Seeking help for our IFC importer

Hi Unreal Studio users!

We have a basic IFC file importer and we will need your contribution to help us testing it properly.

If you have a moment to fill this survey and provide us with sample files, this would be great!

(the survey has a file upload field where you can provide us some IFC files)

Thanks in advance!

Uploaded a sample IFC output from ArchiCAD. IFC 2x3, hope this helps, I know we would love to help beta!!

Thanks. It sounds Really interesting. I’m not so expert in IFC export files… What is better for you? I have some good Archicad Project, but we are not fantastic on IFC

Hi, I understand IFC is required or needed when information regarding BIM is expected to be transferred, but to Unreal as far as I know we only need the model. and for that we expect to have an exporter like the one for lumion or datasmith for 3ds max.
Maybe I am wrong but for ArchViz we won’t need IFC information.

@redstructure Not entirely. My office works in ArchiCAD (a BIM software similar to Revit) that utilizes IFC. We use these IFC models to communicate with contractors and consultants that don’t run our software. This file format is crucial for this type of collaboration/coordination. For Unreal Engine, it helps to go from ArchiCAD to UE4 in one step (through IFC) rather than through 3ds Max since it’s less steps and allows us to not have to purchase additional programs.

It depends on workflow and availability of programs. Since this office is entirely Mac based (no PCs) we can’t use a lot of modeling software like 3ds Max

Hi -Felix,

I believe one important point that your survey was missing was the operating system of the user. I think most offices that use ArchiCAD tend to use OSX operating system. Hope this exporter will work with Macs, can’t wait to try it out !


This will be a native importer to Unreal Studio, so windows only. However, if your app is on the Mac (like archicad) then you can export a IFC file from there.

It depends what type of work you do. ArchVIZ, i get it that its probably not useful. However we are also servicing the market of design and construction that rely on VR or interactive design reviews that aren’t necessarily aiming at finished pixels with advanced material definitions etc. Several civil and structural engineering firms rely on IFC to exchange data with others.

This recent blog post gives a glimpse of the use case of aggregating data from several sources to see then entire design in a single 3d environment:

I uploaded models of two recent projects. They are still under development but should be reasonably detailed. What would be useful is if the IFC-file could be a link into Unreal, thereby allowing an early model to be textured and translated to Unreal and subsequent models would be updated with new parts that could then be textured and translated. This would allow for a much better workflow, instead of having to redo the process every time you want to import something to Unreal.

An IFC importer will really help our pipeline and workflow. We work with cooperative visualisation for architects and engineers, using Unreal as the platform on which we build our tool. Today, CAD / BIM models from the various fields (Architects, Building Engineers, Electrical Engineering, Ventilation ++) are collected and consolidated into a single file by the project’s BIM-coordinator, facilitated by the project lead. In our experience, IFC is the industry-standard for transferring and consolidating these models, at least here in the Scandinavian market.

Today we are doing a lot of manual labour on these files in order to get them into Unreal. Datasmith has been a game-changer for us, and with an IFC importer, we will be able to import data from nearly any customer source, and allow us to build on top of the work already performed by the BIM-coordinator, reducing the cost and time for our clients.

Thanks for the model!

Reimport is at the core of Datasmith and will work like the other format, track override etc . What you describe above will be covered.

Yep that’s our vision as well. Dataprep will sit on top of that and allow you to automate the creation of LOD, collision, substitute materials etc.

Any chance we can get those hvac and structural models?

We are really looking forward to the importer.

I wanted to mention, that our customers show an increasing demand for runtime import of such models.

I totally agree on this. IFC is the base in the BIM workflow and the format used for coordination and increasingly often quantities and simulations.

This is fantastic! Is there any ETA when it’s available to testing for users or release date?

We have several associates and each and every one of them is using IFC one way or another. It has been really pain to convert IFC to OBJ, then export metadata to XML file and then combine all in Unreal. I assume metadata is received similarly as in other Datasmith files? (stored in Asset User Data?)

Thanks for your hard work!

Correct. We are supporting meta data, materials, hierarchy. Still researching some of the technology but it’s promising. Our goal is to be certified by bimsmart on import for Ifc 2x3

You can import IFC models as reference models to Tekla Structures , and optionally convert the imported IFC objects into native Tekla Structures objects by using the IFC object converter or selected IFC reference objects using conversion change management.

Good day!

Any news about IFC importer? I downloaded Unreal 4.32 Prev 4, but could not find the importer. Thanks!

Just checking on the state of the IFC exporter, when will it be available in UE? or is it already?

Effective in this 4.23.