BlenderBIM Add-on v0.0.210131 has been released with 110 (yes!) new features and fixes. It’s our built environment, help support the BlenderBIM Add-on: 100% free and open source software that lets you author and document BIM data fully to ISO standards. It’s built by the AEC community, for the AEC community. Get it today: https://blenderbim.org/
Image credits go to the Opening Design CTR team - available under CC BY-SA 4.0.
ZERO IFC data loss during import / export
The biggest impact to users include ZERO IFC data loss during imports and exports. If you’ve ever been concerned about losing data whenever you export from another “native” format or import into a “native” format with quirks and workarounds, worry no more. The BlenderBIM Add-on now uses IFC as a 100% native format. With the BlenderBIM Add-on you can edit IFCs and truly trust the quality and reliability of IFC data as a native format!
Twice as fast import times
Users will also experience much faster imports, where imports on average will be twice as fast. On some files which were affected by a presentation layer regression in the last release, they can be even 4 times faster to import. Also expect lighter Blender memory usage.
Blazing-fast export times
Users now no longer need to wait for exporting IFCs. Exporting IFCs is usually seen as a painful experience, but no more! The new version has blazing fast exports - for example a 350MB IFC can be exported in only 20 seconds!
Improved UI that adapts to your IFC version
When editing IFCs, you no longer need to be a guru who knows what’s in the IFC spec when entering in data now. The BlenderBIM Add-on interface will adapt to the particular IFC version you are editing, and provide options like number sliders and dropdowns to make sure you fill out your BIM data correctly.
Partial IFC editing
Users no longer need to edit the whole IFC if you don’t need to. The BlenderBIM Add-on now allows users to edit only portions of the IFC without affecting the rest of the IFC. You don’t even need to import the entire IFC file if you don’t want to. The BlenderBIM Add-on is one of the few IFC authoring tools that keeps track of ownership histories, so you can tell who edited what and when.
Whole new BCF-XML system
This new version also comes with a completely rewritten BCF-XML system, with full support for editing all aspects of BCF topics, comments, viewpoints, and more. IfcClash results also now export to BCF, so you can do clash detection and view results in other apps, or inspect issues in Blender.
The beginnings of a whole new system of 3D annotations
Although we didn’t get around to the full TO-DO list of improvements we have in mind for 2D drawing generation, you’ll discover a whole new set of 3D annotations which are in preparation for the new drawing system we’ll be working on in future releases.
Laying the foundation for future updates
With 100% native IFC authoring, partial IFC editing, and full ownership and editing tracking, we’re laying the foundation for a very exciting year ahead of Open Source and Free Software for the entire industry. Expect improvements in drawing generation, IFC-native parametric geometry editing, and even multi-user, cross-application simultaneous IFC authoring and collaboration. The future is bright. Join us and change the industry today at https://osarch.org!
A huge thank you to the rising number of community contributors who are helping code, test, translate, finance and make all of this possible for the entire industry.
- New “clean wireframes” feature lets you easily apply edge split modifiers to elements to create technical drawings
- New “link IFC” feature lets you easily append IFCs from another blend file to create a master file, good for large scale projects
- BIMTester can now generate a report immediately after running a test in the same command (thanks rbertucat!)
- HTML reports from BIMTester now specify an encoding for fancy characters (thanks rbertucat!)
- BIMTester can now load in a custom IFC schema (thanks rbertucat!)
- BIMTester now has a set of steps for testing aggregations (thanks rbertucat!)
- Dimensions in drawings now show arrowheads and dimension text (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- Improved naming for smart clash groups (thanks vinnividivicci!)
- New feature to save a BCF project
- You can now view and edit the BCF project name
- You can now set the BCF author
- You can now create new BCF projects
- You can now add new BCF topics to a BCF project
- New BIMTester translations into German and French (thanks berndhahnebach!)
- New BCF library available for developers to supersede the older BCFPlugin library
- New BCF library now has full BCFXML write and editing capabilities
- Equal dimensions in drawings now show “EQ” annotations
- New “Path” argument for BIMTester (thanks rbertucat!)
- BIMTester HTML reports now shows skipped tests (thanks rbertucat!)
- BCF comments are now shown in the UI as a subpanel instead of in the text editor which was pretty poor
- Improved BCF UI
- Optimised import now only considers surface styles, not all random styles
- Import optimised for files which have loads of aggregations
- New feature to snap spaces separated by wall gaps together to help create building energy models
- New annotation decorations in 3D for leader lines (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- New annotation decorations in 3D for stair arrows (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- New annotation decorations in 3D for hidden lines (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- BCF comments is now no longer read-only, you can now add/edit/delete comments
- You can now add/delete BCF viewpoints
- You can now add/delete BCF header files
- BCF FoV ranges outside 45-60 degrees are now supported
- 3D annotation decorations now support imperial units
- New button to add, as well as annotation decorations in 3D for break lines (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- New feature to copy the 3D grid to to active 2D drawing (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- Misc annotation are now decorated in 3D (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- You can now add/delete BCF reference links
- You can now add/edit/delete BCF topic labels
- You can now add/delete BIM Snippets in BCF
- You can now customise the CSV delimiter in IfcCSV (thanks htlcnn!)
- You can now add/delete BCF document references
- You can now add/remove related BCF topics
- New button to quickly open the drawing camera in the sidebar for usability (thanks htlcnn!)
- IfcClash can now export to BCFXML, which is super awesome! You can now use the results in other collaboration apps and cloud platforms!
- Grids are now decorated with grid labels in 3D (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- IfcClash can now generate image snapshots of clashes and store them in BCFXML
- IFC exporting is now super optimised, by writing directly from IFC itself in memory. As a user, this basically means that exporting to IFC is super fast - as fast as saving a native file.
- Importing now stores STEP ID links for key rooted elements as well as key semantic elements, like elements, materials, and styles
- IfcOpenShell pset utility module now handles all the possible syntaxes for ApplicableEntity, so you can determine exactly what psets are avalable for each element (thanks CyrilWaechter!)
- 3D annotation decorations now support anti-aliasing
- All IFC editing completely rewritten and refactored to use partial editing. As a user, this means zero IFC data loss during imports and exports for all geometric information as well as all non-geometric information.
- IFC import heavily optimised due to new partial editing paradigm. Expect IFC files to import twice as fast as they did before (or four times as fast if you were affected by the presentation layer regression bug in the last release).
- Entire UI completely redesigned to a more consistent UX, which is easier on the eyes with less nested boxes, and shows more IFC information
- New IfcOpenShell placement utility module for calculating relative coordinates
- Representations can now be added to any context. This includes invalid ones or contexts (i.e. not subcontexts) themselves, or those with missing target views
- Switching representations will now change all linked data objects too, not just the active object
- Optimisations and caching improvements to IfcOpenShell pset utility module (thanks CyrilWaechter!)
- When viewing IFC attributes, now the UI will distinguish between NULL/None and simply empty attributes - this means as a user you know whether or not the data is truly empty or if the BIM author simply hasn’t gotten to it yet
- All IFC attributes intelligently now have a new UI depending on the data type. This means number sliders, true/false checkboxes, and dropdown lists to make it easier for users to get BIM data right.
- All enumeration options are now shown when editing attributes, so you can pick from the list instead of checking the spec.
- All attributes are detected from the relevant IFC schema version, so you can’t accidentally put IFC4 data in an IFC2X3 file or vice versa
- You can now create fresh IFC projects prior to exporting to a file
- BIMTester can now output Zoom SmartView to visually zoom to failed tests (thanks berndhahnebach!)
- Grids are now auto resized to the drawing boundaries upon adding (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- IFC class dropdowns are now generated specific to the IFC schema version
- Psets now respect shared STEP IDs, so the one-to-many mapping is preserved
- Like attributes, psets and qtos now are sensitive to schema, data type, and distinguish between null vs empty
- Aggregations no longer use collection instances, which was a bit silly and confused a lot of users
- IfcPerson data is now imported. Previously it wasn’t.
- IfcOrganisation data is now imported. Previously it wasn’t.
- You can now edit the IFC organisation Identification attribute, which was previously missing from the UI
- New feature in IfcCOBie to let you process the currently loaded IFC file (thanks ihabelaghoury!)
- New annotation decorations in 3D for sections (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- Drawings can now detect other drawings and generate section references (thanks qwiglydee/BIMVoice!)
- BIMTester now has a dedicated standalone GUI (thanks berndhahnebach!)
- BIMTester has improved CLI arguments (thanks berndhahnebach!)
- New feature in IfcCSV to let you process the currently loaded IFC file (thanks ihabelaghoury!)
- IfcPatch is now packaged so you can install it separately as a Python module (thanks CyrilWaechter!)
- Full support for editing IfcMaterialList added!
- The reusability of material set relationships are now round-tripped
- Like attributes, materials now are sensitive to schema, data type, and distinguish between null vs empty
- User is banned from creating IFC2X3 material psets because they are annoying
- Accomodate custom pset templates for materials
- BIMTester BIM auditing tools have started to be translated to Italian and Dutch (thanks berndhahnebach!)
- IfcOpenShell geolocation utility can now apply geolocation transformations to matrixes, not just vectors
- “Fake geolocation” from offending IFC files which are handled as Blender offsets are now stored with a dedicated UI so the user knows if the geolocation is correct
- New Project UI to show basic project metadata about the currently active IFC project
- IfcPatch extract elements recipe now supports bringing across openings as well, not just the elements you’re interested in (thanks FreakTheMighty!)
- You can now load new classification libraries on the fly
- You can now mix classification libraries with project references
- Remove setting to merge or import aggregates as the new aggregate import improvements make it obsolete
- IfcCSV now supports exporting information about the related containing spatial structure element, useful for creating schedules related to floors, buildings, or spaces
- New IfcOpenShell date utility module, because dates shouldn’t be something we need to think about
- Groups are no longer shown in the tree where they typically clutter things and don’t add value
- Openings are always imported now using Blender booleans
- Qto utils now use the bmesh volume calculation method, which after the upstream Blender bug was fixed, leads to more accurate volumes for quantity take-off
- New “remove deep” function in the IfcOpenShell element utility module for purging IFC data selectively (thanks aothms!)
- The huge MVD panel completely removed and reorganised into import, export, and geometry editing UI locations for improved usability
- New pie menu (press shift-E in the 3D viewport!) for quickly reaching common geometric editing functions
- Nicer presentation layers UI, more what you’d expect out of traditional CAD layers.
- Owner histories are now supported for adding new products, with proper history timestamp
- Export time is now output to console for convenience
- Writing 2D or 3D IFC curves from a Blender mesh is now possible in IFC2X3
- Editing attributes now supports updating ownership histories, with proper history timestamp
- Updating aggregates now supports updating ownership histories, with proper history timestamp
- Fix bug where selecting the IFC file for drawing generation didn’t work
- Fix bug where aggregates where accidentally hidden when generating drawings
- Fix crash when creating drawings on Windows with Blender versions >=2.91
- Fix issue in selector utility when filtering with boolean values (thanks c4rlosdias!)
- Fix bug where IfcSverchok’s IfcGetAttribute node would not work (thanks htlcnn!)
- A huge ton of IfcOpenShell improvements which I cannot fully summarise like geometry generation stability fixes, as well as crash fixes when removing elements as well as manipulating inverse relationships (thanks aothms!)
- Improved snapshot filename checking in the new bcf library (thanks htlcnn!)