Blender Bim

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We often talk about Blender as an essential tool for project marketing or to develop ideas that will later become an original architectural design. Those designs will require a plan, technical drawings, and more. In today's market, it is hard not to deal with technologies like BIM for project development.

Blender Bombs

The relation of Blender with BIM files is possible with the use of a file standard called IFC (Industry Foundation Classes). In the past we already wrote about Blender and IFC:

From all the current projects under development in Blender that has a goal of improving architectural design, the BlenderBIM is by far one of the most promising Add-ons. It receives frequent updates and can turn Blender into a real option to develop architectural projects using modern BIM standards. If you want to take a look. BIM Archives. Blender 3D Architect Section planes in IFC.js An exciting project that we keep a close eye on here in Blender 3D Architect is the incredible IFC.js that enable us to upload and show architectural designs as IFC files on the web.

From the article titles, you will realize that we can easily import IFC files to Blender, but cannot create those files with Blender alone. You will need the help of another tool like FreeCAD.

That might change soon.

An architect and software developer called Dion Moult is in the process of developing an Add-on that will allow Blender to create IFC files using the ifcOpenShell.

The Add-on is still in the early stages of development but already shows incredible potential. You can use Blender in more than simple visualization and even have the ability to provide commercial services for companies with a full BIM workflow.

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Since it is still in the beginning stages of development, I strongly recommend you to use it for testing purposes only.

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Using Blender for architecture

In the meantime, you can take a look at our latest book Blender 2.8 for architecture, where we explain and show several examples of how you can use Blender for architecture.

Using the most up to date version of Blender, you will learn how to:

  • Convert CAD files
  • Import data to Blender
  • Modeling from vector and image references
  • Render with Eevee and Cycles
  • Setup cameras for architecture
  • Use PBR materials

Blender Bombs Charleston Sc

Visit the details page to learn more about the book contents. You can order it in both digital and paperback formats.

What types of BIM data are there?

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Blender

If you have ever exported a .ifc file to share a BIM model, you are probably aware that you can store 3D geometry, and open it in other programs. However, IFC files can store more than 3D geometry! As you might expect, they also store:

  • The class of object (e.g. is it a beam, a slab, a door, etc)
  • Building name and floors (e.g. level 1 with an RL of X)
  • Object materials (e.g. precast concrete, galvanised steel, etc)
  • Object colours
  • Object properties (e.g. this door has a name and 1 hour fire rating)
  • Object construction types (e.g. this wall follows the typical construction called PARTITION-01)

This data is able to feed the majority of the things you annotate and tag in architectural documentation. So theoretically, if you export an IFC from your program, it will store all of this information in the right places. However, in practice this is rarely the case, and from my experience, I can expect 30% of all objects to be incorrectly classified (e.g. a piece of furniture might be bizarrely called a wall, instead). This incorrect classification occurs relatively consistently across all disciplines, and is a symptom of a lack of understanding by the industry as a whole.

Although the majority of the industry is currently struggling to deliver the minimum requirements, the good news is that BlenderBIM makes it easy to get the basics right. Even more, BlenderBIM supports more IFC features that are relatively unknown by most, such as:

  • Storing documents, such as product brochures, warranties, and certificates with the model.
  • Using external classification systems, such as Uniclass, Omniclass, and others.
  • Defining external rendering and material assets, so that BIM models can be used directly by CG artists and lighting simulations.
  • Using version control, so you can identify who has changed particular elements, when, and why. You can then undo changes, or merge changes.
  • Creating and storing 2D documentation directly from IFC models, that are intelligently linked back to the IFC.
  • Creating space boundaries for building energy analysis models with gbXML.
  • Creating project type libraries which can be reused across projects.
  • Storing design intentions and code compliance constraints.
  • Storing asset data as part of the COBie standard for facility management
  • Storing construction sequencing data, or building maintenance tasks
  • So much more! It goes down to the details of the prevailing wind directions for a window.

In the rest of this guide, we will introduce you to these concepts one by one.