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Linking or Importing an IFC File into Revit

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Revit 2014 and Earlier

In Revit 2014 and earlier, you cannot import or link an IFC file directly. You must open the IFC file in Revit, save it as a Revit project, then link the Revit project.

To do this, press the “R” button in the top-left corner to open the Revit menu. Expand the Open menu, then select the IFC command. The keyboard shortcut sequence for this is ALT+F, ALT+Y, ALT+I.

Select the IFC file you want to import.

After the IFC file is imported, save it as a Revit file. You can now use this Revit file to check for collisions with other Revit files.

Revit 2015 and Later

In Revit 2015 and later, you can link an IFC file without having to convert it.

Use the Insert->Link IFC command to link the IFC file.


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10 Responses to “Linking or Importing an IFC File into Revit”

  1. Janice DuBois says:

    I could use some tips on ensuring that the ifc file I created then saved as a revit file will import in the correct position relative to the architect’s model. What has to happen on their end and my end to make sure insertion points line up? I just attempted this process and my devices are not showing up.

  2. We are discovering that lining up the DM and Revit models can be a bit tricky. I plan to write a more detailed post about the process in the future. Here’s the basic idea:

    In DM, the 0,0 point for your model is the alignment point. The north arrow points toward angle 0.

    In Revit, there is a survey base point and project base point. You can see the location for these using the “Reveal Hidden Elements” button next to the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the screen.

    You need to make sure the DM alignment point and Revit base point are set to the same location.

  3. Janice DuBois says:

    Thanks, David.

    I have been playing around with the newer BIM features. We (co-workers) are excited by what we see so far. I am still trying to figure out the alignment point and it’s purpose. One problem I just encountered is with cable tray on a second floor. I’m operating on the assumption that the alignment point for my second floor DM plan should be set at the floor elevation of the second floor (In my case 14′-8″). First of all, is that a correct assumption? The settings in the cable tray dialog box would then be the same as they were for the first floor. After creating the IFC, saving as RVT, and inserting into Revit model, the cable tray appeared at the correct elevation on the second floor, but the trapeze hangers remained at the first floor cable tray elevation. Has anyone else experience this that you know of? Can you imagine what I might be doing wrong?

  4. It sounds like you are using the alignment points correctly. You want to set the elevation to the floor elevation, then insert your devices and cable trays relative to the floor (not to the ground).

    The hanger problem you are having is a bug. I have sent you a patch for this error directly.

  5. Neil says:

    I tried to import an IFC file into Revit 2014 using information provided here but nothing happened.. Nothing opens so there is nothing to save…. i’m confused

  6. Neil–is the IFC file generated by Design Master, or by another program? If DM, contact us directly and we can help you figure out what’s going wrong.

    If not DM, you’ll need to work with the other software vendor and Autodesk to figure out what’s going wrong.

  7. Janice DuBois says:

    I hoped this would be fixed in Revit 2014. I don’t have access to Revit 2014 yet, but discovered with 2013 that I had to open my ifc file in an earlier version of Revit (2011?) Then save it as a Revit file. It could then be linked to your newer Revit model. I was trying to remember which version of Revit (2011 or 2012) and just noticed that my IT person took my earlier versions of Revit off my computer in the last few weeks.!!This issue needs to be fixed, but I don’t know who is responsible.

  8. I was not aware of any specific problems importing IFC files created by DM into Revit. I just did a test with Revit MEP 2014 and Revit MEP 2013. Both imported the IFC file I created. If you are having trouble importing an IFC file for a project, send us a copy of the project and we’ll take a look to see what’s going wrong.

  9. I think everyone in this discussion will enjoy the new feature in Revit 2015 that allows IFC files to be linked right into your Revit project! This is a much easier, streamlined method, when compared with the old way of having to open the IFC, save as an RVT then link that in.

    Have any of you tried the Link IFC feature yet?

    Also, Autodesk recommends downloading the IFC 2015 add in from Exchange so that they can regularly improve and update the IFC import and export capability independent of the Revit yearly releases.

  10. Patrick, thanks for the information about the “Link IFC” feature. That’s a feature that has been long overdue for Revit. I’ll take a look at that when I get a chance and update my instructions when I get a chance.

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