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Model rendering

The Vcad custom visual is in charge of rendering BIM models within Power BI reports as well as managing all interactions between the report data and the model.
When working with Vcad two different viewers are available: Open viewer and Autodesk Forge viewer.


Base functionality

Both viewers provide the same basic functionalities, these include:

  • Model rendering.
  • Model navigation.
  • Model theming.
  • Model highlighting.
  • Model filtering.
  • Selection in model.


Model Rendering

A fully interactive rendering of the BIM model is available within the Power BI report.


Model navigation

Models in Vcad can be navigate by zooming, rotating an panning the camera in the model space.
These actions may be performed by using the left click, right click and middle button on a mouse.


Model theming

Themes may be applied to models, allowing the report creator to define specific colors to apply to each element.
Applying colors is often useful to convey information on multiple objects all at once and in relation to one an other (e.g., maintenance status, proximity to deadlines, power consumption).


Model highlighting

When making selections in the report, the related items in the model are highlighted to help guide the report user to the objects of interest.


Model filtering

The rendered model may be filtered by making selection in the Power BI report.
Based on the type of syncing behavior selected, the visual may hide or add transparency to all not selected items.


Selection in model

The 3D rendering of the model may be used to execute selections in the report.
By navigating the model and clicking on the desired item, the rest of the model will be filtered based on the selection.


Viewer Differences

When converting a BIM file to later use in a Power BI report, the report creator must decide which viewer will be used. The viewer differ in the technology used as well as the supported file formats.


Open viewer

The Vcad Open viewer is based on open-source technology (xbim) and offers support for IFC files.

In order to be used, the BIM model and it’s relative extracted data will be stored on Vcad’s servers.


Forge viewer

The integration with the Autodesk Forge platform allows users to render and interact withe their model using the familiar Forge viewer.
The Forge viewer offers support for various file formats including: IFC, Revit, Navisworks, DWG.

In order to be used, the BIM model and it’s relative extracted data will be stored on the Autodesk Forge Cloud.

To use the Forge viewer, the report creator Vcad subscriber will require an Forge application to use for the initial model conversion.


Viewer comparison table

The following table recaps some of the main differences between the two available viewers.


Viewer Comparison
Open Viewer Forge Viewer
Revit NO YES
Navisworks NO YES
Storage on Vcad Cloud YES NO
Storage on Forge Cloud NO YES



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