IFC Builder

Update history

The mode of communication between Open BIM applications and the BIMserver.center collaborative work platform has changed. In previous versions, the applications used the "BIMserver.center Sync" tool to upload and download the files of the contributions associated with the project from the platform. This tool was downloaded from the BIMserver.center platform or installed together with the installation of the platform applications if users so desired.

From version 2024.a onwards, applications are now able to work directly with BIMserver.center without an intermediary. That is, without the need for the "BIMserver.center Sync" tool.

This modification will improve the performance and efficiency of Open BIM applications significantly. By removing this dependency, the applications have more autonomy and the waiting times for communication between BIMserver.center Sync and the program have been considerably reduced. The process of downloading contributions has also been optimised, as users no longer need to obtain the entire content of a project from BIMserver.center in order to work, but only the contributions to be read.

The way of authenticating a BIMserver.center user in the applications has also been modified. Now, this process is carried out within the BIMserver.center web platform. To do this, the application with which the user is working will run the user's default browser when the "Login" button is pressed. When the credentials are entered, or after opening the browser if the user is already connected to the platform, an authorisation page will be displayed. This page details the resources the application is requesting access to and two buttons for granting or denying this access.

The authorisation must be carried out for each application. Once access has been granted, it is saved for the next time the program is run and there is no need to perform this process again for that application.

As well as performance improvements, changes have been made to the user interface of the Open BIM applications regarding the connection to BIMserver.center.

  • The "Connect to BIMserver.center" window now includes a "Configuration" button. Clicking it launches a menu from which you can edit the "File directory stored in local cache". This is the path where the files that make up the contributions will be downloaded when working with them from the applications. In previous versions, this location could be selected from the BIMserver.center Sync tool.
  • The appearance of the "Project selection" window has been modified.
  • In the "Select project" list, the "View only my projects" option has been added to show only the projects where the connected BIMserver.center user is the owner. Icons have also been included for the "Type of project" column in order to make it easier to identify them. The detailed data of a project now shows the image of each contribution, the description and the tags.
  • The "Review new contributions" and "Review updated contributions" options have been added to the "Create new project" window.
  • The list for selecting contributions ("Import BIM models") now includes the images of the contributions and the tags. The name of the contribution will be displayed in blue to indicate that the owner is the logged-in user.
  • When sharing a contribution or selecting contributions during the process of linking to a BIMserver.center project, a progress window will appear during the upload or download process.

To work in BIMserver.center with versions of Open BIM applications prior to 2024.a, users must continue to use the BIMserver.center Sync tool. This is still available for download from the platform and was included in the installation packages of the CYPE Open BIM applications prior to 2024.a.

Since version 2022.a, the applications integrated within the Open BIM workflow via the BIMserver.center platform include a tool for managing project reference systems. This option is available from the configuration window that appears when linking or updating a BIMserver.center project via the "Geographic location and reference system" option. As of version 2023.d, the applications now allow users to run a graphical environment where they can visually define a reference system for their model. To do this, the "Geographic location and reference system" window now contains the "Visual editing of the local reference system of the model" option.

From the "Visual editing of the local reference system of the model" window, the origin and orientation of the reference system of the model can be indicated in the workspace with the "Define the reference system of the partial model" tool. Both the axes of the reference system of the model, which we have just entered and the axes of the reference system of the site can be viewed in the workspace. The latter appears with a "Site" tag.

To make it easier to define the reference system, the 3D models corresponding to the BIMserver.center project contributions selected during the linking process are displayed. The management of the visibility and object snaps of these models is carried out from the "Elements read" menu in the left sidebar of the window. The "Views" menu can also be found in the same options bar, from which different types of 2D and 3D views of the model can be generated. These tools can already be found in several CYPE applications. For more information on how they work, please refer to the User’s Manual for the 3D work environment tools available in CYPE applications.

Apart from 3D models, 2D drawings or plans can also be imported from CAD files (".dxf", ".dwg", ".dwf") or images (".jpeg", ".jpg", ".bmp", ".png", ".wmf", ".emf", ".pcx"). These files and object snaps are managed through the "DXF-DWG Template" and "Template object snaps" options accordingly.

Once the editing is complete, the coordinates and orientation of the reference system of the model with respect to the reference system of the site are moved to the corresponding fields in the "Geographic location and reference system" window.

The "Font size" option has been added to the general configuration menu of the applications. This tool allows users to increase or decrease the basic size of the font used in the user interface of the programs. Thanks to this implementation, the accessibility of the applications has been improved while also ensuring the correct visibility of the content on devices with different screen resolutions.

To enter a "Basic size" the "Set custom font size" option must be checked. The size users can enter is the application's basic font size. Any other font sizes that may exist in the program's interface will be automatically modified proportionally according to the change in the basic size.

It is important to note that, as this is a common parameter, its modification will affect all installed CYPE tools.

As of version 2023.a, IFC Builder exports job spaces to the 3D visualisation file in glTF format. Thanks to this improvement, spaces are now displayed in the 3D view of applications that read contributions generated with IFC Builder, as well as in the web viewer of the BIMserver.center platform.

The geometry of the spaces is contained in a separate glTF file from the one containing the construction elements.

As of version 2022.f, IFC Builder includes the following base quantities for its corresponding IFC entities in the IFC file that it exports to the BIMserver.center project:

  • Screed and Internal floor slab (“Qto_SlabBaseQuantities”)
    • Width
    • Perimeter
    • Gross Volume
    • Net Volume

These new quantities can be used in the Open BIM Quantities application for creating the bill of quantities of the architectural model.

Version 2021.g of CYPE’s programs is a closing version of the 2021 version.

As well as the new features and improvements expressly indicated in each version of CYPE software, process optimisation involving internal updates for all our programs is normally included. In each revision, all programs are systematically checked and changes are made to improve their performance, therefore, we recommend that our users (in this case those of v.2021) always update their version to the latest one, regardless of the country for which they are using CYPE software or the language in which it is installed.

A new tool has been added in IFC Builder (Architecture > Spaces > Search) and in CYPECAD MEP (Spaces > Search) that allows users to search for architectural spaces and mark them in the drawing area. When the tool is activated, a panel is displayed where users can write a reference. The application will highlight the names of the spaces that contain the substring entered totally or partially, depending on whether the "Only whole word" option is activated. In this way, it is easier for users to identify spaces in projects of large dimensions with a large number of spaces per floor.

A tool has been added with which users can modify the coordinate system of the application. This tool is being implemented in several applications. In the 2021.a version, the tool is available in the following applications:

  • IFC Builder
  • CYPEHVAC Hydronics
  • CYPEPLUMBING Sanitary Systems
  • CYPEPLUMBING Water Systems
  • CYPEPLUMBING Solar Systems
  • Open BIM Lighting

New parameters regarding the dimensions of the spaces of the architectural model have been added. These parameters will be exported as quantities in the IFC file that is generated for the project of the BIMserver.center platform. The information of the quantities can be interpreted by the Open BIM Quantities application to create the bill of quantities of the architectural model of the building. This new feature is also implemented for CYPECAD MEP.

New parameters:

  • Gross perimeter (IFC Quantity: GrossPerimeter)
  • Net perimeter (IFC Quantity: NetPerimeter)
  • Gross wall area (IFC Quantity: GrossWallArea)
  • Net wall area (IFC Quantity: NetWallArea)
  • Area of openings in walls

As of the 2020.c version, IFC Builder allows users to export the quantities of the project, in FIEBDC-3 (.bc3) format, to the linked BIM project on the BIMserver.center platform. This information is generated automatically, is available to all the members of the project work group and can be downloaded to then import it in budget management programs such as Arquimedes.

In the “Export” menu of the “Export in IFC format” panel of IFC Builder, users can activate the “Export quantities (FIEBDC-3)” option.

As of the 2020.c version, users can import files in PDF format in CYPE programs to use them as drawing templates.

This way, PDF files join DWG, DXF and the most common image format files as files that can be used as templates on each floor.

The programs that can currently use this feature are:

  • IFC Builder
  • CYPEHVAC Radiant floor

In upcoming versions, this feature will be implemented in other CYPE programs in which data is introduced by floor.