BlenderBIM Add-on FAQ
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This page contains FAQ's mainly gathered and referred to Forum
Version of Blender to use ?
Which version of Blender is safest to use with BlenderBim?
a Latest stable Blender until otherwise stated on the downloads page
No update after export ? Forum Link
BlenderBIM 0.0.210221 / Blender 2.91.2 / macOS Big Sur 11.2.1
When I create a random mesh and assign the IFC class, I can export it correctly to IFC.
However, everytime I start editing the mesh in Blender and repeat the export, the IFC file keeps the first geometry.
Am I missing a step? Do you need to reassign class or remove and regenerate the representation first?
a Currently manual regeneration
by Dion Right now, you need to regenerate the representation. In the Mesh properties, there is a button called "Update Mesh Representation". For easy access, you can use the "Shift E" shortcut in the viewport and either mouse/keyboard shortcut to the "Update Mesh Representation" command.
In the master branch, there is now a mode to auto update every time you update it in Blender, so that you do not need to explicitly tell it to regenerate the representation.
The reason for this behaviour is:
- There have been quite a lot of usecases where people want to edit the objects but not edit the IFC file, such as if they are prototyping or experimenting with an option, or simply tweaking the geometry for a particular specific purpose that should not be fed back into the IFC. This makes editing the IFC an explicit operation.
- Users need to understand that Blender by default manipulates meshes out of the box. Sometimes, editing meshes in IFC is what you want. Sometimes not. Sometimes you want to maintain the parametric shape. Sometimes you want to convert parametric shapes into meshes, and sometimes the other way around. Making these conversions explicit is something that the BlenderBIM Add-on is doing to ensure that the full capabilities of IFC are not lost on the user. In most BIM apps, users don't get a say in this, and things are translated mostly in a hardcoded, magic way. This is the opposite of how I believe the BlenderBIM Add-on should work - users should have a choice between heuristic magic, and fine-grained custom manual control.
The UX is still far from polished - as you've discovered, it was not obvious to you as a user how these workflows occur. In fact, there are still no gizmos to edit parametric shapes visually in 3D, only via entering properties, which is quite poor UX. There is also currently no way to convert from mesh to parametric (the function exists, but no UX for it - so we will bring it back in the next release perhaps), although you can convert from parametric to mesh. There is also no UX to edit heavily nested parametric IFC geometry (e.g. nested CSG booleans with different type of solids). However, the code now supports all of these things at a fundamental programmatic level - so we can start moving away from the guts and into the UX.
Hope it helps describe the current state of the software. Things are changing fast, though
collection instances Forum Link
I've come to find collection instances to be really handy in organizing my work, so that for repetitive objects or groups of objects, I only need to edit the main object and the changes get propagated to all the instances. However collections instances don't show up when the file is exported to ifc. How can collection instances be made to appear in ifc exports without making the instances real, while also preserving object hierarchies?
a Use Aggregates
The correct technique is to use IFC aggregations. You can find the ability to create aggregations from the scene properties. It effectively creates a collection instance, and lets you retain the class hierarchy underneath it. Dion
There is a page started on IFC_aggregates, which needs improving.
Must an IFC file contain Geometry ? Forum Link
BlenderBIM Search for class or property ?
- How Do I select all IfcDoor or IfcWindow etc?
- How Do I select all object with "Beton" in the object name?
- How Do I select all object with "Beton" in the type?
The search panel gives you what you're after.
To find those of the type "Beton", go to an object of a type you want to select, then in the object properties this button will select all of that type: