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ODA releases Open IFC Viewer for Mac and Windows

OpenIfcViewer is to provide professional-grade visualization to facilitate the development and adoption of new IFC versions.

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Scottsdale, AZ., June 2020–Open Design Alliance (ODA), the leading provider of CAD and BIM interoperability solutions, announced today the release of OpenIfcViewer, a free viewer for the open standard IFC format, developed and maintained by buildingSMART International (bSI).

OpenIfcViewer

OpenIfcViewer supports all major IFC versions from 2×3 through the 4×2 Bridge candidate. It is a full-featured solution with 3D navigation controls, render modes, predefined views, fast selection, and IFC property inspection. The full IFC hierarchy tree is available. The viewer also includes sophisticated features such as scene markup, cutting planes, and clash detection.

01 – OpenIfcViewer visualizing an IFC model with cutting planes. All rights reserved.

“We developed OpenIfcViewer with two goals in mind,” said Neil Peterson, ODA President. “First, we want to provide a professional-grade visualization solution for today’s IFC users, who are mostly using IFC 2×3 and 4×0. Second, we would like to facilitate the development and adoption of new IFC versions, the IFCs of tomorrow. We already support the 4×2 IFC Bridge candidate released in 2019, and we’re currently working in cooperation with bSI to support the new IFC 4×3 infrastructure candidate, which includes Rail, Road, and other IFC extensions. IFC 4×3 is being developed by bSI in cooperation with a large group of stakeholders, including bSI members, software vendors, government agencies, and various infrastructure domain experts. These stakeholders need tools to create, visualize, and work with IFC 4×3 for testing and validation of the new standard. To support these efforts, ODA has committed to adding IFC 4×3 support to OpenIfcViewer by September of this year.”

Availability and Pricing

OpenIfcViewer is available at no cost for personal and professional use at
https://openifcviewer.com/.

About Open Design Alliance

ODA builds SDKs for people who work with complex engineering data. We offer platform-agnostic solutions for proprietary and open engineering formats, including data access, visualization, cloud development, publishing, and more. Learn more at opendesign.com.

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

Nearly 10 months ago, senior associate editor, Pete Evans was in Milan for the ODA’s DevCon ’19 conference where the Open Design Alliance announced plans for new software development kits that would transform the AEC industry. How? By democratizing key standards that facilitate open access to data. 

If the announcement that a software company that makes no products for “end-users” has suddenly announced a product for the whole of the AECO industry—and certainly this new IFC viewer is useful for stakeholder users across the AECO industry—don’t be. The ODA has four offices globally and 90 internal employees. As such, it has become one of the largest groups of software programmers in the CAD/BIM industries. The ODA has taken the IFC format bull by the horns, setting out to deliver a consistent standardized implementation of IFC that the industry can all depend on, working eventually towards an ISO standard. While this new IFC viewer is exciting, ODA said back in Milan that its Open Cloud initiative—a common data access environment—is a framework for a single-source, cloud-based project delivery tool, combining all multiple technologies supported by ODA and extending those into the cloud. 

MORE: ODA DevCon ’19—Coming Full Circle in the AEC Industry

The short of it is this: the ODA with over 1200 members is a powerful technology group with industry-wide support for solving interoperability problems that plague both AEC and manufacturing industries. The types of open, cloud-based solutions that bring synergistic benefits and force multipliers to CAD industry workflows depend highly on democratized access to data and workflows.  

[This analysis section was authored by Anthony Frausto-Robledo, AIA, LEED AP.]

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