IFC Translator Settings for IFC Import to ARCHICAD

by Andrea Polgár-Veres · updated: 01.26.2017

 

Geometry Conversion Methodology
Native Element Import
Advantages
Correct floor plan and section representation.
Disadvantages
Creates complex profile attributes.
Attributes will need to be managed carefully when revised IFC files are imported.
For more information, see Managing Attributes from Imported IFCs.
Imported Complex Profiles may cause conflicts with attributes that already exist in the ARCHICAD file.
Complicated element connections may fragment when imported into ARCHICAD.
The screenshot below shows a complicated connection from Tekla in which, when the construction elements are converted into native ARCHICAD elements (Beams), the connection breaks.
Morphs
Advantages
Good control over 2D representation – (Projected, Projected with overhead, etc)
No complex profile attributes are created
No library parts are created
Complicated element connections will be left intact, creating precise geometry.
The screenshot below shows the same complicated element connection from Tekla, but the elements have been converted to Morphs. As you can see, the geometry has been left intact, creating precise geometry.
Disadvantages
May become heavier than objects (slow performance in 3D)
2D representation for other construction elements (Walls/Slabs/etc) may suffer
Objects
Advantages
No complex profile attributes are created.
Objects can be stored in Linked Libraries or. lcfs for easier management.
Complicated element connections will be left intact, creating precise geometry.
Disadvantages
It is difficult to control the 2D representation.
There may be issues with objects not showing on the correct stories.
Geometry Conversion Options
First, let’s consider how geometry conversion from a structural IFC model is handled. The primary setting here is the Building elements option within the IFC Translator – Import Options – Geometry Conversion Options.
The following options are available:
Construction elements, otherwise Morphs
Construction elements, otherwise Objects
Morphs
Objects
From a structural IFC model, the construction elements would be, Beams/Columns/Slabs/Walls/etc.
Construction Elements, otherwise Morphs
The screenshot below shows a structural IFC imported into ARCHICAD.
The construction elements here are Beams and Columns, so these elements will be converted into native ARCHICAD Beams and Columns. However, the Castellated Beam will be converted into a Morph, due to the complexity of the element.
Construction Elements, otherwise Objects
Imports in a similar way to “Construction elements, otherwise Morphs”, but the complex elements (castellated beam) will be converted into objects. The standard beams and columns will be converted into native ARCHICAD elements.
Morphs
The screenshot below shows the same structural IFC imported into ARCHICAD. This time, however, all construction elements have been converted to Morphs.
Objects
Imports in a similar way to Morphs, but all construction elements will be converted into Objects.
Tips
Even though we convert all construction elements to Morphs/Objects, the elements are left intact.
IFC Data (Property Sets/Properties) are also left intact during the construction element conversion to Morphs/Objects.
If importing an MEP model, use the “Objects” translator option, since the MEP objects will take up much less memory if ARCHICAD can import them as native MEP objects. (MEP Modeler must be installed.)
If, for a specific reason, native element conversion is necessary, it is possible to switch off the Priority Based Connections in the IFC file, by changing the used layers’ layer priority to 0.
If the IFC file’s Site is too large, it can cause problems during IFC import. In this case, uncheck the IFC Site geometry option.
Layer Conversion
We recommend using the following setup for Layer Conversion:
The main option here is ‘Keep original layers and add extension’ This will import the layers stored in the IFC, but ARCHICAD will add an extension (which can be edited) to all imported IFC layers, allowing for easier management of IFC Layers and ARCHICAD model layers.
However, if national standard compliant layer naming is used as the discipline code (that is the code at the beginning of each layer name), it will help to differentiate the layers between the Structural Engineer and the Architect.
Material and Surface Conversion
Material and Surface Conversion is a personal preference, but can be useful to avoid adding Building Materials to the ARCHICAD model.
You can read more about the Material and Surface Conversion on pages 2487-2491 of the ARCHICAD 20 Reference Guide or read the corresponding chapter of the Helpcenter article: http://helpcenter.GRAPHISOFT.com/?p=62997
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