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Reflex (building design software)

Reflex was a 3D building design software application developed in the mid 1980s and - along with it predecessor Sonata - is now regarded as a forerunner to today's building information modelling applications.

The application was developed by two former GMW Computers employees who had been involved with Sonata. After Sonata had "disappeared in a mysterious, corporate black hole, somewhere in eastern Canada in 1992," Jonathan Ingram and colleague Gerard Gartside then went on to develop Reflex, bought for $30 million by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) in July 1996.

PTC had identified the architecture, engineering and construction market as a target for its parametric modelling solutions, and bought Reflex to expand into the sector. However, the fit between Reflex and PTC's existing solutions was poor, and PTC's Pro/Reflex gained little market traction; PTC then sold the product to another US company, Beck Construction, in 1997, where it formed the kernel of a parametric estimating package called DESTINI.

Around the same time, several people from PTC who had worked on the Pro/Reflex product set up a new company, Charles River Software (renamed Revit Technology Corporation in 2000, later (2002) bought by Autodesk).Leonid Raiz and Irwin Jungreis obtained from PTC a non-exclusive, source code development license for Reflex as part of their severance package. In the words of Jerry Laiserin: "While Autodesk Revit may not contain genomic snippets of Reflex code, Revit clearly is spiritual heir to a lineage of BIM 'begats' — RUCAPS begat Sonata, Sonata begat Reflex, and Reflex begat Revit."

Crotty, Ray (2012). The Impact of Building Information Modelling: Transforming Construction. London: SPON/Routledge. ISBN . 



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