The Open Class 3D Exchange Format

Shipyards and classification societies must modify the traditional design documentation and review process and enable a direct 3D digital classification process to improve the exchange of information between the different stakeholders and ultimately accelerate the classification process. The Open Class 3D Exchange (OCX) standard represents a step-change in this context. The OCX is a vessel-specific standard addressing the information needs by the classification society and is a key enabler to replace traditional 2D class drawings with a 3D model.

The APPROVED joint industry project (2016-2019) brought together expertise from the classification society DNV (formerly DNV GL) and the CAD/CAM software providers Aveva, Hexagon, Siemens and NAPA; along with ship designers and builders Kongsberg Maritime, Ulstein and Chantiers de l’Atlantique; as well as the 3D and PLM implementation specialists Digitread. The result of their combined efforts is the development of an interoperability specification that enables shipbuilders and class societies to engage in a fully digital workflow and sharing of the designer’s 3D model using a common specification: The Open Class 3D Exchange (OCX) standard. Uniquely, OCX addresses the needs of the classification society and shipbuilders for fully digital information exchange. Effectively, OCX acts as a conduit between the design tools and class confirmation tools, highlighting the structural information the class society requires and idealizing and formatting it in an efficient way that can be easily processed.

The APPROVED project being finished, the OCX Consortium (this Consortium) was founded in May 2021 to manage the evolutions of the OCX exchange standard and ensure its promotion. Currently there are 27 members of the Consortium. See the About page for the full list.

About the OCX Consortium

The Consortium keeps the latest version of the exchange standard updated. The OCX exchange standard is public, which means that it can be downloaded by anybody and used under the terms of a public license.

The Consortium is a fully voluntary association between the members and is not a separate legal entity.

The purpose of the Consortium is to:

  • Increase maritime safety through transparent design documentation and processing of data concerning the design, verification and inspection of ships and floating offshore assets.
  • Support the evolutions of the OCX standard and promote its use in the marine industry.
  • Establish Conformance Classes to approve that the files exchanged by an application are in line with the standard.
  • Act as a source of information on the development and implementation of OCX standard in the maritime industry.
  • Encourage implementation and use of software interfaces according to the OCX standard.


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