Ability to export Revit project containing multiple Linked files?

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  • WBMK

    WBMK - 2012-08-30


    I was wondering if this exporter has the ability to export a Revit project that contains multiple Linked Files without having to bind all the links first.

    This would be a great asset to me...


    • Angel Velez

      Angel Velez - 2012-08-30


      Not yet. The API exists to do it, and we are looking into it. There are a few small complications (for example, you don't want to export the same Level from the host file and the linked files). I'll add a ticket for it, so that it doesn't get lost. Thanks for the request!


  • Greg Schleusner

    Greg Schleusner - 2014-03-20


    I'm wondering if there is any progress of exporting linked files as seperate files. I'd take this capability if it was easier then generating an actual merged model.


  • Angel Velez

    Angel Velez - 2014-03-20

    Hi Greg,

    Not yet, but I will add your comment to our "to do" list to re-evaluate priority and also to provide a potential partial (but acceptable) solution.


  • Ryan Schultz

    Ryan Schultz - 2014-03-27

    Greg/WBMK Could a batch convert, work in your workflow?

    In that, you'd do the 'aggregating' in the federated IFC file (navisworks, for example)

    As a best practice, i wonder if this is a better way to go. That is, have more small size IFC files that can be aggregated (compiled), verses a monolithic beast of an IFC file.

    Last edit: Ryan Schultz 2014-03-27
  • Angel Velez

    Angel Velez - 2014-03-27

    Hi all,

    Our intention at the moment is to pursue the "one file per linked Revit file" approach. I think that in practice, most applications would be able to accept this, and show multiple IFC files at once. If there are serious objections, now would be a good time to raise them!


    • Martijn de Riet

      Martijn de Riet - 2014-03-27

      Agreed with the Autodesk approach: one file per link.
      The current problem is more about:
      1. With Linked Files we need to open and export each link separately. Very
      2. Links need to be located at the exact coordinate. Moving, copying,
      rotating the link in the host project is currently not an option (since
      they will be exported to their original coordinates).

      My proposal would be to add an automated Linked Files export that does the
      - Automatically open a link
      - Export to IFC while maintaining the relative coordinates inside the host
      (last part is vital or else it won't be any good)
      - Proceed and repeat

      BTW: most IFC applications let you aggregrate IFC's. There's only 2 that I
      know of that can merge them into a single IFC file. It might not be
      strictly necessary but would be very good PR if you would be able to pull
      that off as an extra (albeit very low on my wishlist).

      BTW2: There might be situations where aggregrating Linked files is needed.
      For instance:
      - In Holland we have a government BIM mandate which states that each
      discipline (structure, architecture, MEP) should have one (1) separate IFC.
      However, especially with MEP Revit is limited in filesize. Therefor large
      projects need to be broken down into pieces, generally done with Linked
      Files. These would need to be glued back together after export to IFC.
      However, I'm not sure I see that as an Autodesk responsibility...
      - We use IFC's a lot for communication with separate (sub)contractors. They
      all get their dedicated Linked File and separate IFC Export. Would be nice
      to be able to merge them back together. Again, not sure this is something
      ADSK would be responsible for.

      Met vriendelijke groet,

      Martijn de Riet
      MdR Advies

      De Papiermaker 22
      5283 ZS Boxtel


      Tel: +31411 67 11 51
      Mob: +316 24 28 31 75
      T @mdradvies

      2014-03-27 15:54 GMT+01:00 Angel Velez angelvelezsosa@users.sf.net:

      Hi all,

      Our intention at the moment is to pursue the "one file per linked Revit
      file" approach. I think that in practice, most applications would be able
      to accept this, and show multiple IFC files at once. If there are serious
      objections, now would be a good time to raise them!


      Ability to export Revit project containing multiple Linked files?https://sourceforge.net/p/ifcexporter/discussion/general/thread/6918daca/?limit=25#fd57

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  • David Lash

    David Lash - 2014-03-27


    "one file per linked Revit file" makes sense to me - since isn't it the case that Linked files contain information which belongs on somebody elses lap? If I bound the structural information, into my architectural project - then sent that out, then that would make it all the more difficult for the guys reading that IFC to know:

    • is that retaining wall foundation dimensionally correct so I can read off its volume and order concrete or should I refer to the latest structural IFC?
    • are those embedded columns correct or was that the architectural aspiration?
    • is that car ramp structurally dimensioned correctly or shall I use the structural IFC?

    I may have misunderstood.

    Best regards,

  • Angel Velez

    Angel Velez - 2014-03-27

    Hi David,

    That sounds like you understood correctly. Thanks for the good example of why it makes sense.


  • Ewoud

    Ewoud - 2014-03-27

    I see value in the export of linked files. The reason for this is although limited Revit has object relations between the model and linked files. Rooms are the big one. It would be a real addition to have all object-room relations from linked and exported file in 1 IFC. When exporting separate files this relation (space bounderies,objects) is lost. As far as I know there is no 3th party app that can restore this relation.

  • Ryan Schultz

    Ryan Schultz - 2014-05-01

    Another workflow, to potentially argue for exporting links...

    I modeled the following project in Revit:

    Being that this data center was highly modular, i made extensive use of 'Revit Groups'. However, due to the flipping/rotating/mirroring (Which breaks groups quite often) that was necessary for a lot of these modules, i found it was easier creating converting these groups into linked files.

    For a project like this, having the IFCexporter export out all the links within one file, would be big asset.

  • Angel Velez

    Angel Velez - 2014-05-01

    Hi Ryan,

    We are working on this now. No ETA yet as it depends on testing, integration, etc., but we will be adding it to 2014 and 2015.


  • Greg Schleusner

    Greg Schleusner - 2014-05-06

    In most cases I'm for the 1 IFC per link, but in Ryan's example and in a lot of the PFI (P3) work we do in the UK we are so careful to make rooms identical that we link them in. So we might have 50 kinds of rooms that get linked into a main project file as 500 instances. Even if we resulted with a bunch of duplicate types in the IFC it would be worthwhile to treat them as IFC groups in this scenario.

  • Angel Velez

    Angel Velez - 2014-06-28

    This has been added to the latest version (as of yesterday). Note that each link will export separately, but will respect the local coordinates. One limitation at the moment is that IFC links are re-exported, resulting in data loss, but we do plan to make the optimization of basically just modifying the original IFC for its new position in a future release.

  • sven

    sven - 2014-07-03

    This is a great addition! I work a lot with linked files, but missed the IFC export.
    But I don't get it to work. I'm exporting a file with two linked files in it. When combining the exported IFC's the objects that were origanally 1 m apart, are now 1000000000 m apart, but only in the x direction. Any clues?

  • Andy Parrella

    Andy Parrella - 2014-07-03

    Hi Sven, we had fixed an issue with bad coordinates if a metric file was linked into an imperial host - but maybe you found a new version of it. Could you send me a simple set that shows the issue? thanks.

    • sven

      sven - 2014-07-08

      I'm sorry for the late response. Here is a simple version. When appending the files in navisworks the seperate parts are very far apart, but all other scales are still correct. Thanks for helping!

      • Andy Parrella

        Andy Parrella - 2014-07-09

        Hi Sven, I am investigating this. I can see the issue in your "revit ifc exp.zip" but not in your "linked file test.zip" that you sent to Angel. I will keep digging.

        • sven

          sven - 2014-07-10

          "linked file test.zip"? that's not mine! Martijn posted it below, but I think he already solved it.
          Super that you're looking in to it. gr sven

  • Martijn de Riet

    Martijn de Riet - 2014-07-03

    I must be doing something wrong because I can't get this to work. For some reason, the links will not export separately.

    See attached:
    host linked file.rvt > project that holds geometry and link
    linked file.rvt > project linked into host linked file.rvt
    host linked file.ifc > resulting export (no other files are exported, just this one)

  • Martijn de Riet

    Martijn de Riet - 2014-07-03

    Sven, just out of curiosity: when you say "combining the two IFC files", are you actually merging them into a single IFC?

    • sven

      sven - 2014-07-08

      Dear Martijn, I didn't know this was possible yet. I'm using the option "export linked files as seperate IFCs". And then append the seperate files again in navisworks. Preferably I would just have them in one IFC, but it doesn't look like that is working. When the seperate files option is turned off, I'm not seeing anything in the export.
      gr. sven

      • Martijn de Riet

        Martijn de Riet - 2014-07-08

        It's not an option with the current IFC Exporter, however the free Open
        Source BIM Server created by TNO can merge IFC's into a single file.

        I have been testing export of multiple linked files myself and have no
        problems with the coordinates when merging them.

        However, I did notice that there is an issue with mm being converted to
        feet when exporting custom property sets. Maybe that is the case here too?
        Or something similar?
        IFC creates objects based on the coordinates relative to the project
        origin. This might be a problem when appending in NW. Where is your project
        origin located in the Revit file? Does it matter if you move your geometry
        closer to the Project Origin? I could see a situation where the relative
        distance to the PO in mm, multiplied with 304.8mm per mm causes this kind
        of behaviour.

        Kind regards

        • Angel Velez

          Angel Velez - 2014-07-08

          We do think that we ironed out the scaling issues due to imperial vs. metric for linked export (custom property sets may be a different thing, although we thought we got those too, would be good to get a sample if not). We'll look at the sample soon and comment.

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