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How to convert IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) to DWG (AutoCAD, DXF)?

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.



DXF and DWG are the native file formats of the Autodesk AutoCAD product since 1982. DWG is the binary file variation to the ASCII DXF file format. These files can be viewed by many programs including Autodesk's free DWG TrueView application. It is a closed file format but has been documented by the Open Design Alliance.

At Okino we consider DXF/DWG to be one of the worst 3D file formats when translating 3D model data between applications (depending on its contents). There is very little understanding about this in the 3D graphics world. As outlined in our "CAD Data Sourcing Suggestons and Rules" page you should ideally use the DWF-3D file format when sourcing from either AutoCAD, Navisworks, Revit and optionally Autodesk Inventor.

Due to deep history, Autodesk software can embed ACIS SAT "BREP solids" data in some of its DXF/DWG files. This is the ideal case as the "BREP solids" geometry definitions lead to cleaner and higher fidelity MCAD file conversions. But even so, it would generally be a safer bet to use a STEP AP214 or "IGES BREP solids" file in such cases.