Sunday, 27 June 2010

ssiRhinoIFC Progress - Industry Foundation Class 2x3 - Import and Export

The first public alpha for ssiRhinoIFC is available for downloading at  This allows importing, and some introductory exporting of IFC (Industry Foundation Class) version 2x3 for buildings and structure.

Whilst I'm the first to acknowledge there's a lot of work to be done to cover this comprehensive neutral BIM format, the basis of a very useful tool is already evident.  Working in a consultancy design office, we were often sent primitive DXF/DWG mesh models from steel detailers using software such as Tekla.  More intelligent models such as IFC will provide greater advantages for coordination and checking.

And IFC should also provide a very useful means of import/export to programs such as REVIT. An automated workflow from Grasshopper generation to external BIM software will reduce replicating work and coordination.

Development priority will be given to problems, suggestions, observations and ideas raised by users, so please download the plug-in, get the trial license and start exchanging IFC data with your other programs.

Start your testing by importing some of the example models I've been using, and contain a few model files to test.

And see if the IFC file exported from this Rhino model is compatible with IFC viewers and modifying software you use.  You need StructDrawRhino installed, use the command ssiIFCExport and select the beam centrelines.  You can move the locaction of the curves, apply different properties in the SDR property table etc.

A lot more to come on this in the near future, stay tuned....


  1. This looks really promising, IFC is already well known standard. I will try out this export plugin and give you my thoughts as soon as I will receive my trial.

  2. Strange to imagine Rhino as a generic modeling software to be used for a structured building model.

  3. Stefan, it never ceases to amaze me the uses of Rhino, and I can certainly imagine that many that utilize Rhino's strengths in different industries might find it a strange idea for a rigorous modelling process. But the popularity of Rhino in Architecture and Engineering is evident, a lot driven by the potential of Grasshopper. But many consultants have been using it for years, I for one nominate it as the most powerful design tool (for so many reasons) I've come across.

  4. Could this make a possible link from Grasshopper to CATIA? Holy cow my head is spinning...

  5. Hi Peter, that's the idea, and certain aspects are already very close.

    If you're actually doing a skeletal frame (ie steel) of linear or curved members, you can already do it using the SDNF plug-in. I already have users exchanging data using this neutral format. If you're interested, get in contact.