A quick and practical example that shows how to convert a DWG file into an open IFC format and collaborate with all the technical experts involved in the project
Have you produced your project in DWG, OBJ, SKP, 3DS, etc … and you don’t know how to convert it into an IFC format in order to collaborate with your colleagues? Today we’ll be seeing how to do just that in a few simple steps, starting off by downloading a free software solution certified by buildingSMART international.
How to convert a DWG file to IFC with usBIM.viewer+
There are several tools that allow you to convert a DWG into IFC file. In this example we will explain how to do it in a simple way with usBIM.viewer+, the ACCA software freeware for managing IFC files.
To convert a DWG into an IFC file, follow this procedure:
- Download for free and install now usBIM.viewer+
- Select the Create document from 3D file option
- Select the 3D model to convert
- From the toolbar, click Export IFC file.
With usBIM.viewer+ you also have a specific tool for viewing models even if created with different BIM authoring. For example, you can view Revit files and .EDF files.
The video below shows how to get an IFC file in a very simple workflow.
Is it possible to convert an IFC file to a DWG?
Converting an IFC file into a DWG can be a risky operation as an IFC file is often composed of a lot of data associated with the building’s geometry that could end up getting lost during the conversion. However, it’s possible to import IFC files into various BIM authoring tools and then export the 2D files as .DXF, .DWG, .SVG files.
If you don’t have a BIM authoring and need to work on an IFC file, you can use usBIM.vewer+ for free.
usBIM.viewer+ isn’t only an IFC viewer but also an IFC file editor with advanced functions for creating and editing the BIM model, a true BIM Model Authoring in the IFC open format.
With usBIM.viewer+ you can:
- create an IFC file from any file format or open an IFC file produced by any Authoring architectural, structural, plant design, etc. software (Revit, ArchiCAD, Tecla, Vector Works, AllPlan etc.)
- view all the IFC objects that constitute the model and work on each of them by adding properties, replacing their geometry or deleting both aspects
- insert new objects that you can export from any online catalogue in any format.
All changes applied to the model are saved in a new model in IFC file format.
usBIM.viewer+ completely changes the potential use of the IFC format of a BIM model. In fact, the IFC format not only guarantees access to data over time, regardless of the software with which the model was produced, but it also represents the format used to freely manage information during the building’s construction and maintenance phases.
The software above outlined is a desktop solution, but if you would like all these functions in an online solution, you can use a free DWG viewer.
What is an IFC file format?
The IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is an open data format created to facilitate interoperability between the various actors involved in a process. The main purpose of the IFC format is to allow the interchange of an information model without loss or distortion of data or information.
The IFC has been designed to preserve the information of a building in all its life cycle phases: from the feasibility analysis to its construction and maintenance, as well as in all the design and planning steps.
The advantages of the open format
The main advantage offered by the IFC format is the possibility of facilitating collaboration between the various stakeholders involved in the construction process, allowing them to exchange information through a standard format.
This leads to higher quality, reduction of errors, reduction of costs and time savings.
As a matter of facts, IFC models contain the building geometry and the data associated with its elements. They may include all or only part of the information contained in the original BIM files.
Exporting project data that has been created using BIM practices to an IFC file is the best way to transfer data from one application to another.
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