IFC Import#

The buildingsmart_small SOFiSTiK IFC Import feature enables exchange of structural models in the OpenBIM environment using IFC file format. The model can originate from any other structural analysis software.

Supported Features#

Supported IFC versions:

IFC2x3 and IFC4

Supported IFC Model View Definitions (MVD):

Structural Analysis View 1.0

Supported structural elements:

  • Materials:

    • Structural Steel

    • Concrete

  • Cross-Sections:

    • Basic Parametric Profiles

    • Standard Steel Profiles

    • Polygon Cross-Sections with or without voids

  • Structural Points

  • Structural Lines

  • Structural Areas

  • Boundary Conditions:

    • Fixed and Pinned supports

    • Springs, Hinges and Beddings


The following would be the importing steps in a typical Open-BIM use case:

  1. Obtain a structural model in an IFC file created by any analysis software.

  2. Read the IFC File using the SOFiSTiK IFC/SAF Connector task

  3. Possibly modify Material, Cross-sections information and/or Meshing parameters

  4. Import into SOFiSTiK

  5. Calculate the imported Structural Model

  6. View the Static Model

  7. Possibly modify structural elements

  8. Proceed with further FE-Analysis and Design calculations.

Import Procedures#

IFC model can be imported into SOFiSTiK via the SSD “IFC/SAF Connector” Task as follows:

  1. Create a new Project in SSD (Preferably using the preprocessing option “Import of a structural model…”). If necessary, adjust the global coordinate system here.

  2. Create a new IFC/SAF Connector Task inside the project, if it is not already included in the System section.

  3. Open the IFC/SAF Connector, and in the corresponding Dialog window:

    1. Open the IFC file from the General tab. Messages such as Warnings encountered when reading the file will be listed here.

    2. Revise the Materials and Cross-Sections in their corresponding tabs. Automatic mapping of the IFC Materials and Cross-Sections occurs at this stage. It is described in detail below.

    3. Optionally, check the “Calculate Immediately” checkbox to create the Structural Model after leaving the Dialog window.

    4. Press “Ok” on the Dialog window to import the complete structural model.

    5. Warnings or errors encountered when importing can be reviewed in the General tab.

  4. Calculating the imported data can be also done any time after importing by calculating the IFC/SAF Connector as any other SSD Task.

Details of the imported data are available inside the CADINP content of the Task, which can be accessed via the Text Editor by right-clicking (right_mouse_button_small) on the Task.

Materials and Cross Section Item & Mapping:

  • After the reading the IFC file, while inside the “IFC/SAF Connector” Dialog, it is possible to review which Materials and Cross-Sections have been read and recognized.

Items which are recognized, for example a standard “IPE” I-Profile (i_small), are automatically assigned to their corresponding types inside SOFiSTiK. This IFC-to-SOFiSTiK mapping is then accordingly tabulated in the Dialog.

Items which could not be recognized will be mapped to a default SOFiSTiK Material or Cross-Section. It is possible to easily see these default assignments in the Material/Cross-Section Tab, under the “SOFiSTiK Material/Cross-Section” column of the mapping table. These can also be modified before importing using the Modify button for the corresponding item in the mapping table. The Reset button reverts these modifications and use the original item from the IFC or the default.

Unrecognizable IFC-Items: In the case of any unidentified item, a warning will be issued in the General Tab mentioning details of each case. Any Material/Cross-section with mapping problems can accordingly be traced by a corresponding warning message in the General tab. If ignored and imported, these could later affect when calculating the whole structural model.