FreeCAD BIM weekly update 1

Hi all!

Great news, I received a good funding from OpenToolChain foundation to work on, among other things, the NativeIFC add-on for FreeCAD. I'll take the opportunity to try to get back to more regular blogging. I invested a lot of time last year into the FPA, this blog suffered from it, and my efforts to get back at it have failed miserably

So during the coming weeks I'll try posting here shorter, weekly updates of what I am working on with FreeCAD, BIM and the NativeIFC add-on. Hopefully we'll create a healthy habit!

For who is curious of what we already have and where we are going, I maintain a list of goals on the NativeIFC github repository. Hopefully, we get to the end of the list sooner than I thought!

Thanks again to everybody who sponsors me on Patreon, LiberaPay or GitHub! A large part of my working hours have been dedicated to FreeCAD, for years now, and that's thanks to you!

Here are what I have been doing this week:

  • NativeIFC: Massive performance improvement. Reasonably large files import now in less than a minute, which is comparable to BlenderBIM's performance, and is generally considered good. Setting solid bases with a good and powerful model seem pretty important to me, before going further and developing more features. This is now done, and we can move on.

  • NativeIFC: Per-file cache system: The NativeIFC now disposes of a good caching system, so shapes that have already been generated out of IFC objects don't need to be generated another time when revealing children. This makes the "expand children" operations pretty fast now.

  • FreeCAD: Option to hide scrollbars on start page: I was always annoyed that these scrollbars are rendered by the web engine, and therefore look different than the main application scrollbars. There is now an option in Start preferences to hide them. Scrolling is still possible using mouse wheel, arrow keys or touchpad, though.

  • FreeCAD: Allow to define import modules on start page: If you click a file, for example an IFC file on the start page, it will be opened using the first available importer module, even if several are available on your system. You can now define an import module to use for a specific file type instead of the default one.

  • NativeIFC: Open files on vanilla FreeCAD: FreeCAD files containing NativeIFC objects will now open without errors on a FreeCAD installation that has no NativeIFC add-on installed. It will inform you that the NativeIFC add-on is needed for viewing and editing, but you can still view the contents of the object.

That's it for this week, check back next week for more!

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