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Xbim Toolkit was started by prof. Steve Lockley in 2007. Steve made it initially as a personal project while on a career break for a year. When he joined Northumbria University in 2009 the core of xbim was already developed and it implemented most of IFC2x3. This means Steve developed the core methodology of mapping between EXPRESS schema and C#. He also developed the core infrastructure for data management of any IFC model. All this is good to know when you read our license;

Steve took xbim to university with him and since than it is being actively developed mostly as a part of successful government funded research projects with industrial partners mainly from UK. It evolved over time into a lot more than just an implementation of IFC2x3. Current release supports 100% IFC2x3 and IFC4. We use code generation to keep all the code consistent and complete. Xbim allows developers to program against IFC2x3 models using IFC4 interfaces so it is possible to develop and maintain single codebase which is agnostic to the IFC version. You can choose between Esent DB or in-memory model based on your needs. We have geometry engine which can process complex IFC geometry and make it usable for 3D analyses or visualization. We have our own JavaScript library using WebGL for visualization on a web without any plug-ins. There are also many projects we developed over time which use xbim core libraries (Xbim Essentials and Xbim Geometry) for some interesting tasks.

There are about 10 developers in the core of xbim team. All of us are keen to keep xbim ready for enterprise deployment. Part of the team is based on Northumbria University the rest is spread over enterprises who have adopted xbim as an engine behind the BIM related functionality of their products.

Our GitHub page lists public members of the core team. There are other internal members from the enterprises. If you want to contact us to ask something about xbim source code we prefer GitHub issues as a way to talk about the code.

Recent Research Projects Using xbim

The rise of a company: xbim ltd.

10 years after writing the first line of code Steve Lockley decided to set up a new company with Martin Cerny. Martin became the second major contributor to xbim toolkit and over time has also worked on all of the most recent research projects. They were later joined by Andy Ward, former solution architect of 4Projects. xbim ltd. currently maintains the xbim toolkit and will continue to develop it for the benefit of the community as well as do their own product development. Nothing will change for xbim users in terms of licenses. xbim ltd. will always keep the xbim toolkit public and open source. xbim Ltd. continues to grow and is currently focusing on developing Flex: a cloud platform based on the xbim toolkit which provides highly scalable distribution and processing of models with random access to data. Flex will be available to other developers as a commercial service (PaaS). If you are interested, get in touch.

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Some of the companies using xbim toolkit:

xbim ltd.