Open Design Alliance

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Open Design Alliance
Developer(s)Open Design Alliance
Stable release
23.10 / October 25, 2022; 4 months ago (2022-10-25) [1]
TypeRuntime library
LicenseProprietary (sources available to members)

Open Design Alliance is a nonprofit organization creating software development kits (SDKs) for engineering applications. ODA offers interoperability tools for CAD, BIM, and Mechanical industries including .dwg, .dxf, .dgn, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks, and .ifc files and additional tools for visualization, web development, 3D PDF publishing and modeling.

ODA products and supported file formats[edit]


  • Drawings SDK is a development toolkit that provides access to all data in .dwg and .dgn through an object-oriented API, allows creating and editing any type of .dwg or .dgn drawing file, and can be extended with custom .dwg objects. (Old names: Teigha Drawings, Teigha for .dwg files and Teigha for .dgn files; OpenDWG and DWGdirect; DGNdirect.)

Drawings SDK also provides exchange of the following file formats to and from .dwg and .dgn:

Format Export Import
.dgn No Yes (import .dgn to .dwg only)
.dwf Yes Yes
.pdf Yes No
.dae (Collada) Yes Yes
.svg Yes No
Raster Formats Yes No
.stl Yes No
.hsf Yes No
Three.js Yes No
  • Architecture SDK is a development toolkit for building .dwg-based architectural design applications. It offers interoperability with Autodesk Architecture files (old name: Teigha Architecture).
  • Civil SDK is a development toolkit for working with Autodesk Civil 3D files. The Civil API provides read/write access to data in civil custom objects (old name: Teigha Civil).
  • Map SDK is a development toolkit for working with Autodesk® Map 3D custom objects in any ODA-based application.


  • BimRv SDK is a development toolkit for reading, writing, and creating .rvt and .rfa files.
  • IFC SDK is a development toolkit featuring 100% compatibility[citation needed] with the buildingSMART IFC standard. It offers a geometry building module for creating IFC geometry, which includes the ODA facet modeler and B-Rep modeler.
  • BimNv is a development toolkit for reading, visualizing and creating Autodesk Navisworks files.
  • Scan-To-BIM is a development toolkit for converting point cloud data to 3D BIM models.


  • Mechanical SDK is a development toolkit for working with Autodesk Mechanical files.
  • STEP SDK is one of the newest ODA development toolkits; it provides access to STEP model data. In production since October 2022.
  • MCAD SDK is an open exchange platform for 3D MCAD file formats such as Inventor, IGES, Rhino, CATIA V4, CADDS, 3Shape DCM, CATIA V5, PLMXML, Parasolid, SolidWorks, Creo, STEP, SolidEdge, ProE, UG NX, CGR, CATIA V6, JT, and Procera.

ODA Core Platform Technologies[edit]

  • Visualize SDK is a graphics toolkit designed for engineering applications development.
  • Web SDK uses Visualize SDK to embed engineering models into web pages and create web/SaaS applications.
  • Publish SDK is a development toolkit for creating 2D and 3D .pdf and .prc models. All PDFs are compatible with ISO standards and Adobe tools. Publish SDK can create PRC-based 3D PDF documents that contain full B-Rep models and can include animation, interactive views, part lists, etc.


  • The Alliance was formed in February 1998 as the OpenDWG Alliance, with its initial release of code based on the AUTODIRECT libraries written by Matt Richards of MarComp.
  • In 2002, the OpenDWG library was renamed to DWGdirect.
  • And the same year, the alliance was renamed to Open Design Alliance.[2]
  • On 22 November 2006, Autodesk sued the Open Design Alliance alleging that its DWGdirect libraries infringed Autodesk's trademark for the word "Autodesk", by writing the TrustedDWG code (including the word "AutoCAD") into DWG files it created. In April 2007, the suit was dropped, with Autodesk modifying the warning message in AutoCAD 2008 (to make it more benign), and the Open Design Alliance removing support for the TrustedDWG code from its DWGdirect libraries.
  • In 2008, support was added for .dgn files with DGNdirect.
  • In April 2010, DWGdirect was renamed to Teigha for .dwg files, OpenDWG was renamed to Teigha Classic and DGNdirect was renamed to Teigha for .dgn files.
  • Since August 2017 (v. 4.3.1), Teigha contains production support for version 2018 .dwg files, including architectural, civil and mechanical custom objects.
  • In February 2018 (v. 4.3.2), it was announced the availability of STL (stereolithography, is widely used for 3D printing and rapid prototyping) and OBJ (serves as an open exchange format for many 3D design solutions) file support.[3]
  • In September 2018 Teigha brand was removed.[4]
  • In October 2018 ODA started work on IFC Solution [5]
  • In January 2019 Drawings 2019.2 introduced extrude and revolve 3d solid modeling operations as part of the standard SDK [6][7]
  • In January 2019 ODA announced the release of its new BimNv SDK [8]
  • In May 2020 ODA switched to monthly releases
  • In June 2020 ODA released its free Open IFC Viewer
  • In July 2021 ODA started development for STEP Support
  • In October 2021 ODA released its IFC validation engine
  • In January 2022 ODA started Scan-to-BIM development
  • In September 2022 ODA started MCAD SDK development
  • In October 2022 ODA released STEP SDK for production use


There are six types of ODA membership:

  • Educational: qualified university use only, 1 year limit
  • Non-commercial: any kind of internal automation for in-house use and R&D, 2 year limit
  • Commercial: limited commercial use (sell up to 100 copies), web/SaaS use not allowed
  • Sustaining: unlimited commercial use, web/SaaS use allowed
  • Founding: unlimited commercial use with full source code
  • Corporate: unlimited commercial use across multiple business units

There is also a free trial period.


Open Design Alliance provides monthly production releases.

Annual ODA conference[edit]

Open Design Alliance holds an ODA conference every year in September. The two-day conference includes presentations from directors and developers and face-to-face meetings for non-members, members, ODA developers, and ODA executives. Anyone who is interested can register and attend the conference.[9]

Members of the ODA (not exhaustive)[edit]

Corporate members[edit]

Founding members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ODA SDK RELEASES: Latest versions, schedule & more". Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  2. ^ See
  3. ^ "ODA Expands Teigha File Format Support". Open Design Alliance.
  4. ^ "Use of Teigha brand name to be discontinued". Open Design Alliance.
  5. ^ "ODA Begins Work on IFC Solution". Open Design Alliance.
  6. ^ "ODA Releases Drawings SDK 2019.2". Open Design Alliance.
  7. ^ "New releases tumble out of the ODA". Graphic Speak.
  8. ^ "ODA Releases New BimNv SDK for Navisworks Files". Open Design Alliance.
  9. ^ "ODA Announces DevCon 2019 in Milan". Open Design Alliance.
  10. ^ "Autodesk Joins Open Design Alliance to Fast Track Improvements to Interoperability". Autodesk News. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  11. ^ "AllyCAD - Professional CAD Design Software". Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  12. ^ "Nanosoft | Open Design Alliance". Retrieved 2020-04-30.

External links[edit]