IFC 2x3 Coordination View 2.0



Brief introduction

SCIA considers interoperability to be one of the main challenges for the future. More and more engineers are confronted with 3rd party 3D models.
They can redo the work in SCIA Engineer or save time and money by re-using the available information in the existing model.

buildingSmart is an international association, composed of various software manufacturors , which is responsible for the IFC format.
IFC stands for Industry Foundation Classes and is intended to describe 3D building models in an open and neutral ISO standard.

Standardization is crucial for an neutral data-exchange format. That's why buildingSmart has chosen for a IFC-certification .
Those certified are sure their IFC-implementation meets the required level of data exchange.

Currently SCIA Engineer is the only CAE software which is IFC 2x3 certified. By the end of 2012 an new certification is due: IFC 2x3 Coordination View 2.0

To meet the requirements of this upcoming certification round, SCIA needed to tweak and extend it's current IFC implementation.

In the following paragraphs you can see which objects are supported in version 2012 of SCIA Engineer

Detailed Technical information

Import and Export of IFCMember

As of SCIA Engineer 2012 we will import export IFC types more in line with the available types in SCIA Engineer.

Columns and Beams will get native IFC-types

SCIA Engineer Beam IFCBeam
SCIA Engineer Column IFCColumn
SCIA Engineer Gable Column IFCColumn
SCIA Engineer Secondary IFCColumn

The rest is exported as IFCMember, but with the according reference within this type

SCIA Engineer IFCMember Type
General member
Rafter rafter
Purlin purlin
Roof Bracing brace
Wall Bracing brace
Girt member
Truss Chord member
Truss Diagonal member
Beam Slab member

When importing an IFC we also level the types

IFC SCIA Engineer type
IFCMember, member general
IFCBeam beam
IFCColumn column
IFCMember, rafter rafter

IFCMember, purlin

IFCMember, brace wall bracing

Standard wall case with recesses

Following examples show in detail the currently supported recess types in walls










SCIA Engineer does not import recesses in curved walls !
Recesses are only possible in flat plates or slabs



Export of Fasteners

Connections (plates and bolts) are exported to IFC as being "IFC Fasteners"

The image above (left) shows a steel frame in SCIA Engineer with a connection
The IFC export (middel) shows the same beam and column and the connection as an assembly

Import of the same IFC file into SCIA Engineer (right) results in beam and column. The assembly is imported as a general solid.

NOTE: welds are not imported, nor exported

Import of fasteners

Model with included connections or assemblies will import in SCIA Engineer.

Depending on the ways in which the model was saved (Swept Solid or Boundary Representation) you might need to apply the Member Recognizer on members and endplates

SC Assembly export

Steel connections are exported into IFC as a group of entities by means of IfcElementAssembly

You can also export a selection of the connections

SC Plates

To ensure compatibility with the GTDS checker of buidingSmart, we also need to be able to export slabs as BRep geometries

Now we can export as Swept Solid, which is recognized as an "extrusion entity" in Solibri

We can also export as BRep, which remains a BRep in Solibri

Export of 1D reinforcement

Reinforcement can be exported as SweptSolid or BRep. IFC reinforcing bars use IfcSweptSolidDisk for their geometrical representation.

Import of IFC Reinforcement

IfcReinforcingBars (longitudinal bars and stirups) are imported as Free Bars

If IfcReinforcingBarEnum is specified - LAGUAGE as stirrups, rest as standard free bars; we support import of rebars with BRep and sweptsolid (sweptdisksolid) representation

If the represenatation is BRep, only general solids are imported

Support of CSG import

General solids can be very complex when they are created by boolean operations

Below some examples of them

BIM Attributes

Every object will get additional attributes, dedicated for BIM.
You have access to these settings when you switch on the proper functionality in the Project Data window.

When importing IFC files which hold these parameters, the functionality will be activated automatically

The available parameters differ with the object type. There is a difference in number and type of parameters between 1D and 2D entities

We can export SCIA Engineer attributes, as shown on the next example

And also import of attributes is taken care of.

Line Grids and Storeys

Version 2012 also supports the export of Linegrids and storeys. Storeys are added to the model hierarchy, where as Linegrids are objects in the model

Stefan Belmans