Online / 6 & 7 February 2021


The growth of free software in Building Information Modeling for architects, engineers, and construction

A summary of free software developments related to OpenBIM, OSArch, IfcOpenShell, the BlenderBIM Add-on, FreeCAD, and more

The architecture, engineering, and construction industry is a vast, diverse, but highly proprietary field. The primary means of data exchange between architects, structural, MEPF engineers, cost planners, surveyors, program schedulers, asset/facility management and more revolve around a concept known as Building Information Modeling (BIM) in addition to CAD. Many of these tools do not exist as free software, or are drastically better, or are dominated by a monopoly vendor market with lock-in business practices.

Free software implementations of BIM have seen rapid growth in the past year, with new utilities available for OpenBIM building models, quality auditing, diffing, clash detection, issue management, facility management, environmental simulation, and more. This is supported by a newly formed community known as OSArch. Dion Moult, a main developer of the BlenderBIM Add-on, IfcOpenShell contributor, and one of the OSArch founders, will present a summary of these events, demonstrate how free software communities have collaborated and shared resources, and where this leads in the future. The BlenderBIM Add-on was recently awarded the buildingSMART 2020 Awards in Technology, the international standards body for BIM.


Photo of Dion Moult Dion Moult