The xBIM (eXtensible Building Information Modelling) toolkit is a free software development tool that allows users to read, create and view building information models (BIM) in the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) format. It can be used to create BIM middleware for IFC-based applications.
IFC is a neutral, non-proprietary data format used to describe, exchange and share information that was developed by BuildingSmart UK.
xBIM was instigated by Professor Steve Lockley at the University of Northumbria and is supported by a team of BIM specialists. It is open source, meaning that the source codes are available for anyone to use and develop.
xBIM is written in C# and C++ and uses 'extension methods' making it relatively straight forward to add new methods into an existing class. Developers can write simple command-line applications, or they can create extensions for Windows applications and web services.
The open-source xBIM Xplorer allows users to:
- Open and view IFC files.
- Navigate building information models.
- Show and hide parts of building information models.
- View a building information model in 360° degrees.
- Export IFC files as .ifcXML, ifcZIP files.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building information modelling.
- BIM articles.
- BIM resources.
- BIM glossary of terms.
- Industry Foundation Classes.
 External references
Featured articles and news
This article explains the Buildings Regulations completion certificate, what it is, and when its needed.
Graphene has many potential applications, but when will it start being used in civil engineering?
Increasing productivity – now more than ever as we lead up to Brexit – should be the sector’s number one priority in 2018.
Carillion's collapse causes Construction Leadership Council to delay the construction sector deal report.
Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability: international frameworks, national and local guidance.
What will the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) mean for you when they come into force in May?
Business Secretary chairs a new taskforce to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation.
Sir John Armitt is appointed the new chair of the National Infrastructure Commission.
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?
Government announces its intention to strengthen planning rules to protect music venues and neighbours.
National Audit Office reports that there is little evidence that PFI offers better value than other forms of contracting.
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?