Open, view, and modify an IFC file without using BIM software, thanks to an advanced IFC editor. Find out how to do it.
Do you have a 3D model in IFC format, but you don’t have BIM software to open it? Now you can view and modify an IFC file (even online!) regardless of the software used to generate it (Revit, ArchiCAD, Edificius, etc.). All you need is a device connected to the internet and an advanced IFC editor. Read this article and find out how!
Why use an IFC editor
An advanced IFC editor is the tool you need if:
- You don’t have BIM software;
- You need to open and modify the geometry and information of a 3D model in IFC format, generated by any BIM authoring software (Edificius, RevitTM, ArchiCADTM, EdiLus, etc.).
For visualization and minor modifications to the IFC model, you can also use the online version. This second option is recommended if:
- You have a low-performance PC;
- You don’t want to install additional software on your PC;
- You want to work from any device, even if you don’t have your PC at hand.
If you have these needs, I recommend that you keep reading to discover all the advantages you can have in your work using a simple IFC editor.
Everything you can do with an IFC editor
With an advanced IFC editor, you can perform various operations and fully manage an IFC file. Specifically, you can:
- Open IFC files created by any authoring software such as Edificius, RevitTM, ArchiCADTM, ALLPLANTM, TeklaTM, EdiLus, etc.;
- View the model with different display options;
- Federate multiple models simultaneously;
- Translate and rotate the model, aligning it with other federated models;
- Navigate the model based on property and classification selections;
- Modify, delete, replace, and add geometric and informational properties of individual entities in the 3D model;
- Delete, duplicate, and move BIM model entities;
- Define custom classification schemes;
- Create property and classification templates to automatically apply them to other models;
- Import properties from Excel files;
- Create groups and selection filters;
- Create a new version of the IFC model updated with all the changes.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the main features.
However, before we start, I want to clarify that you have two possible working modes to choose from based on your needs. You can work with an IFC editor:
See the following table for a comparison of differences and functionalities between the two versions.
An IFC file contains both geometric information (3D model) and data and properties that characterize the objects in the model. With an advanced IFC editor, you have editing functions that allow you to modify both the geometric data of the model and its properties. In practice, you can:
- Edit, delete, replace, and add geometric and informative properties;
- Delete, duplicate, and move 3D model objects;
- Import new properties from templates in Excel format and associate them with entities in the IFC model;
- Save and export the modified model.
Adding New Objects to the IFC Model
Imagine having to add new objects to your IFC model without using a BIM authoring tool.
With an advanced IFC editor, you can do it: you can enrich the BIM model in IFC format with new objects and elements.
You can find the new objects:
- In the software library, which offers thousands of free resources (CAD blocks, 3D models, etc.);
- In custom libraries of BIM objects that you can share online and implement over time.
Importing new objects is very simple: just open the BIM objects library, choose the desired model from the many options, and place it in the desired location.
You can also:
- Import external files in various standard formats;
- Convert 3D models and objects from various formats such as AutoCAD® (.dxf), SketchUp® (.skp), 3D Studio Max® (.3ds), etc., to IFC.
Integration with Other Modeling Software
You can also take advantage of the integration with SketchUp® or Blender® to modify the objects in your IFC file. The integration of usBIM.editor with SketchUp® and Blender® is immediate and dynamic.
To make use of these capabilities:
- Select the entities to modify;
- Activate the integration between the two software;
- Edit the entities in SketchUp® or Blender®.
You’ll see the changes directly in the IFC format BIM model.
Presentation Graphics of the Project from an IFC File
In addition to editing functions, an IFC editor also has advanced functions to comprehensively present your project.
If you need to create presentation graphics of a project in IFC format and don’t have a BIM authoring tool, you can use usBIM.editor directly. You can quickly get executive graphics with plans, elevations, sections, axonometrics, renders, etc., using the same interface as a BIM architectural design software.
Furthermore, you have a series of additional features to present your project through:
- Fotorealistic renders and photomontages;
- Video presentations (thanks to the “BIM video studio” environment);
- Real-time navigation of the rendered model (RTBIM);
- Immersive virtual reality (VRiBIM) to experience the model firsthand, making changes, replacing, and adding objects and materials.
This way, you can harness all the capabilities of a BIM authoring tool while working directly on an open, non-proprietary file.