Importing IFC component - changing instance attributes

My understanding is that IFC components can be customised, so for example for a window component one can edit the mullions, frame size, glazing opacity etc etc.

This is better than using the scale tool, as if you were to use that all the sub-components would be scaled at the same time. AIUI.

I have imported this component: from an IFC file.

However I can’t find anywhere to alter the individual components. I can see the attributes referred to on the webpage under Component Options but, for example, altering the width doesn’t alter the width of the window in the model (and besides, I don’t see anything like glazing size).

Apologies if this is more BIM support than SU support…

in SU it’s just geometry, edges and faces isolated from each other using groupings…

you can mainly edit the individual groupings or create a dynamic component based on the geometry, but you need a BIM program, to use any BIM functionality…


IFC is basically an interchange file format, with a geometric representation of the objects within, and property information stored as attributes. It has no embedded instructions for how the geometry should change if the parameters are altered. IFC files are mostly created by exporting them from BIM applications, but the objects lose all their parametric flexibility if imported to another application than what was used to create them, and in many cases even the originating application cannot convert it back to full editability.

In SketchUp, only correctly defined dynamic components can respond to changes made in the Component Options dialog. The basic structure of a SketchUp dynamic component is totally different from, for instance, a Revit family object or an Archicad GDL object.

Thanks for the explanation.

So basically it’s a question of editing/exploding the component and using the standard SU tools to resize?

In the object above, the window doesn’t even have a material or colour. Is this typical for BIM objects? Is it likely to be a case of manufacturers just crossing a box and not spending too much time on this?

I just wonder how they support architects etc.

Sorry if this is getting off topic.

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