Convert IFC to FDS file with BlenderBIM
Blender provides a graphical interface for FDS with the advantage of being able to share BIM geometric data. Importing and converting IFC to FDS models is a useful way of incorporating complex designs into Blender for the development of fire fluid dynamics analysis with BlenderFDS. This is possible via the BlenderBIM add-on, which allows you to import and manage IFC geometric models in Blender.
Nowadays, the use of ISO-based Building Information Modeling (BIM) among building designers is increasingly widespread. An IFC file is standard file format, created by the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability) , that can be used to share data generated by BIM tools like Revit, VectorWorks and ArchiCAD.
Blender is a community-supported 3D modelling tool that supports Python to extend its basic functionality. Consequently, many open-source add-ons are available, such as BlenderFDS and BlenderBIM. BlenderFDS is an interface within the Blender modelling environment that guides the user in the creation of FDS input data. The additional tool BlenderBIM allows the user to import complex geometries from the IFC model. Once imported, the interface of the BlenderFDS add-on can be used to classify individual objects manually.
In this post it is shown how to download and install BlenderBIM add-on to Blender and how to import and IFC model to Blender.
Download BlenderBIM Add-On
You can download the BlenderBIM plug-in from the official website. Download the BlenderBIM add-on zip file, the ZIP file does not need to be unzipped.
Install Add-On to Blender
Open blender and click on “Edit” > “Preferences”, then click “Install”.
Search the BlenderBIM add-on zip file just downloaded, living it unzipped, and click on “Install Add-on”.
From the blender preferences search for “BlenderBIM” in the search field to activate BlenderBIM. Click the arrow to see more details and click on the box to select the add-on. Now your BlenderBIM add-on should be activated and some IFC properties have been added to the “Scene Properties” section.
Import IFC Model To Blender
Now that the BlenderBIM add-on is activated, let’s try to import a IFC model. For this tutorial the sample IFC model is taken from the IFC Wiki’s Example page, and I downloaded the “KIT IFC Examples” model. This model “FZK Haus” is provided by the Institute for Automation and Applied Informatics (IAI). After you click download, a text page will appear, right-click and save as .ifc file.
To upload the IFC file, go to “File” > “Import” and select IFC file.
It is possible to import and IFC file also from the “scene properties” section, click on “load Project” and select the IFC file downloaded.
You will be able to check the imported IFC in the “Outliner”. The IFC attributes of the objects are in “Object Properties” section. For example a door object will have the IFC Class “ifcDoor”.
Finally, it is possible to select the objects of the model and convert the IFC to FDS by manually assigning the FDS properties using the Blender FDS capabilities.