Group IFCPipeSegment elements as IFCSystem

Does anyone knows if it’s possible to classify a group of pipes as IFCSystem? I tried but when exporting them, pipes are exported as IFCBuildingElementProxy not as IFCPipeSegment as I classified them.
Maybe @MikeWayzovski @brewsky @nnijmeijer ?

You would have to have a distribution model in your SketchUp model, the only thing that SketchUp can handle is the object level.(ie. Tekla has ‘Assemblies’ as a higher hierarchy, Revit uses Systems)

As far as I know, it is currently not possible to export an IFCSystem with the native SketchUp IFC export.
Although you can classify objects with this classification but this classification will not be correctly exported by SketchUp.

How can I do it? I have spaces in each room but I don’t Know how to attach anything to them.
the software my engineers use for MEP works better if the system is specified (less work)

What software do they use? Aren’t they suppose to specify the system?

IFC manager should be able to export basic systems when nesting the components classified as pipes into a component classified as If system. But this way a system cannot cross the spatial hierarchy (like building stories) which is often what you would want.

If it doesn’t export then it’s a bug.

It’s a Spanish software called Tekton 3D iMventa Ingenieros - Software Técnico para Ingeniería y Arquitectura - TeKton3D
They can specify the system but then it has less sense to have an IFC file because they have to link every item and they only use the axes of pipes. It’s better to draw in that software.

I have not been able to, when I nest elements into IFCSystem each item inside it is exported as an IfcBuildingElementProxy although I delete IFCBuilding, etc…

Finally I could export with basic systems. I sent the Ifc in order to test if the engineers could extract the neccesary info and they asked me for this (traslated from Spanish):

1.- Linear flow elements (IfcPipeSegments).

Geometric objects representing the pipe are based on IfcMappedItem grouping objects of type IfcFacetedBrep in its RepresentationMap (Representation based on “block references” and “block definitions” constituted by “3D faces”).
IfcPipeSegment objects have no port information (IfcDistributionPort).

These two points prevent to extract from the link the axes of the pipelines to create the calculation objects in TeKton3D. To do this, we rely either on the ports, since the two ports of the pipe define its axis, or, in the case of being represented by a geometry of type IfcExtrudedAreaSolid, allows us to take directly the axis of that extrusion as the axis of the pipe in TeKton3D.

2.- Singular elements (IfcSanitaryTerminal)

The objects do not have port information (IfcDistributionPort).
Several instances of the same symbol sometimes have as representation different definitions, for example, two of the three toilets are represented by the same RepresentationMap, while the third, being equal, is represented by another RepresentationMap (this is not a problem in principle, but in case of conversion of objects brought from the IFC can increase the work by having to convert more types).

Now, these devices, initially, have only one insertion point, but no connector defined. The cold water, hot water (depending on the type) and evacuation connectors will have to be added to the definition.

If the IFC had the ports defined, the extraction of the calculation model would be much faster and would require fewer additional conversion steps. In IFC4, the ports are related as follows:

Does anyone know if it’s possible to do that in SketchUp?

These are the ifc files I sent…

@MikeWayzovski @brewsky @nnijmeijer Do any of you know how I should include the Ifcdistributionport inside the pipes and sanitary element so that the input and output port are related?

I was able to export an IFC with systems but I need to include Ifcdistributionport.

Interesting question… I never went that deep in relationships because it’s difficult to determine in a generic modeling environment like SketchUp.
I could add something that creates relationships between objects in the same If system component. I could even determine the start and end port based on the attributes. But how to easily and performantly(without doing complex/slow geometric calculations) set the flow direction of a big number of pipes… Drawing order? Naming? Glue_to_face?
Any ideas anyone? Would this be used by more people?

The main reason is to try to do like Revit. When someone draws a pipe in Revit and it is exported to ifc somehow the connectors are established, they are like the junction points that close a section of the piping system and so you can get the length and the route to calculate the necessary diameters according to the regulations.

The difficulty is that Revit has specific family types for pipes, walls, floors etc. That have specific behaviors, which also makes for a better/easier IFC mapping then with the generic components in SketchUp.

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I agree, it’s what I’m trying to do, finding the way to insert Ifcdistributionport to my pipes and sanitary elements.

In Revit, those ‘connecters’ are a special category of nested families and thus can be easily mapped.
Regardless the systemtype (eg. Electrical or HVAC) those come with certain preferences and rules how they connect within a certain family.
Those rules/preferences are determined by who is building that family and based on local regulation.

At the least, a pipe component in SketchUp should have three attributes, Flow, diameter and type and the nested connectors should have additional ones.
Perhaps you can create a guidepoint as component and then add those attributes.
They can than be used to map to ifc.

Then you have to built for elbows, T’s etc.
And for the various types of boilers, radiators etc.

I did that. My problem is not the connector but the relationship between fittings and pipes connectors.

There are several solutions build for CAD and Revit but, they host the ‘distribution model’ inside the various host software. There is Nova for the German region, Sysque for America and Stabiplan in my region.
It’s faster to (re)calculate without converting to IFC all the time and it happens within the addin’s specific environment.

After these adjustments, the then exported IFC could be considered as an ‘as build’ without the live connectivity needed.

As brewsky also pointed out, SketchUp is a generic modeling environment and therefore you should provide the “generic” sanitary objects with the correct information.

I see possibilities that a SketchUp extension could “(re)calculate” all data and relationships. The SketchUp model will then become your “distribution model” as MikeWayzovski says. The extension will have to analyze the 3D model and run through all connectors. Next, the extension must check which fittings and pipes are connected to the connector, after which the relationships are determined and saved.

But there are already several software packages developed specifically for this purpose. What do you think would be the benefit of doing this with SketchUp?

The benefit is to have the paths so that the engineer only has to dimension it. I recognize that it is an extra work but in Spain people think that it can only be modeled in Revit because the export from there is directly recognized by the calculation software as native elements.
For example Tekla Structural Designer is not able to import a file from SketchUp but from Revit. The same happens with other MEP software.
My effort is to try to show people that they can work with SketchUp in a collaborative environment in almost 75% of the project types.