Correcting Widely Scattered Models

When bringing models into SMC, you may find some components being displayed outside the normal 3-D View. These components can be the result of accidental placement of components outside the building, or simply legacy objects that are left behind from previous model versions.

In SMC, these components cause issues with navigation because they generate such a vast 3-D View. A single misplaced object may be miles away from the building in the 3-D view, which results in SMC trying to accommodate for the single misplaced object by creating much more navigable space then is needed. You can correct for these issues in SMC when importing a file.

When first bringing in a model, if there is an issue with a component that is far away from any other relevant model components, a pop-up window will appear suggesting that the models are “widely scattered.”   Again, this is implying that the amount of space that will be generated in SMC’s 3-D view will be extremely large, and will almost certainly affect performance and navigation in SMC.


In the screenshot above, there are 553 components in one location, and one component in another that is several miles away.  Obviously, the single component is likely to be an error.

You can select the Zoom To Components zoom_to_components  icon to ‘zoom in’ to that object to see what it is.

Select the object in the 3D window to see the Info about the object and make a determination about what should be done.

If it is determined that you would like to ‘remove’ the item from the model, you can do so by clicking the Set to Selection Button Set to Selection Basket  to place that object in the Selection Basket.

From the Selection Basket, choose the Component Hierarchy COMPONENT_HIERARCHY icon, then right-click on the object and choose ‘Remove from Model.’


This will remove the object so that it is no longer in Solibri Model Checker.  It does not remove the component from the IFC file, however, so it is best to go back to the original design software at some point and correct the issue for future versions of the model.  By removing the component in SMC, you are temporarily removing the issue so that you can proceed with your model review.

Correcting Widely Scattered Models

Creating Your Own Custom Disciplines Through Classification

In the previous article Disciplines in SMC, we explained how the discipline of a file opened in Solibri Model Checker (SMC) is useful in the color mapping of components and use in rule filters. Currently, these disciplines are hard coded and limited to those in the list below:


The discussion of disciplines arises during coordination when checking for intersections between systems. Namely, what discipline to set files to as they are added to the federated model and what disciplines to check against each other using the general intersection rule in SMC.  Classification within SMC makes it simple to automatically map your files using your own naming convention to any custom discipline you would like to create.

For example, you may have a different naming convention of disciplines and use the term “Mechanical” rather than “HVAC”.  Also, you may have a “Communications” model that is differentiated from the “Electrical” model(s), for which a discipline doesn’t exist within SMC.

For more information on classification see:

Creating Classifications in SMC

Using Advanced Classification in ITO

You can follow along as we create a “Discipline by File Name” classification for use in interference checking using the example model linked here:


This example model was created by exporting the Architectural, MEP, and Structural versions of the advanced sample project that comes with Revit 2016.  For the MEP sample project, we also isolated components during each IFC export based on the discipline of Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing to further divide the entire federated model into 5 IFC files based on each discipline.

When you first open all 5 IFC files, the Ensure Model Disciplines window will open to allow you to set the short name and discipline from a set list in SMC.

Short names are always manually entered or left to their A-Z defaults. However, the discipline can be automatically mapped based on the application that created the file, or the file name.  The file was exported from Revit 2016, which is a building authoring tool that can contain components from any discipline, unlike other applications that specialize in a specific discipline, such as Tekla Structures, Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, etc.  As such, it simply defaults to the Architectural discipline. The out-of-the-box File Name mapping is left as *.* and to ignore the file name, as it is up to the user to define their own mappings based on their own file naming convention.


We’ll manually set the short name to the first letter of the discipline and set the discipline to one of the hard coded disciplines in SMC. For instance, we map the Mechanical file to HVAC and the Fire Protection model to Sprinkler. This will allow you to use the out of the out-of-the-box interference detection rules that come with SMC to check discipline against discipline.


For example, one such rule checks all Building Services components that intersect with beams and columns from Structural models.  Below, we see in the results view there are 207 intersections with beams and 30 with columns.  In the Checked Components view, these intersections occur in the electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and structural models.


Opening the rule parameters of this rule, in the component filter table for Component 1, only beams and columns from disciplines related to Structural components (Prefab Concrete, Steel Structure, Structural) are checked.  For Component 2, any component excluding Covering, Space, Cable from disciplines related to Building Services (Air Conditioning, Building Services, Cooling, Electrical, etc.) are checked.


Listing all the various disciplines that fall under the category of Structural vs Building Services models leaves flexibility for users for what they select as their disciplines when they first load their models.

You are able to isolate the results by discipline though selecting the file(s) of that discipline in the Checked Components view, setting the file(s) to the selection basket, and selecting Filter with Selection Basket (some) in the Results view.  Below, we see there are 169 intersections with beams and 16 intersections with columns between the HVAC model and the Structural model.


The intersections between just the electrical model and structural model can be viewed using this same method as seen below:


Depending on the number of files, disciplines, and naming conventions, you may find that you wish to fine tune your interference detection checks to individual disciplines and/or even disciplines, such as “Communications,” that are not included in the hard coded ones.  This can be achieved through the use of classification.

Open the Classification view by clicking Add View ADD_VIEW > Classification SMC Classification Icon.  You’ll find a “Discipline by File Name” classification is loaded.  If you expand the classification, you’ll find that components in the model are classified by their discipline:


Open the settings of the Classification by selecting the classification and clicking the Settings Settings button. In the Components filter parameters table, you see that all components are to be classified.  In the Default Classification Names, you see a listing of various disciplines.  You can add to or remove these depending on your own requirements.  Show Unclassified is marked to make it easy to see if any components in the model haven’t been classified to a discipline.


Click the Classification Rules tab to view how the file name is used to map to a specific discipline.  Every component has a Model parameter in the Identification property group, which is the short name and file name of the model that component resides in. For example, if “ELEC” appears anywhere in the file name, the components in the model are mapped to Electrical. This is achieved using “*ELEC*” to match the value of the Model parameter. If you specify the discipline in the file naming using a single character separated by underscores (_) or dashes (-), such as in the name “01_A_RME_Advanced_Sample_Project,” those components are classified as Architectural using “*_A_*” to match the value of the Model parameter. Lastly, you can specify the discipline in the file name using a single character at the beginning of the file name preceding a dash or underscore. However, since the short name of a file precedes the file name in the Model parameter, “(*) P-*” is used to match the value “(P) P-rme_advanced_sample_project” to Plumbing.

Depending on your own naming convention and disciplines, you can modify the values in the Model column to match your file names accordingly.


In the Checking view, if you select the rule STRUCT vs MECH, the same results are listed for Beams and Columns in the Results view as the out-of-the-box rule “Building Services and Beams and Column” when filtering by selection basket after selecting the HVAC model, seen in the prior screenshot.


Likewise, if you select the rule STRUCT VS ELEC, you’ll see the same results as previously seen in the “Building Services and Beams and Column” after selecting the Electrical model and filtering by the selection basket.


If you open the rule parameters of the STRUCT VS MECH rule, you’ll see that rather than using the Discipline parameter, the “Discipline by File Name” classification is used to filter what components to include.


Creating your own discipline classifications can make it easier when setting up your coordination rules based on disciplines if you have disciplines outside the ones available out of the box in SMC.  Using classification rules, you can automatically map your files based on their filename to those disciplines.



Creating Your Own Custom Disciplines Through Classification

Why Result Counts can vary in the General Intersection Rule

The Results view in Solibri Model Checker (SMC) organizes issue results by category and provides the number of how many results within a category have been handled by approving or rejecting them and the total count of results for that category.  When running a check of the General Intersection rule, the categories of the results are grouped by components, systems, and types.

The following article demonstrates how the results are grouped and also explains why different counts of results are listed depending on what you have specified in the Component 1 vs the Component 2 filter parameters tables.  The model below consists of 3 files: an HVAC, Structural, and Electrical model with general intersection rules checking each model against one another.  You can download this sample model to follow along through the link below:

General Intersection Rule – Comp1 vs Comp2 Tests.smc


In the Checking view, you’ll find that the Structural vs Electrical rule has been run and result counts are listed. For instance, there are 40 unhandled results of Beams intersecting components in the Electrical model.


The Rule Parameters (below) have any component from the Structural model listed in the Component 1 filter parameter table and any component from the Electrical model listed in the Component 2 filter parameter table.


If you select the Electrical vs Structural rule, you’ll find that there are 62 unhandled results listed.


In the Rule parameters, Component 1 and Component 2 were swapped, and any component from the Electrical model is listed in the Component 1 filter parameters table while any component from the Structural model is listed in the Component 2 filter parameters table.

Rest assured that even though the result counts differ, no results were missed in the Structural vs Electrical rule. When you expand the categories of the Intersections of Beam to the first result, you see that three light fixtures (2.108, 2.217, and 2.218) are grouped along with Beam.1.100, which those light fixtures intersect.

This is due to having the Structural model listed as Component 1 in the rule parameters.  In the rule parameters of the general intersection rule, components listed in the Component 2 filter parameter table will be group together under a result with the component from Component 1 that they intersect.


When you expand the results under Intersection of Beams for the Electrical vs Structural rule, you see that there is an individual result for each light fixture that intersects Beam.1.100.

Generally, you find lower result counts and more grouping of components when the components listed in Component 1 are larger than those in Component 2.  Components in Structural models such as beams, columns, and slabs are larger than components in an Electrical model such as light fixtures, electrical panels, and electrical outlets. Therefore, it is more likely that a single component from the Structural will have intersections with multiple components from the Electrical model, which explain why we see 40 results rather than 62.

You may also find a mixture of grouped and ungrouped components. Below is a check of HVAC vs Electrical. Since HVAC components are listed in the Component 1 filter parameter table, each duct and duct fitting intersecting with Cable Carrier 1.15 has its own result.


If you swap the Component 1 and Component 2 filter parameter tables as in the rule parameters of Electrical vs HVAC, then the three results are reduced to one.


However, recall that light fixtures are relatively small in size and duct in the HVAC model is similar geometrically to the beams found in the structural model. Hence, grouping by HVAC components allows for a single result where two light fixtures intersect Duct.1.16.


Therefore, having HVAC components listed in the Component 1 filter parameter table may yield more result counts for intersections of long sections of cable tray, but less for individual light fixtures.


Having a general idea of how results will be grouped depending on what is listed in the Component 1 and Component 2 filter parameter tables can save you time when reviewing results.

Also, you don’t need to check everything in one discipline against everything in another in just one rule.  For instance, you could check only cable trays against everything in your HVAC model in one rule, and then check everything in your HVAC model against everything in the Electrical model, excluding cable trays. As seen in the results above, this will reduce the number of results.

Lastly, there are tips and tricks for coordination and issue management such as right-clicking a component to show all component issues and viewing issues a component has in the Info view.  These topics are discussed in the article Solibri Model Checker (SMC) Workflow Tips & Tricks.


Why Result Counts can vary in the General Intersection Rule

Search Presentation

In Solibri Model Checker (SMC), a presentation of issue slides may consist of hundreds of issues from checks of various rulesets. You may wish to focus on issues that are only in a certain location such as a specific floor, or issues that have a specific responsible party assigned.  The Search dialog will allow you to accomplish this and is the topic of this Tips & Tricks article:

Benefit: Use Search Presentation to quickly and easily locate issues based on specific issue information. This makes it possible to focus on those issues in the Communication layout or to generate issue-specific reports.

Please download the example SMC that is used in this article from the link below to follow along:

– SMC Building_Search_In_Presentation.smc

1. Open SMC Building_Search_In_Presentation.smc

2. Click the Communication layout.

3. In the Presentation view, right-click the Issues presentation and select Search in Presentation


The Search dialog will open and should have nothing entered in the text box under search, all check boxes marked under Search In, and nothing selected under Limit Search.

Search in Presentation dialog
Search dialog

The Search dialog consists of 2 main panels, 1.) The search panel allows you to enter text to search for along with check boxes of the locations to check for that text. 2.) The limit search allows you to limit the search of text to specific Authors, Comment Authors, Responsible Parties, Statuses, and Modification Dates.

The following images show a mapping of where the information resides in the Issue Details window to the corresponding fields in the Search dialog.



4. Unmark all check-boxes under Search in except for Description, enter “Wall” in the textbox under Search, and click the Select Matching button.


Only slides 3 and 4 are selected as those are the only slides that contain the word “Wall” in the description of the issue.


5. In the Search dialog, mark the Title and Comments check-boxes under Search In, and click the Select Matching button.

Notice that slide 8 has now been added to those that are selected.  Although the word “wall” does not exist in the description of slide 8, a comment was added to the slide that contains the word “wall.”


6. In the Search dialog, enter “Ground Floor” in the search textbox, mark only the Location check box under Search In, and click the Select Matching button.


Slides 1 and 5 are selected as these are the only slides that have issues on the
Ground Floor as seen in the location text box of the issue details of the slides.


By searching Location, you can find issues on a specific floor or in rooms with specific names and room numbers.

7. In the Search dialog, remove the text in the search textbox, unmark all checkboxes under Search In, select “Jane Doe” in the Author list under Limit Search, and click the Select Matching button.


Only the last three slides are selected as these slides were created by “Jane Doe”


8. In the Search dialog, leave “Jane Doe” in the Author list, select under Responsibles, select Assigned and Resolved under Status, and click the Select Matching button.


Now only Slide 6 remains selected as it is the only issue slide that has assigned as the responsible party along with being resolved and authored by Jane Doe.


NOTE: After selecting an item, you can hold down the CTRL button and select additional items or simply hold down the left mouse button as you drag up and down in the list. If you wish to return back to the state where nothing is limited by that condition, hold CTRL down and click items from the list to deselect them until none are selected, or else simply select all items.

9. Unselect all items in the Limit Search lists, select Structural Engineer under Responsibles, and click the Select Matching button.


Only slides 2, 3, and 4 are selected as these are the only slides assigned to Structural Engineer as the responsible party.

10. In the Presentation view, click the report button.


11. Mark “Report Only Selected” and click the save report button.

The report is generated that can be sent to the structural engineer to resolve the issues found in the model.

As you can see from these examples, Search in Presentation is a powerful tool to quickly hone in on specific issues of interest.  Please experiment using different combinations of search text and limit search selections with the example model to see what you can find.

Search Presentation

Moving and Rotating Models

When merging multiple IFC files for coordination occasionally one or more of the files may not correctly align with the other model files. When this occurs it is advisable to have the author of these files move them into their correct locations in the native authoring software. However, if this is not an option, or if you would prefer to proceed with coordination before the changes can be made, there is a “Move or Rotate Models” capability in Solibri Model Checker (SMC).

In the example below, the Structural model is not aligned with the Architectural and Mechanical models.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.27.47 PM

From the model tree, select the file that is misaligned with the other BIM models. Right click, and select “Move or Rotate Models”

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.28.47 PM

The “Move or Rotate Model” window appears.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.29.20 PM

Current Model Location: This will always be 0,0,0,0 to begin. Once a model has been moved in Solibri Model Checker the coordinates will change to reflect the distances and degrees moved. This makes it very easy to reverse any changes made in SMC that may be incorrect, or to undo the move once the original BIM file has been updated.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.27.20 PM

Move Model: A user can enter a specific value for X, Y, or Z to move the model. Negative numbers can also be used. Additionally, a user can choose to “Use Dimension Tool” and move the file by aligning a point or object with a corresponding point or object in another file.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.27.28 PM

Rotate Model Around Point: The file can be rotated by degrees of rotation. A negative number will rotate the file clockwise, and a positive number counterclockwise. A user can also specify a pivot point that the rotation should revolve around.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.27.35 PM

To move our model correctly, we will first try the Rotate Model Around Point option, and try to rotate it to the correct position.  In this case, we can see by looking at the two models that the central lobby roofs in the Structural model are 90 degrees counterclockwise from the Architectural curtain walls they should be joined to. Therefore, we will rotate the structural model -90, or 90 degrees clockwise.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.32.58 PM

After doing this, the structural model now appears to be correctly aligned.  In these situations, it is often the case that the rotation will be off by either 90 or 180 degrees from the modeling software, so if it isn’t as obvious as in our example, those are still good starting points.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 2.33.33 PM

From here, return to the Move or Rotate Models window. Note that the Current Model Location shows we are now located at -90 degrees.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.13.32 PM

To use the “Move Model” option, if exact coordinates are available, they can be input for X, Y and Z values. In our example, it will be easier to use the Dimensioning Tool to choose two points in the model that should be exactly aligned. Select the “Use Dimension Tool” option from the Move or Rotate Model window.

Now, when moving the mouse in the 3D window, a dimensioning “Snap” tool will appear in yellow.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.16.47 PM

In this example, we will align the bottom surface of the roof with the top surface of the walls, and the two end corners of those components should meet. First, select the corner of the roof, then the corner of the wall.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.17.14 PM

The Add Dimensions window will appear to confirm the settings. Select Ok.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.19.56 PM

Now, Select Ok in the Move or Rotate Model window to confirm the new file coordinates and to complete the move.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.34.46 PM

As shown below, the models are now correctly aligned.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.36.39 PM

Note: the Current Model Location now shows all changes that have occurred through the Move or Rotate Model tool.  This powerful feature allows a user to see all the location information and convey these discrepancies to the designer.  Then, if the designer corrects the discrepencies, you can easily revert back to the default coordinates from the IFC file.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 8.19.48 PM


Moving and Rotating Models

Expediting Issue Management

SMC gives you flexibility when it comes to managing the issues that are found during your checks.  We are going to introduce you to a shortcut, while still capturing all the information you need.

When reviewing the checking results in the Solibri Model Checker, you can assign responsibility for problems and identify additional components that are related to an issue directly from the Checking Tab; there is no need to wait until you have generated a Presentation to add this information.

From the Checking Tab, right-click an issue and choose “Add Slide.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 1.12.18 PM

The Issue Details window will appear. Here, from the Issue Details tab, we can populate any comments that may be needed or add descriptions of the issue. Also, location can be manually edited if there are other details (grid locations, for example) that you want to include.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 1.13.24 PMOnce you have finished adding any necessary details to the Issue, move to the Coordination Tab.

Coordination information can be added at this stage of the review process.  That information can include information about the model (name and author), as well as the status of an issue, and even the party that is responsible for addressing or resolving that issue. In the example below, the Status will be changed to Assigned.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 1.13.42 PM

By selecting the + sign next to the Responsibilities box, we are prompted with a window that lists some suggested responsible parties: ARC, MEP, STR.

Here, we can choose from the list provided, or we can input our own responsible parties by adding a row and inserting a name, company, email address, or any other contact information.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 1.14.27 PM

Once you have finished adding any necessary contact and status details for the Coordination Tab, move to the Components Tab.


The Components Tab lists all the components related to the issue. In our example, we have created an Issue out of two segments of Duct that are Intersecting with a single Beam, so those are the components listed. It is possible to add additional Related Components. To do so, you must go back to the model and Select (or, add to selection basket) the components you wish to add.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 1.14.54 PM

In the below example, our issues are occurring over two different spaces, or rooms. So, we can select these spaces (as shown) using the selection tool and then go back to our issue and add the additional components.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 2.15.31 PM

To add the spaces to the Related Components list, choose the Add from Selection Basket option in the Issue Details window, and select Ok.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 2.16.00 PM

This process of generating information about the checking results at the point of the issues creation saves review time later, especially if there is no need for future review or approval by a third party.  Since here we are already in the Issue Details window, it is much quicker to take care of these issues on the fly from the Checking Tab then waiting until a Presentation has been generated.

Expediting Issue Management

Spatial Coordination in SMC

Much More Than Just Clash Detection

This article is intended to show examples of Spatial Coordination issues that may typically be missed by more basic Clash Detection checks, and might remain undetected until construction. Solibri Model Checker (SMC) differentiates between different object types and their respective requirements instead of simply looking for locations of “generic” clashes. This allows the user more flexibility in specifying which elements are to be checked.

Below are some examples. The small model used to show examples for this article is available here: Coordination_Example_Model.smc

Two Doors in a Series
Two Doors in a Series

This is an example of a coordination issue that would be missed in most circumstances.   While the two doors appear to be OK when closed (as they are modeled), SMC detects that the distance between them when opened is not large enough to satisfy the design requirements.   The user has the flexibility to modify the parameters within any rule template, in order to meet the established requirements.

Clearance in Front of Windows
Clearance in Front of Windows

The image above is showing an issue that resulted from a rule that checks clearances in front of, or behind components.  In this example, a column is shown within the required clearance space in front of a window obscuring the view.  Again, this rule is defined by the user, and can be used in many different circumstances, such as checking for appropriate clearance for access to utility or service panels, or electrical cabinets.

Clearance of Light Fixtures
Clearance of Light Fixtures

SMC has many different rules and requirements that can be adjusted, modified and customized.  This issue identifies a light hanging too low to meet the head clearance requirements. This rule could be used in other ways; for example, a check for distance of light fixtures from ceiling components would identify any lights that are too far away from any ceiling, and are likely placed incorrectly or need to be moved.

Intersecting Components
Intersecting Components

Identified in the above check is an issue that appears to be a ‘Hard Clash’, but in SMC the user can be very specific about what types of components to check.   For example, this rule can be configured to only check between Walls and some specific type of component.  In this image, a lighting panel board is recessed deeply within the wall.  Not only does SMC identify the problem, it also reports the total area of the intersecting components, so these measurements can be used for more accurate Takeoffs and estimates.

Related Issues of a Wall
Related Issues of a Wall

To make Spatial Coordination as easy as possible, a user can choose to review the checking results from the Checking Window as they are generated in SMC, or, they can select an object and choose the Issues tab in the Info window. Above is the Issues list related to a single wall object (Wall.0.2). This can be a very powerful tool for organizing issues and making decisions about what components need to be moved or remodeled.

Spatial Coordination is more of a space analysis process than just clash detection. SMC recognizes that not all spaces are equal (i.e. a classroom differs from a hallway, or a hospital operating room). This ‘logic’ makes it possible for SMC to identify issues, and relationships that would directly impact the building.

Spatial Coordination in SMC