LEGO Architecture meets BIM – Part 11: Geometry exchange
Models are often exchanged between different stakeholders working on projects. Model authors and those using the models use a variety of software for their own needs. In order for BIM to work it is imperative that geometry and information are exchanged reliably between each software tool.
Interoperability is “the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged”. Interoperability between BIM software has improved dramatically over the last few years as BIM has become more commonplace.
At Bond Bryan we are always testing models between tools to ensure that these models are as reliable as they can be. Where issues are known we document and share these. We also report issues back to vendors to ensure that issues can be fixed and have a regular dialogue with a number of software vendors.
This blog post is designed to show the Villa Savoye model in a variety of software but also doubles as an interoperability test for elements that are classed as IfcBuildingElementProxy. IfcBuildingElementProxy items are essentially ‘Other’ items that can’t be classified with one of the other categories (i.e Door, Window, Stair, Ramp, Wall etc).
The model as we have seen in previous posts was created and exported from GRAPHISOFT ARCHICAD 20. Geometry exchange from other software into the tools shown below may vary. All of these models were tested using the following Model View Definition (MVD): IFC2x3 Coordination View 2.0.
Original model (produced in GRAPHISOFT ARCHICAD 20)
Reimported into GRAPHISOFT ARCHICAD 20
Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture 2015
Autodesk Navisworks Manage 2017
Autodesk Revit 2017
Bentley AECOsim Building Designer v8i (SELECTSeries 6) (Import)
BIM Vision v2.10
DDS-CAD Viewer v8.0
Exactal CostX v6.0
Nemetschek Vectorworks 2017
Solibri Model Checker v9.6
Synchro Pro v184.108.40.206
Tekla BIMsight v19.6
Viewpoint For Projects
All the models transfer ok into the software tested with the exception of xBIM which has incorrect geometry representation in a number of locations. No geometry is lost in any of the models. You will however notice that the text ‘Villa Savoye’ has disappeared into all software apart from the reimport back into ARCHICAD 20 (this is an improvement made in the latest version of ARCHICAD which now supports multiple colours per body). Some software solutions handle the representation better than others and Autodesk Revit adds additional triangulation that doesn’t appear in other software.
Overall though this piece demonstrates that geometry (all IfcBuildingElementProxy) transfers ok into the various software tools we are required to use. As always there is room for improvement with software but clients (including contractors) should take comfort that geometry exchange between tools is far more reliable than some would have you believe.
Rob Jackson, Associate Director, Bond Bryan Digital
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