates many AutoCAD features and combines them with existing MicroStation commands, which lets users work with either or both formats, Bentley said. (Users can also save models and animations as enhanced PDF files.)
To educate MicroStation users and keep them up to date, Bentley's site offers e-seminars, white papers, courses and communities. The product itself also includes "Innovations by MicroStation," which provides interoperability for Bentley software and third-party software.
A new version of MicroStation, which will include Luxology LLC's photorealistic rendering engine, is slated to be unveiled in 2009. It will be provided at no charge to Bentley Systems' SELECT program subscribers, the vendor said. In addition to the main MicroStation product, Bentley offers hundreds of task- discipline-specific applications for use in designing and constructing campuses, electric and gas utilities, bridges and roads, factories and water and wastewater systems.