Making BlenderBIM & Revit friends

Hi @LaurensJN , this is a follow up to https://community.osarch.org/discussion/comment/6235/#Comment_6235

Why have you modelled the doors/windows in Revit? Did you do anything special to make them export well - and what format are they in? I think the Revit Family editor is very powerful and imagine using it as a backoffice for assets like doors / windows / stairs until such tools are ready / easy in FreeCAD / Blender. So I'm interested in your rationale. Also, is that a heritage building?

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  • @duncan said:
    Hi @LaurensJN , this is a follow up to https://community.osarch.org/discussion/comment/6235/#Comment_6235

    I think the Revit Family editor is very powerful and imagine using it as a backoffice for assets like doors / windows / stairs until such tools are ready / easy in FreeCAD / Blender.

    I did a lot of Revit families, very enhanced ones with fluid computation, always fully parametric etc… From my perspective, Revit Family editor is very bad compared to any mechanical software including FreeCAD. FreeCAD has so much better constraints management, better shapes freedom, formulas are much more powerful etc…

    JanFCGRyorikpaullee
  • I do look forward to forcing FreeCAD to follow my will. What's the current best solution to building and managing asset libraries created in different software? @Andyrexic that's your domain right?

    paullee
  • edited March 19

    It wasn't so much of a conscious choice for us to model the window / door families in Revit. I think we would have been able to model similar or better windows & doors in Blender.
    The person that made our 'original' model made it in Revit. There were a lot of problems with geometries, because it's heritage (to answer your question :) ). Our main issues were complex geometries in for example walls, floors, ceilings & roofs. Now I remember your suggestion on how to make vaulted ceilings for example in Revit, but just to illustrate our case: the heritage building is a residential home, where the vaulted ceilings do not have any kind of symmetry so they really need to be modelled manually. That's why we were looking for a better alternative and that's actually when we found out about BlenderBIM. But in contrary to the walls/floors/ceilings/rofs, complex geometries for windows are quite well supported through families in Revit (at least well enough for us), so they were already created. So, only to not do the same work twice, we exported the window family in imported it in Blender. I believe (but I'm not sure) we used .dxf to do so, but it could've been something else too.

  • @duncan said:
    I do look forward to forcing FreeCAD to follow my will.

    That's the best description of where I'm at with FreeCAD. I love the potential, love the sketches based approach, but struggle to make it do what I expect it to.

    It's always the other way around, I should force myself to think how it expects me to and I don't think like that.

    duncanpaullee
  • Currently, nobody seems to be using IFC project libraries, nor has anyone really got together and got some clever parametric roundtripping. When there is a bit of an ecosystem around manipulating project libraries as well as some conventions around recreating parametrics, we should be able to use any app as an author to create an asset library.

    CGR
  • By any app you mean any app that directly deals with IFC, right?

  • When there is a bit of an ecosystem around manipulating project libraries as well as some conventions around recreating parametrics, we should be able to use any app as an author to create an asset library.

    Should we take the reigns and propose a parametric convention? :)
    https://forums.buildingsmart.org/t/a-small-step-to-parameterizing-ifc/3223/2

  • @JQL any app that can produce an IFC.

    @theoryshaw yes, we should :)

    theoryshawduncan
  • If I design something parametric in Revit or Archicad, and then modify it in Blender, how can any of those softwares assume the blender modifications and still deal with that object parametrically?

    Can you give any example?

  • Can you give any example?

    http://geometrygym.blogspot.com/2014/08/parametric-ifc.html
    This stuff is still bleeding edge. There's really not that many examples out there.
    Would love to see a collaboration between Freecad/BlenderBIM in roundtripping parametrics via IFC. Can see IFCopenshell being the backbone, as they both use that in their backend.
    I've mentioned this before, but I think in general, this is how standards development should work-- that is, standards that spring from actual use, not an 'a prior' approach. That is, just propose something, and try to get others to adopt it as well. I actually think that is the core hallmark of the open source AEC software ecosystem...and what its competitive advantage could be and what, I believe, OSArch's ultimate role is to realize and facilitate.

    brunopostleJQLpaullee
  • Interest, passion, and adoption is more important than getting it right the first time.

  • Using graph rewriting methods for the semi-automatic generation of parametric infrastructure models
    2017, München, Simon Vilgertshofer, André Borrmann
    to be found in 'spotted academic papers'. they are trying to integrate parametrics into tunnels data formats..which is going to be IFC-INFRA?
    https://publications.cms.bgu.tum.de/reports/2020_Borrmann_ifcroadrail_gesamt.pdf , in german :-( ifc-Road or ifc-Rail ifc-Tunnel , ifc-Bridge)
    https://www.cms.bgu.tum.de/de/forschung/projekte/17-research-projects/136-ifc-bridge , english

  • I do understand that and agree with it. Having roundtripping between FreeCAD and Blender would be truly benefitial for both environments.

    And do you think a Sketch from FreeCAD is something that could be used in Blender in this process? I would find it very interesting to have a FreeCAD sketch used as base for some of blender's modifiers.

    paullee
  • @Moult it's many years ago but I think that the Dutch Revit Users groups hired Geometry Gym to do a proof of concept for parametric IFC round tripped with Revit. I've written to the guy who told me ( Martijn de Riet ) to see if we can learn from what they did.

    MoulttheoryshawCadGiru
  • @duncan said:
    @Moult it's many years ago but I think that the Dutch Revit Users groups hired Geometry Gym to do a proof of concept for parametric IFC round tripped with Revit. I've written to the guy who told me ( Martijn de Riet ) to see if we can learn from what they did.

    Oh, that's what you've already linked to @theoryshaw , sometimes I don't read all these threads very deeply ...

  • You can find some insights into the work done here:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/10Tz3xj_xafaIFrLtkecGR73jqc16Afsv/view?usp=sharing
    There is a sample parametric IFC file here (with the source code to generate it)
    https://github.com/GeometryGym/GeometryGymIFCExamples/tree/master/ConsoleParametricFooting
    Happy to discuss further. Certainly some functionality to array and propagate within IFC would be an important aspect to add.

    Cyriltheoryshawtlangduncan
  • Hi guys,
    @duncan invited me over to provide some comments / insights.
    I fear I was the one responsible for getting @geometrygym to work on some roundtripping with parametric IFCs back in 2014. And have been pushing him since, also with some other examples and proof of concepts.

    Currently however, I think we basically left that development behind us (@geometrygym, please correct me if I'm wrong). For us at Bimforce, we're now focusing on using the IFC Project Library as a datastructure in a database solution that allows us to parametrically define an IFC object and generate a static IFC / Revit file from that. So we implemented IFC4 (including the Project Library) as a datastructure for an object library database. We placed a User Interface around the database that allows users to select (and configure) the desired output. After the user hits the static IFC file is generated according to user specifications.

    Why? Couple of reasons:
    1. For most "families", that would be more then enough. You don't have a parametric table because you want to keep changing it's size during a project, you have a parametric table because you don't want to have (and maintain) a separate Family for each size.
    2. Database solutions allow you to implement formulas, restraints, if-then dependencies and such. Stuff you would hardly be able to define in a "traditional" IFC file. Whether you're using the Project Library or not.
    3. A DB solution also allows you to create "horizontals" in terms of the same content in different languages, geometric representations, required properties, and so on. Stuff you can't do in a file based solution without creating massive overhead in each family.

    Anyway, if you guys have any questions about the practical implementations, please feel free. More then happy to share our experiences (and struggles).

    CGRduncantlangtheoryshawaothms
  • @mdradvies welcome to OSArch! I think we share quite a few ideas on how it might be implemented. Implementing project libraries is part of the solution, but not all, so a standardised way to link a "generated" object back to its "generator" (in your case, a database with your constraints system), is all that is really needed to make this practical.

    Would it be possible to organise a meetup in the coming weeks to discuss more practical implementations and see if we can get a proof of concept going to share parametric objects between BIM apps?

    duncantheoryshawJesusbillpaullee
  • Hi @Moult, no problem. Would be great to develop such a PoC.
    We might need to consider some time differences. Where's everybody from?

    paullee
  • Would like to join. i'm at -6utc.

  • I'd like to participate too!

  • @mdradvies I'm in the Sydney, Australia timezone. Anytime between 8am and 8pm is preferred.

  • LOL. This is gonna be a challenge. I'm in Amsterdam timezone. Does anyone have a suggestion for a calendar app that works well with timezones?

    Jesusbill
  • I guess you span the whole spectrum, each with 8 hours difference (US -6 utc, Europe +2 utc and Australia +10 utc).
    best choice is probably 12:00 AM | 8:00 AM | 16:00 PM, just choose whose gonna be the midnight guy :)

  • edited April 8

    just don't pick a time, where it's daytime over the pacific. ;) It's nice that the Pacific is a third the circumference of the earth.
    I don't think we have anyone in French Polyniansian here. ;)

  • I don't mind being the midnight guy. So which day would be preferrable for you all?

  • I'll be the super early morning guy.
    How about next week Tuesday (13th) or Wednesday (14th) at 12pm UTC?

  • That time works well for me

  • The time would work well. (although it would be 2pm for me, Amsterdam is one hour behind London).
    However, tuesday and wednesday I already have some appointments around that time. I could do Thursday?

  • Yep, thus. works for me.

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