A small step for the engineer, one giant leap for BIM

As of today, 150,000 engineers can find content for their BIM projects on started as just after the start of the new Millennium. Now, more than 20 years later, is indispensable for engineers.

Technological progress is rapid, also in the design and construction industry, as was clearly noticeable in the 20th century. A very special step in technology - and for mankind - was in 1969, when the first man set foot on the moon. Or, as Neil Armstrong put it: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". That this would lead to a new industrial revolution was not foreseen at the time. New technology, powerful computers, Computer-Aided Design, connectivity and many more inventions became easily available to engineering.

Computers became more and more commonplace and not only for arithmetic matters such as those found in universities and scientific purposes, but also in construction. Major companies such as Trimble have pioneered the development of applications in our daily lives. Computer design has become increasingly commonplace and today we can no longer do without the help of advanced technology to meet the demand for better and environmentally friendly buildings. What an architect creates with his own creative input, an HVAC engineer builds with the new tools available to him.

From simple 2D drawing to increasingly advanced design with 3D and calculations, the need to support this with content has grown tremendously.
Stabiplan Information Technology started in 1990 with Stabicad for AutoCAD. Unique to Stabicad's design is the immediate support for manufacturer information in the form of Parametric data. Designing pipes for e.g. water, central heating and sewerage became a lot easier. New products were regularly introduced there too and because there was no method yet to process them, better support was sought. This was provided by the introduction of a special platform with 2D data and symbols for use in designs with CAD software. The website was launched. Ease of use and accessibility were the starting points for this platform: simply expand your design with available content from manufacturers that meets your needs and can be included in the design and calculation with Stabicad. The website grew along with the demand for more content. More and more manufacturers found their way to and even paid attention to this service in their Technical Bulletins.
Below a message from the Dutch manufacturer Nefit in its Technical Bulletin:

               January 2008, Technical Bulletin 26 Nefit
In addition to the aforementioned publications, CAD drawings of the Nefit TopLines are also available. You can use these drawings to process the device directly in the construction drawing. The drawings of Nefit devices can be downloaded from:, tab professional/documentation and
Withmore and more manufacturers finding their way to, the website also received more attention from international manufacturers. Stabicad was now also available in Belgium and France. Besides the standard AutoCAD DWG support, more Revit families became available. These developments and the introduction of BIM made sure that no longer fitted in the international picture. Therefore, was announced internationally as in 2012.

The transition to a European website and room for more content in other formats brought even more suppliers (manufacturers) and users to the site. Where the first 10,000 users could be found on, the website rapidly grew to more than 50,000 registered users. More and more content became available and the demand for an unambiguous form of content took shape in the form of the EMCS, the Extended MEPcontent Standard.

Expansion of the Content team also provided more opportunities to put on the map. Foreign trade fairs were given a place in the promotion of and so more and more international manufacturers found their way up on the platform.
Companies such as ABB, Mitsubishi, Vaillant and many others ensure that now attracts visitors all over the world. got an extension to .com. Even more clarity for our manufacturers and worldwide support quickly brought the number of users to 100,000.

The global affiliation with the acquisition by Trimble Inc. in 2018 and the introduction of more tools for users, such as the free MEPcontent browser, has brought us to 150,000 active registered users in the autumn of 2021. continues to grow and will continue to innovate and provide content for a larger group of users in addition to its current content offering.

With BIM and the associated workflow, the need for current content has only increased. BIM offers the opportunity to communicate even better with each other, to exchange information more easily and to keep up with the increasingly rapid digitalisation.

Trimble not only offers the opportunity to take those steps, but is also happy to assist the engineer with all possible appliances such as the various software tools e.g. Trimble Connect, Viewpoint, Stabicad, Trimble Nova and SketchUp. Trimlbe also offers hardware support with, among other things, the Data collection system designed together with Boston Dynamics (SPOT), the Hololens XR10 and the Total Stations RTS.

Thanks to the design software and the intelligent content of, engineers and Trimble are building together on "Deliver with Confidence".
MEPcontent now supplies more than 700,000 components from manufacturers from all over the world.

MEPcontent supports RFA files for Revit, DWG files for various design programs and the universal exchange format IFC. In addition, MEPcontent has support for more than 500 PLS files for Stabicad and there is also more and more information available for Trimble Nova. A solution that you can rely on with up-to-date content, State of the Art hardware and expert advice.

In short, welcome to the world of Trimble.

About the author

Charles M.E. Lekx is business development manager at Trimble MEP.