The new Bentley’s MicroStation has been hailed as not your average CAD software but as a platform that gives its users an interface to help their imaginations come to life. The MicroStation was designed to be optimized CAD software which has the ability for drafting, producing both 2D/3D models, designing animation, animating them and finally rendering the animation/models it produces. It accomplishes all the above functions at an advanced level—close to Maya’s — not just as a low level feature that helps its users test run their designs/animation. This article serves as a MicroStation review, highlighting its features, advantages and limitations to help designers make an educated choice when selecting it for their CAD use.
MicroStation Review: The History
The history of Bentley’s MicroStation can be broken into three development stages chronicling its advance from a simple interactive graphic design system to the advanced GUI system it is today. The stages are:
- The Inception (1984–1990): MicroStation 1.0 was developed in 1985 by Bentley Systems as a design file (DGN) editor for the PC’s of that time. It was released as a DGN read–only plot program which ran only on the IBM PC–AT personal computer. Its next instalments were then designed with both read and write DGN file features, which maximized the increasing processing powers and dynamics of the PC later designs.
- The Balance (1990–2000): a MicroStation in the 90’s brought about the first real definition of its services. Extended features which included its 2D/ 3D CAD tool set, movie generation, dock able dialogs, coloured button icons etc were incorporated into MicroStation therefore defining it as interactive CAD software although it still used the V7 DGN file format.
- The Innovation (2000– till date): the building of MicroStation V8 in 2001, established its software as one of the premier CAD platforms in the world. It came with a new file format (V8 DGN), a limitless design plane, VBA programming and many other new features. All MicroStation done on the V8 lauded it for its ground breaking innovation and abilities to achieve the impossible.
MicroStation Review: Features
- MicroStation is compatible with all Windows based platforms and some Mac platforms.
- MicroStation (V8.11) can read and write a variety of CAD formats which include; DGN, DWG and DXF while also producing files in different standard formats such as JPEG, AVI, VRML and adobe’s PDF.
- It incorporates extensions to increase its functionality for diverse users. These extensions include; Bentley Architecture, Bentley Map, Bentley Building Electrical/Mechanical Systems etc.
- The MicroStation software supports diverse programming languages and also comes in different languages.
MicroStation Review: Versions
A thorough Bentley MicroStation shows that since its inception, it has had no less than 10 different versions released. The most recent are:
- The MicroStation (V8.5) released in 2004.
- The MicroStation (V8.9) XM edition released in 2006.
- And the MicroStation V8i (V8.11).
Microsoft Review: Benefits
- MicroStation boasts off a customizable user interface, wide set of drafting tools and an interactive tool set which enhances its productivity.
- It supports and assembles multiple file formats, given user more flexibility while working.
- It is perfect for modelling all surfaces and accepts templates or images from other sources.
- It produces realistic rendering and animation coupled with accurate time lines and graphs for accuracy.
- It supports a lot of geospatial coordinate systems.
- It comes with features that allow commenting on designs and publishing designs on work boards for sharing purposes.
MicroStation Review: Limitations
MicroStation Reviews have shown that its learning process is steep due to its extensive platform and this affects new users. Other than that, the MicroStation is the perfect platform to help you accomplish your designing needs.