Qonic begins open beta

Qonic begins open beta

Qonic is an interesting name for a product and I bet there’s a good story there... And you might be wondering: what is it? Qonic is a next-gen, Mac and Windows native app and browser-based high-performance BIM modeling platform for AEC collaboration in the cloud.

Like we’ve been seeing with some other modern platforms, Qonic is concentrating on making a 3d-only tool. Architecture is inherently 3d of course, even if the deliverables have traditionally been 2d, and the Qonic team isn't interested in competing in the 2d documentation landscape at this point in time. I can't blame them... This will be one of the strategies we AEC professionals have to get used to if we want to finally finally achieve model-based delivery. Need 2d? Export to a tool that specializes in that. There are plenty available, including BricsCAD—which is where most of the seasoned Qonic team came from.

What I really appreciate about this tool, especially in it's early days, is how well it performs with very large models—even in the browser. This is perhaps the most striking contrast to a tool like Revit. Watching as the team navigated, modeled, and changed the scope in 3d over a Zoom call from the opposite side of the planet was fluid and smooth, and while part of that means kudos to Zoom, it’s also very much due to the incredible team behind the Qonic platform.

And the level of detail presented was rather astounding. There seems to be absolutely no penalty for incredible detail needed for the true demands of modern model coordination. At one point the demonstration went from a zoomed-out view of the entire building complex comprised of 7 models all the way into a fire sprinkler head—without dropping a frame.

See it in action in various videos here.

A large, multi-segment structural model viewed in real-time in Qonic.

The good news is that you don't have to take my word for it—you can try it yourself. The beta was recently announced so anyone can now sign up, upload a model, invite others to join in, and give it a spin.

In these early days the Qonic team is focusing on 3 main workflows:

  • Design Coordination via IFC and RVT import/export with the ability to clean/manage/enhance existing data and geometry. I was given a preview of modeling capabilities which are very intuitive and coming to the beta soon.
  • Calculate accurate quantity take-offs by using existing metadata and/or adding your own. They enable users to add classification codes and material information to easily filter and isolate different scopes in the model.
  • And what they call “Foundations” (which is a big category) that includes cloud collaboration, model change management, a modern UI/UX, high performance, solid modeling tools, and cross-platform compatibility. These all seem to be table stakes for modern tools in AEC.

Qonic talks about their current stage and long term plan:

Our long-term plan is to build a platform where working together on design and construction projects doesn't mean starting from scratch each time the project moves to the next phase. Qonic is designed to make modelling and collaboration in the design and construction industry simpler and streamline the whole process without the hassle of rework.
To make that long term plan happen, we must build a number of intermediate releases moving forward. We need to start with a limited scope and therefore we are focusing on the following workflows for this first launch.

The workflows they mention are listed above.

The team at Qonic is delightful to talk to, and I am rooting for them. Having spent many years bringing successful products to market in the AEC tech industry, they have been specifically working on this problem for a couple of years now. The initial beta version looks promising and serves as a great starting point for users.

Learn more here.

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