Welcome to the OSArch Community



  • @InformationWorker feel free to hang out in the OSArch live chat https://osarch.org/chat/ and perhaps we can discuss in more detail.

    There are two separate issues here - one is simply synchronising model coordinates such that two model overlaps. Another is georeferencing, where a model is in the correct place on Earth. Models can align, but not be georeferenced. However, georeferenced models generally always align.

    The strategies are also different for vertical construction (buildings) and horizontal construction (infrastructure / roads / etc). So know which you are dealing with would change things.

  • @Moult said:
    @InformationWorker feel free to hang out in the OSArch live chat https://osarch.org/chat/ and perhaps we can discuss in more detail.

    There are two separate issues here - one is simply synchronising model coordinates such that two model overlaps. Another is georeferencing, where a model is in the correct place on Earth. Models can align, but not be georeferenced. However, georeferenced models generally always align.

    The strategies are also different for vertical construction (buildings) and horizontal construction (infrastructure / roads / etc). So know which you are dealing with would change things.

    I hear you.
    In this case we are talking about a small ( < 200m) linear model.

  • Hi Everybody,
    My name is Loren and I have really been inspired by what is going on here re. AEC innovation.
    Native IFC, BlenderBIMAddon, IfcOpenShell - These are game changers, in my opinion.
    I am very interested in tool development, automation and integrating existing applications to solve problems. Advanced beginner with Python, C#, Javascript/GAS, as well as many hours using Dynamo and FME. Have been struggling to get to the next level in coding, but still enjoy the challenge. Spent 10 years in architecture firms doing project coordination, CAD and BIM, now working at the GSA /PBS going on 11 years helping manage and support a large portfolio of public buildings and leases. So much data!
    I'm working on a few projects that might have good synergy with this community and hope to share soon.
    Looking forward to seeing what comes next!

    vpajicbrunopostleCyrilduncanMassimocarlopavGorgioustheoryshawJesusbillMoultand 2 others.
  • Hi all,
    I'm a Electrical Engineer from Spain (now working in the south of France). I'm here because year after year commercial software is becoming more closed, more expensive and more limited, specially technical software. I wasn't a Open Source fan, but I've realized that in my search for stable, reliable and good cost/benefit rate software I usually land in Open Source solutions... Windows 10/11 and Autodesk (in)evolution also helps a lot.
    Now I'm migrating to Linux and Open Source (changing my entire workflow), tired of closed and expensive "service like" software and proprietary data files (one of the big problems of technical software).

  • Welcome @Hobbes nice to see you here. If you start a thread asking for recommendations for relevant software to your work we can see what we can dredge up. I guess you already know KiCAD if that relevant. Otherwise there's plenty to browse on our software directory https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=AEC_Free_Software_directory

  • Thank you @duncan.
    I check te directory from time to time, it is really a great software directory. If I come back to my other profession in the future (vocational school teacher), it will be a good reference to the students (in Spain, the presence of MS/Autodesk proprietary software in the schools or colleges is overwhelming).

  • Andrey, Russia, an electrical engineer. I have a hobby - cad system development))

  • Hello Andrey, do you have a deeper knowledge of KiCAD ? Is the simulation engine 'portable'? easy to adapt to basic electrical systemsin building contruction? how is the 'intelligence' of all those electronic components managed? simple sql database or graph like?
    Nice to have you here.

  • @lukas
    no, I use eplan and autocad at work, and know them pretty well

  • Hello to you guys, dreamers of a plausible BIM project. Thanks for letting me in!

    I'm an architecture technician (kind of a nurse++ vs Dr. Architect in the province of Quebec) using Revit extensively mostly for quite large residential and commercial projects around Quebec City for over ten years. Wouldn't go back to Autocad, but I soon developped a metaphysical hatred for Revit, its ways and its design, to say the least. I'm abashed at every aspects of it, even though I manage to produce proper documents within expected delays. Can't think of a sofware where workarounds are such a necessity. The Revit promise seems far from what it actually provides.

    I prefer to 2D draft a lot than to 3D over-model, given Revit's limitations, and I haven't much clues about programming.
    So I'll stay in the back of the room, watching the project unfold before my wishful eyes, commenting only when I feel I can add some value.

    Oh! Here's a question: Wouldn't your project be backed up by established corporations, federations or any group of interest in the building field? Imagine the AIA saying "Hey! We want more from BIM, let's finance your project!"
    Just asking.

    Best regards, I'll be watching

    Matthias Coquereau

  • Welcome @Matcoq to the community.

    @Matcoq said:
    I prefer to 2D draft a lot than to 3D over-model, given Revit's limitations, and I haven't much clues about programming.
    So I'll stay in the back of the room, watching the project unfold before my wishful eyes, commenting only when I feel I can add some value.

    You say you prefer to 2D draft over 3D modelling, what do you think is the biggest stumbling blocks to making 3D modelling more attractive? Perhaps the OSArch software directory https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=AEC_Free_Software_directory has some projects addressing some of these issues.

  • Welcome @Matcoq ! It would be great to get more sponsors. IFC.JS has done a great job in selling training series to fund their core development, and OSArch is just getting off the ground financially. You can see more here: https://opencollective.com/osarch

  • Hi everyone!
    My name is David. I'm a certified passive house designer, software engineer of 21 years and CTO of a fintech business. I have done a few years in C++/Qt, more recently in Typescript/React.js, some open source projects like Alembic.io in the film industry (an open source file format for film special effects production connecting proprietary and open-source tools like Maya, Zeno and Blender), commercial projects in finance, and worked a fair bit in medical imaging research, helped develop a colonoscopy simulator using beam theory. I am also an aspiring startup founder of sustainable construction business (read Passive House). I have no prior experience with BIM tools other than as a client. I have touched SketchUp but no in-depth use. I would love to create a web-based SaaS lead-generation tool for property developers to sell more panellised passive house homes.

  • Welcome @wattlewin ! It sounds like you been around quite a bit! There are a few projects that might interest you:

    • OpenSourceEcology, who is designing the Seed Eco-home, which might have some overlap with passive houses :) They use FreeCAD and do a "swarm" build and have a rather left-field business model.
    • IFC.JS, who is building a JS based library for IFC models. IFC is the open data standard for BIM. If you want to continue hacking on web languages. If you want to do a web-based SaaS, there's a good chance IFC.JS will come into use! :)
    • Xeokit is another web library alternative to IFC.JS who can either use IFC.JS to process things client side, but also supports server-side processing for a heavily optimised experience if you want to do large web-based BIM displays which IFC.JS can't scale up to right now. Xeokit's serverside processing is based on IfcOpenShell.
    • IfcOpenShell / BlenderBIM Add-on - an OpenCascade based C++ and Python library for IFC which offers desktop native IFC authoring. If you want to continue hacking on C++, it's a C++ based project with SWIG Python bindings, and there are some potentially easy minor Qt tasks if you'd like to address them, and lots of C++ geometry tasks that need doing if that's up your alley. If you want to do web dev over a weekend, we're hoping for a web developer to build a tiny static site (a design is ready), or if you want to hack on Blender, the BlenderBIM Add-on is perhaps the most advanced IFC authoring platform out there with an infinite todo list.
    • Ladybug Tools, they've developed middleware to connect the various sustainability engines out there (EnergyPlus, Radiance, OpenFOAM, etc). If you want to connect your web platform to some sort of sustainability analysis tool, they're the guys to go to, and are industry leaders when it comes to sustainability.
  • Hi @wattlewin welcome, I saw Passive House, I'm in Aotearoa NZ where our local Green Building council has a Homestar standard that incorporates passive house thermal envelope tools. It would great to hear what tech/automation you use in this area

  • Hi @Nigel. Aside from the tools iPHA/APHA publishes, namely DesignPH and PHPP, I'm looking into either rolling my own tools, working with and contributing back to those @Moult mentioned above, or integrating a mix of commercial products with IFC or Speckle.systems. Integrations would depend on the licensing model of the open-source tools. I am also aiming to work with panelisation factories on automating the design for manufacture journey - I have discussed the idea with at least 5 in Australia and open to more.

  • Hi All,
    I'm not good at saying hello, but let's try. My name is Julian and my background is in architecture, but at the same time I'm heavily influenced by new technologies (bim and revit included). I'm one of those annoying people who are easily learning new software. Because of that, contrary to most people, I love working in revit and I'm good at it (for example look here ).
    So why open-source community?
    1. I prefer to compete with people based on the skills and merit, and not based on what they have.
    2. I love free software - I was organizing free blender classes back at university for free for my fellow students.
    3. I was tired of wasting my time showing people how to jump through hoops to do something easy in revit (like combined parameters which were finally introduced in revit 2021). Because of that in last year I've got myself involved more and more into programming (python, C++, JS). And I keep asking myself if I want to optimse/patch someones else program.
    4. I started playing with IFC.js - and I see plenty of possibilities.

  • @J_W

    Nice, you could try making a IFC snowflake with python and blender. ;-)

  • edited October 15

    New member. Hello !
    First I want to thank you for your great AddOn !

    It is so great to have an IFC Importer into Blender. Arch Viz here.
    For me it works great and there aren't that many 3D Apps that offer IFC Import.
    Blender with BlenderBIM is also just a great IFC Viewer.
    (fast, capable of large files, ...)

    For the last 1-2 years I had great problem installing BlenderBIM.
    Not really installation - but activation. On all my macOS, Windows and Linux
    I am mainly on Apple ARM, M1 Mac Mini 16 GB, Ventura Public Beta.
    I always it is just missing Apple ARM support.
    But finally, when I read the help about how to upgrade and potential problems
    that I have rests of dead /wrong BlenderBIM Folders in my Blender Settings
    directories. After deleting everything BIM and IFC installation AND activation
    now works like a charm on all OSs.

    (Coming from CAD : Microstation, Vectorworks, Bricscad,
    3D : 3DSMax, Modo Cinema4D, ....)
    I am a bit doing hard switching to Blender since 2-3 years already but still follow
    (Pablo and) Blender's Development with excitement.
    A working and fascinating BlenderBIM AddOn is the final motivation to make
    me look deeper into and testing Blender again.

    So here I am to stay ....

  • Welcome @J_W and @zoomer !

    @J_W sounds like you'd be the perfect fit for a poweruser transitioning into a developer! There's a growing number of toys out there in the FOSS AEC space, so super keen to hear where you've found your spot :)

    @zoomer happy to hear it all worked out! Indeed Apple M1 support was a relatively recent addition due to a lack of funding. In fact, we still didn't fundraise enough for the 70$ per month we need for Apple M1 support, so any small monthly amount will really help us get there and still have enough left over to reach other funding targets.

  • edited October 17


    Could be that BlenderBIM did not work on M1 Macs in the past.
    But I was already in the situation where I could no more activate BlenderBIM
    on old Intel Trash Can Mac for at least a year, later even on Windows 11.
    Only on Linux.
    And I only came to that solution to search for and delete old problematic
    BlenderBIM rests in Blender Settings - after the last try on M1 Mac,
    where I extended Blende Settings Window to full screen to be able to
    read the failure notice. Where it something about :
    "expecting M1 Apple environment but only found Apple Intel"
    (On my M1 Mac with a M1 BlenderBIM installer !?)

    Although I often googled or went into BlenderBIM docu, I would
    never had come otherwise to the idea of such a solution by myself.

  • Thanks for warm welcome.

    @Moult said:
    @J_W sounds like you'd be the perfect fit for a poweruser transitioning into a developer! There's a growing number of toys out there in the FOSS AEC space, so super keen to hear where you've found your spot :)

    There are too many things to learn on my list and frankly speaking I don't know where I will end up - It might be a problem in the future but right now I enjoy the ride!
    I'm always happy to get involve in something cool ;)

  • Hi!
    I am Matthias. I focus on generating architectural data sets for machine learning applications. We already published a large dataset recently. Essentially, we could export our floorplans as IFC too (we use IFC OpenShell, the Autodesk online viewer and Solibri to check our data), but at the moment we decided for well-known text (WKT) as you can see.
    ATM we discuss open source and licensing a lot (AGPL vs MIT, CC-BY, ...) hence I am joining now the community to learn more about you folks ;) you can also learn more about my previous research here: https://scholar.google.ch/citations?user=vKAmn_wAAAAJ&hl=en

  • Hello everyone,
    I think I haven't introduced myself besides having been here a short while.
    I'm Lloyd, and I'm an Architect working in South Africa

    For years I attempted with all my might to get my colleagues to move away from Autocad and start using BIM / Revit, etc
    When I saw what Freecad could do (especially after it added hatching) and BlenderBim, I was a convert.
    When I started lurking on this forum I was a candidate in early 2020. I think(?) I have been using BlenderBim since.

    Last year I passed my board exam and in preparation I decided to use Open source tools professionally and I joined the forum.
    Since I am fairly good with Blender I've spent part of this year learning Blenderbim and integrating it into my workflow.

    This month I just submitted my first council submission using drawings made completely with Blender and BlenderBim. (& Inkscape )

    I've also just started a youtube channel with tutorials for the basics in blenderbim, I learn best with video, I know others do too, excuse the SEO motivated naming hahah:

    krandetheoryshawbrunopostlezoomerCoenCyrilGorgiousJesusbillMoultNigeland 2 others.
  • Welcome @standfest ! It's great to see more building datasets out there! The more we publish and share the more we'd expect higher quality BIM data, transparency of the built environment, and can help standardise workflows and systems.

    @Ace it's an absolute pleasure and congratulations and passing the exam! I am thrilled to hear you've made a council submission with open source tools! This is a rare occurrence and something I hope we can change by continuing to develop free software!

    Your channel is amazing, I have learned so much from watching it (the idea to switch to plan representations upon entering a plan view is so obvious in hindsight!) and I've subscribed and can't wait to watch more (and build more every time I see things that impede your workflow!).

  • Hi all, I'm John, I recently stumbled on an article "Why Revit is Shit" by Dion Moult and it spoke to me on a spiritual level! I looked into it further and found this community which I am excited to participate in and contribute to.
    My training is in Robotics and embedded systems but for the last couple years I've been in charge of integrating digital inspections at a construction company. Autodesk and Leica software and subscriptions are the worst and I have been looking for alternatives for myself and my company!

  • Hi, my name is Torbjørn and I work as an educator at the Building Engineering and Construction program at a vocational college in Norway Fagskolen Oslo. My prior work experience is within the field of HVAC, and I have a vocational degree in HVAC engineering.
    I would like to expand my knowledge about the general applications of the IFC-standard (to which I've been mostly ignorant), and specifically the use of opensource tools for IFC-authoring and Energy Modelling. If I could contribute in some small way to the OSArch community too, that would be great. I have rudimentary compentencies in 3D CAD work, that is, I've dabbled a little in Rhino and Revit, but mainly used Sketchup/Layout. I've been an hobbyist programmer for years, using Python. Lately, I have been exploring IfcOpenshell using its Python bindings.

  • Hello, I'm Louis.
    Originally trained as an electrical engineering, but now working as a researcher in BIM for the Belgian Building Research Institute (recently changed names to Buildwise). I've been using BlenderBIM to enrich IFC's. The content on here already helped me a lot so I guess I'd make an introduction as well. My main job is to encourage the use of (open) standards e.g. ISO 19650 and IFC in the industry. My only contribution so far is pointing out issues on github for BlenderBIM so far, but I hope to help in another way soon e.g. writing some documentation.

    Kind regards,

  • Hi everyone,
    I have been working in an engineering office based in Paris as a BIM manager / BIM coordinator for a few years now. We do mostly MEP modeling and we use Revit on a daily basis.
    Alongside with my job, I develop some plug-ins for Revit to make my work and my coworkers work easier. In fact, I publish some of them on the Autodesk AppStore. I really do enjoy programming and automating stuff :)

    Actually, I am writing here because I would like to hear your opinion on something:
    I think that Revit is a terrible software, and could be so much better if Autodesk wanted to. It is out of date, updates for basic improvements take forever, and IFC managing is so bad.
    That’s why I started to want to work on a new, modern BIM modeling software, that would be IFC native.
    So I found out about BlenderBIM and your community, and that is truly amazing. I have no doubt that the future of BIM is here.
    With BlenderBIM, you allow core IFC managing and editing, that is an enormous step forward. However I think we lack a more user friendly interface, and a lot of functionalities, especially for MEP design. I feel quite impatient, and I would love to contribute to build an operational modeling environment for MEP engineers.
    The ideal solution for me would be to build upon BlenderBIM and add whatever is needed to transform it into a MEP modeling software that could eventually replace Revit.
    The thing is, I may be able to get some funding to work on this project with a small team. I want to get involved full time, and not just at night or weekends after my regular work hours.
    Consequently, I don’t see how this project could still be open source because it would imply to pay salaries, and have a return on investment.

    So I have to ask you a question:
    Would it be ok legally to build upon BlenderBIM , which is open-source, for a commercial software, not open-source ?
    And most of all, even if it was legal, would it be unfair to you ? (to those who work open-source on BlenderBIM)
    Or maybe you know some business models that could work for open-source softwares ?

    I would love to hear your opinions on this!

    Have a wonderful day :)

  • Welcome @ceegar !
    We should talk. Let's set a meeting together on this topic (pm or email me).
    It is legally allowed to build a proprietary software using ifcopenshell (see LGPL license) but not on top of Blender or BlenderBIM Addon (see GPL license, all Blender addons must be GPL).
    Blender currently receive near 171k € monthly from donations.
    Yes it is possible to have sustainable economic model and osarch community is working on it.

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