Getting Started With BIM and IFC

Learn more about the benefits of using BIM software by exporting your magicplan projects as 3D models in an IFC format.

What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling, or BIM, software is now used all around the world in order to encourage better collaboration, by optimising workflows between architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals and allowing you to construct buildings within one 3D model. For example, as a contractor, BIM allows you to assign tasks and monitor progress, updating the model as the work progresses.

The systems coordination available with BIM is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of using this software. On-site and office staff can track a project simultaneously at every stage, so that when the entire team is needed in the early days, you are able to go in-depth, and as time passes individual members like the architects or the product engineers can simply continue to stay, based on what they would like to provide input on.

Using magicplan for BIM Software

For an existing building, for example, it may be likely that there are no existing drawings and documentation. This is where magicplan comes in - you will first need to build the project in magicplan. Depending on the scope of your project, and the amount of information you already have, you can build a quick and detailed floor plan. You can then export the project in an IFC format to your chosen BIM software.

If, however, there are already drawings and documentation available for your building, these are likely coming from the architects, from before the building was completed. In this case, it is still very beneficial to create a project in magicplan so that the entire team has a deeper understanding of how the project was built.

BIM software can then play a role through the entire lifecycle of your project, from the kickoff meeting and scoping for information and documentation, to strategic modelling and managing the entirety of the lifecycle. You can model a variety of constructions systems with BIM including traditional ones like steel and concrete, or more archaic systems. You can even account for deformations and irregularities when modelling.

Since BIM objects are intelligent, it is beneficial to create a project in magicplan, which you can then export as an IFC file in order to add insights into existing structures when renovating or remodelling, and provide a representation of physical and functional details of a building in a 3D model.

What is IFC?

IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is a file format that acts as the connecting element between different applications. Using IFC as the standard helps achieve shareability and readability for all. Since IFC is an open file format, it is neutral and therefore not controlled by any individual software. It is designed to process a building’s data model during its entire lifecycle, from feasibility, to realization and maintenance.

This universality allows professionals from all over the AEC industries to work together and provide valuable input on the same project, increasing the accuracy of the design process and overall productivity.

Take, for instance, a building engineer who needs to review an architect’s design in order to identity suitable locations for installing heaters. If the building model was created in software A and is then send to the building engineer who uses software B which cannot read the architect’s software, it causes communication problems that the IFC format can solve.

magicplan and BIM

With a Report or Estimate subscription in magicplan, you can create instant 3D models in IFC that you can then import into BIM software like BIM360 or Revit. Learn how to do so here!