Every piece of software has its limitations. The good thing about knowing may different kinds of programs is that you can combine them to achieve anything you want.
In this post, I’ll go over the steps of bringing in an IFC file of a steel truss from Revit into CATIA, which can then be used in other apps, such as xGen.
Importing an IFC File
Clicking on the ‘+’ arrow at the top right corner of the window allows you to import the IFC file. In this case, I already uploaded the file into the 3DDrive, but you can also get the file directly from your computer.
You will know that the IFC file has successfully been imported within the pop-up window.
Also, within the tree, all the geometry is read properly as beams.
Creating a Derived Representation
A derived representation makes a copy of the beam elements and puts them into a new 3D shape. Basically its an extraction process so the elements can be linked elsewhere.
Moreover, an IFC file cannot be directly manipulated or referenced, so this process is necessary.
To start, make sure that the root is selected, which in this case is the Site. Then, hover over the root and the ‘Derived Representation’ button will appear.
In the pop-up window, create a new 3D Shape into which the copied elements will go. You can either drag select the elements you want to copy within the tree or use the auto-select button.
The beam elements now live inside a new 3D shape!
Linking Elements into a New Product
In order to aid in organizing all the parts, the next and final step is to link the derived representation, the 3D shape, into a new product.
This separates the old IFC geometry with the new, usable geometry too.
Firstly, right-click on the new 3D shape and click ‘Share this representation’. This makes the 3D Shape accessible to be inserted into the new Product.
Now make a new product and right-click on it, selecting Insert > Existing 3D Shape.
As you’re prompted to select an existing 3D shape, go to the new 3D shape created and click on it.
After doing this last step, you can rename the product to something more telling of what it is, and so you can open it up in other programs. And don’t forget to save (though this app with remind you before you close out of the app)!
Opening in xGen
You can now drag and drop this new product with the beam elements within another app such as xGen and start working with it!
For this project, I used xGen for some complex steel framing modeling of one part of the truss. I’ll go into more detail in the next post!