Sunday, July 28, 2013

Custom IFC export from Revit ... easier then I thought !

After RTCNA 2013, 3 weeks in hotel rooms and Air Canada lost my luggage twice, here is my post on custom export from Revit to IFC.

For those of you who don't know what is IFC, to make a short story, Industry foundation Classes (IFC) is data schema that makes possible data exchange between different proprietary software applications. The data schema comprises information covering the many disciplines that contribute to a building throughout its lifecycle. The current release is IFC4  but most software currently use IFC2x3. If you're a fanatic of Revit like me you should know that IFC4 export is available through the 2014 release with UR1 
(as pointed out by Angel in the post comments below)

First I would like to explain why I feel the need to customize the export from Revit to IFC. If you go on the building smart website, you will find here the "IFC entities" schema which is the equivalent of the "Revit Category". You will notice that Revit doesn't have a category "Pile" however if you want it to exchange the information properly to a software that have that specific object classification, you will need to customize the export.

Figure 1 - IFCSupertype                                             Figure 2 - Revit pile

Figure 3 - Revit pile category

Figure 4 - IFC export using out of the box Revit settings openned in Solibri viewer.
To map a family to an IFC entity
  1. Downlaod the following shared parameter file : IFC Export Shared Parameter
Add the shared parameters to the family
  1. In the Family Editor, click Create tab/Properties panel/ (Family Types).
  2. In the Family Types dialog, for Name, select a family type.
  3. Under Parameters, click Add.
  4. In the Parameter Properties dialog, under Parameter Type, click Shared parameter, and click Select.
  5. Navigate to the shared parameters file downloaded above and open the file.
  6. In the Shared Parameters dialog, under Parameters, select IFCExportAs, and click OK.
  7. In the Parameter Properties dialog, under Parameter Data, for Group parameter under, select IFC Parameters.
  8. Make sure that Type is selected, and click OK.
    In the Family Types dialog, IFCExportAs displays in the parameter list.
  9. Under Parameters, click Add.
  10. In the Parameter Properties dialog, under Parameter Type, click Shared parameter, and click Select.
  11. In the Shared Parameters dialog, under Parameters, select IFCExportType, and click OK.
  12. In the Parameter Properties dialog, under Parameter Data, for Group parameter under, select IFC Parameters.
  13. Make sure that Type is selected, and click OK.
    In the Family Types dialog, IFCExportType appears in the parameter list.
Specify values for IFCExportAs and IFCExportType
When you add the shared parameters to one family type, Revit automatically adds them to all types in that family. Next, you can specify values for each parameter in each family type.
  1. In the Family Types dialog:
    1. For Name, select a family type.
    2. For IFCExportAs, specify the desired IFC class.
    3. For IFCExportType, specify the desired IFC type.
    4. Click Apply.
  2. Repeat Step 16 for each of the remaining types in this family.
  3. When you have defined values for all family types, click OK.
  4. Save changes to the family.
  5. If you want to load the updated family into a project, open the project. Then return to the Family Editor, and click Create tab/Family Editor panel/ (Load into Project).

Figure 5 - IFC export using the above method openned in Solibri viewer.

You can also export a single object in Revit into different IFC object categories using nested shared families and different values for the IFCExportAs parameter.

Figure 6 - Resulting IFC export of a single Revit element into different IFC subtypes.

An other method to customize IFC export is to use subcategories. By assigning a custom sub-category such as "Pile" to geometries you can control it individually in the Revit IFC export settings.

Figure 7 - Sub-category assigned in the Revit family editor

Figure 8 - Revit IFC export settings and custom value for sub-categories.

You will also like this extension here that replace the out of the box export to IFC in Revit.

Alternate IFC export Revit 2014
After installing the first extension you will notice nothing in the interface but the data in the resulting IFC export will be improved.

Alternate user interface Revit 2014
The IFC Alternate UI provide you a custom dialog to choose the export settings.

With all that stuff interoperability have never been so easy !!! ;-) To read more about IFC and building structures click here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is this Bentley technician stealing my Autodesk Revit Content ?

By now, many of you have heard about the exciting announcements Bentley did with their RFA interpreter. The RFA Interpreter will enable you to use parametric content in RFA format (Revit family) that is readily available from manufacturers on the internet.

The RFA Interpreter in AECOsim Building Designer WILL allow the RFA to:
·        Access and select the types defined within the RFA
·        Retain its native parametric behaviors and properties, which will be exercisable in AECOsim Building Designer (such as lengths and angles)
·        Retain its business properties (Such as manufacturer, catalog number, and fire rating)
·        Retain its perforator, to allow content to cut openings (such as doors and windows)
·        Retain its mechanical & plumbing connection points (for air handlers, plumbing fixtures, etc.)
·        Retain its 2D plan and elevation symbols
·        Register itself with the DataGroup Catalog, mapping its business and parametric properties to counterparts in AECOsim Building Designer
·        Map RFA attributes to ABD symbology and/or Part & Family
·        Behave like a native ABD element (similar to BXF or PAZ)
·        Support RFA content versions 2009-2014

The RFA interpreter in AECOsim Building Designer WILL NOT support:
·        Revit system types (walls, curtain wall, stairs, etc..)
·        2D only RFAs (title blocks tags, profiles, etc..)
·        Embedded formats (DWG, SKP, etc. placed inside the RFA)
·        Changing the original RFA definition

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

RTC NA 2013 ... Vancouver I'm coming !

rtc2013na_header_896x194It's my first RTC ! I'm so excited to learn new things. Here is my schedule :

LAB: The Omniscient, Omnipotent Omni-Directional Jig: MEP Connectors Mastered (Class Seating)     
Fractal Fun with Revit Repeaters & Adaptive Components        
Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Integration Reality Check  
Applying Open Standards and Levels of Development (LOD)               
Revit Structure Power Hour: 60 Tips for Those Who Already Know What They're Doing              
BIM for the Smaller Firm: Implementation Strategies for Success          
Implementing the AEC (CAN) BIM Protocol       
Create Complex Structural Models that are connected               
LAB: Undocumented: Family Editor (Gallery Seating)
Making Revit Server Work on a Jobsite...Without a Revit Server            
Construction Sequencing: Visual Representation in Extreme and Unusual Environments           
Be Analytical of Your Analytical Model 
Revit Direct to Fabrication & Manufacture

 It will be a long flight 8h ! I can't wait to be there.