Tech Tips: Remodeling IFC Data into a CATIA Parametric Model

In this article, we will walk you through how to remodel IFC data into a CATIA Parametric model. Before we get into the details, let’s look at what these terms mean and how they are connected.

What is IFC data? 

Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) is a specific data format which was created with the aim of enabling the inter-exchange of an information model without data loss or distortion. It was designed to promote interoperability between many project stakeholders and is an open file format that is neutral, not under the authority of any specific software companies. 

IFC provides a neutral, non-proprietary data format. For every kind of object element encountered in the construction industry, IFC offers a set of definitions as well as a text format for storing those definitions in a data file. 

IFC and BIM 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital depiction of a building’s or infrastructure project’s structural and functional details. Project coordination, planning, design, construction, and management are made easier with the use of BIM. IFC files are a crucial component of BIM since they allow for improved team collaboration and facilitate interchange between various software programmes. This guarantees that all project stakeholders have access to the same information. 

Parametric Models in CATIA 

A simple explanation of parametric modelling is that it is a CAD software programme that generates digital models based on complex formulas and guidelines known as “parameters.” The CAD programme uses these parameters to develop scripts that automatically generate 3D models and forms. The connections between various design elements are described by parametric rules and software for parametric modelling automates a large portion of the design process in this way. 

The majority of the time, parametric modelling is employed in design projects that call for the production of numerous precisely rendered components. It is frequently employed to create product or component families that are based on variants of a basic design. 


Because it frequently does extensive work in the engineering stage, CATIA frequently uses IFC data as input. 

Information and dead bodies make up imported IFC data. Since it is not parametric, two ways of modification are strategically used whenever a design change happens. The first is a technique for reflecting changes made in the preceding stage, importing them back into IFC, and then replacing them with the previous IFC data (for instance, working in Revit or ArchiCAD). The second is a technique for replacing the deceased body with a fresh one or for immediately implementing alterations in CATIA. 

Tech Tip: Remodeling IFC Data into a CATIA Parametric Model 

Whilst IFC data can be altered within IFC, or can be edited by replacing the deceased body entirely, there is a simpler way. The data itself can in fact be remodelled into a CATIA Parametric Model.  

A main advantage of parametric modeling is that it saves a great deal of time during the design process. Designers do not need to redraft a design every time a model’s dimensions change thanks to the design automation features of parametric modelling software. 

In order to do this, one would need to simply collect only the necessary parts from IFC data and then convert them into the desired geometry type within CATIA. For example, this could be achieved by altering a solid body within a design, changing it into a volume body and putting it in a specific Geometrical Set of 3DPart. 

This process automatically creates input for each element of the design process. This is done by using an X-Generative design template to create a centre line at the bottom of element. The thickness and height values can be also measured to be used in the next step.  

From here, a CATIA Parametric model can be applied. This can be done by applying the template made in CATIA by utilizing the centre line and information created in the previous step.  

After these steps have been completed, the elements created in CATIA can be parametrically used for easy modification. 

Find out more 

If you would like to find out more about transforming IFC data into a CATIA Parametric Model, get in touch today. We’d love to hear from you.  


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