Exporting to IFC Format

I’m not entirely clear on what happens when SketchUp exports to an IFC format.

How do I get various sub-groups within my wall groups to export out as separate IFC entities.

Is there any documentation that explains all of this, maybe I just missed it.

I guess you want to use Ruby API… (if yes the topic forum category needs to be modified to [Developers][Ruby API])

The Model #export method description contains a small ifc export example and link to the Exporter Options file. Where you can find the options and very short description for IFC…

However, I have no experience with it, but perhaps @rtches can help you, there is a plugin by him: AddIFCQuantities | SketchUcation

Also can be useful: GitHub - BIM-Tools/SketchUp-IFC-Manager: IFC data manager and exporter for SketchUp.

One of the main concepts of an IFC is it’s hierarchical structure (Project > Site > Building > Storey)

Every object is therefore nested.

Ideally every object needs to be a component and need to be nested in the Storey-component (no sub-wall)
Normal tags have no influence on this, they need Classification Tags (eg. An IFCBuildingElement (stud) is nested in a componet that is classified as IFCStorey, which is nested in a component with the IFCBuilding classification.

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So what are classification tags (regular SketchUp tags?), and how do I assign them.

This IFC thing seems very cumbersome at first glance.

Is there an English version of the PDF you provided?

I found the English translation after a bit of searching on the internet.

Hi, I have an extension automate convert all entities to IFC by tags.

Please refer to outliner in this video at 1:00

If you wanna try to see how a SketchUp file are ready to export to IFC, let use a trial free 30 days here: https://5dplus.info/

Here’s topic link of my extension https://forums.sketchup.com/t/5d-auto-vbo-now-supports-export-2d-dxf-with-layers


It looks like one has to nest things a certain way to get IFC to work, not sure if IFC is really worth the trouble. It also seems like it was developed for large multi-story buildings rather than residential projects, but I’m sure it could be adjusted to work for either.

At first glance, not a big fan. I’ve heard of IFC before but have never really dug into it until this point.

Here a link for you to begin with:


See the user guide …

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It looks like everything has to be components to classify them.

In europe in 2030 IFC will be mandatory for permits. Anything that can be developed towards greater compatibility between Sketchup and IFC import and export will be great to have.

Ifc is the way to exchange geometry and information between different software.
You can add parameters to each component that can be read by every software.
The structure is very simple:

  • a project
  • a site
  • one or more buildings
  • one or more stories

Inside every storey each component has its own category, so you can distinguish between walls, doors, etc.
Adding information to each one is easy.
Send me a message if you want me to show you how to manage all that information.


The showstopper for me is the fact that you have to have everything in components. I actually prefer groups not components.

Components have their place for sure but groups are much more lightweight in SketchUp.

No, you can leave it as groups. You can classify group to a IFC class.

Screenshot 2024-02-24 114125

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Yes, groups are a problem with Ifc. The Ifc schema is saved in component definition and while exporting all entities nested into a group are not exported correctly.
In Spain since 2023 Ifc has started to be the exchange format in big public projects. It’s expected to be in all public projects in a few years.
So if you don’t use Ifc you have less opportunities because private projects requirements are also copying government exchange formats.

P.D. Components have more taged information in layout than groups.
All Ifc parameters can be labeled. Rich information for your drawings