March 21, 2017:
IfcOpenShell 0.5.0 preview 2 has just been released!
Visit for a changelog and stay updated on the development of IfcOpenShell.

August 23, 2011:
IfcOpenShell needs your help! Find out what you can do to help improve the open source IFC toolkit, visit


IfcOpenShell is an open source (LGPL) software library that helps users and software developers to work with the IFC file format. The IFC file format can be used to describe building and construction data. The format is commonly used for Building Information Modelling.

IfcOpenShell uses Open CASCADE (the Open CASCADE Community Edition) internally to convert the implicit geometry in IFC files into explicit geometry that any software CAD or modelling package can understand.

Please note that IfcOpenShell is a work in progress. At the moment only files with the .ifc extension are supported (technically known as IFC-SPF). Support for IFC-XML and IFC-ZIP will be added in the future. Please note that at this moment IfcOpenShell may not fully understand all geometry that is present in an .ifc file, rest assured that it’ll do the very best it can and support for the other types of geometry is already on its way.

Currently on the menu is an importer for Autodesk 3ds Max, an importer for Blender and a stand-alone application to convert an IFC file into a Wavefront .obj file. Furthermore, software developers are explicitly encouraged to use the IfcOpenShell library in their own applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's with the name? Ifc Opens Hell?
No, you're not reading it correctly. An IfcOpenShell is one of the ways geometry can be described inside an Ifc file. Since the name reflects on the Ifc part, the open source part and the geometry part of the project, we figured we'd pick this as our name.
PS: No, we're not called openIfcShell either
Ok, so how do you make money with this?
We don't. Are you? How about sharing some of the pie or help out with development or testing!
IfcOpenShell is proud to be part of the open source BIM collective and hosted at  Get IfcOpenShell at Fast, secure and Free Open Source software downloads Can't get enough of semantics in the built environment?
Visit, the free community-based semi-semantical architecture archive!
Follow IfcOpenShell on twitter Comments? Suggestions? Feature requests? Just plain angry with the world?
Follow the development of IfcOpenShell on twitter (@aothms)