My excellent colleague Greg forwarded this video to me. It was created by the developers of Archicad and it shows collaborative workflows between their BIM platform and Revit Structure as well as Revit MEP. This integration is enabled completely through the use of IFC files (Industry Foundation Classes) which are supplemented by free Revit plug-ins that optimize the IFC output. The IFC files are then merged into Archicad using specific filters based on the origin of the export. After merging, the imported model geometry is fully editable.
Recent blog posts on Revit OpEd and Bolt Out of the Red diminish the importance of IFC’s in a Revit BIM environment, but I say that this type of sentiment is short sighted in realizing the bigger picture. I can see the value of developing a direct and specific port for data using a fully open API, but does that mean that every program in the AEC market needs to develop a Revit plug-in for interoperability? Surely, Autodesk needs to spend some time improving the IFC import/export capabilities of Revit and we intend to share some necessary (and reality-based) areas for improvement.
As an aside, I have written a complete chapter in Mastering Revit Architecture 2011 titled “Interoperability: Working Multi-platform” which has all sorts of real world scenarios for sharing data with Revit. I hope you find it useful when the book hits the shelves.
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