Interoperability and Collaboration seem to be on my mind recently. Just a few days ago I wrote about all those .dwgs we deal with, and before that I discussed the various file types ArchiCAD can import and export. It’s good advice, but figuring out how to juggle countless .dwgs and pdfs feels a little antiquated. What we all want are ways for smarter data exchange. Well GRAPHISOFT has just released the latest Add-ins for Revit Structure 2013 and Revit MEP 2013. So if your consultants are using Autodesk products instead of working natively in ArchiCAD like Riverstone Structural Concepts, these Add-ins will make your team more efficient.
What are these Add-ins?
These free Add-Ins improve the data exchange between ArchiCAD and Revit. They enable direct import of ArchiCAD IFC models and IFC model export to ArchiCAD. And they optimize Revit’s standard IFC import and export function. Basically Revit can handle IFC models without these Add-Ins, but the import/export functions will be much smoother with them.
Why is GRAPHISOFT developing components for Autodesk products?
When the structural engineer imports an ArchiCAD IFC model, warning and/or error messages may appear about the limits of Revit’s capacity to read IFC data accurately (e.g., in importing ArchiCAD Zones and Grids). To help minimize these, the Revit Structure/MEP Add-In, called GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD Connection, fixes a number of these known shortcomings in the standard open process. Also when exporting MEP elements from Revit MEP or AutoCAD MEP, they are converted to MEP Modeler elements.
GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD Connection has two commands. The Improved IFC Import command post-processes a previously converted (imported) IFC file in Revit Structure/MEP and fixes a number of Revit Structure’s known shortcomings in IFC model conversion. The Export to ArchiCAD command directly exports and optimizes the IFC model data for use in ArchiCAD. ArchiCAD Connection has the following additional functions:
- Import/export of Grid elements: Full conversion of (Ifc)Grid elements when exporting and importing to/from Revit Structure.
- Import of ArchiCAD’s Zones: ArchiCAD Zones (IfcSpaces) imported as “Rooms” are displayed in correct position in Revit Structure.
- Import of ArchiCAD’s Slabs: Imported load-bearing ArchiCAD Slabs are set to “Structural Floor” elements in Revit Structure.
- Export of Beam/Column Profile definitions: The profile names exported from Revit are correctly converted to IFC format.
- Additional fine tuning of slanted columns, ramps, etc. is done in Revit Structure.
It really all comes back to Open BIM. The future is for the collaborators. We can work smarter and make file exchange easier by improving how we model and organize our data in ArchiCAD. GRAPHISOFT can continue to develop the open qualities of ArchiCAD, further embedding IFC into the fundamentals of elements (as they have been doing over recent releases). Our industry as a whole can continue to push for open standards and interconnectivity. But sometimes it’s nice to offer extra ways to help out our consultants, allowing them to stay in their comfort zones.
Graphisoft has been developing these Add-ins for a few years now. So if you’re working with consultants using older Autodesk projects, there are add-ins for Revit Structure and MEP going back to 2010. And Add-ins for AutoCAD MEP 2010/2009/2008. You can find the latest add-ins and these older add-ins here.