Export to IFC: how to export lines and edit component info

I am exporting a model to IFC. Although th proces of file>export>3d model>ifc is easy. There is some issues with the IFC model after conversion.

1: Lines. In the original models there are lines, not being filled by a face (specifically in the bottom two rows of components). These lines are not incorporated in the IFC models. In the same category: faces with a line in them are shown as 1 face without a line in them (this happens in all components in the bottom row)
Is this because IFC just doesn’t know lines, only faces? Or is there a setting I need to adjust?

2: model info. In the original model , every component has its own name and description. The IFC model just gives them a number though, and each component has the standard description “description of object”

I have uploaded a screenshot of the original model and the IfC for clarification. IFC is viewed in Solibri here.


Maybe @nnijmeijer could tell?:smile:

Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) is the data format for OpenBIM and provides an interoperability solution between different software applications. With IFC is it possible to export 3D objects and their properties.

SketchUp has some issues with the original IFC export function. You can only export the Description and Name properties from the dynamic component. It’s also impossible to export custom property sets attached objects. I hope that SketchUp will improve their IFC import and export function to improve the BIM workflow.

After the general information about IFC and SketchUp, I will answer your questions now:

1: 2D lines and 2D objects without any face don’t export to IFC.
You must model objects with a face and it is important that the exterior of the modeled object consistently consists of the “front” face.

It is possible to export different 2D faces to IFC as you separate them in a group and give the groups different colors / materials. In Solibri it will appear as one solid but you see the different colors.
This is only a solution for visualization purpose.

Can I ask why you want to export 2D information in IFC?
To export 2D information you can export your model to a DWG or DXF file.
That is the open standard for 2D information.

2: For a proper IFC export you must give all the objects (dynamic components) a classification.
You can do this with the BIM Classifier function. With this function you tell what the object is, for example: Beam, Door, Roof etc…

If the object (dynamic component) has a classification, IFC properties will appear in the component options browser. Only the information from the Description and Name properties will export to IFC.

If you are interested in a BIM workflow with Sketchup, please look at the BIM Basis ILS in the Netherlands. It is an initiative to use a basic information delivery specification.

I hope this helps.


This may be off topic, but keep in mind that SU2017 is only IFC2x3 compliant. Yes, you can import / load the IFC4 schema, classify to your heart’s content, but when you export IFC it will be IFC2x3 irrespective of whether or not you’ve imported / loaded a different schema. It defeats the purposes of the IFC schema import ability I suppose, I hope this gets fixed in the next release (SU2018 or earlier maintenance release).

Thanks for the quick help guys. NNijmeijer’s quickstartguide to IFC is really useful.

To answer the question:
The image you see Is the whole file I want to be available for clients. It consists of representations of the Solar mounting frames we produce and sell. For each of the 7 types there are 3 levels: 2D topview, a very simple 3D line drawing, and a more detailed 3D drawing.

From the enduser’s point of view I thought it would make sense to have them all in one file: client has to download only 1 file, then he can see what he needs and copy- paste it.
For me it would be easy as well: all updates and maintenance is in one place. and I have to export the whole thing only 1 time for each File type (DWG, IFC,…)

Now I dig into it a bit more it doesn’t really make sense to have 2D parts in the IFC model. I could better delete the bottom row before exporting to IFC.

What would be a good classification? for the solar panels i found the ifcEnergyConversionDevice, but for the mounting frame i couldn’t find anything appropriate.

a small added question:

If the object (dynamic component) has a classification, IFC properties will appear in the component options browser. Only the information from the Description and Name properties will export to IFC.

I have added an ifc2x3 classification, but the component options browser window doest give me an option to set inc properties. It actually says that there is no component selected, while there clearly is…
Can anyone see form the screenshot what is wrong?

Yeah, this happens a lot.You’re on Mac,right?
way to go is this: Disable Dynamic Components in the Extension Manager, quit SketchUp. Start SketchUp and enable DC again. The order in which you activate the different Dialogs is Important :
first the Options, then Attributes.


Strange behaviour and clear that SU needs to upgrade their export and inc functionality, but nice to know the workaround.

Model exports well now to as wel dwg as IFC and it includes ifc class and ifs name and ifs description.

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