buildingSMART Forums

BCF Tool and Capablity Feedback

Hi All,

I’m wondering if people could provide some feedback perceived limitations of the current #BCF standard. The Technical Room wants to ensure its developing as needed as part of an upcoming project.

Things like;

-Data that is transmitted
-How information is represented
-Unsupported use-cases
-Data Archive Needs
-Testing and Certification



Markup (.bcf) file

What I find a bit strange is the amount of flexibility in the specs. Most “lists” (enumerations) are open to be changed as they are in the extension schema. So they can be different in projects, on platforms. You have to map between e.g. Solibri and BIMcollab as they already use different lists.

BIMsnippet is a bit too simplistic: it is just an additional file with a scheme (like an attachment) and does not really differ fundamentally from DocumentReference. I’d rather not send around BCF files (or messages) back and forth with embedded files. One of the main incentives for BCF is not having to send the actual IFC around.

Comments are only a text field. It would be good to allow some form of “tag” which can be used to qualify and filter comments later on (and allow 0 or more tags per comment).

Visualization information (.bcfv) file

The “hints” for implementation are sometimes a bit vague… e.g.

If the size of the selected components is huge (approximately 1000 components), alert the user and give him the opportunity to modify the visibility.

Beware that in our world, 1000 components are considered to be in a relatively small project! Many projects, especially with multiple submodes, often need 10K or 100K or more objects. This is hard to scale easily with BCF (listing all GUIDs just takes up too much space).

The fact that the visibility specification is quiet complex is illustrated here:

Better specify the use of the camera position. How should it be used when you make use of e.g. geo-location, orientation (true north), … Is this always in the global coordinate system?

PerspectiveCamera (optional)

When developing for an ARCHICAD add-in, only the standard projection types (perspective and isometric axonometry) are supported (scaling always uniform). The other projection types are a bit more exotic, but cannot be expressed properly with BCF. Allowing non-uniform axis scaling would solve most combinations.


Would be nice to also support a line to be an arrow. But there is a danger of this part to become too extensive (like a small vector drawing library…). But the parametric redlining (clouds, arrows, text…) may be interesting to support.


Hello Greg,

there is a project group at the bS regional group in Stuttgart where we work on BCF from the user perspective.
We’ re gathering use-cases, define the required informations and test the workflows with different tools.
This work is in progress.

Right know i don’t know how and where the results will be finally published.
If you are interested you can leave a post and i’ll share this informations as soon as available.

Regards Marcus

1 Like

Hi Greg,

I think after ISO19650 and after the need to change/improve things inside the bSDD(IFD), IFC, IDM (IDM Elements), MVD, etc. BCF needs some changes/improvements too

So, personally I don’t know what would be the bSI’s plan for BCF but I think BCF and its features needs to be aligned with other parts, especially with IDM and “OpenCDE” movements

1 Like

I would add another aspect to all the points that @stefkeB already pointed out.

Switching from the 3D view of the camera to the same spot in the buildingstorey in 2D is going to help. Software vendors say they cannot implement this because the BCF does not allow it, even though i don’t understand it since the camera has x, y and z coordinates.
To extend this function and documentation purposes, a relation of the camera spot with the IfcSpace would help

1 Like

Marcus please do post. That would be very useful to the ccommunity.

Hi Greg,

I’ve organized an userday for BCF just two weeks ago with buildingSMART chapter Benelux. We’ve been testing 15 different tools for interoperability with BCF. Now we want to create a schedule with the different software and capabilities.

I can send you the results if you are interested.

Kind regards,
Mathijs Natrop


Please send those across.