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How to convert IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) to 3MF?

PolyTrans|CAD+DCC performs mathematically precise CAD, DCC/Animation, GIS and BIM 3D file conversions into all key downstream 3D packages and file formats. Okino software is used and trusted throughout the world by many tens of thousands of 3D professionals in mission & production critical environments, backed by respectable personal support directly from our core development team.



The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) is a CAD data exchange object-based file format with a data model developed by buildingSMART to facilitate interoperability in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, and is a commonly used collaboration format in Building information modeling (BIM) based projects.

IFC files can be written out by such industry standard programs as: ArchiCAD, Allplan, Autodesk's AutoCAD and Revit, Microstation, Tekla Structures, SmartPlant3D and Vectorworks.

Please note: you would always want to use the DWF-3D file format and the Okino DWF-3D file importer to import 3D model data from Autodesk's AutoCAD, Navisworks and Revit, as well as AVEVA's PDMS software.

It is may be safe to say that few 3D graphics users properly understand IFC or why/how it should be used, when it should be used or how it is to be used. In simplistic terms, IFC is NOT a universal data interchange file format like COLLADA, FBX, 3ds, OBJ, DXF, DWG, etc. Rather, IFC is more of an "abstraction" for an architectural model so that BIM companies can exchange IFC files for design iterations without any loss in overall geometric quality. Hence, the basis of IFC is to make an abstract building with stories, floors, doors, columns, windows, etc. From these hang "abstractions" such as 2D plan views and 3D renderable geometric data.

While IFC can be considered a standardized file format by BuildingSmart, not all 3D programs or 3D viewers will "interpret" an IFC file in the same manner due to the abstract nature of the file format and also by the generally loose manner in which a model can be defined and with different contexts and representations.



3MF, 3D Manufacturing Format, is a modern replacement for the legacy STL (StereoLithography) file format with an explicit focus on the proper transmission of CAD and non-CAD model data for 3D printing as well as to downstream services and platforms. From Okino's long term perspective, the VRML2 file format was and is "just as good" for such requirements but never had the correct understanding nor traction since its introduction in 1995.

Features of 3MF over the legacy STL format includes: geometry instancing support, layered texture maps, multiple layers of UV texture coordinates, vertex colors and extended material types.

History, features, overviews, implementation partners and more can be read on the 3MF Consortiumís web site.

Note: Microsoft Windows uses the 3D Manufacturing Format (.3mf) for all 3D printing tasks.

Please also refer to the 3MF export converter for more information related to 3MF.