BIM Glossary

Building Information Modelling or BIM can be a tricky topic. Modlar has worked with companies big to small around the globe, here are some common terms or file types we sometimes get asked about:


Building information modeling (BIM) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. The resulting building information models become shared knowledge resources to support decision-making about a facility from earliest conceptual stages, through design and construction, through its operational life and eventual demolition. - source Wikipedia


Computer aided design.

Common BIM/CAD software and file types:

Autodesk Revit

  • .rvt file is a Revit project file
  • .rfa file is a Revit family file

Graphisoft ArchiCAD

  • .pln file is an ArchiCAD project file
  • .gsm file is an ArchiCAD object file
  • .mod file is an ArchiCAD module file (normally a piece of a project file)

Nemetschek Vectorworks

  • .vwx file is a Vectorworks model file

Autodesk AutoCAD

  • .dwg file is an AutoCAD drawing file
  • .dxf file is a drawing exchange format
  • .dwf file is a design web format for easily sharing drawings eg online

Trimble Sketchup (formally owned by Google)

  • .skp file is a sketchup model file

IFC - Industry Foundation Class

  • .ifc file is a commonly used exchange format

We aim to keep this list updated over time. if you have any questions or think we've missed one feel free to contact us.

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