|Welcome to the home of The xBIM Toolkit. We have a new Version 3.0 and by popular demand it has moved to GitHub and is also easily available as a set of Nuget packages. We also are publishing for the first time an online help file that documents the xBIM API.|
Written with "open-standards" in mind, xBIM (eXtensible Building Information Modelling) is a free, open-source, software development toolkit that allows developers to create bespoke BIM middle ware for IFC-based applications. IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is an open, neutral data format developed by BuildingSmart (an alliance of organisations within the construction and facilities management industries dedicated to improving processes within the industry through defining the use and sharing of information).
xBIM provides a rich API to the IFC data standard. It allows developers to read, write, and update an IFC file in a few lines of codes. xBIM is a .NET toolkit, so developers can build everything from simple command-line applications, to extensions for Windows applications and Web services. An example of this would be: an “Add-In” for commercial BIM tools such as Autodesk Revit.
xBIM has a full geometry engine that turns IFC geometry data objects, such as an IfcSweptAreaSolid into fully functional Boundary Representation (Brep) geometry models. These models support all boolean operations, cut, intersection, union, slice as well as calculation behaviours such as volume, area, length. The geometry engine also provides optimised 3D triangulation and meshing for visualization as well as whole model optimisations such as duplicate identification and conversion to maps.
Release 3.0 also includes a new WebGL based browser, we have learnt many lesson from implementing our previous versions of WebGL and OpenGL and this one is faster, more accurate and tuned to overcome the problems of transmitting large models over the internet. Thanks to Martin Černý for his great efforts here.
We are currently working as part of a team to deliver a digital platform for the UK construction industry, you can find more details from the NBS website. Much of the work will be distributed through Open Source, so keep watching. The next releases will include enhanced support for COBieLite and model validation.
xBIM is the result of Northumbria University’s and the BIM Academy’s on-going commitment to OpenBIM initiatives. It was instigated by Professor Steve Lockley and is supported by a team of BIM software specialists.
We would like to thank the UK Technology Strategy Board for supporting us in getting this initiative to this level and to encourage anyone who is interested to participate in the xBIM project - to join in, learn about xBIM, share it, contribute to the codes, or write programs (middle-ware) that uses the xBIM toolkit.