FreeCAD BIM update 20

Here goes another weekly report of what I've been doing this week in FreeCAD, BIM and NativeIFC. Short one this time as we're bracing for the "big merge" (see below):

Upgraded Arch reference

The Arch Reference tool is used within Arch/BIM workbenches to include parts of models that are saved in other FreeCAD files. There is a mechanism that detects if the file has been modified externally and offers to reload it. The Arch Reference object can also not load the full shape of the objects it references, but only their 3D representation, which speeds up recomputing a lot.

Now that tool has been received a number of upgrades:

  • Translations are fixed, everything the tool does should now be fully translatable

  • Reference objects can now use whole file contents instead of having to choose a part inside

  • Support for DXF files: A DXF file can be used as a Reference object. In that case, everything the file contains is gathered into one single shape.

  • Support for IFC files. This is only available if NativeIFC is available. With that, the Reference object looks and works exactly like a NativeIFC project, only it cannot be expanded.

  • General code cleanup

With this, another chapter of our 2024 roadmap is now complete.

Preparing Arch/BIM/NativeIFC merge

That merge was scheduled for the last moment, at the end of the road map. However, the work on Toponaming is going fast and is close to completion, which means the lights could become green soon for a feature freeze and a new release of FreeCAD. And we decided it would be really cool to have BIM/NativeIFC merged for FreeCAD 1.0. So I will now work on that first, and the next chapters right after the merge.

That's it for this week! As usual, thank you to everybody who sponsors this effort on Patreon, LiberaPay or GitHub!