Posts

Third release candidate for 1.1.0

bimserver logo Today we are proud to release the 3rd 1.1.0 release candidate for BIMserver.org. Some new bugs, found by the community, are fixed. This release also has the ‘clash detection’ feature working again (although it will be obsolete after 1.1.0 final). This version has a major update for the ObjectIDM configurations and is tested intensely in a multiuser environment. Please read the full 1.1.0 release notes in our previous blogpost.

Download the 1.1.0-RC3 on download.bimserver.org or on our development site dev.bimserver.org.

Augmented Reality (AR): BIM on the construction site

Numerous initiatives regarding Augmented Reality (AR) on the construction site can be found online. Perhaps the most famous one is the D4AR from M Golparvar-Fard. VTT is also very active on AR in the construction industry. Most projects using AR technology on a building site, focus on the technology of markers and image recognition. However, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, in 2008 (!!) created a prototype using very accurate, markerless localization of the user. This creates new possibilities to enable different kind of uses cases on which we will not elaborate in this blogpost (read the paper to get details about this). The reason why this post is on our blog is because there is a link between the AR prototype and the BIMserver software.

Since a few months the AR prototype (which uses a localizer with an accuracy of 0,2mm in 3D) is able to receive streaming data from a remote BIMserver. A link is created between the receiving AR unit on the construction site, and a sending BIMserver in a datacenter. The means that changes from the engineering team can be evaluated live and in real time on the construction site. This gives the  contractor the security that he always gets the latest version of the data.

There are also future plans to create a two-directional link between the AR unit and a BIMserver. This will give the contractor (or any other user on a construction site) the ability to propose alternative solutions, but also feed the administration (procurement system) and use Systems Engineering on site.

The project team developing the AR unit is looking for investors to create a market ready product of the AR technology. For more information, contact rogier.donkervoort@tno.nl.

An impression of the 2008 (!) prototype of the AR unit. The unit is able to recieve streaming data from a BIMserver:

The official page of the project: www.tno.nl

Call for projects that use BIMserver

(c) ZEEP architects

For those of you who wonder when the next release will be available: this post is not about that. This blogpost is a call for projects that use BIMserver. Lots of projects use BIMserver in some way. Sometimes as a transformation tool, sometimes as backup/revision tools, but more and more in its full potential as a tool for dynamic collaboration. In an industry where open source is scary most of these projects don’t go public on their use. And of course our organization is not a software vendor with account managers. That is why we post this call for projects. We intent to create a ‘project’ page on our website with appealing projects. If you have a project that uses BIMserver software in any way (even if it is just to give your clients the Google Earth link), and you want the world to know it, please contact us on projects@bimserver.org. After all, with 5000 visitor per month it is also free advertising for your company.

Slowing down to normal cruising speed

The development team was speeding up real nice the last couple of weeks. The core of the software changed and updated again to new technology. The development team always has strong focus on the core of the software, instead of adding cool features without thinking them through. The last couple of weeks a few core changes were made that improve stability and performance once more. One of the coolest changes is the automatic generation of SOAP objects. From now on the SOAP objects are generated from the EMF core model. This makes future development faster and the bimserver more stable after changes. A nice side effect of this improvement is the easy generation of a log. The next feature in the bimserver will be a log for the administrator so he can see what happened in his server.

After this intens core development and improvement, the team is slowing down to ‘normal cruising speed’. We decided that we are going to skip the 0.9 release because the stability and performance are now at the level we want for a 1.0 stable release. There’s a 64bit option, a second JVM for stability, streaming data exchange, webbased O3D viewer,  et cetera. The current planning for the 1.0 release is somewhere around summer. If you can’t wait that long you might consider funding our team. We have great sponsor packages that focus on adding value for your company as well as for the BIMserver development.

BIMserver software used in Dutch BIMCaseWeek

bimcaseweekThe BIMserver.org software is used this week in the Dutch BIMCaseweek. The week (which only lasts for 4 days) started today. Two teams use the BIMserver software. TNO has provided a cloudserver with 16 Gb internal RAM memory to handle the big models. The teams use the BIMserver software for backup, revision management and of course the merging. One of the users said “I can not find any software that can merge the different models for construction, electrician, HVAC, et cetera… The BIMserver software is the only one that does the job“. The proof that the bimserver software can do the job,  can be found in the picture.

This is a big test for the software and we are very happy that the teams trust and like the software enough to use it in this competition.

Integrated Clash detection

As you guys know, the BIMserver team works very close with the guys from TNO in the Netherlands. A year ago this resulted in a special client side IFC viewer with an ‘open from server’  button. In the 0.8 release we integrated the IFC Engine DLL that makes it possible for the BIMserver to export to CityGML, Collada, Google Earth, and more….

Today we announce a new feature of the BIMserver that is a result of our cooperation with TNO: integrated Clash detection!

The 0.9 release of the BIMserver will have the ability to check your model for clashes. This means you can check a submodel (two walls modelled by the architect clashing) or even the merged complete model (to check if a pipe that’s modelled by the HVAC modeller clashes with a wall that is modelled by the architect).

This feature is seen as a key feature for working with BIM. The open source BIMserver is proud to offer this feature to our users. We will keep you posted on the details and the release date.

Getting ready for the breakfast

The BIMserver.org development-team is working night-shifts to get ready in time for the 2009 BIMserver-breakfast. The sourcecode is rapidly changing every day. The BIMserver software is transforming to a completely new architecture. The merging capabilities will become more in the core of the architecture (in stead of ‘just’ a feature) and the ‘difference finder’ is getting better and better every day. Some of our first users call this new version ‘the best BIMserver ever’. The development team just hopes it will be ready in time for the breakfast….

If you plan to look at the new features at the BIMserver-breakfast, don’t forget to send us an e-mail that you are coming over (so we can make sure there will be enough of the brown stuff).

Guestpost from Artesis

As part of a PhD research, Saskia Gabriël is conducting an anonymous survey to identify what is lacking and what can be improved in the future development and implementation of BIM. You can access the survey at this link.
First of all,  we kindly ask you to take the survey and secondly, I would like to ask you to spread the survey to any other colleagues and team members who would like to help create a better world, using BIM. The survey holds 26 questions and takes maximum 10 minutes of your time. Please enter your email address under the last question if you want to receive the results of this survey. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
Sincerely thanks,
Saskia Gabriël, PhD Candidate in Architecture, Artesis University College of Antwerp, Belgium

BIMserver.org on FOSS4G2009

These days all the open source GIS nerds are attending the FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial information) congress in Sydney Australia. Because the BIM world and the GIS world are starting to overlap each other, BIMserver.org was also present at this conference. We made a contribution by presenting the CityGML extension for BIM and it’s implementation in BIMserver.org. For those of you who missed it you can find the sheets, the extension and some example files on foss4g.BIMserver.org.

Update: find everything on http://archive.opensourcebim.org/BIMserver/foss4g/

 

Linking BIM and GIS

The world of BIM is getting more and more about buildings in a surrounding instead of just one building. The world of GIS is getting more and more about 3D objects and making the breach above the surface. These two worlds are getting closer to each other. The first part where these two worlds meet is CityGML. CityGML is an initiative to store semantic information about cities. The information is about buildings, but also surrounding (roads, etc) and geographic information is stored in the same standard.
The information about buildings in CityGML is very basic. Because at a city-level only the envelope of a building is interesting, there is no possibility to store information about floors, innerwalls, and other information about the inside of a building.
Luckily however CityGML gives developers the possibility to extent the standard with a specific Application Domain Extension (ADE).  BIMserver.org is developing a ADE for BIM information in CityGML. This development isn’t done in a day. We are working on it for quit some time now and it won’t be done overnight. Most important part is the transformation of the geometry. We are using the IFCEngine DLL from TNO to transform the semantic geometry of IFC to explicit geometry of GML.
The first results of this transformation are captured in a screenshot which we don’t want to keep for ourselves.
What you see is an IFC model in the free IFCbrowser (top) and the same model, transformed by the BIMserver software to CityGML in the FZKviewer.
Remember: still a long way to go….
The world of BIM is getting more and more about buildings in a surrounding instead of just one building. The world of GIS is getting more and more about 3D objects and making the breach above the surface. These two worlds are getting closer to each other. The first part where these two worlds meet is CityGML. CityGML is an initiative to store semantic information about cities. The information is about buildings, but also surrounding (roads, etc) and geographic information is stored in the same standard.

The information about buildings in CityGML is very basic. Because at a city-level only the envelope of a building is interesting, there is no possibility to store information about floors, innerwalls, and other information about the inside of a building.

Luckily however CityGML gives developers the possibility to extent the standard with a specific Application Domain Extension (ADE).  BIMserver.org is developing a ADE for BIM information in CityGML. This development isn’t done in a day. We are working on it for quit some time now and it won’t be done overnight. Most important part is the transformation of the geometry. We are using the IFCEngine DLL from TNO to transform the semantic geometry of IFC to explicit geometry of GML.

The first results of this transformation are captured in a screenshot which we don’t want to keep for ourselves.

What you see is an IFC model in the free IFCbrowser (top) and the same model, transformed by the BIMserver software to CityGML in the FZKviewer.

Remember: still a long way to go….!