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Open IFC Tools : Open Source IFC Libraries and software

Open IFC Tools (

This is a set of Open Source (for non-commercial use) libraries written in Java. It should work on Windows, Linux and OSX.

They follow a modular approach, where different packages are being released in order:

  1. Open IFC Java Toolbox
  2. Boolean Modeller
  3. IFC-loader for Java3D
  4. 4D Scheduling Assistant
Currently, only the Toolbox is available, together with a Java Webstart demonstration to launch the software directly from a browser. This automatically installs the necessary extensions for Java3D, OpenGL, GlueGen.

I tried the web-demo but first had to update Java3D on my Mac (as mentioned on

This viewer loaded the ArchiCAD file without problems and displayed it adequately. You get a view on the actual IFC code, a 3D visualization, the hierarchic object tree of the Spatial structure and the particular attributes of selected entities, which is exactly what you need from a viewer.

The yellow color is the highlight color of the wall I selected, on the ground floor ("Gelijkvloers" in Dutch). It displays the wall information, the ID (unique), the Name (as named inside ArchiCAD) and the connectivity with other objects.

This is quite comparable to what is provided by Solibri Viewer, so the implementation is fairly complete.

For an end user, you might be a bit scared away with all the nitty-details from the IFC files and indeed, a literal display of what is inside an IFC file can be pretty daunting, when you are accustomed to a more user-friendly display from e.g. ArchiCAD or Revit.


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