Model Comparison in SMC v9.8

NOTE: The following article contains much of the same content as in the articles Model Comparison – Sol/206 and New in SMC v9.7.15 Model Comparison Improvements but is updated with screenshots of the new interface of Solibri Model Checker (SMC) v9.8. If you are running an earlier version of SMC, please refer to the previously published article(s).



Solibri Model Checker (SMC) has a very powerful rule template named Model Comparison (Rule Template # SOL/206) that is able to compare two versions of an IFC model for differences. This rule template is used in the Model Revisions Comparison – Architecture ruleset found in the Architectural folder of the rulesets included with SMC.

You are able to find information for this rule in the help topics by following the link below to the Solibri Solution Center:

The following article will provide an additional explanation using the Model Revisions Comparison – Architecture ruleset and two versions of the SMC Building sample models that come with SMC.

First, open SMC v9.8 and set your role to BIM Validation – Architectural by clicking File > Roles > Open. By using this role, when you click the Add Rulesets button in the Checking View, the Model Revisions Comparison – Architectural ruleset will be listed in the dialog box that opens, with the default rulesets included in this role.


NOTE: The Model Revisions Comparison – Architectural ruleset will not be loaded automatically when you open an IFC since it is not “Starred.”  If you wish to have the ruleset automatically open in the Checking view, you must “Star” its listing in the Roles window and resave the role (see above).

Now that your role is set, click File > Open Model… and open SMC Building.ifc and SMC Building – modified.ifc found in the Samples\IFC folder. After the IFC models load, leave the Ensure Model Disciplines dialog as it is with both models set to Architectural and click the OK button.

NOTE: The Model Comparison rule template is for comparing IFC models, not SMC models. Solibri Model Checker is unable to load multiple .smc files at the same time.

With the two versions of the same IFC model loaded, you can now open the Model Revisions Comparison – Architecture ruleset.  Select the Checking layout tab at the top of the SMC window, and you’ll notice that the BIM Validation – ArchitecturalGeneral Space Check, and Intersections Between Architectural Components rulesets have already loaded by default using the role you previously selected. If the To-Do dialog opens, you can simply click the X button in the top right corner, as you won’t need to verify any of these tasks to ensure the results are accurate.

Click the OPEN_RULESET_FOR_EDITING Add Rulesets button to add the Model Revisions Comparison – Architectural ruleset.


If you want, you can right-click the other three rulesets listed in the Checking view and select Disable to save time by not running those checks.

Click the Check button in the Checking view and select the Component Comparison rule under the Model Revision Comparison – Architectural ruleset to view its results in the Results view. You may notice a result stating Incorrect Model Timestamps (see below), warning that the Old Model set in the Rule Parameters does not have an earlier Timestamp than the New Model. This is due to the modified IFC being saved prior to the original model. It is important to point this out since with the Old Model and New Model set incorrectly, the rule will incorrectly report components as being added that were actually removed and vice versa.


You can ignore the Incorrect Model Timestamps issue as it is a non-issue

To view the rule’s parameters right-click the rule in the Checking view and select Rule Parameters.  At the top of the Parameters Dialog Bow (see below) you’ll find drop-down boxes for the Old Model and New Model. Set the Old Model drop-down box to SMC Building and the New Model drop-down box to SMC Building – modified (see below).

Notice next to the drop-down boxes, you can set the colors for the Old Model and New Model. By default, the Old Model is set to a red color with 60% transparency and the New Model is set to a blue color with 60% transparency. Therefore, if a component was removed, it will show up as Red, since it only existed in the Old Model. If a component is added, it will show up as blue as it only exists in the New Model. If a component is modified, it exists in both the Old Model and New Model. If the modified component moved to a new location, you’ll see the component in two different locations: one as red and one as blue. However, if only a property was modified for a component, the component will reside in the same location in both the Old Model and New Model, in purple, caused by the overlapping colors of the components.

Below the old and new model drop-down boxes is a checkbox labeled “Identify components only with GUID.”  When marked, SMC ignores the geometry of a component in determining if it was added/removed in the model and relies only on the GUID of the component. For example, if you delete a component in the design application and replace it with a new component, the GUID of the new component will differ from that in the old model.  With the checkbox marked, there will be an “Added” result for the component in the new model and a “Removed” result for the component in the old model.  However, if you leave the checkbox unmarked, SMC will return a “Modified” result for the component stating what has changed (e.g. Geometry, Type, etc.)

Next, you’ll notice under Checked Components, we are checking Any components from an Architectural Model, but Excluding Openings and Spaces. These are excluded since spaces will be checked on their own in the Space Comparison rule and openings are normally created by doors or windows, which will already be compared.

NOTE: By setting the Component column under Checked Components to Any, only components that have geometry will be checked. This doesn’t include container components such as Buildings, Floors, Systems, etc. If you wish to compare container components, you’ll have to add a row to the filter to Include those individual container components as well.

Below the Checked components, is a checkbox labeled “Geometries”. When marked, a result is returned for any component that has had its actual geometry (what you see in the 3D View) modified.

Below that checkbox is the “Compared Properties” list.  Here you can add any property you wish to compare across versions of a model. To add a property, click the ADD_ROW Insert Property button.  A dialog window will open and allow you to select from a one of the property groups.


Lastly, Model Comparison is one of the rule templates in SMC that has a configurable report. The Report section of the Parameters dialog (see above) allows a user to customize what columns are included in the report. The table on the left allows a user to specify which classifying columns to report and their order. These are the left-most columns of the report that will sort the components in the report by their column values. The table on the right in the Report section of the Parameters dialog (see above) allows a user to specify what components and which of their quantity and location properties to report. For example, in the report of this rule, components will first be grouped and sorted by the floor they are located on, then by the component (Door, Wall, etc) they are, and then by their Type. You’ll also notice that Roofs, Slabs, Walls, and Suspended Ceilings will have their Areas reported, though not their Lengths. Only Beams and Columns will have their Lengths reported, but not their Areas.

Set the Old Model and New Model drop-down boxes to SMC Building and SMC Building – modified respectively in the Rule Parameters of the Space Comparison rule in the Checking view as you did for the Component Comparison rule.  Now that the Rule Parameters are better understood and correctly set, click Check in the Checking view to re-run the check.

In the Results view, notice there are three categories of results listed: AddedRemoved, and Modified. Double-click and expand the Added category to zoom to the components that were added in the modified model.


You’ll see that a door, a suspended ceiling, and a wall have been added to the modified model. Again, as these are components that only exist in the New Model, they show in the 3D view as blue.

In the Results view, if you expand the Modified category, scroll to and double-click the result “Wall.0.16 – Wall.0.17,” you’ll see that one of the walls in the New Model was moved and had an opening cut out of it for the door that was added:


You can see that it moved in the 3D view as it is shown in two locations: in red from the Old Model, and in blue from the New Model. Notice the sub-category states “Wall: Geometry, Location, Quantity”.  The results are organized first by what the component is that has changed and then by what has changed about that component.  The Geometry has changed since an opening was cut out of the geometry of the wall for the door that was added. The Location properties have changed since the wall itself has shifted locations. The Quantity properties have changed since the area of the wall is now smaller due to the opening that was cut out of it.

Also notice that when you select the result in the Results view, you see a detailed listing in the Info view of all the properties and their values that have changed.

In the Results view, expand the Removed category until you find the “Double Sash Window 16” result of a window that was removed from the model.  You can see that the window was removed in the modified model as the window only appears red in one location (where the modified wall was later moved to) from the Old Model.


Double-click the REPORT_BUTTON Report icon in the Checking view to open the report of the results of the Component Comparison rule.


You’ll see changes that have been made to components, which are sorted first by the floor that they are located on, then by what component they are, and then by their Type.


For example, when viewing this report we see that 2 Door components of Type Door 16 have been added to the Ground floor level in the modified model.  We can also see that 15.07 sq ft of Wall of Type EW-3 100 have been removed from the Roof level in the modified model; however, 36.06 sq ft of Slab of Type FS-2 200 has been added.

Model Comparison in SMC v9.8

Creating Rulesets in SMC v9.8

NOTE: The following article contains the same content as Creating Rulesets in SMC, but is updated with screenshots of the new interface of Solibri Model Checker (SMC) v9.8. If you are running an earlier version of SMC, please refer to the previously published article.

Solibri Model Checker (SMC) comes with more than 50 out-of-the-box rulesets that can check your model. However, at some point, you will want to create your own custom ruleset either from scratch or by adding to, removing from, and/or modifying the parameters of an existing ruleset. This article will describe some tips on how you can speed up the process, such as by editing the Rulesets Open in SMC folder and copying existing rules from rulesets in the Rulesets Folders view into your own ruleset open for editing in the Ruleset Manager.


The easiest starting point when creating a ruleset is to edit an existing ruleset that has similar checks to what you want to run. As an example, we will edit the BIM Validation – Architectural ruleset found in the Rulesets/Architectural ruleset folder of SMC. If you have your role set to BIM Validation – Architectural, after opening an IFC, the BIM Validation – Architectural ruleset will automatically open along with two other rulesets for checking spaces and intersections:

You can now begin editing the parameters of rules contained in this ruleset from within the Checking view by right-clicking a rule and selecting Rule Parameters.


Often, you’ll want to test the ruleset as you are editing by checking a model against it. Since we are only interested in the BIM Validation – Architectural ruleset, in the Checking view, we can multi-select the other two rulesets, right-click them, and select Disable to save time by ignoring these other rulesets when running a check. You can also disable rules within the ruleset you are editing if you find some are taking a while to check. Just be sure to re-enable them before saving your ruleset so they won’t be disabled by default when you open the ruleset next time.

Disabling Rulesets

In the Checking view, expand BIM Validation – Architectural > Deficiency Detection > Required Components, and open its Rule Parameters to find a listing of components that should exist in the model:

Rule Parameters of Required Components Rule

We want to insert a row in the Required Components table to check that Spaces are included in the model, as well. To do this, click the  Insert Row button, select Space as the type of component, and click OK.

Select Component Types – Space

The rule will now check to ensure Spaces exist in the model.


As the ruleset has been slightly modified, after selecting the BIM Validation – Architectural ruleset in the Checking view, the  Save the Ruleset button is now enabled. At this point we could overwrite the existing out-of-the-box ruleset by clicking this button; however, as we are only experimenting, we would rather click the  Save Ruleset with a New Name button to create a new ruleset.

Saving a Ruleset

NOTE: If you save as a new ruleset, it is not yet associated with the BIM Validation – Architectural role. To add it to the role, you can click File > Roles and click the Add Rulesets (+) button to browse to the new ruleset you created.  Don’t forget to click the Star button next to the new ruleset if you want it to open automatically as a default. You can then remove the older version of the Ruleset by selecting it and clicking Remove Rulesets (X).


As Spaces are an integral part of a model, rather than simply just adding the Space component to the Required Component rule, we want a separate rule in and of itself to check that spaces exist in the model. Opening the Rule Parameters from the Checking view is great for quickly making changes to a rule in terms of its parameters while running checks; however, to actually modify the ruleset, we will now use the Ruleset Manager.

In addition to modifying rule parameters, the Ruleset Manager allows you to add and remove rules and rulesets, copy rules from existing ruleset folders, rename, and modify descriptions of rules, and other tasks as well.

To open the Ruleset Manager, select File > Ruleset Manager.


If we want to add a rule to the BIM Validation – Architectural ruleset, we could open the .cset file for editing from the Rulesets Folder view. However, when we modify the ruleset in the Workspace view, in order to have the changes reflected in the Checking view in SMC, we have to save the ruleset in the Ruleset Manager, close the existing ruleset that is currently open in the Checking view, and then reopen the ruleset we just saved.

Instead, since the ruleset we want to modify is open in the Checking view, we can open it for editing by selecting it from the Rulesets Open in SMC folder in the Ruleset Folders view and clicking the  Open Ruleset for Editing button. Then any changes made to the ruleset in the Ruleset Manager are instantly reflected in the Checking view of SMC and vice versa.

Opening a Ruleset Open in SMC for Editing

NOTE: You can also create a new ruleset open for editing that is open in SMC by selecting the Rulesets Open in SMC folder in the Ruleset Folders view and clicking the  New Ruleset button.

Creating a New Ruleset Open in SMC

This will create a new ruleset that is both open for editing in the Workspace view and able to be checked in the Checking view.

New Ruleset Created in the Workspace View
New Ruleset Created in the Checking View


With the BIM Validation – Architectural ruleset open for editing, we want to add a rule to ensure spaces exist. Expanding the General Space Check ruleset, which was one of the other two rulesets that were included with the BIM Validation – Architectural role, we see the first rule listed in this other ruleset is The Model Should Have Spaces. This rule uses the same rule template as the Required Components rule, but only checks that spaces exist in a model. Rather than creating a new rule from scratch using a rule template from the Libraries view, we can simply drag the The Model Should Have Spaces rule from the General Space Check Ruleset in the Ruleset Folders view to the Deficiency Detection ruleset contained in our BIM Validation – Architectural ruleset we have open for editing in the Workspace view.

Copying Rules from Ruleset Folders to the Workspace

If we switch back to Solibri Model Checker and run a check, we see that the rule has been added to the ruleset and passes the check.
Creating Rulesets in SMC v9.8

Solibri Model Checker v9.8 not Available in the Products view

If you try downloading Solibri Model Checker (SMC) v9.8 in the Products View of the Solibri Solution Center (SSC) and find only earlier versions available, it is due to not having a version 9.8 license assigned:


To resolve the issue, have your license administrator try the following:

  1. Log into the SSC at
  2. Select the License Assignment tab.
  3. Leave the Product radio button marked, and select Solibri Model Checker.
  4. In the version list, select 9.8 and click Refresh.
  5. Mark the checkbox for the users that will be running version 9.8 of SMC.
  6. Click Save Changes.



You should then be able to download and run SMC v9.8.



Solibri Model Checker v9.8 not Available in the Products view

License Error: Associated Version Number (9.7) is Smaller Than Required Version Number (9.8)

If you try registering Solibri Model Checker (SMC) v9.8 and find the following error, it is due to only having a version 9.7 license assigned but not the required 9.8 license:


To resolve the issue:

  1. Log into as an admin user.
  2. Select the License Assignment tab.
  3. Leave the Product radio button marked, and select Solibri Model Checker.
  4. In the version list, select 9.8 and click Refresh.
  5. Mark the checkbox for the users that will be running version 9.8 of SMC.
  6. Click Save Changes.


Those users should then be able to run version 9.8 of SMC.

The info column lists the versions of SMC licenses that are assigned to a user.  Above, you see that the user is only assigned version 9.7, which explains why this user receives the error message.  Also, note has 9.7 and 9.8 licenses assigned and some users have only a 9.8 license assigned.  Since version 9.8 is the latest version, users having only a 9.8 license are still able to run version 9.7 and earlier of SMC regardless of not having those license versions assigned.


License Error: Associated Version Number (9.7) is Smaller Than Required Version Number (9.8)

Solibri Model Checker v9.8 Help and Tutorials

You can easily access Online Help and Tutorials within Solibri Model Checker (SMC) with the click of a button. To view tutorials, click the File > Help > Tutorials:

Your browser should open a page of links to “Getting Started documents” and video tutorials:

You can access these tutorials outside the application by clicking the link below:

In addition, if you need help while working on a ruleset in SMC, you can quickly access the rule help by clicking the link in the Info view after selecting the rule in the Checking view:

If you are currently in the Ruleset Manager, you can access the rule help by clicking the help icon in the Ruleset FoldersLibraries or Workspace views.

The corresponding online help for that specific rule template will load in your browser:

The help documents are also available outside the application through the following link:

Solibri Model Checker v9.8 Help and Tutorials

SMC V9.8 New Feature: Open and Save Filters From Rule Parameters

In the latest version 9.8 of Solibri Model Checker (SMC), you can now save and open filters for component filter parameter tables in the rule parameters view and in classification settings.  This is a great time saver when creating your own rules as you no longer need to re-enter the same commonly used information.

For example, in the Ruleset named “MEP models and Structural model” that comes with SMC, there is a rule that checks for intersections between Building Service components and Beams and Columns:

You can see that there are many entries in the Component tables:

If you wanted to create another rule from scratch that checks a required minimum distance between Building Services and Beams and Columns, you can click the   Save Filter button to save the contents of the component filter parameter tables.

Then in the component distance rule click the  Open Filter button to load those same tables into your new rule that checks for minimum distance:

A useful filter that is commonly used in rules and classifications is to only include rooms from an architectural model, and exclude space groups such as gross areas:


Another is to filter components, but to exclude spaces and openings:








SMC V9.8 New Feature: Open and Save Filters From Rule Parameters

SMC V9.8 New Feature: 2D Document Markup

The release of Solibri Model Checker (SMC) v9.8 adds a powerful feature: 2D Document Markup. You can now overlay 2D PDF documents such as plans, sections, or elevations directly in your 3D model to visualize information that would otherwise not be available.

The following article will help you get started using the feature by guiding you through the process of adding a 2D plan view to a 3D model along with how to move and scale the drawing so it aligns correctly.  You can follow along using the files below:

Download the three files from the links above and open all three in SMC by clicking File > Open.  You can set the disciplines, categories, and short names to whatever you wish in the Ensure Model Disciplines and Categories popup window.

In the Model Tree view of the Model layout, select the Clinic_A_2016_First_Floor drawing and click the  Set to Selection Basket button.  This will isolate the drawing in the 3D View.

Next, we will pick two grid intersections (designated by green arrows below) in the drawing that will correspond to the same grid intersections in the 3D model.

Right-click the Clinic_A_2016_First_Floor drawing and select Drawings…

A dialog will open that allows you to scale, move, rotate, and tilt the drawing.  A quick and easy method is to use the “Pick Two Dimensions” button. Click this button.

The Dimension tool will activate and will turn into cross-hairs at specific points in the model that can be picked.  Position the camera in the 3D view to the north-east corner of the model where the “H” and “.9” grid lines intersect.  Hover the cursor over the intersection until it turns into a yellow crosshair.  It may not snap directly to the point of intersection, but you can fine tune this later. Pick this point.

Repeat this process by picking the point at the south-east corner of the model where gridlines “A” and “.9” intersect.

A dimension line will now be visible in the 3D view showing the distance between these two points.

You now must pick the same corresponding points in the 3D model.  To do this, you must turn on  Footprint Controls on the top toolbar and click  Show Grids in the footprint controls.

In the footprint controls, turn off  Space Info,  Component Footprint,  drawings so that only the gridlines from the 3D model remain.  Set the upper and lower  footprint adjustment sliders such that only the grids that reside on the “First Floor” level remain.

NOTE: There are gridlines on the “TOF Footing” level just below “First Floor”.  To hide these, slightly move the lower level slider up to isolate the gridlines on “First Floor”

Repeat the process of picking the point where the 3D models gridlines “H” and “.9” intersect at the north-east corner of the model.

Repeat the process of picking the point where the 3D models gridlines “A” and “.9” intersect at the south-east corner of the model.

You should now see two dimension lines showing the distance between both sets of points.

The drawings panel will also update with the correct scale and position translations for the drawing.  Click Apply and click OK.

The 2D drawing and the gridlines from the 3D model should now be aligned.

NOTE: If the elevation of the drawing is incorrect due to selecting gridlines at a wrong level in the 3D model, you can easily correct this by setting the plane of the drawing to “0′ First Floor” in the drawings dialog.

To ensure the 3D model is properly aligned with the 2D plan drawing, click the  Show All button.  You can use the Sectioning Tool to section only the first floor and see the 3D Model along with the drawing.

Below you can see that the model appears to be slightly off alignment along the X axis a couple of inches.

In the Model Tree, right-click the Clinic_A_2016_First_Floor drawing and select Drawings… To move the model west 2 inches, enter -2″ in the Relative Δ X position textbox and click Apply.

The drawing and model should now be aligned.

You can download this SMC file with the 3D model and 2D drawing aligned from the following link: 2D_Document_Markup.smc

For additional information on 2D Document Markup, please see “Drawings…” in the help topics.

SMC V9.8 New Feature: 2D Document Markup