Rhino IFC Export

The options available when Exporting IFC from Rhino

The Geometry Gym tools provide a number of ways in-which you can export IFC information stored in Rhino to an .ifc file. You can use the Rhino IFC Export functionality to perform the following:

  • Generate an .ifc file from geometry that you have already created in Rhino via a hierarchy layer system to import into another CAD/BIM application. See below the topic on Geometry Gym IFC Layers Panel.

  • Use the export function to extract certain elements or parts of a larger IFC model (partial export) that has been previously imported by imported using the ggIFCImport command. You can either export by visual selection or by Ignore filters. Refer to the export options below.

Generate an .Ifc From Rhino Geometry

You can set-up and derive IFC files for export using the Geometry Gym ggRhinoIFC Layers panel in Rhino which is installed when installing ggRhinoIFC. Please refer to the link below for more details on how to use this to generate an .ifc file directly from existing Rhino Geometry.

pageUsing Rhino IFC Layers

Export from an Imported IFC file

If you have imported an existing IFC file into Rhino using the Geometry Gym RhinoIFC importer, you may want to make some modifications to that file and then re-export, or you may want to only export certain parts of these models. For this, the plug-in allows for the partial export of models within Rhino.

In order to create a partial export, you can visually select the elements in-which you would like to export and run the ggIFCExport command. If a selection is present an additional Partial Export button is now provided within the export options dialogue. Click this option to only export this section of the model.

If you want to ignore the current selection on the export and export all elements, simply click OK instead.

You can also use the IFCTreeViewer in Rhino to export parts of an ifc model. For more information refer to the link below:

pageRhino IFC Tree Viewer

IFC Export Options

Export options update frequently as the tools are developed and improved. If there is an option that is not explained below, please please email support or post a query on the forum.

The below provides the typical IFC export options available when exporting IFC from Rhino. You can access the IFC Export command by typing ggIFCExport into the Rhino command line, or by selecting Export IFC from the drop menu ggRhinoIFC.

If there are no selected geometries in the active Rhino window then the Ifc Export Options dialogue should appear to allow the choice of export options. Below provides a detailed description of the export options available.


This option allows you to select which IFC version to write the file to (i.e IFC 2x3, IFC 4).

Geometry Options

Detect Extrusion

Selecting this option performs a check to see whether poly-surfaces in the model can be represented as extrusions in the IFC file. If true than these will be represented as extrusions within the IFC files export. The default is unchecked.

Maximum Mesh Face Count to Simplify

If a mesh is seen to have more than the specified number of mesh faces, than the exporter will attempt to simplify the mesh in order to reduce the overall size of the IFC file exported.

Geometry Deviation

This parameter allows the user can set a geometry deviation values which will be checked as geometry optimisation is performed.

Ignore Curves

Ignore rhino curves when exporting to .ifc

Additional Output Options

Objects to generate CAD files (for Revit)

This options allows the user to specify which elements additional CAD files will be generated for when exporting. You can select ALL or only to exported BLOCK objects. NONE is the default option.

These file exports are typically for Revit when importing geometry for Revit families geometry.

CAD files will be exported to the export folder chosen for the IFC file.

CAD Format

The CAD format specifies the format in which generated CAD files are to be exported to. You can choose from Rhino, DWG, SAT or NONE. The default selection is Rhino, but SAT may be the preferred export if transferring to Revit.

Respect View Visibility

This allows the user to set object styles in ifc which are similar to those as defined within Rhino.

Project and Site Options

Named CPlane for Site Placement

This options allow you to set a site placement from a user defined Construction Plane in Rhino. You can select the desired construction plane from the drop down provided in the dialogue box.

You will need to define the CPlane manually in order for it to show up in the drop down list. The Rhino typical CPlanes will not be populated.

If you are defining your ifc output from scratch within Rhino you can also set the site construction plane by using the context menu of the ggRhinoIFC Layers panel.

Filter Options

IFC Classes to Ignore in Export

This allows you to ignore objects of a specific class when exporting from Rhino. You can select more than one Class to ignore in the export by providing a coma separator between each class. For Example:

IfcMember, IfcMechanicalFasterner

Typical RhinoIFC Export Issues

Q: Geometry won't import into another application:

A: Sometime you may face issues where the geometry you are exporting from Rhino may not import into another application. This may be due to a number of different reasons, some of which are outlined below:

  • Geometry did not get exported because it was unable to be defined within IFC: To test if this is the case try to re-import the geometry back into Rhino using the GeometryGym RhinoIFC importer. If the geometry does not get imported please contact us for assistance. We should be able to provide an update or provide tools to adequately rationalise the geometry to facilitate export.

  • Geometry export type is not supported by the receiving application: In most cases the receiving application may not accept the geometry definition provided in the GeometryGym export. There are many different ways a geometry can be defined and we will often try and use the most memory- efficient available within IFC. First try changing the export type to IFC2x3, If this does not work try converting the export geometry to a basic geometry form such as a mesh.

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