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HOOPS Exchange 2021

What’s New – Support for 3MF, Optimizing Manufacturing and BIM Workflows

We focused our efforts on three main initiatives this past year: Delivering format updates quickly, optimizing manufacturing workflows by supporting new formats and data, and improving support of BIM workflows.


Format Updates

Our first priority is to deliver format updates for both native CAD and standard formats in a timely manner so the applications our partners are developing can access the latest versions as soon as possible. During the past year, we delivered 11 updated formats, including CATIA V5-6 R2020, Siemens NX 1926, Creo 7, SolidWorks 2021 and many more.


3MF Reader

Introducing 3MF Support in HOOPS Exchange 2021. 3MF stands for “3D Modeling Format” and is a format defined by an industry consortium, that allows design applications to send their models to full-color 3D printers. It differentiates itself from the old STL format by its ability to hold more than one object in the scene, with advanced materials, colors, and texture information, as well as information about the printing process. The adoption of 3MF is growing in the manufacturing industry and applications in additive manufacturing and CAM will benefit from its support in HOOPS Exchange.

Materials and Appearances

The support of visual models’ appearances (material and textures) is intended for high fidelity rendering and full-color printing of parts and will serve PLM and visualization workflows as well as Manufacturing-as-a-Service (MaaS) applications. Recent updates also include the support of SolidWorks and CATIA V5 textures.

Mates (assembly constraints)

Mates (or assembly constraints) are used to describe how parts have been assembled and fit together. Accessing the mates from native CAD files helps in optimizing workflows for applications in manufacturing simulation, robotics, kinematics analysis and more, by enabling the generation of a kinematic model of the assembly. Mates support has been introduced in HOOPS Exchange 2021 as a beta and is available for the CATIA V5 format. It provides access to a subset of the existing Mates. Full support for CATIA V5 Mates will be released throughout 2021.

Support for Apple Silicon (Beta)

Apple’s recent shift from Intel-based chips to their new ARM-based architecture requires partners to port their applications for best performance & compatibility. In our 2021 release, we are providing a beta build of our toolkits to enable this transition. This new platform will be fully supported when we have sufficient hardware available to ensure the testing and quality levels meet our partners’ requirements.


We have continued to increase our support for BIM workflows and in the 2021 release, users will find improvements to our DWG, IFC, and Autodesk REVIT readers. Improvements include increased meta-data support for REVIT files and improvements in several IFC classes including IFCSwpetAreaSolids and other classes where entities are generated by an extruded contour (PIPES). Our DWG reader saw improvements focused on text handling for 2D drawings, helping to reduce HOOPS Communicator file sizes and provide better performance when viewing such data.