ODA Adds Interoperability to the Lineup of CAD Libraries

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A recent article in the upFront.eZine, a weekly newsletter from long time CAD industry pundit Ralph Grabowski, highlighted several substantial movements forward in the ODA (the Open Design Alliance, the group behind the progeCAD DWG read/write libraries). ODA has brought us past developments such as each new DWG library, the PDF import and export libraries, and vertical applications input and interpretations (Architectural Desktop, Mechanical Desktop, and Civil 3D conversion within the DWG drawings).

The ODA sponsored the recent ODA Devcon 2019 conference for developing software based on their design libraries. Beyond the DWG libraries, the ODA has been working on a library for IFC, Revit, a Web API, and version control for DWG drawings.

If you have found yourself boxed in over the last decade trying to move to a new CAD system due to steps the CAD vendors have taken to lock you into their software, the ODA is trying to alleviate this roadblock. One way they are accomplishing this is through their Open Cloud initiative. By working with multiple cloud providers, such as Amazon AWS, and Microsoft Azure, the ODA has architected their cloud offerings to work with multiple cloud providers allowing its customers to easily switch between many providers and giving them more leeway in tailoring their online offerings.

The ability to transfer your data between incompatible CAD systems has also taken a jump forward. Using IFC (industry foundation classes), the ODA has created a system whereby Architectural drawings from vendors producing BIM applications such as Revit, can use the buildingSMART IFC translation one can take these formally locked up drawings and bring them into starndard CAD systems such as progeCAD.

Beside the IFC conversion work, the ODA is working on directly bringing in Revit BIM files, allowing full round trip of all entities in a Revit drawing directly in the CAD software. In addition are libraries that work with Navisworks, DWG, DGN (the old Intergraph and Microstation file formats), ReCap, and even custom data.

We can’t say at this time which of these powerful moves forward will appear in future progeCAD versions but it may come a day when progeCAD can import a Revit file, convert the file, and output both a DWG and an IFC file so you can free yourself from the vendor you choose to provide your CAD.

See the full article at https://www.upfrontezine.com/2019/09/upf-1025.html

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