Export IFC model to project coordinates

Software version: 2016 - 17.1

Last updated October 20, 2016 by Tekla Global Support tekla.structures.ghd@trimble.com

Not environment-specific

Export IFC model to project coordinates

Information: Starting from Tekla Structures 2016i there is a new functionality available called Base points, that allows users to easily export their model to global coordinates. Please see the Project base points and other interoperability improvements article for more information.

This step-by-step tutorial provides a workflow on how to export an 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.

model created in Tekla Structures using relative coordinates to relative Project coordinates.
In the example, a model created in Tekla Structures with the start point at relative 0,0,0 coordinate is used.
Let’s assume that in this case the structure’s start point in the relative Project coordinate system is located at 15000,10000,5000, meaning that x=15000 mm away from the project’s origin, y=10000 mm and z=5000 mm. Also, let’s assume that the rotation angle of the structure is 10 degrees from the project’s x axis.

1. In this workflow, an extension called Workplane Manager from the Tekla Warehouse will be used, but this is no mandatory. User can manually change the workplanes to your preference and necessity. We recommend to use this tool if you have a complex job or multiple coordination points to work with. The given example describes the workflow using Workplane Manager.
2. The first thing to do after you have installed the extension is to save the work planeplane that the user has chosen in a model and that is currently active for working on in a model view

Newly created, copied, or moved model objects comply with the work plane. For example, shifting the work plane to follow a sloped plane makes it easier to model sloped structures.

that has been used to create the model – the original XY work plane. In this example DEFAULT XY, and save it. It is shown on the Work Plane List.
 Picture No.1

3. Next, create a construction lineconstruction object that represents a line between two points

starting from the origin of the DEFAULT XY work plane in the x axis direction. Then copy it and rotate by 10 degrees around the Z axis.
 Picture No.2

4. Next, copy the rotated construction line to the structure’s Project coordinates, x=15000, y=10000 and z=5000.
 Picture No.3

Note that it is very important to use the 0 mm extension length of the construction line, otherwise the Local Coordinates 1 (LC1 – marked with red color in the Axis and work planes (Drawing No.1)) will be read incorrectly. Instead of construction lines, you may also use some parts.
 Picture No.4

5. Now you need to change the work plane. Create a new temporary work plane that starts from the DEFAULT XY origin 0,0,0 and is rotated by 10 degrees. The easiest way to do this is to create it Using Two Points and use the copied and rotated construction line at the DEFAULT XY origin.
 Picture No.5

6. Now the LC1 for the start point of the construction line that was copied to the Project’s coordinates can be read by Inquiring it.
 Picture No.6

Switch back to the DEFAULT XY work plane. You do not have to save the newly created work plane as it won’t be used anymore.
7. Copy the construction line to the coordinates which were read from the Inquire Object dialog box, but use the negative values. In this case x=-16508.60, y=-7243.35, z=-5000.00.
 Picture No.7

8. Then create the reference work plane. This work plane will be used as the origin work plane when the model is exported. The following drawing shows how changing the work plane affects the Local Coordinate systemcoordinate system that reflects the current work plane or drawing view plane

The local coordinate system is represented in a model by a symbol with three axes (x, y, and z). This symbol indicates the direction of the model. It is located in the lower right corner of the model view.

In a drawing, the local coordinate system symbol has two axes.

 Drawing No.1 - Axis and work planes

a. As the construction line has now been copied, it still has to be rotated so that it would be -10 degrees from the DEFAULT XY work plane’s x direction. So in this case it has to be rotated by -20 degrees.

 Picture No.8

b. Now set the new work plane Using Two Points along the rotated construction line.
c. Save the new work plane in Work Plane Manager. In this example EXPORT WORK PLANE.
In the drawing it is marked as Local Coordinates 2 (LC2 - marked with green color in the Axis and work planes (Drawing No.1))

 Picture No.9

d. It is very important to delete all the copied and moved construction lines after the new work plane is saved, otherwise it will create an unnecessarily big Work Areacertain portion of the model that is currently active for working on in a view

Tekla Structures indicates the work area using dashed lines. Since objects outside the work area exist but are not visible the user can set a certain sized work area so that the views of the model are simpler and quickly updated, for example.

when fitted to the entire model. This is especially essential if the Project’s origin is far away. Of course, it is possible to find and delete it using Find Distant Object, but we recommend that you delete them immediately.

9. This newly created work plane is now used when the model is exported to IFC.
 Picture No.10

When you click the Export button in the Export to IFC dialog box, Tekla Structures shows you a message that the global and local coordinate systems do not match. Click Export anyway to continue.
10. To test the result, Set the work plane to DAFAULT XY and insert the exported IFC model. It will be imported at x=15000mm, y=10000mm, z=5000mm and rotated by 10 degrees from the x axis.
 Picture No.11

This is the final result in Plan and 3D views.
 Picture No.12

 Picture No.13

It is also possible to export a model to project or global coordinates in IFC format using the latest version of "Export to Revit" extension from Tekla Warehouse


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by Tommi Hautalahti

Maybe you could replace the mention of Tekla Extranet with a direct link to the extension in Tekla Warehouse?

by Tekla Global Support

Direct link to the extension added! Thanks!