IFC Export Archicad Manual
Julien Benoit avatar
Written by Julien Benoit
Updated over a week ago

When you export an IFC keep in mind what is relevant to your IFC export. The IFC file can be big and difficult to work with if it has a lot of information in it. Therefore it is important to not export unnecessary information. In this report you will get different tips to filter your IFC export in Archicad.

This article contains information about the following topics

To export the entire project. You must stand in 3D view. Make sure you use the correct translator.

Click the options button to see a summary of your IFC export settings. Under model filter you can also choose to filter out more.

IFC export settings

The IFC translators box allows you to view or modify Translator settings, or to create new Translators.

If you want to modify your IFC export there is recommended that you duplicate one of the premade translators so you don’t mess up one of the default translators.

Click new > Duplicate of > select the translator you want to duplicate.

If you want to merge the IFC you can do that under the same banner.


Different settings in the export

1. Model filter lets you filter out what you want to export by different pre-sets.

2. Type mapping lets you choose what kind of IFC type each element is exported as.

3. Geometry conversion lets you choose what kind of geometry you want to export.

4. Property mapping lets you set up criteria based on types.

5. Data conversion lets you choose what kind of data you want to export from the model.

6. Unit conversion lets you choose what measuring units you want to export in your IFC.

1. Model filter

Exporting grids in the IFC

Sometimes you want the grids exported as well to be able to see them in Catenda Hub.

Go to the model filter for IFC Export and make sure the checkbox “Grid system and Elements” are checked.

2. Type Mapping

When an IFC is exported all the elements in the model gets assigned an IFC type.

If you select the IFC translator you want to use you can then go to type mapping and click on the Map IFC Types for import to manage what kind of type mapping you want on your exported IFC.

Type mapping mainly have to different options to sort your IFC types by.

Element type

Each element is automatically assigned a basic IFC type. You can se each element`s assigned IFC type in project manager and in element settings.


This method allows more flexible and detailed IFC type mapping, according to specify classification standards. Zone and opening elements are set to a fixed IFC type. IFCSpace and IFCOpeningElements.

3. Geometry conversion

Geometry Conversion for IFC Export will let you convert your geometry in different ways.

Conversions of Archicad elements

Export all model elements' geometry as:

Parametric with exceptions - default

BREP - Precise geometry - If this is selected the next two options will also be BREP

Elements in Solid Element Operations:

Extruded/revolved - default

BREP - Precise geometry

Elements with Junctions

Some elements can intersect with other elements which can trim parts of the extrusion.

Extruded/revolved without junctions - default - This makes the export faster

Extruded/revolved -

BREP - Precise geometry

Parametric elements

Archicad elements can be exported as parametric geometry often in the form of guiding lines that are extruded to a distance. Parametric geometry makes it easy to edit the object after it has been created. While this option retains editability the geometry can often be somewhat imprecise as the definition is an approximation of the geometry.

This option is recommended if you intend to import the IFC back into Archicad or another editing program to make further edits.


The elements can also be exported to BREP. Instead describing the objects by its parameters each surface is described as a separate surface with a location in 3D.

While you loose the parameters with this option, making the objects harder to edit after export you gain precision as each surface is a precise representation of the surface in the object.

This option also allows for each object to have a color in the IFC file.

If you select this option your IFC file will be colored the same in Catenda Hub as it is in Archicad.

Define IFC model position by:

This option decides project location.

It is important to agree on a common coordinate point to reference in the project already in the beginning changing it might mean that multiple consultants have to move their objects which is often not feasible towards the end of a project.

Survey Point and Project Origin - default

With this option the distance from (0,0,0) to your model in Archicad will be the distance from (0,0,0 + coordinates of your survey point) to your model in Catenda Hub + the

If you have set a project location your model will end up at those coordinates in Catenda Hub

Project Origin only

With this option the distance from (0,0,0) to your model in Archicad will be the distance from (0,0,0) to your model in Catenda Hub.

Survey Point only

With this option the distance from the survey point in Archicad to your models will be the distance from (0,0,0) to your model in Catenda Hub

4. Property mapping

Inside property mapping (File > IFC > Interoperability > Property Mapping) you can choose what kind of version of IFC you want to export. you have the standard IFC2x3 and the standard IFC4. You can also add psets to export with your IFC. If you do this you should make a duplicate of the IFC schema you choose.

After you’ve made a duplicate of your standard IFC you can add the properties you want to that new preset by selecting the IFC schema and clicking on Map IFC Properties for Export.

5. Data conversion

Under data conversion you select what kind of data in addition to geometry you want to get out of your IFC export. check the boxes of what you want to export.

Element parameters reads the Archicad element parameter and converts it to IFC quantities or IFC properties. Depending on their type. By choosing this option you significantly increase the file size.

IFC Base Quantities reads the parameters of size, area and volume. If you don’t check this box off you may have trouble importing your IFC to Catenda Hub.

6. Unit Conversion

Set the Length, Angle, Area, Volume, Currency and Time units for your export.

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