Universal 3D (U3D) is a compressed file format standard for 3D computer graphics data.
The format was defined by a special consortium called 3D Industry Forum that brought together a diverse group of companies and organizations, including Intel, Boeing, HP, Adobe Systems, Bentley Systems, Right Hemisphere and others whose main focus had been the promotional development of 3D graphics for use in various industries, specifically at this time manufacturing as well as construction and industrial plant design. The format was later standardized by Ecma International in August 2005 as ECMA-363.
The goal is a universal standard for three-dimensional data of all kinds, to facilitate data exchange. The consortium promoted also the development of an open source library for facilitating the adoption of the format.
IFC or Industrial Foundation Classes is a 3D file format, used in the Architecture Engineering Construction (AEC) segment. It’s supported in the major software packages like Revit and AutoCAD by Autodesk, Tekla Structures by Tekla or SmartPlant3D by Intergraph. The main value of the IFC is accordance to the Building Information Modeling requirements. BIM is a concept of design, construction and exploitation of the buildings prescribing creation of the large volume of the digital data around architectural objects. This data may include not only 3D geometry, but tons of information pieces like authors, milestones and deadlines, supplier information and so on. Prior to beginning of the construction, the data base is created. It will include all the information, related to the building. Once the process kicks off the project team members will populate the data base with all the aspects of the future building.
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