AEC Magazine features OpenBIM & BlenderBIM add-on

AEC Magazine features OpenBIM & BlenderBIM add-on

In the May/June issues of a leading UK AEC publication, AEC Magazine there was a 16 page special section starting on page 67 all about IFC (sponsored by buildingSMART UK & Ireland). The whole section is all about something we value here at OSArch: OpenBIM, Open Standards & even a mention for the Open Source / Free Software Community. So why is OpenBIM & Open Standards important?

Using a standard data model approach means that the data we create is not locked into proprietary software, or indeed locked into one company’s systems. It can instead be exploited by other technologies for greater insight into built environment assets, helping to achieve better outcomes

buildingSMART UK & Ireland

Naturally enough a lot of the articles in AEC Magazine are about Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) which is the backbone of most OpenBIM implementations. If you’re not very familiar with the ISO standard IFC data format then it’s a great read to get an overview of what all the fuss is about.

A rather new concept around the IFC standard is Native IFC – simply put this is using IFC as a native authoring format, currently implemented in the BlenderBIM Add-on.

A founder of OSArch, Dion Moult, was invited to write an article ‘Native OpenBIM, and the rise of open source in AEC’

Bringing together OpenBIM standards and open source software, we can start to put data first and expose the full functionality of the IFC schema. Open-source software like IfcOpenShell, xBIM and IFC.js are platforms for the development of native IFC tools. These open data platforms have helped start-ups develop new products for our industry.

Dion Moult

Another of our friends, Tim Davies writes about the use of the IFC format for coordinating the massive Hinkley Point nuclear power station in England. He writes:

Our engineers love to use IFC because of the freedom it gives them. They can choose the best

tool for the job from a large ecosystem of tools, regardless of vendor. This has caused a weird

irony to emerge whereby we have the ability to use many more tools than most but, because

IFC is the only model data structure we need to support, we get away with using fewer tools.

So, if you haven’t read this special section of AEC Magazine yet, go and take a look.

Duncan Lithgow

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