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IFC Import Evolution

Got much better over the years :)
Everything Solids from VW here,
which is absolutely phantastic !

First it looked like I got even Wall and Slab Compositions in.

Which is nearly true (for singly-Ply Compositions).
Just that for Walls I don't get multi-Ply Compositions in but multiple
singly-Ply Compositions.
So not my complete VW Wall Style but a BC Composition from each
of my Wall Components (which each use their own "Material"Layer)

And what looked like a multi-Ply Composition Wall Solid is in fact a Block,
of multiple ntimes separate Solids, from ntimes Wall Components.

As I always wondered why I get so many single-used Blocks for things
like Slabs or Walls.

And imported Compositions are all generic, separation in Walls or Slabs
got lost.

So import of Plies instead of whole Compositions brought another Problem
While Import I was asked - and skipped - Duplicates of the "same"
Plaster "Material".
But that was not only the Plaster "Building Material" but in fact the whole
Ply Setting including different Thickness, used in multiple multiple unique
Plaster Walls with different Thicknesses.

For my Slabs the multi-Ply Composition came in as such.
Although I do not know how that will work as the Slabs are also Blocks
from a separate Solid for each Ply.
The Block is the BIM Slab ! Inside the Block are just standard non
classifiable Solids. So the "Block" thinks it had a Composition !?)

So my Question, is that something :

a) not our fault, VW must export bad IFC, it works for us
b) we are well aware of that, this feature will come in future releases
c) this is that way up to IFC 2x3, you should better try exporting IFC 4.0 to Bricscad
d) you should use "simplified geometry" Option for exporting multi-Component
Objects for now ....


  • Hello Michael,

    Thanks for the nice feedback! It sounds like Vectorworks exports multi-ply walls or slabs as aggregated entities, i.e. being composed by other elements and acting as an assembly. In this case, such entities are imported to BricsCAD as blocks with the BIM data attached either to the block or the solids in the block. It would be nice if you could file a support request with this IFC file, so we can have a closer look!

    BTW, BricsCAD BIM also has an IFC export option to split compositions into parts. This IFC option is useful for sending the IFC file for quantity take off: because the receiving application then has the plies as separate geometric entities for exact quantity calculation. But the default option is that composition are exported as single solid entities with a multi-ply composition.

    Kind regards,

  • Thanks Tiemen,

    aggregated entities

    Ah, I remember to have heard that before, I think that's what VW exports.

    I am not really sure what I really want or prefer.
    (Currently just so happy to see all Solids)

    No problem to export single Solids only from VW.
    Better for Insertions, Clip Volumes and such things.
    I already did simplify Styles/Compositions from the Revit Import, and
    honestly I don't need multi-Plies for my work.
    It was more for Material Assignment Comfort only.
    But I could assign also by Object for different Faces (*)

    On the other hand I always questioned multi-Ply Compositions but single
    Solids for Structural vs Insulation Package or Slab vs Floor Package.
    So having separate Solids (freed from their Block's Jail) could be quite
    useful though.
    Depends on what I want to do with my geometry and in which App.

    (*) A bit pity that I never was able to really exchange Material definitions by DWG
    between Apps. (VW brings it in fine most of the times but I never get anything
    into a ACAD compatible App like Bricscad)
    What I get are Names from my Plies, not my original Material Names
    and just an inherit color. Plus lots of Duplicates with Reference Dollars.
    (BTW : Caution, Deleting Materials has no Undo for me !)
    Also all Objects have always set Material by Layer (which was set that way here),
    but Layers never have a Material applied, which they do in VW.

  • @Michael Mayer said:

    No problem to export single Solids only from VW.

    I lied.
    No simplified export here.
    What I can do is "Export Slabs/Walls by Components"
    which would even bring "more" separate Solids for each Ply.

    Simple single Solids per Slab/Wall would mean to renounce of
    multy-Ply Compositions in VW.

    Is that a good idea to import all Plies separately into Bricscad ?
    (If you want to work with that geometry)
    Where you better work with simple single Solids and concentrate
    all complexity in multy-Ply Compositions.

  • edited April 2019

    I lied.
    No simplified export here.

    I lied that I lied,
    there is also an Option to Export Simplified Geometry,
    instead of the Architecture 2.0 Setup.

    looks like Bricscad does not support IFC 4 for now.

  • edited April 2019

    I wonder why I get all these $-ed XREF Layers with my IFC Imports
    from Vectorworks, although there aren't any XREFs anywhere.

    It looks like these $ Layer Duplicates originate from, or for, each Story in VW.
    Although VW Stories translate fine into Bricscads Spatial Locations.

    I wonder if I could avoid these.
    At first it looks like a cool option to be able to switch Stories Visibilities
    for Stories by Layers too (in a permanent fashion !)
    But it doesn't consequently duplicate ALL Layers used by ALL Objects
    on a certain Story. There are still a bunch of non-$ Layers used by Objects
    of other Stories (than entry level Story).
    So the $-Layers don't work for Visibility Control either.

    Also I think that such $-Layer Separation provokes unwanted
    $-Duplications of Building Materials, Render Materials and or
    BIM Compositions.

  • @Tiemen said:
    Hello Michael,

    It would be nice if you could file a support request with this IFC file, so we can have a closer look!

    Kind regards,

    Unfortunately I already changed the VW IFC donor file to single Ply Compositions
    already. So nothing fancy anymore in the current Bricscad Import.
    If you want to look at it anyway, I recently attached the current file to SR 90155.

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