BlenderBIM Add-on installation

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The BlenderBIM Add-on is an extension to the popular free and open-source 3D authoring package Blender. Both the add-on and Blender itself works on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Installation[edit]

  1. Install Blender. If you don't have administrator rights on Windows, you can download a portable ZIP instead.
  2. Download the BlenderBIM Add-on. You do not need to unzip the file you download.
  3. Launch Blender, and access the Edit -> Preferences window.
  4. Select the Add-ons tab, and press Install... on the top right.
  5. Navigate to the BlenderBIM Add-on .zip file, and press Install Add-on.
  6. You should now see Import-Export: BlenderBIM available in your add-ons list. Enable the add-on by pressing the checkbox beside it.

All done! If you check your Scene properties panel on the bottom right of the Blender interface, you will see a panel related to Building Information Modeling.

Upgrading[edit]

Download the latest version of the BlenderBIM Add-on from the website, and uninstall any current BlenderBIM add-on before installing the latest version.

If you are upgrading to a new version of Blender, just install the BlenderBIM Add-on as if it were a fresh installation.

Uninstallation[edit]

Find the BlenderBIM Add-on entry in the Edit > Preferences > Add-ons window, and press the Remove button.

Uninstall-blenderbim.png

Known issues[edit]

  • Ubuntu Blender package 2.82.a+dfsg-1 for Ubuntu 20.04 seems to package Blender without numpy. You are required to install numpy separately.
  • Clash detection relies on fcl, which is not currently available nor packaged for Mac. You are required to install it yourself. If you do, let us know, so we can share it with others.
  • There is a conflict with LuxCoreRender 2.4 for Linux. As temporary workarround copy /home/xxx/.config/blender/2.8x/scripts/addons/BlendLuxCore/bin/libtbb.so.2 to /home/xxx/.config/blender/2.8x/scripts/addons/blenderbim/libs/libtbb.so.2

Using the bleeding-edge version[edit]

If you're a developer, or just really keen, it is possible to run the latest bleeding edge version of the BlenderBIM Add-on without having to wait for an official release, since the BlenderBIM Add-on is coded in Python and doesn't require any compilation. First, install the latest official release, and then download the latest source code. If you don't know how to use the "Git" system, you can manually download the latest code. If you know how to use Git, you can also stay up to date like so:

$ git clone https://github.com/IfcOpenShell/IfcOpenShell.git
$ cd IfcOpenShell
$ git checkout v0.6.0

Then, just copy the files from the source code's src/ifcblenderexport/blenderbim/ folder and replace the files in your Blender add-on's blenderbim/ folder. The location of the Blender add-on folder depends on how you installed Blender. If you downloaded Blender as a .zip file without running an installer, you will find the BlenderBIM add-on installed in:

/path/to/blender/2.83/scripts/addons/

Otherwise, if you installed Blender using an installation package, the add-ons folder depends on which operating system you use. On Linux:

~/.config/blender/2.83/scripts/addons/

On Mac:

/Users/{YOUR_USER}/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.83/

On Windows:

C:\Users\{YOUR_USER}\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\2.83\scripts\addons

Restart Blender for the changes to take effect. In Edit > Preferences > Add-ons you will see that the version number of BlenderBIM has changed to 0.0.999999, which represents an un-versioned BlenderBIM.

Although the BlenderBIM Add-on itself is pure Python, it does have quite a few dependencies. These are installed in the libs/ folder of the BlenderBIM Add-on. On rare occasions, it is possible that one of these dependencies have been updated to a later version. In this case, simply replacing the BlenderBIM Add-on files will not be sufficient, and you may experience and error in enabling the add-on or running particular features.

If you are a developer, you can watch for changes in the Makefile, and run the appropriate command to build your own add-on version depending on your platform:

$ make dist PLATFORM=linux
$ make dist PLATFORM=macos
$ make dist PLATFORM=win

If you are not a developer, it is advised to wait for the next official release. Whenever a release comes out, it is advised to also uninstall the BlenderBIM Add-on, and install the official release, before returning to the bleeding-edge version.