IFC File Export from ALLPLAN

If you work using a BIM system, then you will be familiar with ALLPLAN, one of the top open BIM suppliers. This solution makes it easy for everyone involved in a project to collaborate.

When using ALLPLAN, you will work with IFC files. These need to be properly exported from the platform to use the data in bimspot. 

You can even consult the official BIM Compendium from ALLPLAN.

Laptop screen showing a file export progression

Understanding ALLPLAN Elements and Attributes of the Hierarchic Levels

When you exchange the model data through the IFC interface, you have to do this based on the hierarchical structural levels of the building model. 

Whether you are doing an import or export, you can’t create and transfer the data model with the tools that ALLPLAN has available. Instead, you need to use the building structure with its structural levels. 

This is because the Urban Planning module in ALLPLAN doesn’t regard certain objects as being part of the model. The interface excludes these elements from the model to keep the number of undefined elements to a minimum and avoid data errors. 

These elements include anything made in the Plot, Building, and Floor Level tools. The Story tool in the Architecture – Rooms, Surfaces, Stories module also applies to this. The only exception to this is Rooms as these fall under the lowest level of the hierarchy. 

Entering Project Information

To access your project settings, you will need to do the following:

  • Open the File menu
  • Click New Project
  • Click Open Project
  • Choose the project and open the shortcut menu
  • Click Properties
  • Click Assign Attributes

Now a box with all of the available attributes will appear. For attributes that can be transferred to IFC and applied to the structural levels, only use entries in the General, Construction Project, and Building Information groups. 

Here are the required minimum attributes for structural levels: 

  • Site – IFCSite: This is the topmost structural level in the building structure. 
  • Building – IFCBuilding: This is the second hierarchical level. Do not use the Structure level.
  • Story – IFCBuildingStorey: The story level will get most drawing files. This structural level is found below the building. 

These attributes correspond with the specifications laid out by buildingSMART for IFC4.

How To Export From ALLPLAN

When exporting your model from ALLPLAN, you will need to convert the model to an IFC format and export this using the right interface. The IFC file can then be used with bimspot. 

The best way to do this is to export the model as a whole if it hasn’t been transferred before. If you have already transferred the model, then you can just export the different components or layers that you will need and add this to your exported model. 

When doing this, always make sure that all collaborators can access the model and database at all times. 

Exporting To IFC

If you want to export your model to IFC, you can only do so from drawing mode. If you’re on the layout editor, you won’t be able to access the tools to export to IFC. This is because the IFC format is specifically focused on transferring 3D-based building models – which you will create in drawing mode. 

If you plan on using an IFC file for export, you can do the following:

  • Open the File or Create menu
  • Select Export
  • Select Export IFC Data or Interfaces
  • Select Export IFC Data

Exporting IFC4 Data

In ALLPLAN, you can export data according to IFC4 format. In addition, you can use the Export IFC4 Data option to export IFC2x3 formats. 

To do this, go to:

  • File
  • Export
  • Export IFC4 Data

If you do use the IFC4 data tool, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to exclude construction layers of components from the export or choose a subset.

Exporting the IFC File

The select drawing dialogue box will open, showing the building model. Select each drawing file and structural level that you want to export as an IFC file. The default setting is to transfer the entire model, by adding checkmarks next to each drawing file. You can adjust this based on the parts you want to transfer.

Once all of the correct drawing files and structural levels have been chosen, you can save this all as a file. 

Choose Save Current Selection and click OK to confirm. 

Doing this allows you to have the correct file available at all times. This makes sure that you always export the same drawing files – even if you have a different selection on the interface.

IFC Export Settings

The Elements to be Transferred area shows all of the possible elements that can be transferred to IFC. You can choose any element types that you don’t want to transfer and leave these out. There are also options to control how the transfer will take place. 

If you want to take out any construction layers from this transfer, you can do so by choosing Do Not Transfer Hidden Layers

If you want to export a line drawing model for structural analyses, you can choose Structural Analysis View

You can also resize the IFC file or change the size of the unit by selecting Coordinates and Length Parameters.

You probably don’t want to have to choose each of these specifications every single time. To make this easier, you can save all of your preferred settings as an Exchange Favorite. To do this, you can select Save As, then specify the folder and name. 

This lets you access the list of exchanged favourites that you have set. You can go to About, and add any relevant details or information on these. 

Conclusion

Working in ALLPLAN is not too complicated as long as you understand the different file formats and how to import and export your models. When working with BIM, you will need to have a good grasp of IFC files and how to move them between platforms. Understanding this properly is essential for successful collaboration and easy workflows.

Resources

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