BlenderBIM - OpenBIM authoring with Blender

Hi friends!

I just installed BlenderBIM a couple days ago and I am really excited to jump in because I do architectural visualization as well as drafting so I think this will be a tremendous help!

But looking around I was not able to find a whole lot of information about how to use the addon. I found the first project tutorial on the BlenderBIM website but I don’t really know where to go from there. Are there any tutorials on full projects for creating a house and then turning that into a layout or something?

Thanks in advance for the help! I can’t wait to add this to my skillset!!

@Stavson534 perhaps you may be interested in this initiative? So many of these tools are very new, but there is a community of people committed to making it happen, so hopefully you’d be keen in joining in :slight_smile:

If you’re keen, sign up to the OSArch forums and join in this Saturday!

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That is awesome!! Count me in!


BlenderBIM Add-on v0.0.200722 has been released with nearly 50 new features and fixes. The BlenderBIM Add-on is 100% free and open source software that lets you author and document BIM data fully to ISO standards. It’s built by the AEC community, for the AEC community. Get it today:

Highlights include IFC person / organisation management, new quantity take off calculation tools, improved BIMTester for BIM auditing, and improved recording of design constraints and intentions.

New features:

  • Objects now have an IFC class assignment panel for convenience
  • New “unassign class” to convert from a BIM object to non-BIM
  • Improved absolute coordinate import from DDS-CAD based IFCs
  • You can now remove a representation subcontext
  • Object proxying now works in a simplified manner, letting you directly reference Blender files with high poly geometry
  • New UI to manage IFC constraints
  • You can now export IFC constraints based on the UI, making the older CSV definitions obsolete
  • You can now assign constraints to individual objects and export them
  • New UI for managing and creating IfcPeople
  • New UI for managing and creating IfcOrganisation
  • Support invalid grids coming from Revit
  • Support import of triangular grids
  • Support export of IfcSpatialElementTypes
  • You can now export IFC2X3 “Style” classes in IFC4
  • IfcOpenShell utilities now comes with geolocation functions
  • All aggregates are now grouped in their own collection for convenience
  • No need to manually select types for collections when exporting
  • New feature when producing documentation, to recut the entire model or only selected objects
  • Materials assigned to portions of an object no longer need to be using object links
  • Support export of IfcPositioningElements
  • You can now define an owner history from your collection of people and organisations, or have no history at all
  • New feature to allow users to profile the import procedure
  • BIMTester UI updated to new Gherkin conventions
  • The IfcOpenShell selector utility now supports selecting COBie classes as its own selector
  • IfcObjective constraints are now imported
  • TK interface for BIMTester has been removed
  • Quantity UI now provides manual calculation buttons for generating lengths, areas, and volumes
  • You can now export a mesh edge for structural curve members
  • The geometry type data field now supports “None”, if it has no body representation
  • New feature to automatically calculate quantities during export
  • Allow for wildcard expansion in IFCCSV exports, allowing you to export a series of properties belonging to the same set
  • Failed BIMTester tests now have improved error reporting
  • BIMTester test reporting is now super sexy
  • BIMTester can now be run without packaging as a simple library
  • BIMTester can now be run from the Blender UI
  • BIMTester can now audit predefined types

New fixes:

  • Booleaned native objects will fall back to non-native import to support it
  • Fix bug where a slot without materials won’t export
  • Fix bug where some absolute coordinates would not properly be converted to local coordinates
  • IFCPatch ResetAbsoluteCoordinates has improved absolute coordinate handling
  • Allow for empty data in non-mandatory georeferencing data
  • Fix incorrect dimension export of rectangle profiles
  • Scaled curve bevel objects are now properly exported
  • Invalid psets now are no longer exported with empty relationships
  • Fix bug where imported materials with the same name as an existing material could be incorrectly assigned
  • Fix bug where IfcOpenShell selector utility was just broken
  • Fix bug where truncated material names can cause import failure

Worth mentioning:

Extract from the article below. Also, the BlenderBIM Add-on is mentioned (at the very bottom of the article)! Let’s continue to push for free software and open-data standards based IFC/BIM authoring programs in the AEC industry!

In the thirty years we have been following the AEC technology market and the 18 years in which AEC Magazine has been dedicated to the BIM process, we have never seen the likes of this — an open letter from a community of national and international design practices venting their angst at a technology supplier. These are sizeable, mature BIM practices which include Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw, Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Partners and many more.

The letter to Autodesk CEO, Andrew Anagnost succinctly details how they:

  • Have had to negotiate their way through five different licence models in four years.
  • Have seen a 70%+ increase in cost of ownership of Revit licences up to the end of 2019 (with more coming).
  • Are perceiving low levels of product development to the software most critical to their businesses, while experiencing negligible improvements in productivity.
  • Have been forced to subscribe to ‘collections’ of non-integrated products, which are explained as high value, but in reality, do not fit with the needs of their businesses.
  • Have been frustrated with Revit’s geometry capabilities for manufacture and construction, forcing them to spend even more on third-party software to fill the gaps.
  • Have seen poor commitment to open interoperability in a collaborative industry, which makes them feel trapped.
  • Have no clarity on the roadmap for next generation BIM technology, and have lost trust in the annually repeated promises of significant new innovations.
  • Have an urgent need for cost stability and flexibility in the troubled times ahead.

Woooophaaa!!! Great Work!!!

…and in the blue corner, a veteran with 105 knockouts :smiley:

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I like to sketch. I never learned 3D sketching myself, but I did a lot of 2D sketching when I worked in an architecture firm. One issue I’ve always noticed is how BIM programs are generally not friendly to the early concept / design phase when it comes to artistic experimentation. We tended to use a lot of other 3D programs for concepts, and 2D sketching, and would later have to re-model in BIM programs.

Wouldn’t it be nice, if, say, we could sketch in 3D and use it in BIM software, and even assign them semantic metadata, so that from early concept to late stage - the BIM components are seamless? But more importantly, the design intent has less potential to be lost as the design changes hands from the designers to the drafters in larger firms?

Say, for example, this little piece of fusion urban design:

Original license:


Animated grease pencil demo file.
Blender 2.82 Splash Screen 

Credits: Andry Rasoahaingo - License CC-BY-SA 3.0

… another shot …

So, greasepencil + IFC? Let’s do it! And, let’s take the IFC and bring it into Revit (I have selected an IfcStair as an example)!

… another angle, with more prominent greasepencil …

Let’s take it a step further and start cutting sections and annotating:

… and one more section for kicks:

The greasepencil to IFC conversion still has some quirks, and Im sure I’ve broken a lot of geometrical topological rules in the process, but as you can see some of it certainly comes through nicely. A starting point, I guess. The IFC file is only 7.1mb :slight_smile:


BlenderBIM Add-on v0.0.200810 has been released with another 50 new features and fixes. The BlenderBIM Add-on is 100% free and open source software that lets you author and document BIM data fully to ISO standards. It’s built by the AEC community, for the AEC community. Get it today:

Highlights include new graphical interfaces for IFC COBie and IFC Patch. New IFC optimisation feature. Specify exchange requirements with BIMTester with improved auditing features. New quantity take-off tools.

New features:

  • Better command line interface for IFC COBie tool
  • IFC COBie now no longer creates CSVs if you only need an XLSX file
  • IFC COBie now supports the ODS format, as well as XLSX and CSV, for more interoperability
  • New GUI in the BlenderBIM Add-on to run IFC COBie
  • IFC Patch can now be used as a library as well as a CLI
  • New support for pythonocc-core 7.4.0
  • BIMTester now colour codes undefined/unspecified test lines
  • Check BIM project exchange requirements with the newly published “Project setup” MicroMVD
  • Check BIM project exchange requirements with the newly published “Geolocation” MicroMVD
  • IfcOpenShell utility module now lets you convert true north angles and IFC geolocation vectors
  • Improved documentation on what dependencies are used by the BlenderBIM Add-on
  • Check BIM project exchange requirements with the newly published “Element classes” MicroMVD
  • BIMTester can now explicitly audit NULL attributes and properties
  • New export support for IfcSweptDiskSolid for curves with no bevel profile geometry
  • Blank qto names are accomodated in invalid IFCs
  • When absolute coordinates are offset during an import, the offset is now recorded
  • Allow keyboard shortcuts for both import and export
  • Dimensions from MeasureIt-Arch addon are now supported in SVG drawing export
  • New feature to visualise IFC Diff changes
  • IfcOpenShell util.element.get_psets() now supports IfcComplexProperty
  • New IfcOpenShell utility function to replace attributes from one to another entity
  • New IFC Patch recipe to losslessly compress / optimise IFCs by recycling non-rooted elements, benchmarked with results similar to Solibri Optimiser (results may be slightly smaller or greater depending on the iterations run)
  • New UI in Blender to run IFC Patch recipes graphically
  • Check BIM project exchange requirements with the newly published “Geocoding” MicroMVD
  • New IFC Patch recipe to merge two IFC-SPF files into a single file
  • Quantity take-off tool now allows calculation of the depth (e.g. of an IfcSlab)
  • Quantity take-off tool now allows calculation of perimeter (e.g. of an IfcSlab)
  • Cleaned up object properties UI by splitting psets, qto, and structural relationships into their own panel
  • New quantity take-off utility to get the total length of selected edges
  • New support to import the area and volume unit settings of an IFC
  • When calculating quantities, they are now auto-converted into IFC project settings instead of metric units only
  • IFC CSV can now export type relationships
  • Simplfy GlobalId generation by automating it on attribute addition, and providing an inline refresh button
  • New quantity take-off utility to get the total area of selected faces
  • New quantity take-off utility to get the total volume of selected objects
  • New modeling utility to quickly add IfcOpeningElement relationships
  • Non-node-based materials now have support for transparency
  • IfcOpenShell updated, providing greater stability and geometric support for imports
  • IfcOpenShell Python now lets you check by_type() excluding subclasses
  • New support for exporting the latest IfcJSON format, with options for version 4 and version 5a, and compact / non-compact variants
  • Add a new blank material for use in generating drawings
  • Check BIM project exchange requirements with the newly published “Classifications” MicroMVD

New fixes:

  • Fix bug where IFC COBie fails on empty names of related objects from assemblies
  • Fix bug where IFC Clash would not run as a CLI, but only within Blender
  • Fix bug where IFC CSV incorrectly stores boolean data types
  • Fix bug where long, duplicate, material names fail to import
  • Fix bug where IFC2X3 files may not have coordinates reset properly when an IFC file has absolute coordinates
  • Fix import bug when getting a geometry type of an object with no representation attribute, like IfcGridAxis
  • Add shebangs, so that all CLI utilities can now be more reliably run on all systems
  • Fix import issue where some negative material IDs fail to import

Thanks for all the work. I am not able to enable addon on either blender 2.83.4 or 2.90 . I removed the old addon saved preferences and restarted blender then install new version and no luck.

@Ector3 one possibility is that you are upgrading from an old version where the upgrade process was not smooth. Can you attempt to manually rename your add-ons dir folder to “start fresh” and see what happens?

noidtluom, I did as you said and renamed the addons folder to start fresh, but no change. Blender starts as normal, but cannot enable blenderbim

Ok It worked. I had renamed the folder at the installation folder instead of the folder \AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.83 . So thank you it is now enabled and ready to play with it.

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Thanks for the improvements !!

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noidtluom, to be clear though, I could only enable the addon when no other addon is enabled . Renaming the folder start fresh only made blender start with no addons. when I copied all my other addons back to the addons folder blenderbim will not showup in anymore. I am a windows 10 user

WOW this is superkool, I imagine the future like this!!! Finally :smiley:

@Ector3 Yes, this sounds like an issue of upgrading from a very old version of the add-on.

Old versions of the add-on was not packaged cleanly - this mean that there were some files that “spilled” outside the add-ons dir. Therefore, when you copied all your old add-ons, you probably accidentally also copied some of the “spilled” files.

Try this - go into your add-ons dir, and look for any of these files (not inside the blenderbim folder):

lib/ # Note: this generally only exists on MacOS and Linux

If you see them, delete them. Then see it that helps. If you’re online, send me a private message and we’ll share screens and I can help make sure it’s done safely.

Yes, that worked. After deleting all those file everything is ok. Thank you

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This is the ONE YEAR MILESTONE RELEASE of the BlenderBIM Add-on! We’re releasing v0.0.200829 with 70 new features and fixes. 389 people have taken the pledge for a more ethical built environment. It’s our built environment, help support the BlenderBIM Add-on: 100% free and open source software that lets you author and document BIM data fully to ISO standards. It’s built by the AEC community, for the AEC community. Get it today:

Highlights include improved IFC annotation and drawing generation, new quick architectural modeling tools, create schedules from IFCs, customised COBie outputs, and optimised IFC exports.

New features:

  • All CPU cores are now used for shapes in drawings generated from IFC. This leads to much faster drawing creation!
  • Users can now specify what objects should be cut in documentation with either a custom rule or with presets.
  • Adding a new representation subcontext when you haven’t yet defined a body auto-adds a body subcontext and clones the mesh
  • New button for the camera to quickly open the relevant drawing
  • Export now has an automatic bounding box representation being generated
  • New dumb wall geometry creator tool
  • New dumb stair geometry creator tool
  • New dumb door geometry creator tool
  • New dumb slab geometry creator tool
  • New dumb window geometry creator tool
  • 2D representations now support IfcIndexedPolyCurve so instead of just 2D curves you can have full 2D wireframes
  • New utility to quickly set object colours
  • New interface to manage different drawing styles
  • Drawing styles can now remember basic rendering settings and let you switch between them
  • New highly experimental DXF2IFC conversion script
  • Managing drawings now is done in a list instead of a dropdown for user convenience
  • You can now pick the vector CSS style and save it as a drawing style
  • Support for importing IfcGrid itself, not just the individual axes.
  • Importing IfcGridAxis now retain their UVW assignment and can store attributes
  • Support exporting IfcGrid and IfcGridAxis with all of its relationships
  • New grid creator tool for convenience
  • Doors now can have 2D annotation representation subcontext symbols auto generated
  • Windows now can have 2D annotation representation subcontext symbols auto generated
  • New button to edit the CSS style within Blender itself for convenience
  • Drawing styles can now store element filters to include / exclude elements in drawings
  • More robust footprint area calculation, specifically targeting better results for IfcSpace
  • Selecting multiple objects now lets you guess / fill out quantity sets in bulk
  • Enforce directories when selecting a MicroMVD for BIMTester for convenience
  • You can now purge project-specific IfcClassification hierarchies
  • Newly impored IfcClassification hierarchy for a project will show up immediately
  • IFC COBie will now launch the log as well as the spreadsheet when converting from IFC to spreadsheet
  • New more user friendly UI for sheet creation
  • Exports now auto detect curve / wireframe representations, so you no longer need to classify it manually
  • Native element support for importing IfcCircleProfileDef
  • Preset titleblock template now has a white background
  • You can now convert generated sheets to PDFs on the fly
  • New UI to manage schedules and link them to ODS spreadsheets (yes, this spreadsheet data can be generated from IFC too)
  • You can now convert an ODS spreadsheet into a vector schedule to be included on a sheet
  • Schedules can now be added to sheets
  • At export-time, the exported IFC is automatically considered for drawing generation, for convenience
  • You can now override the default COBie definition of a maintainable asset for both objects and object types
  • You can now specify custom IFC attribute mappings for COBie spreadsheet views
  • Support exporting tessellated polygonal face sets for much more efficient file sizes! (Suzanne shrinks from 84kb to 44kb)
  • Improve error reporting for BIMTester when it audits a list of IFC attributes
  • New dumb opening geometry creator tool
  • Native element support for exporting IfcCircleProfileDef
  • Grids in drawings now read from IfcGridAxis AxisTag attribute when available
  • Types are now automatically categorised in the project tree when assigned for the first time
  • Support IFC2X3 classification EditionDate CalenderDates
  • New utility to extract all IFC documentation for all COBie-defined maintainable assets
  • New utility to extract all relevant entity and enum descriptions from the IFC documentation
  • Creating drawing sheets now understand templates in any CSS unit
  • All SVG scales now are standardised to a human unit with improved spacing and placement.
  • Views are now placed within the titleblock border by default
  • Support for all known ODF units when creating schedules from different spreadsheet applications
  • Add support for imperial drawing scales
  • Add support for custom defined drawing scales
  • Add support for custom titleblocks
  • New preset title blocks for A1, A2, and A3 paper sizes
  • Drawing boundaries can now have different aspect ratios
  • Annotation tools are now in the viewport instead of properties tab for easier access
  • Drawings can now be associated with an IFC geometric subcontext target view to guide the drawing generation process
  • You can now generate annotation references for IfcBuildingStoreys
  • Bumped IfcOpenShell build, resulting in more reliable geometry processing during imports

New fixes:

  • Fix bug where parts of an aggregate are not placed relative to the whole in exports
  • Fix bug where some annotation tags won’t extract data correctly from IFC
  • Fix bug where aggregate creation only works if the aggregate collection exists
  • Fix bug where predefined types were not correctly audited by BIMTester
  • Fix bug where mapped representations belonging to a context fails to import
  • Fix bug where disabling the add-on triggered a error message

where i can find examples for reinforced concrete frame. In particular, rebar with difference diameter in the same beam?