Overview: In this lesson, you will learn how to import and export IFC files in BricsCAD BIM.
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
- Import an IFC model to BricsCAD.
- Export an IFC model from BricsCAD.
- Use IFC properties.
Tutorial: How to import & export IFC files in BricsCAD BIM
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The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model is designed to describe building and construction industry information. IFC is a platform-neutral data, open-format file type. IFC provides interoperability between different BIM software platforms.
BricsCAD BIM supports IFC2x3 and IFC4 for import and export. It is certified for IFC 2X3 coordination view 2.0. The IFC standard includes both parametric and non-parametric shapes, material definitions, metadata in the BIM file, and property sets (PSets).
When you export an IFC file from BricsCAD, the properties will be exported as IfcPropertySet. These property sets contain common IFC properties. User-defined property sets can also be exported.
Mechanical system layouts, structural models, and architectural models that are exported from different IFC compliant software applications can be imported into BricsCAD BIM.
IFC2x3 vs IFC4
IFC4 is an advanced schema of IFC2x3. It is extended and overcomes certain limitations of IFC2x3. There are geometric and data improvements as well as new and changed Model View Definitions. Geometric improvements include more parametric support, more efficient handling of meshes and an improved way to add textures, lighting settings, etc. An increased number of property sets, make the IFC data model more complete and more granular. For IFC4 the coordination view has been replaced by two official Model View Definitions: the IFC4 reference view and the IFC4 Design Transfer View.
Import an IFC file in BricsCAD
- To import an IFC file into your project, type Import into the commandline. The import file dialog box displays.
- Select the .ifc file format (1) from the Files Of Type dropdown list and choose the IFC model you want to import.
- Click Open to import the IFC model.
Note Both IFC2x3 and IFC4 files can be imported. When the IFC file is imported the data from the imported file integrates with the BricsCAD data structure which means you can work with them right away. If the imported data contains custom properties these property sets will be made available.
You have the ability to create custom property sets and properties directly in BricsCAD BIM and associate them with imported entities.
- Optional Change the IFC import settings using the BIM section in the Settings dialog. See 'Change IFC import and export settings'.
Export an IFC file in BricsCAD
- To export an IFC file in your project, click the BricsCAD icon and then select Export. The Export Drawing As dialog box displays.
- Select the desired .ifc file format in the Save as type list and save the IFC model in a sensible location. You have the option between IFC2x3 (2) and IFC4 (3).
- Click Save to export the IFC model.
The exported BIM model is saved as an IFC2X3 or IFC4 file and it is now ready to use in any IFC certified applications.
- (Optional) Change the IFC export settings using the BIM section in the Settings dialog. See 'Changing IFC import and export settings'.
Export an IFC file only for selected entities
- To export IFC model partially in your project, type IFCEXPORT in the command line.
You are prompted:
Select entities to export [Entire model] <Entire model>:
- Select the entities in your model space to export as IFC and press Enter.
The IFC file name dialog box displays:
- Enter a name for the IFC file, choose the IFC format for export (IFC2x3 or IFC4) and click the Save button. The selected entities are exported to IFC.
Import an IFC Project as Xrefs
- Go to Settings (type SETTINGS in the commandline or go to Settings > Settings).
- Navigate to BIM > General > Import and Export > IFC.
- Check 'Import IFC project structure as xrefs ' box (4).
- Type Import into the commandline. Specify which .ifc file you want to open and click Open.
The drawing will now open with Xrefs made for each floor in each building. This allows you to easily split large files into smaller BricsCAD files.
Export a BricsCAD BIM Project with Xrefs exploded
- Use the BIM Classify command to Classify Xrefs as BIM XReferences.
Important note: When you don't do this step, your Xrefs will be exported as blocks, instead of as the separate entities that are part of the Xref.
- Go to Settings (type SETTINGS in the command bar or go to Settings > Settings).
- Go to BIM > General > Import and Export > IFC.
- Check 'Explode external references in IFC spatial structure' (5).
- Click the BricsCAD icon and then select Export. Choose IFC2x3 or IFC, specify the name of the exported drawing and click Save. The exported drawing will now have all Xref elements merged onto one Site and one Building.
Change IFC import and export settings
The IFC import and export settings in the settings dialog:
Enable/disable the import of IfcSpace entities as BIM Rooms.
Import BIM Data
Enable/disable the import of BIM data from different BIM platforms to BricsCAD BIM.
Import model position
Controls the insertion point of the imported model.
Import Parametric Components
Enables/disables the import of windows and doors as parametric components.
Import IFC project structure as xrefs
Enable/disable the import of IFC project structures as separate XRef drawings. If this setting is enabled, drawing files are created as XRefs. These files correspond to each building and each story of the IFC project structure.
Import BREP geometry as meshes
Enable/disable the import of BREP geometry as meshes.
Export base quantities
Enables/disables exports derived from base quantities of BIM elements.
Export elements on OFF and FROZEN layers
Enables/disables the export of BIM elements that are in OFF and Frozen layers.
Explode external references in IFC spatial structure
| Enables/disables exploded external references in IFC spatial structures.
If this setting is enabled, each external reference will be divided into the elements (e.g. IfcSiteor IfcBuilding) based on the project spatial structure.
Important note: use the BIM Classify command to Classify Xrefs as BIM XReferences prior to doing an export with this setting enabled, otherwise the result will be a block per Xref.
Export multi-ply elements as aggregated elements
Enables/disables the export of building elements with multi-ply compositions as aggregated entities.
Level of tessellation
Controls the level of tesselation of the exported geometry.
Using IFC properties
- Go to Home > Database > Properties (6).
- Select IFC2x3 in the Namespace dropdown-menu (7).
- Search on the property you want to see in the properties list (8).
- Set 'Visible' to 'Yes' for the section you want to see (9). Set to 'No' to hide a section.
- In 'Categories' select the IFC Classes you wish to display (10).
- Once all properties have been set, click OK.
- Go to the Properties Panel. Scroll down to the Properties section you just turned on.
- Fill in the data as required (11).
Profiles in IFC import
When importing profiles from an IFC file to BricsCAD, the profiles will be assigned with proper Profile Standard, Profile Name and Profile Size in the Properties Panel (12).
Supported IFC Classes
Following IFC Classes are supported by BricsCAD BIM. These are the same categories as the classify options in the BIMClassify command.