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2018 Table of Contents

Improvements in IFC export, import and conversion

Last updated March 16, 2018 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

Software version: 
2018

Improvements in IFC export, import and conversion

Improvements in IFC export, import and conversion

There are several improvements in the IFCfile format commonly used in BIM that facilitates software interoperability

IFC is an open specification developed by the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability).

Model can be exported into an IFC file.

export and import, and in the IFC object conversion management. IFC4 has been developed further.

IFC4 export improvements

  • Before you can start the IFC4 export in Tekla Structures , you need to set the advanced option XS_IFC4_EXPORT_PLEASE to TRUE in teklastructures.ini.

  • The Property sets selection has been removed from the dialog box. The property sets are now hardcoded in the IFC4 export.

  • The new Object color setting allows you to export objects using the object classpart property that groups parts according to identifiers given by the user

    The identifiers of classes are usually numbers. Classes can be used for defining the color of parts in the model, for example. Class does not influence the numbering of model objects.

    colors or object groupmodel objects with settings that match the settings that the user has defined for a certain purpose

    In Tekla Structures, an object group is used on the one hand to control the transparency and coloring of model objects in the views and on the other in project management. Object groups can also be used in filtering tools, for example in selection filter, to select all objects that match certain properties.

    colors. If you select object group colors, the defined transparency settings are also exported.

  • You can now export flat and wide beams as plates using the new option Export flat wide beams as plates. Select this option if you have modeled plates as beams or columns with flat profiles. For example, some system components use beams or columns instead of plates.

  • The option Locations from Organizer has been renamed to Spatial hierarchy from Organizer , which tells more clearly what this option does.

  • When you select the new option Pours , concrete parts are exported as pours. If you do not select it, concrete parts are exported without pours.

  • Base quantity definitions are now automatically included in the export.

  • The selections that you make in the dialog box are now written in the IFC file header.

  • A log file is now automatically created at the export and saved in the export folder. When you export, a message box is displayed, and you can select to open the export folder or view the log file.

  • The following entities are now supported in the IFC4 export:

    • Type entities

    • ifcChimney, ifcChimneyType

    • ifcMaterialProfile and ifcMaterialProfileSet

    • ifcTendon

    • ifcReinforcementMesh

  • Surface objectmodel object that is created on the face of a part or a pour object

    Surface can be used to calculate surface areas, such as formwork areas.

    attributes are now available for ifcCovering entity type in additional property sets.

  • Rebars created using the rebar set commands are now exported.

  • Improvements in Reference view :

    • The body geometry can be extruded using basic sweeps and SweptDiskSolid or having tessellated geometry.

    • There are two new presentations for entities, 3D Axis and CoG:

      3D Axis also exports the axis presentation for linear members. This new presentation defines the axis from the original start point to the original end point.

      CoG defines the center of gravity point. The centre of gravity point is exported as geometry pointpoint on an object’s geometry determined by the object’s shape

      Geometry points can be selected as snap points in a snap switch.

      in the model.

    • Now openings also have geometric reference representationthe way that the information included in a model is represented visually

      for downstream usage.

  • Improvements in Design transfer view :

    • Profiles are now exported as parametric profiles.

    • The new parameters for flange slope and flange edge radius are now supported for I profiles. Also an unsymmetric I shape is now supported.

    • In IFC4 Design transfer view rebars are exported using ifcSweptDiskSolidPolygonal rather than ifcSweptDiskSolid like in Reference view.

IFC2x3 export improvements

  • The IFC2x3 export now uses IFC type ifcWall to export Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) and basic geometry for walls.

  • The option Locations from Organizer has been renamed to Spatial hierarchy from Organizer , which tells more clearly what this option does.

IFC import improvements

  • Bounding boxrectangular border with the smallest measure within which all the selected points that position the model objects lie

    In Tekla Structures two-dimensional bounding boxes are used in drawings and three-dimensional bounding boxes in models.

    representation has been added to import.

  • Errors in wireframe geometry are now visualized.

    Most cases of geometry creation failure are now indicated, and missing elements have visual representation. If nothing else can be shown, a unit cube wireframe will be shown instead.

    For boolean operations the main part(1) part that exists in a building object and that determines the position number for the assembly or cast unit and the direction of assembly or cast unit drawings

    (1) Main part can be an assembly main part or a cast unit main part.

    (2) input part that the user selects first when creating a component

    (2) Connections and details always have a component main part.

    (the leftmost nodeanalysis model object that Tekla Structures creates at a defined point of an analysis model based on analysis part connectivity

    Tekla Structures creates nodes at ends and intersection points of analysis parts, and the corners of analysis areas.

    in boolean tree, the body shape that has openings attached), is only generated.

    The geometry creation may fail because of invalid data, incompletely closed profile, 0 thickness solids etc. Invalid elements may be invalid or duplicate GUIDs, for example.

  • Elements that are completely cut out may still appear as wireframes.

  • Flange edge radius and flange slope parameters have been added to the I shape profile definition.

  • There are now separate 3D axis and body representations.

  • The performance of the IFC import has been improved, and large bolt systems are imported much faster, the worker queue works better, and there are fewer triangles in some models.

  • The import now supports tapered extruded and revolved solids.

  • Import now supports IFC4-type, profile-based, material definitions.

  • Container shapes no longer appear twice in import.

  • Gridmodeling aid that represents a three-dimensional complex of horizontal and vertical planes

    In Tekla Structures, grids are used as an aid in locating objects in a model. The grid is shown on the view plane by dash-and-dot lines. It is also possible to show grids and grid line labels in drawings, and to modify grid properties in the drawings.

    It is possible to have more than one grid in a model. For example, a large-scale grid for the entire structure, and smaller grids for some detailed sections.

    placement in reference view has been improved.

  • Elements with only graphics set, such as some grids, are no longer missing.

  • IfcSystem (IfcGroup) import is now working.

  • IfcRevolvedAreaSolid now produces valid solids.

  • Added a check to verify that all elements are imported/handled.

IFC object conversion improvements

  • IFC object conversion now supports B-rep cuts.

  • B-rep to item conversion is now much faster.

  • The conversion change management changes list now has a new column Type indicating the type of the object, for example, IFCBEAM or IFCCOLUMN.

  • The setting Set handles to top flange is no longer used for polybeams for better conversion results.

  • New settings have been added to the IFC object conversion settings dialog box allowing you to select conversion to item and conversion to extrusion separately for concrete material and other material, for example, steel. These options are applied to direct conversion and to conversion change management.

  • The ifcRoof objects are now converted correctly. Earlier, the plates were not always oriented properly after conversion.

  • Handling of polygons and arbitrary profiles in conversion has been improved.

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