IFC files (which are plain text) can be very large and optimization will provide a method of improving performance, via compression, thereby increasing the portability of these files. Solibri IFC Optimizer provides a way to reduce IFC file sizes, without losing any information, after they have been exported from their native BIM authoring applications.
Solibri IFC Optimizer is a separate utility available from Solibri. It can be downloaded for free from www.solibri.com. From Products, choose “Learn More” about Solibri IFC Optimizer, select download, and then fill out the brief contact form. You will be taken to the download page. Select the appropriate version, then download and install.
Once installed, open the Optimizer.
The user interface is quite simple. An IFC file can be ‘dragged’ to the window, or you can choose “Select IFC File” to browse and choose the file to be optimized.
Once the file has been chosen by either method, it will be listed in the dialog window and its file size displayed.
Select the Optimize option to be prompted where you would like to save the file.
Note that “ZIP Optimized File” is checked in our example above. This will generate a .ZIP file for best compression and portability. Solibri Model Checker can open .IFC files or .ZIP files containing IFCs. Of course, the package can simply be unzipped later if the raw .IFC file is needed. If you would prefer to generate an IFC, uncheck this option.
Once you have chosen the location for the saved optimized file, select the Save option and the optimizer will begin running. Once the Optimizer has finished, a summary will show the optimization rate.
In this example, an architectural model of a clinic (http://www.nibs.org/?page=bsa_commonbimfiles#project3) was reduced from 17.3MB to 12.4MB, a performance improvement of 28%. The zip file further reduces the size to a much more portable 2.5MB.
Choose “Result Folder” to be taken to the location of the newly generated file.
In summary, the IFC Optimization tool is a very easy and effective means of reducing file size and improving performance for use in Solibri Model Checker or Solibri Model Viewer. There will almost always be some improvement to file size by using the optimizer, but file size improvements will vary depending on the original BIM authoring software, as well as the discipline of the file. Below are some results of other disciplines from the clinic model being optimized. Note that both the MEP and Structural files showed even better improvements than our Architectural example.