Bentley i-models are being used greatly by many of the finalists for the Be Inspired Awards. I thought it would be a good idea to do a refresh on Bentley i-models.
Bentley i-models are a container that can hold an entire 3D model, a revision history and where the information comes from, and can be exported to those who need to see this information or series of files. The author can embed access rights into the model, support digital signatures and take measurements or extract information from this information. It cannot be changed, but notes can be attached to it. It is a .dgn file, but it has the capability of bringing in other material such as Revit files using the previously released Revit plug-in. It honors all file formats and standards such as ISO 15926, IFCs, XML.
The i-model is not really another format, it’s another way to share information with team members or other stakeholders. Similar to a zip file, when you open it you can see its contents. It will be particularly useful for plant and process and other large-scope projects with multiple and diverse processes.
A big question is, how big is it? In comparison with a regular model file, perhaps a BIM file, the i-Model would be at a ratio of 10 to 1.