New free IFC architectural viewer from Open Design Alliance

A new free viewer for IFC architectural data is now available for general use from the Open Design Alliance

IFC is short for Industry Foundation Classes. It is an open standard data model for architectural, building, and construction data. IFC is developed and maintained by a non-profit group, buildingSMART International (bSI). All leading architectural CAD and BIM products support the IFC formats. 

ODA says OpenIfcViewer supports all major IFC versions from 2×3 through the 4×2 Bridge candidate. ODA describes the viewer as a full-featured solution with 3D navigation controls, render modes, predefined views, fast selection and IFC property inspection. The full IFC hierarchy tree is available. The viewer also includes sophisticated features such as scene markup, cutting planes and clash detection.

OpenIfcViewer visualizing an IFC model with cutting planes

“We wanted to do a separate application for IFC because it is an open standard, and it will be helpful to the overall industry to have a high-quality IFC viewer available, especially when people are trying to test and verify new versions of IFC,” says Neil Peterson, president of ODA. 

ODA says they created the new app for two reasons. The first was to provide a professional-grade visualization solution for today’s IFC users. Peterson says current users are mostly on either IFC 2×3 or 4×0. The second reason is to facilitate development and adoption of new IFC version. “We already support the 4×2 IFC Bridge candidate released in 2019, and we’re currently working in cooperation with bSI to support the new IFC 4×3 infrastructure candidate, which includes Rail, Road and other IFC extensions,” says Peterson. 

“IFC 4×3 is being developed by bSI in cooperation with a large group of stakeholders, including bSI members, software vendors, government agencies and various infrastructure domain experts,” says Peterson. “These stakeholders need tools to create, visualize and work with IFC 4×3 for testing and validation of the new standard.”

ODA says IFC 4×3 support will be added to OpenIfcViewer by September 2020.

OpenIfcViewer is available at no cost for personal and professional use at

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