Explode IFC Shell Command

D_ExplodeIFCShell_600ppi   Explode IFC Shell

Command Licensing and Default Menu Location

  • The Explode IFC Shell command is part of the RPS Data Prep Toolbox
  • The command is located on the Data Prep macros menu ribbon
  • The command is located in the Modify menu group

Command Description

Imported IFC data or mesh objects from DWG and DGN files can be exploded into component lines and points using this command. The command handles solids by breaking them into top, bottom and side objects on separate layers so that the data can be used as source data for surface models. 3D linear features can be re-created through use of the Filter by Alignment command.

Command Interface Description

The Explode IFC Shell command dialog looks as follows

IFC Shell:
The command requires that you select IFC shell objects that you wish to explode into points and lines that can be used for surface modeling purposes. Select the imported IFC shells here.

TBC creates IFC Shell objects from imported IFC files as well as imported DWG and DGN files where the designers have created component mesh, surface mesh or solids in their model.

Line Layer:
Select the layer onto which you want to place the exploded IFC Shell linework. You can use the naming {L}-Lines Top or {L}-Lines Bottom syntax, where {L} is the source IFC Shell objects layer name and the name is extended with the -Lines top etc.

Filter by Face Direction:
The faces of an IFC Shell object have a “Normal” i.e. a line from the centroid of the face that points outwards from the object. That normal can point upwards (typically a top face) or downwards (typically a bottom face) or sideways (a side face (vertical face). CAD systems that create these IFC faces are not using this 100% consistently today, so while Normal Up can mean top face it is not always the case. We have also seen CAD files where Normal Up can mean top face in some objects and bottom face in other objects within the same file. We recommend that you create the Normal Up and Normal Down outputs, and then rename the layers to Top and Bottom once you see what you get from the explode process.

You have the following options to select from here

  • Include all - this will create you all face edge linework from the top, bottom and side faces of the selected IFC objects. Where the IFC Shell is a single surface model (with no thickness or top and bottom components, this would be the option to select.
  • Normal Up - This should mean the Top Faces of the IFC object, but you cannot 100% rely on that being the case.
  • Normal Down - In the same object, these will be the opposite faces to the Normal Up faces. This should be the bottom faces of the IFC object, however you cannot rely on that being the case.
  • Vertical Face - This should be the vertical faces in the IFC object. For subgrade material layer "slabs" this would be the edges of the material slab. Be aware that in a finished grade surface, vertical faces can also mean retaining walls or other vertical elements in the surface model.

Create CAD Points checkbox:
If you wish to generate CAD points at the ends of all the exploded lines, check this checkbox. This is not typically necessary depending on what you are trying to achieve.

When you tap apply, the selected IFC Shell / Mesh Objects will be exploded and the command will ready itself for another selection set and repeat process execution. If you do not want to make a second selection and repeat the process tap Close to finish the process.

Closes the command without further execution.

Video Demonstration

The following video shows how to utilize the Explode IFC Shell command

Use Case Videos

The following videos show the use of the Explode IFC Shell command in a work process context

Feedback and Enhancement Requests

If you would like to provide feedback on the use of the Explode IFC Shell command or to request enhancements or improvements to the command please Click Here