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Developer(s)Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies (formerly known as Kongsberg SIM)
Stable release
4.0.0 / December 23, 2019; 3 years ago (2019-12-23)
Written inC++
Operating systemCross-platform
Typescene graph API
LicenseBSD license

Coin3D is a free and open-source implementation (library) of the Open Inventor API. Coin3D was originally developed and maintained as commercial software by the Norwegian company Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies (formerly Kongsberg SIM).[1] Coin3D, like Open Inventor, is a C++ object oriented retained mode 3D graphics API used to provide a higher layer of programming for OpenGL. The API provides a number of common graphics rendering constructs to developers such as scene graphs to accomplish this. Coin3D is fully compatible with the Open Inventor API version 2.1.[1] Coin3D can be used to drive advanced visualization solutions in a wide range of application domains such as geo-modelling, CAD, medical visualization, robotics and presentation.


According to Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies, the software is used in a number of commercial and open-source, scientific visualization or 3D modeling projects such as OpenRAVE. Apple, for example, used Coin for 3D rendering in iWork '08 and later. FreeCAD relies on Coin3D for visualization.[2][3]

License History[edit]

From 1998 to 2011 Coin3D was developed and maintained by Systems in Motion (SIM), later renamed to Kongsberg SIM, later merged into the parent company Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies Kongsberg Gruppen. During this period Coin3D was available under a dual license scheme: GPL or a proprietary commercial license. Mid-2011, Kongsberg decided to end Coin3D as a commercial product due to diminishing demand and changing business focus. As a service to the user community Kongsberg re-licensed Coin3D under the less restrictive BSD 3-clause license.[1][4][5] Since then, the BSD licensed source code has been maintained by its users and is available at GitHub.[1]

Integration with GUI Development Kits[edit]

Several libraries exist that are designed to integrate Coin3D with GUI development environments.

  • For developers targeting multi-platform - 'Quarter' provides a seamless integration with the Qt framework.
  • For developers targeting Windows - 'SoWin' integrates with the Win32 API.
  • For developers targeting Mac OS X - Sc21 provides integration with Apple's Cocoa framework

Legacy GUI bindings are Qt (SoQt), Win32 API (SoWin) and Motif (SoXt) are also maintained.

Language bindings[edit]

Coin3D is written in C++, but can be accessed from other programming languages using available bindings. Bindings have been developed for Python Pivy, Java and JavaScript.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Coin3D / Coin — Github". GitHub. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  2. ^ Mr Parry's blog on his FreeCAD development. by Luke A. Parry, FreeCAD Developer
  3. ^ FreeCAD Third Party Libraries
  4. ^ "Coin3D Mailing List". Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies. 2011-11-18. Archived from the original on 2013-04-14.
  5. ^ November 1st 2011, Coin3D Professional Edition License End Of Life Letter