Wednesday April 23rd 2008, the Japan Chapter of buildingSMART International (former IAI), together with Japan Construction Information Center, gathered over 100 people representing the bulk of the AEC/FM industry in Japan, for a one day successful buildingSMART Forum. We were also there, presenting our work so far in Japanese.
It’s now nearly three year since I fist contacted @Last Software about the possibilities to see IFC support in SketchUP. At that point the reply was that they didn’t have any plans about implementing it but the question was brought to the developers. After that I’ve seen the same questions being raised several times in various SketchUP forums before and after SketchUP became a Google product. As SketchUP have a pretty active community developing additional features and import / export filters based on the Ruby interface I knew that it was only a matter of time before someone would start experimenting with the IFC format as well. This time is now!
SECOM Intelligent System Laboratory, a Japanese security-, insurance- and medical services company, have developed a SketchUP plug-in for importing IFC files. The plug-in “IFC2SKP” consist of a SketchUP ruby script and a ruby interface to the IFCsvr ActiveX component. The ruby interface and script is developed by Toshihiko Sakurai while the IFCsvr ActiveX component is developed by Yoshinobu Adati, both working at SECOM.