How to Import IFC in ST8

Hello Community,


we have a problem to import ifc files with an file size about more than 120 MB.

We run out of workspace (use more than 32 GB WS at PC), or after saving as an *.asm, than new start from SE8 and open the *.asm SE8 calls "not enough work space". But when we take a look into the task manager we can see it is in use only 5-6 GB from 64 GB workspace. Has anyone an idea for it.


best regards




Re: How to Import IFC in ST8



Hi Teddy

I have a suggestion, but first some background information as to how we deal with large Tekla models.

We have integrated Tekla and Solid Edge in our drawing office environment. Part of this process involves automated conversion of IFC files to PAR files via an old and slow dedicated HP Z400 workstation. Tekla modellers are required to model to a set of company rules which allows a number of IFC files to be exported by specific attributes. This mass export of IFC files are made possible by an in-house tool which seamlessly hand over the IFC files to the automated conversion service. Depending on the workload of this server and the size of the IFC models the turnaround can be anything from a few minutes to an hour or two. IFC files bigger than 4MB are rejected by the conversion service as the conversion time required is exponential to the file size. The Tekla modeller then has to adapt to this limit which rarely happens.

When the conversion service has done its thing the Tekla modeller then collects and assembles the converted PAR files into a single ASM file. This allows for better presentation and control within higher level assembly models, drawings and JT models.

I therefore suggest you look at exporting a number of IFC models by specific attributes (I am assuming you have Tekla running in-house, if not then your vendor will have to do this for you), then importing these as part files within Solid Edge, which you can then assemble into an assembly model.

I hope above suggestion helps you. We found the process of converting Tekla IFC models into useable Solid Edge models rather challenging and took us a long time to develop into its current state.

Good luck.

Re: How to Import IFC in ST8

Hello Pieter,
thank you verry much for your answer.
We can go this way, but we get our 3D Files from subcontractors.
We also do not use (have) Tekla.

Re: How to Import IFC in ST8

Teddy you may wish to submit this in the subcontractors scope of works.  We will have similar requirments and thanks to the feed back from Pieter will test this process in house.


Im not to sure of the specifics like the set of IFC/Tekla attributes he refers to but I assume this is layer control in order to output a skin or light weight geometry to keep file sizes minimized via modelling or the export services settings.




WIN 7Pro 64bit
DELL T5810 3.7-4Ghz 32Gb ECC

Re: How to Import IFC in ST8

Hi Phil


Your assumption is correct in that this is kind of similar to using layers. Attached find a snip from an internal document of ours showing the convention we follow when exporting Tekla models to Solid Edge. If you are not familiar with Tekla then this may not make much sense. However this may be useful to your sub-contractors. Also find attached a simple design level JT model of a Tekla model converted into Solid Edge showing the breakdown of the different types of models that were exported by "layer", this should make lots more sense, especially to the sub-contractor.


If the Tekla sub-contractor is undisciplined in his modelling then it will be very difficult to obtain suitable exported IFC models. However if disciplined the Tekla sub-contractor can easily and quickly provide you with suitable IFC models with no or minimal bitching.


I hope this helps.


Re: How to Import IFC in ST8

We solved this with an SDNF Interface to STEP.

SDNF is an common and widely used format to exchange data between different Steelwork applications.

The performance in 3D and drawing view creation was very good after the import because all parts were solids and no tessellated data


TEKLA ImportTEKLA Import


Re: How to Import IFC in ST8

Hello Stefan,


we knows this product and it is great for steel structure.

But in an IFC File are also building and concrete structures.

You can this not translate with your "tool sdnf to step".


Another thing is the translation (text) file in the "tool sdnf to step" must know the code to translate the steel structure. Some Beams or steel works are special creations.


best regards


Re: How to Import IFC in ST8

Following, we are in a similar situation.

Re: How to Import IFC in ST8



I would like to share an alternative suggestion to using the Tekla Structures software in conjunction with Solid Edge. Should I ever be in a situation where I can influence such a decision I will strongly use the following motivation.


I have been exposed to Advance Steel since 2007, and back then it was already an impressive alternative to XSteel (what Tekla Structures called back then). Not too long ago this was purchased from Graitek and added to the Autodesk patchwork of software solutions. I was able to test both the structural and concrete components called "Autodesk Advance Steel" and "Autodesk Advance Concrete". My testing was primarily based upon how well this software can integrate with Solid Edge. I was impressed for the following reasons:

  1. Manual conversion of model geometry was much easier between the Autodesk and Siemens software. Easy.
  2. The issue of facetted faces as experienced when converting Tekla IFC models to Solid Edge is gone. Curved faces stay curved. Awesome.
  3. This software is backed with well-established API and user forum, creation of in-house custom automation code 'should' be easy.
  4. Models created within Autodesk Advance Concrete exports much better than compared to Tekla which we have given up on.
  5. This Autodesk software is a very good alternative, considering what we want to see within our models.


Due to the time and money already we have invested using Tekla Structures it is highly unlikely we will move away from this. I have tried, but as yet am unable to convince the principle role players. I'll have a crack at motivating this again sometime when the opportunity presents itself.


However, those of you who wish to pursue this, I suggest you have a real close look at Advance Steel and Advance Concrete from Autodesk (Graitec).