MicroStation is the platform architectural and engineering software package developed by Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Among a number of things, it generates 2D/3D vector graphic objects and elements.
Its native format is the DGN (DesiGN file) format, though it can also read and write a variety of standard CAD formats including AutoCAD's DWG and DXF as well as producing media output in such forms as rendered images (JPEG and BMP), animations (AVI), 3D web pages in Virtual Reality Modeling Language, and Adobe PDF.
At its inception, MicroStation was used in the engineering and architecture fields primarily for creating construction drawings; however, it has evolved through its various versions to include advanced modeling and rendering features, including boolean solids, raytracing, and keyframe animation. It can provide specialized environments for architecture, civil engineering, mapping, or plant design, among others.
Various MicroStation extensions enhance the usefulness of the 3D model beyond mere drawing generation and 3D presentation. They can provide accurate materials lists for every item included in the design, a sequenced schedule for construction, check for interferences between objects, publish all drawings automatically on a public website, or provide a client/owner a detailed model of their entire plant including its virtual operation for training and testing.
MicroStation was originally developed by Bentley Systems in the 1980s. In 2000, Bentley made revisions to the DGN file format in V8 that made it a superset of Autodesk's DWG format (including various things that DWG can not support, like Digital Rights and Design History - a revision control ability that allows to reinstate previous revisions either globally or by selection).
MicroStation users are currently beta testing MicroStation V8 XM, the latest iteration that builds upon the changes made by V8.
Article credits: Content on this page came from various articles on en.wikipedia.org.
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