Plugin Open BIM – Revit

Update history

A recent post on the CYPE blog detailed the improvements of the Open BIM - Revit Plugin incorporated in version 2023.e, focusing on the linking of IFC files and the information contained in elements, which can be recognised as belonging to Revit's own categories and which, therefore, allows tagging or listing actions to be carried out in planning tables.

Version 2024.a of the plugin includes a notable improvement from a user experience point of view: the extraction of content from IFC links, as well as compatibility with Revit 2024.

The new version makes it possible for users to convert the linked IFC model into a set of individual objects (DirectShape), which means that these objects can be deleted or their position can be changed, and the associated element parameters can be modified. Furthermore, linking to native Revit categories allows filtering, tagging and listing in tables (as was already the case with linked IFCs).

For the analysis and documentation of the models, the conversion process adds a significant advantage: the unifying of shared parameters. Linking IFC models to a Revit project requires the association of individual IDs to each IFC property or attribute; the consequence of this process is that the same attribute/property receives different IDs in different links, which makes it necessary to define the specific shared parameter file for each operation to be performed on each of the linked models. By extracting the content of the IFC links, this tedious operation is no longer necessary; the plugin takes care of unifying the shared parameters so that users are not forced to maintain and manage a set of shared parameter files (one for each linked IFC model). In other words, the process becomes transparent to users, who only need to be concerned with locating the attribute/property to be listed, by its name.

The conversion process is fully reversible; users can either Extract content from the link to the document or Revert the content extraction of the link. Users can maintain the synchronisation of the different models to the project in and define this operation either for the federated set of models or individually, for each of them (the status of each link will be shown with a different icon and colour).

Overall, the potential of the new plugin significantly improves the users' experience and allows models present in the project shared on to be integrated into the Revit file, making coordination and documentation tasks easier. This capability is of particular interest for highly detailed and accurate models generated from the manufacturer's applications, which are free to use.

The mode of communication between Open BIM applications and the collaborative work platform has changed. In previous versions, the applications used the " Sync" tool to upload and download the files of the contributions associated with the project from the platform. This tool was downloaded from the platform or installed together with the installation of the platform applications if users so desired.

From version 2024.a onwards, applications are now able to work directly with without an intermediary. That is, without the need for the " Sync" tool.

This modification will improve the performance and efficiency of Open BIM applications significantly. By removing this dependency, the applications have more autonomy and the waiting times for communication between Sync and the program have been considerably reduced. The process of downloading contributions has also been optimised, as users no longer need to obtain the entire content of a project from in order to work, but only the contributions to be read.

The way of authenticating a user in the applications has also been modified. Now, this process is carried out within the web platform. To do this, the application with which the user is working will run the user's default browser when the "Login" button is pressed. When the credentials are entered, or after opening the browser if the user is already connected to the platform, an authorisation page will be displayed. This page details the resources the application is requesting access to and two buttons for granting or denying this access.

The authorisation must be carried out for each application. Once access has been granted, it is saved for the next time the program is run and there is no need to perform this process again for that application.

As well as performance improvements, changes have been made to the user interface of the Open BIM applications regarding the connection to

  • The "Connect to" window now includes a "Configuration" button. Clicking it launches a menu from which you can edit the "File directory stored in local cache". This is the path where the files that make up the contributions will be downloaded when working with them from the applications. In previous versions, this location could be selected from the Sync tool.
  • The appearance of the "Project selection" window has been modified.
  • In the "Select project" list, the "View only my projects" option has been added to show only the projects where the connected user is the owner. Icons have also been included for the "Type of project" column in order to make it easier to identify them. The detailed data of a project now shows the image of each contribution, the description and the tags.
  • The "Review new contributions" and "Review updated contributions" options have been added to the "Create new project" window.
  • The list for selecting contributions ("Import BIM models") now includes the images of the contributions and the tags. The name of the contribution will be displayed in blue to indicate that the owner is the logged-in user.
  • When sharing a contribution or selecting contributions during the process of linking to a project, a progress window will appear during the upload or download process.

To work in with versions of Open BIM applications prior to 2024.a, users must continue to use the Sync tool. This is still available for download from the platform and was included in the installation packages of the CYPE Open BIM applications prior to 2024.a.

In version 2017.f, an add-on or plugin was included for AutoDesk© Revit software that makes it easier to include Revit in the Open BIM workflow. Since then, this plugin aims to improve communication between Revit and the platform, where CYPE's specialised tools are located.

Version 2023.e is a significant improvement in terms of the ability to manage the information contained in the IFC files used for model exchange. A revision of the CYPE software suite has been carried out to improve the quality of the information and classification of the objects contained in the IFC models. This information is provided by the plugin and its new mapper from IFC classes to Revit Categories. This mapper is contained in the new "IFC options" feature. "IFC Options" allows users to overwrite the import/export options set in the Revit configuration. In addition to overcoming several recognition limits of IFC classes and types, it allows object conversion to and from IFC to be customised and optimised. This optimises the BIM workflow of projects modelled in Revit and analysed with CYPE software, and focuses on the possible detailing models generated from the applications belonging to the manufacturer's systems.

The information in the linked IFC file, contained in recognisable elements belonging to Revit's own categories, is made available to the Revit user and allows tagging or listing actions to be carried out in planning tables.

The "Font size" option has been added to the general configuration menu of the applications. This tool allows users to increase or decrease the basic size of the font used in the user interface of the programs. Thanks to this implementation, the accessibility of the applications has been improved while also ensuring the correct visibility of the content on devices with different screen resolutions.

To enter a "Basic size" the "Set custom font size" option must be checked. The size users can enter is the application's basic font size. Any other font sizes that may exist in the program's interface will be automatically modified proportionally according to the change in the basic size.

It is important to note that, as this is a common parameter, its modification will affect all installed CYPE tools.

Version 2021.g of CYPE’s programs is a closing version of the 2021 version.

As well as the new features and improvements expressly indicated in each version of CYPE software, process optimisation involving internal updates for all our programs is normally included. In each revision, all programs are systematically checked and changes are made to improve their performance, therefore, we recommend that our users (in this case those of v.2021) always update their version to the latest one, regardless of the country for which they are using CYPE software or the language in which it is installed.

The Open BIM plug-in for Revit allows for IFC elements from BIMserver to be converted into native Revit elements using a mapping table that matches the synchronised information of the Open BIM project with user entities and parameters. The mapping can be configured by IFC class and Revit types, has filter functions, can be saved and loaded in multiple projects and can perform a multiple conversion of BIMserver IFC links.