Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Open BIM? Are we living on the same planet? Working in the same (AEC) industry?

Really, get real!
AEC is an industry that en-masse fights tooth-and-nail the release of any type of digital file to another party.
Archicad and Tekla are old enough to know this.
Yet, they act like naive children.
If they were participating in a warfare-exhibition, they’d be bringing little peace-flowers as their offerings.
While this could be considered provocative and/or cute, it is unlikely to impress the heavyweights shopping for the latest and greatest in weaponry.

I consider myself to be a peace-loving person.
Still, enough war-history has brushed over my family even in one century to be able to distinguish a ‘tool’ from a ‘weapon’.
But this ‘open BIM’ thing is neither, just a ‘let’s play nicely together’ ploy.  
And it is not going to work.

Adding to injury is basing ‘open BIM on IFC’.  
I sure have tried using IFC time after time. Have ended up with twisted columns, disappearing slabs.
Indeed, in my last experiment when I compared an IFC export from a relatively simple Revit file with a file resulted from a two-stepped-translation (Revit-DWF-3DS), the second file was significantly closer to the original.
Yes, it was a totally ‘washed out’ file, no intelligence, but give me dumb any time if I can be sure that the geometry will be fine, as opposed to ‘false smart’ with columns twisting this way and that.


  1. Well, is it just so you are using wrong tool?
    My everyday work IFC is working well but I'm using ArchiCAD and engineer is using Tekla Structure. Adesk is not interested IFC or it seems so. Revit arch has IFC export/import and rest of the Revit family is lacking that.

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    2. I stopped trying to get Revit to produce a useable IFC file in 2010. From what I hear, I am far from unique in this. The IFC translation user interface in Revit is poorly documented and poorly presented. Apparently, it does not work too well even when used as intended. In fact, this was one aspect of Revit that led me to avoid using it at all.
      With some care, I was able to export useable IFC files from ArchiCAD. One cannot expect all of the data invested in any native model to translate into IFC. There just aren't holes for every parameter and relationship. But the geometry and properties needed for the typical file exchange are pretty well covered in IFC; certainly well enough to kill any temptation for the file recipient to start modeling all over again from 2D drawings. My opinion.

  2. I agree with you that OpenBIM may not work, it is not about been based on IFC or not. The BIM authoring vendors in OpenBIM are trying simply to get closer and support each other in hope they can stand against the AutoDesk and Revit gaint. so in my opinion OpenBIM more or less is just a marketing issue.
    The idea of using IFC is not bad but only if it will be going to be used in right way. OpenBIM vendors as far as i know are not intersted in integrating thier tool for a better support for IFC standards,they went in wrong direction by offering many "one to one" IFC translators, "Archicad --> Tekla , Archicad --> DDS , DDS --> Archicad".
    The data inside IFC models should be vendor-free,I am not against using some extra vendor-specific propertySets at moment,but it will be much better to integrate them later with the official IFC standards.

  3. Archicad should take the short-leap in its capabilities and become a true multidiscipline tool to engineer, design, document and collaborate between AEC and even O.
    It already does most of the work very well in one environment and nothing beats BIM Server.
    Alternatively open BIM Server for native communication and collaboration with those other OpenBIM vendors.
    Mr Nemetschek please hear me when I say "I want the former".
    My BIM team want to do it all in one amazing Archicad.


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