Doing one thing very good projects

As the loyal readers of this blog know, we joined the ‘open source BIM collective’ a while ago. There are many practical reasons why this decision was easy: we share a support forum, hosting and bandwidth and we face the same legal issues regarding licensing questions from users. But the main reason why we actually joined is because of the mission and vision of the collective.

At we have a strong focus on being a stable platform for others to build upon. We aren’t building feature after feature and market it as a product that can do ‘everything’. Our mission is to provide a solid foundation so developers can build fast and reliable niche applications. So we want to focus on our core features, but still be interesting for developers and users. We had many discussions about removing the GUI and if we should incorporate a render engine or not. Luckily we  found other people that find pleasure in building a GUI and are much, much smarter than us when it comes to an IFC render engine. These people faced the same problem of feeling the force to widen the scope of their tools, but really wanting to focus on the core problem.

Thanks to our collaboration with the projects in the open source BIM collective, we are now integrating and interacting with these other projects. Thanks to IfcOpenShell, BIMserver now has the highest IFC rendering quality in the industry. Thanks to BIMserver, IfcOpenShell broadens the user perspective. Similar synergies are being created with, BCF server and Forum and (very early and experimental) OpenIFD. The COBie plugins and other less famous BIMserver plugins are also part of the collective to give the industry a single point of contact and support.

We are very proud to be part of a team of dedicated and highly intelligent people that have the same passion as we do: Helping the AEC industry forward. Feel free to explore the website, or the github organisation page with most of the repositories.

New version of BIM Surfer and integration in BIMserver platform

The BIM Surfer project is, just like, part of the open source BIM collective. It is developing an open source WebGL viewer for BIM models based on open standards (for now only IFC). The project was an initiative from our team, but created by Rehno Lindeque. Due to several reasons there was not a lot of progress at BIM Surfer, until some guys from Vienna picked it up. During the Google Summer of Code students worked on improving BIM Surfer with cool new features. The most visual ones are the two sliders. You can see all about it in de youtube movie below. There are also numerous other improvements. Read all about it on github.
The team, in close collaboration with MOST and TUWien, is working hard on the integration of this new viewer with BIMserver. We are using the new JSON interface to interact with BIM Surfer and load the objecttypes one by one to speed up the loading time. More info will be available in our new beta release which is coming up in a couple of weeks.

UPDATE November 13: Integration with BIMserver platform.

The team has intensified the communication between the open source BIM Surfer viewer and the platform. The ‘get model from server’ now works, and there is much more user feedback with progress bars and partial loading of models. Have a look at the video above.