Rhino & Grasshopper to IFC - Which options do you have in designing and exporting to IFC

Rhino 3D Jul 15, 2021

#Rhino3D #Grasshopper #VisualARQ #GeometryGym #ifcGH

I'd like to mention that my experience in architectural design comes mainly with Rhino and Grasshopper and this is a subject that also interests us at Studio 3DX in offering our users. For that, we wrote down a quick introduction in using two great software plugins inside Grasshopper. If you are not familiar with Grasshopper I recommend this list of suggested resources by the official website.

VisualARQ:

BIM GeomGym IFC: (Windows & Mac) The best option export your model to IFC on a Mac is by installing this BIM GeomGym IFC plugin (30 Days Trial). You'll need an account with Food4Rhino if you haven't one already. The latest update on the Mac plugin was on Dec 2019 which I am guessing it still works fine with the latest Rhino 6 on Mac. BIM GEOMGYM IFC (by GeometryGym) is a plugin for Rhino/ Grasshopper 3D that gives you the ability to import and export IFC models. I really recommend checking out this video Rhino model IFC Export ggIFC and the Geometry Gym YouTube Channel for more information.

ifcGH: ifcGH is an open-source package to generate an IFC file directly from Grasshopper

// There's a specific way to design within the BIM framework and to export correctly to the IFC schema. In a nutshell all design layers, walls, windows, slabs etc. must be referenced correctly, otherwise the exported file and size will be larger and will not be read correctly through other applications like Revit, Tekla and coordination apps such as Studio 3DX. If you'd like to know more about the IFC schema you can check out the official IFC website by buildingSmart.

Mac OS users

In case your workflow is depended on Mac OS (operating system) and you wish to still use the power and flexibility of Windows, here's a couple of ways to do that.

Virtual Machine (Recommended): Although most plugins in Rhino 3D on Mac are now supported, the developers initially design for the Windows versions due to a larger audience. From experience in using Rhino 3D in both Mac and Windows I personally went with a workaround to use a Virtual Machine on my Mac such as Parallels and VMware (cost upwards of $70) until an official release of the said plugin was in the market for Mac.

Boot Camp (Not Recommended): Another way which you might be familiar with but it's more complex, is to install Windows 10 with boot camp/ partition your hard drive between Mac and Windows. I never recommend the hard drive partitioning due to possible failure of the hard drive and issues in installation. If you are interested in this method please let me know and I will point you towards some resources needed to do so.

VisualARQ: Once you managed to have your hands on a working Windows operating system either by virtualisation, partitioning or otherwise, then you can install VisualARQ Flexible BIM for Rhino (30 Days Trial). We made a short tutorial that will show you the complete guide on how to design in VisualARQ and/ or reference your existing design to properly export it as an IFC to Studio 3DX.

I'd like to keep this dialogue open and I'm happy to help at any point.
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Marios Messios

Marios Messios is an Architect Engineer and the Co-Founder and CEO of Parametricos. Parametricos is building Studio 3DX, a Real-time Cloud Solution for BIM professionals.

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