The BTL-format has its origin in a master project initiated by SEMA in the year 1992. Since this year the interface was used by several machine designers and software developers. In the following years necessary steps of development were done independently by SEMA and CADWORK, two of the leading companies in developing of design software for carpenters and timber industries. Therefore, in 2006, there were two different dialects. BTL V9.x was used by SEMA and BTL V5 was used by CADWORK.
In 2006, CADWORK and SEMA began a co-operation to create an industry standard format for the data transfer between design software and NC-machines. At first both companies unified the two dialects of the BTL-format. The result was the common interface BTL V10. The BTL V10 standard proofed to be a great success and was adopted by many companies in the design software and NC machine sector worldwide.
Since then, the co-operation between CADWORK and SEMA was successfully continued and several BTL updates were released. In those updates, the BTL standard was considerably improved and new features were added to accommodate today's demands of machine designers and software developers. With the BTL V10.4, major extensions of the standard were made to fit the needs of the prefabricated house industry.
In 2015, CADWORK and SEMA released the first version of the long anticipated BTLx format. BTLx is an xml-based modernization of the BTL format that incorporates various major and minor enhancements compared to the older standard and lays the foundation for future developments.