Monday, 31 March 2014

Revit 2015 and IFC linking

In Revit 2015 you will get the ability to link IFC files. This is a great step forward for interoperability.
While Revit 2015 was in Beta this feature was introduced but after trying it users soon found out it was only an automated import. ADSK responded to the critics and improved it. Technically an IFC file still gets imported but you will now have a reload button that does exactly that! Linking an IFC file only works if you have set a default template!
Take a look in the directory where you have placed the IFC file. You should get a file that has the same name as the IFC file with an additional rvt extension.
Although Revit clearly links a converted IFC file. You will find the IFC file on the IFC tab in the managed links dialogue. Do take a look at the log file it generates. It’s now an html file which improves it’s readability.

Speed:
Linking an IFC file is a lot faster than opening an IFC file:
Revit 2014 opening a (17 mb) IFC file 4:05.6
Revit 2015 opening a (17 mb) IFC file 4:05.6
Revit 2015 linking a (17 mb) IFC file 1:42.9
Selecting an IFC linked file is slow. Revit won’t let you open the linked IFC file like you would any other Revit link. 

Ifc.rvt
When you link the following IFC file: example.ifc in the file RevitProject.rvt Revit will generate a file example.ifc.rvt. If you update the IFC file it will reimport the file. If you edit the example.ifc.rvt, save it and close the file, update the example.ifc and reopen the RevitProject.rvt it will retain the additions you have added. Be aware I have only added some elements I have not tried any extensive modifications.

A linked IFC file pretty much behaves like a linked Revit file. Go to visibility and graphics and you can controle it’s visibility. If you open the ifc.rvt file and edit the file you can add filters and other view specifics.

Also there is a ‘disadvantage’ of IFC linking. Companies who both work in Revit but use different versions (years) could start to link each other’s IFC files.

Recently I was asked about snapping to the linked ifc file. Apparently you can't snap to the ifc file. I hadn't checked that before. At the moment Revit 2015 update 3 can't do it. 

But overall this is a good step for Revit and for collaboration.

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