Tag Archives: IFC

When Architecture and Planning Mix: BIM and GIS

20 Mar

Architects and planners work at two different scales and use two different sets of software. Architects use computer aided drafting (CAD) and Planners use geographic information systems (GIS). Architects are often drafting a single building on a site and planners are analyzing a block, neighborhood, city or region. It is not that often that a planner works at the level of a single building and it is just as rare to find an architect drafting a city. What if we could combine the work of architects and planners in GIS?

Read More at The Urban Times…


Free Revit Viewer

6 Jan

As I look over some of my analytics, I see a lot of people searching for a free Revit viewer.  I don’t know what these people intend to do with the viewer and therefore do not know what capabilities they would like it to have. But, I will put out a few good options and point you to a list of MANY free “Revit” viewers.

First, I would probably start with Autodesks own “Revit Lite” —  Project Spark. It is available in the Labs. According to the Labs, it will operate until July 7, 2012.

The rest of the viewers, and why I put Revit in quotes earlier, rely on IFC. Export your model, and these free viewers will allow you to do many different things. If you know how to code, grab the Open IFC Tools and write your own viewers.

I have used, FZKViewer and IFCWalkThru. They run as stand alone apps, meaning no installation necessary. You can find them here.

I have also used IFC Engine. I just noticed while writing this that they may even give you the advanced version if you ask. Check it out here.

For many other IFC tools, check out this list on the IFC Wiki.

If you want to get a little creative, you can build a website and embed your 3D model in it. You can even have links to many different views. This trick uses the Revit export to DWF. I have a post on it and a sample website on this blog. If you need copies of the code to make this work, just leave me a comment and I will email it to you.

Hope these help. If you have any other viewers, please leave links to them in the comments section.


Revit to GIS: 2011 Makes it Possible

14 Nov

Prior to Revit 2011, placing a 3D BIM model in to a GIS required the creation of a projection file within the GIS. By creating a projection with a false northing and easting, your model would project correctly.

Finally, we have the ability to create this projection within Revit!

By bringing a model in to GIS, we now have all the GIS toolboxes available for analysis. Clash detection is now possible without needing Navisworks.

How do you do it?

1) Set your projects coordinates to real world projection coordinates. (WGS84 maybe).

2) Export as an IFC.

3) In ESRI ArcGIS – you may need the Data Interoperability extension – which might run you $2,500 for a license- you can open the file.

4) Using ArcMap – I know you want 3D but lets convert to shapefile first – load a shapefile that has a projection you use frequently. Then load the IFC as you would a shapefile. If you double click the IFC, it will let you pick specific IFC Elements, so load the ones you want.

5)Select an IFC element from the contents browser and right click. Export as shapefile. Check box to use current projects projection. This will add a .PRJ file to your new shapefile.

6) Load the new Shapefile in to ArcScene to see it in 3D.

7) Do cool things like SELECT by attributes FROM windows WHERE pane=single.  You can load in an entire campus. Try doing  that in Revit.

Down Save Revit Models

23 Oct

I hate that Revit will not allow me to open a 2011 model in 2010. When upgrading to 2011, my office decided to only move certain projects over and leave others. We took in to account the fact that we could not down save and once we were in 2011 we were stuck in 2011.

There is a workaround! If you really need to open a model from a later version of Revit you can — by using IFC.

WARNING: You will lose information. Your walls, windows, doors, and some other elements will be safe, but the model will not be 100% complete — depending on how detailed it is.

To see what will export, go to EXPORT>OPTIONS>IFC OPTIONS

As you can see, Area Tags will not export by default. If you are familiar with the IFC tags you can export objects that are currently not exporting by specifying what tag should be used in the IFC.

Export your model to IFC. Voila! you now have a text file (.IFC) that should look as follows.

From an earlier version of Revit click R>OPEN>IFC and select the file. Now you have a 2011 model in 2010 or 2009. This is also a good way to get your file to many other programs.

DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend using this as a way to work on a daily basis. This tip is for those times when it is absolutely necessary to go between two different version of Revit. You should talk with all parties involved in a project and decide on a version before beginning your project.