Saving Custom Layouts in SMC

Version 9.7.11 of Solibri Model Checker (SMC) adds the ability to save sets of layouts of views.  Previously, you could move/undock/resize views in the layouts to the way you want or create additional layouts of specific views and those changes would persist across sessions.  However, you couldn’t save the layouts for later use, for instance, if you reset to the default layouts or temporarily needed to adjust the views.

Below is the default layout set of the Checking layout, which consists of the Checking, Result Summary, Results, and Info view on the left side and the 3D view on the right side of the application window.

If you want more space for checking related views at the expense of a narrower 3D view, you could remove the Results Summary view, move the Results view to the right side of the application, and add the checked components view as seen below:

This layout set can be saved to your computer to be opened later by clicking File > Settings > Layouts.

You can then re-open the Layout Set if you modify your layouts over time during your SMC session.

In addition, you can save different Layout Sets to different roles under File > Settings > Roles.  For instance, below we can set the “My Layout” layout set previously created as the default for the “BIM Validation – Architectural Role”:

Saving Custom Layouts in SMC

Info Pop-up of the 3D View

When you hover the mouse cursor over a component in the 3D View of Solibri Model Checker (SMC), a window will pop-up in the view to briefly display properties of the component.   This is called an Info Pop-up, and you are able to change the information displayed, how long it is displayed, or turn off the feature completely through the File > Settings > 3D > Info:

By default, this feature is turned on to display the type and name of the component for 3 seconds.

You can add/remove property rows and rearrange them using the  row editing buttons.

Click the  Browse button in the Property cell to select any property to add to the Info pop-up display.

In the screenshot below, we’ve added Pset_DoorCommon properties to the Info Pop-up.  As rows are added, the Filter column is automatically set to ‘*’ so that the properties are displayed for all components.

If you hover the cursor over a door in the model, it will display the property values of those Pset_DoorCommon properties:

However, the properties also display if we hover over a non-door component such as the stair in the screenshot below, in which the value is Not Available.

To resolve this, a simple door filter is created using the Filtering view and saved to the Filter folder:

You are able to add rows to create complex filters for specific components based on any property.  For more information on the Filter view, please see: Filtering View

This filter door can then be used in the settings of the Info Pop-up settings so that these properties only display for doors:

The information will still display when hovering over doors, but that information is ignored for stairs:

In closing, the Info Pop-up is a powerful, yet flexible feature to view important property information of components without the need to taking your eyes off the 3D View.

Info Pop-up of the 3D View

Color Mapping in SMC v9.6

A useful, though sometimes overlooked capability in Solibri Model Checker (SMC) is the use of color maps.  By default, whenever you open a model in SMC, model colors are used for components, which are likely based on the materials applied to those components in your model authoring tool.  This means that slabs of concrete appear solid grey, brick walls appear a dark red color, and windows are transparent as they would appear in real life based on those materials.

However, it may be useful to differentiate components visually by color, based on their discipline, the type of component, or what system they belong to. For example, the structural model below looks realistic, but it isn’t very easy to discern the different components:

Model Colors of a Structural Model
Model Colors of a Structural Model

Right-click the file in the model tree and click Set Color Map.  You’ll see that “Use Model Colors” is set by default, but there are many different color maps to choose from.

Setting the Color Map of a file
Setting the Color Map of a file

Select the Structural Elements.material color map.  You’ll now see the different components are colored coded by component type:

Structural Elements Color Map
Structural Elements Color Map

Right-click the file in the model tree, click Set Color Map > Color Map Editor. The color map editor will open, showing the different colors that have been set for the various components that correspond with what is seen in the 3D View:

Color Map > Structural Elements
Color Map > Structural Elements

Using the Add New Row Add New Row and Remove Selected RowsRemove Selected Rows, you can add and remove rows for components and set their colors by double clicking in the color cell. For example, we can remove all rows except Beams and Columns, add an additional row for Assembly components, and set all three components to display red.  We then add a last row for ‘Any’ other component that has a grey 75% transparent color as shown below:

Color Map > Structural Elements Edited
Color Map > Structural Elements Edited

Upon clicking OK, you’ll now see the beams, columns, and assemblies highlighted in red as specified in the Color Map Editor:

Edited Structural Elements Color Map
Edited Structural Elements Color Map

In addition to what the component is, you can also specify colors in the Color Map Editor based on the Type property or System property of the component.  Below is a screenshot of an MEP model with model colors applied.  It is hard to differentiate the plumbing from HVAC, and all the various systems look the same:

MEP Model with Model Colors Applied
MEP Model with Model Colors Applied

By creating a new color map for plumbing based on the system names found in Revit, we can create a new color map that will display very similarly to a color coded view of plumbing in Revit.  To do this, we’ve specified the corresponding system names in the Type/System column based on the default plumbing system names found in Revit, colored them accordingly, and added a final row to make ‘Any’ component not already colored based on their system appear transparent grey:

Color Map Editor > Revit Plumbing
Color Map Editor > Revit Plumbing

With the color map applied, the plumbing stands out in the 3D View differentiated by system:

Revit Plumbing Color Map Applied
Revit Plumbing Color Map Applied

This same method can be used to create an HVAC color map in the Color Map Editor:

Color Map Editor > Revit HVAC
Color Map Editor > Revit HVAC

With the color map applied the HVAC stands out in the 3D View differentiated by system:

Revit HVAC Color Map Applied
Revit HVAC Color Map Applied

More information on the Color Map Editor can be found in the online SMC Help: Help > Color Map Editor

Color Maps can be applied to models based on their discipline at the time they are opened, through the settings option in SMC.

Click File > Settings > Discipline and Color Map… > Discipline to Color Mapping.

A dialog will open that maps disciplines of files to different color maps.  By default, the disciplines are set to various color maps; however, the Use Model Colors checkbox is marked, which is why model colors are used:

Discipline to Color Mapping
Discipline to Color Mapping

More information on Discipline and Color Map settings can be found in the online SMC Help: Help > Discipline and Color Map

You can download the Revit Plumbing and Revit HVAC color maps from the examples above through the following links:

Color Mapping in SMC v9.6

Exporting an IFC file from Revit to SMC

If you are using Revit as your BIM Authoring Tool (BAT), in order to get the most out of your checks in Solibri Model Checker (SMC), you’ll want to ensure that the export of your Model to IFC is going to produce a quality file.  The following article provides some explanations, links to documentation, and suggestions for use with SMC.

Install the latest IFC exporter for Revit

The IFC Exporter For Revit updates the out-of-the-box IFC Exporter that comes with Revit. These later versions of the exporter have additional options, export functionality, and bug fixes, so it always recommended to keep up with the latest release. There are two locations where you can find the IFC Exporter for your version of Revit:

Sourceforge.net: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ifcexporter
Autodesk Exchange | Apps: https://apps.exchange.autodesk.com

IFC Mappings

The IFC Export Classes dialog in Revit allows a user to map a Revit Family Category to an IFC Class.  Elements within the model that are of a specific Family Category export to the corresponding IFC Class entered in the IFC Class Name box.  Alternatively, you can enter Not Exported in the box to ignore specific categories during export. To open this dialog in Revit, click File > Export > Options > IFC Options.

IFC Export Classes
IFC Export Classes

An important topic to touch on here is the export of IfcSpaces.  In order to run spatial analysis checks within SMC, you’ll want to ensure that the Rooms category is mapped to IfcSpace.  In addition, if you wish to use space grouping in SMC, for example to group spaces by Gross Area or Rentable Area, then the Areas category should be mapped to IfcSpace as well.  Lastly, if your Revit model contains MEP spaces that need to be checked in SMC, map the Spaces category to IfcSpace as well.  These mappings to IfcSpace stated above are the defaults of the AIA standard, which can be loaded by clicking the Standard button.

However, one mapping that isn’t part of the AIA standard is the mapping of the Grids category to the IfcGrid class.  In order for grids to display in the footprints of a model loaded in SMC, you’ll need to add this mapping.  More information on Grids in SMC can be found here: Grids in SMC and SMV

More information on the IFC Export Classes dialog can be found here: Load and Modify an IFC Mapping File

Information on how you can map to IFC classes within Revit families using the IfcExportAs and IfcExportType shared parameters can be found here: Specify IFC Entities for Families

IFC Export Dialog

Depending on whether or not you have installed the IFC Exporter for Revit, the IFC Export dialog will have either a simple out-of-the-box user interface with limited options or an updated user interface with many additional options that can be saved as setup configurations. In either case, to export to an IFC, click File > Export > IFC to open the IFC Export dialog.

The Out-Of-The-Box IFC Export Dialog

The out-of-the-box IFC Export dialog seen below has 5 settings options.  The most important is the Files of type dropdown, which specifies the format of the IFC export.   SMC supports all 5 formats; however, in most cases, IFC 2×3 can be selected, which is the default version that has been certified for export in Revit.

Out-of-the-Box IFC Export Dialog
Out-of-the-Box IFC Export Dialog

Of the three checkbox options, you should leave Current view only unchecked so the entire project is exported.  With the option marked, if you export from a 3D View which doesn’t allow the display of rooms, space will be missing in the resulting IFC export.  In many cases, the Split walls and columns by story checkbox should be checked so the walls and columns are divided by the floor they are on.  This often comes in handy for dimensions and counts in Information Takeoff (ITO) within SMC, or pinpointing issues with locations of walls and columns when running checks. Export base quantities can be marked for additional property information that can be used in rule checks or ITO reporting.

More information on these settings can be found here: Export a Project to IFC

IFC Exporter for Revit Alternate UI Dialog

If you’ve installed the IFC Exporter for Revit, the IFC Export Dialog is updated with additional options with the ability to store these options as setup configurations.  The IFC Export dialog comes with 9 setup configurations, which are shown below:

IFC Export Dialog
IFC Export Dialog

The following tables outline the different options between the 9 setup configurations.  This first table lists the setup configurations that use the IFC2x3 scheme. As with the out-of-the-box IFC Export dialog, in most cases you should use the IFC2x3 Coordination View setup. As seen in the table below, this setup does not split walls and columns by level.  Therefore, before you export, you should duplicate the IFC2x3 Coordination View setup, which thereby allows you to modify the options to mark the Split walls and columns by level option.

Setup/File Version IFC2x3 Coordination View 2.0 IFC2x3 Coordination View IFC2x3 GSA Concept Design BIM 2010 IFC2x3 Basic FM Handover View IFC2x3 Extended FM Handover View
File Type IFC IFC IFC IFC IFC
Space Boundaries None 1st Level 2nd Level 1st Level 1st Level
Phase to Export Default Phase to export Default Phase to export Default Phase to export Default Phase to export Default Phase to export
Property Sets IFC Common Only Internal Revit, IFC Common Internal Revit, IFC Common IFC Common Only IFC Common, Schedules, User-defined
User-defined Property Sets X
Base Quantities X X X
2D Plan View Elements X X X X
Bounding Box X X
Solid Models When Possible X X
Use Coarse Tessellation for Some Breps X X X X X
Split Walls and Columns X

SMC does support IFC2x3 Coordination View 2.0 and has received the IFC Coordination View 2.0 Import Certification (Click Here).  If you wish to use this setup configuration from Revit, as with the IFC2x3 Coordination View setup configuration, it is recommended that you mark the Split walls and columns by level option.  However, the IFC2x3 Coordination View 2.0 setup does not export internal Revit property sets (e.g Identity Data, Data, Other, etc.). Therefore, you should also mark the Export Revit Property Sets checkbox in the Export Property Sets tab of the IFC Export dialog.

The following table outlines the differences between the setup configurations that use the older IFC2x3 scheme:

Setup/File Version IFC2x2 Coordination View IFC2x2 Singapore BCA e-Plan Check
File Type IFC IFC
Space Boundaries 1st Level 1st Level
Phase to Export Default Phase to export Default Phase to export
Property Sets Internal Revit, IFC Common Internal Revit, IFC Common
User-defined Property Sets
Base Quantities
2D Plan View Elements
Bounding Box
Solid Models When Possible
Use Coarse Tessellation for Some Breps X X
Split Walls and Columns X

The following table outlines the differences between the setup configurations that use the latest IFC4 specification.

NOTE: SMC does not currently support IFC4 files.

Setup/File Version IFC4 Basic Coordination View 2.0 IFC4 Reference View
File Type IFC IFC
Space Boundaries None None
Phase to Export Default Phase to export Default Phase to export
Property Sets IFC Common Only IFC Common Only
User-defined Property Sets
Base Quantities
2D Plan View Elements
Bounding Box
Solid Models When Possible
Use Coarse Tessellation for Some Breps X X
Split Walls and Columns
Exporting an IFC file from Revit to SMC

Roles in Solibri Model Checker

We know that Solibri Model Checker (SMC) is used by a wide range of industry professionals. One benefit that sets SMC apart from other applications is the support for many different BIM users and use cases. Whether supporting Code Compliance, Coordination, BIM Validation, Energy Analysis, Quantity Takeoff, or other requirements of a BIM Execution Plan, each use case will require a different set of resources and capabilities within the software. This is exactly where Roles support the optimal workflow and deliver high value.

What is a Role in SMC?

A Role (or professional function) is essentially going to call on a grouping of resources (Rulesets, Classifications, and Information Takeoff (ITO) definitions) that will assist in performing functions to support a particular BIM use case within SMC. After setting the role in SMC, the required resources normally associated with that use case will automatically load or become easily accessible within the software.

Selecting a Role

The first time you click the Checking layout tab in SMC, the Please Choose a Role dialog will open and prompt you to select from a radio button list of roles for the type of work you wish to accomplish. A description for each role is populated in the textbox on the right as you select the different options.  You are provided with information on what function the role performs and what resources are included.  In the screenshot below, we have selected the BIM Validation – Architectural role in the Please Choose a Role dialog.

Please Choose a Role Dialog
Please Choose a Role Dialog

After selecting a role and clicking the Next > button, a Please Select Rulesets You Want to Use dialog will open prompting you to select from a list of Rulesets included with that role. Those Rulesets that are set as defaults of the role are selected in blue for you as seen in the screenshot below.  In addition, you can change these defaults of the role from this dialog by marking the Save Selected Rulesets as Defaults checkbox after changing the selections.  In the screenshot below, the Rulesets associated with the BIM Validation – Architectural role are listed in the dialog.

File - Settings - General
Please Select Rulesets You Want to Use Dialog

Setting a Default Role

If you are going to be repeatedly performing the same functions as identified with a specific role in the Please Choose a Role dialog, you can click the Save as Default Role checkbox below the list of roles.  After marking this box, whenever you open an IFC file in a new project, your role will default to whatever you had selected in the Please Choose a Role dialog, and the corresponding default resources (Rulesets, Classifications, and ITO definitions) will automatically be loaded.

NOTE: If you have  set your default role, and wish to have the Please Choose a Role dialog open again when starting new projects, click File > Settings > General and mark the Show Role Selection checkbox. The next time you start a new project and open an IFC file, the Please Choose a Role dialog will reappear when you open the Checking layout.

File - Settings - General
File > Settings > General

The Roles Window

If you wish to create your own role, you can do so by clicking Roles in the File layout tab.  If you have set your default role in SMC, that role will be opened, and the resource lists will be populated with those associated with that role.   In the view below, we had set our default role to BIM Validation – Architectural: 

The Role Editor
The Roles Window

You can also use this window to set your default role by clicking the Open button and selecting a role.

In the screenshot above, notice the Resource Root Path box.  The path listed in this textbox is the root folder for resources, and any resources associated with a role must reside in some subfolder of this path.  For example, you are not able to link a Ruleset you have saved in your “My Documents” folder to a role.  You must copy it into some folder, most often the Rulesets folder, under the Resource Root Path.  You can change this root path by clicking the “…” button, for example, to change the path to some shared folder on a network drive.

NOTE: Some extensions available through the Solibri Solution Center (SSC) will have their own Roles.  In the Open Role dialog, these roles are selected through the Resources tab rather than the Files tab.

Roles Included in Extensions
Roles Included in Extensions

Modifying Resources of a Role

To add or remove resources to or from a role, you click the add (+) or remove (X) buttons respectively.  Resources added to the role are those that will be listed in the dialog boxes when you click the open button in the Checking, Classification, and Information Takeoff views.  In the screenshots above, notice the same rulesets listed in the Roles window are those listed in the Please Select Rulesets You Want to Use dialog.

Also, notice that three of the Rulesets are starred while the other three are not in the Roles window.  Starring a resource sets it as a default resource of a role, and as explained previously, default resources are selected in their corresponding Open dialogs or loaded automatically if a default role has been set.  Notice the same selected rulesets in the Please Select Rulesets You Want to Use dialog are those that are starred in the The Roles window.

After you have set up the resources for your role, click the Save As button to create a new XML File of your Role in the Roles folder of the Resource Root Path. This XML file must be placed in this folder in order for it to be listed in the Please Choose a Role dialog.

Roles in Solibri Model Checker

Grids in SMC and SMV

Both Solibri Model Checker (SMC) and Solibri Model Viewer (SMV) support grids in IFC files. If your model contains grids, you can view them in the footprint of the model by clicking the Show Footprint Controls button on the top menu bar of the 3D view.  This should turn on Space Info, Grids, and Component Footprints in the 3D view:

Show Footprint Controls
Grids in Solibri Model Checker

You can toggle grids on/off by clicking the Show/Hide Grids button in the Footprint Controls of the 3D View:

Show/Hide Grids
Grids turned off in the footprint

To customize the look of grids in the 3D view click File > Settings > Footprints… and select the Grid tab in the Footprints dialog that opens:

Grid Settings
Grid tab of Footprint Settings

More information on these specific settings can be found in the help topics here:

https://solution.solibri.com/help/smc/9.5/en/footprints.htm?zoom_highlightsub=grids


NOTE: If you are exporting a Revit model that contains grids to IFC, but grids aren’t showing up in the model, it is likely the Grids category in the IFC Options in Revit is set to Not Exported.

In Revit, select Application Button > Export > Options > IFC Options.  In the dialog that opens, scroll down to Grids, ensure that the IFC Class Name for Grids is set to IfcGrid, and click OK:

Revit IFC Options
IFC Options in Revit

Upon exporting, your IFC files should now include grids.

Grids in SMC and SMV

Disciplines in SMC

Whenever an IFC or DWG file is opened in Solibri Model Checker (SMC), you’ll notice the Ensure Model Disciplines dialog window prompting you to confirm the disciplines of your model files. The following article provides details as to why this dialog is important and ways to automatically map your models files to the correct disciplines.

Ensuring your models are set to the correct disciplines is important as many of the filters in SMC’s Rulesets and Information Takeoff Definitions (ITOs) rely on the discipline property to limit what components are checked or reported.

For example, if you view the rule parameters of the Intersections in HVAC Models (Insultations Not Included) rule from the Intersections in MEP Model ruleset found in the MEP Rules ruleset folder that comes with SMC, this rule limits intersection checks to only those components that are included in your mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services (MEP) models. This was done by setting the filter in the Components to be Checked table to only Include components that have a Discipline property from the Identification property group that is set to One Of the 10 disciplines (Air Conditioning, Building Services, Cooling, etc.) that would fall under the MEP disciplines. This ensures that any components from your Structural or Architectural models, for example, will be ignored in this check, provided that you have set the disciplines of those models correctly.

Using disciplines in Rule Parameters
Using disciplines in Rule Parameters

You may have noticed that some of your models are automatically setting themselves to a discipline other than Architectural when you open them. This is likely due to the name of the application that created those models. For example, if you were to open the SMC Building.ifc, Ground_Floor_Vent.ifc, First_Floor_Vent.ifc, and Second_Floor_Vent.ifc sample models that come with SMC, you’ll notice that only SMC Building.ifc is set to Architectural, while the others three are set to Building Services.

Ensure Model Disciplines
Ensure Model Disciplines Dialog

Selecting Ground_Floor_Vent.ifc in the Model Tree view, in the Info view, you’ll notice the Application property in the Identification property group has the value “MagiCAD HPV 2009.5.” This value is automatically mapping to the Building Services discipline through the Discipline and Color Map settings in SMC.

Application property from Identification property group
Application property from Identification property group

If you click File > Settings > Discipline and Color Map…, the following window will open in SMC.

Discipline and Color Map settings
Discipline and Color Map settings

You’ll see in the Application Name column a listing for *MagiCAD* that maps to the Building Services discipline. Notice that there are asterisks (*) wildcard characters included in the value listed in the Application Name column. An asterisk pattern character matches 0 or more characters. Therefore, as long as “MagiCAD” is contained the application name (there can be any number of characters before or after “MagiCAD” in the name of the application), it will map to the Building Services discipline. Though it doesn’t appear in any of the mappings, the question mark (?) pattern character can also be used to match exactly one character.

There are also listings for *MagiCAD-R* and *MagiCAD-E* that proceed the listing of *MagiCAD*. These two other “R” and “E” application versions are specific to the creation of Architectural and Electrical models, which is why these mappings are set to those disciplines respectively. The Discipline Mapping list checks the Application Name in a top-down order; therefore, even though the name “MagiCAD-R” itself matches the *MagiCAD* pattern mapping, since the *MagiCAD-R* pattern mapping appears before the *MagiCAD* pattern mapping in the list, any model that comes from an application with “MagiCAD-R” in the filename would first map to Architectural.

Note: The capitalization of the mappings is the same as what you’d see on the box of the application. However, these pattern mappings are not case sensitive, and you need not worry about getting the capitalization correct when creating your own mappings.  Also note, that any file that doesn’t map to any of the rows in the table will simply map to the Architectural discipline as it is the first discipline alphabetically listed.

You can also map to disciplines based on your own file naming convention of your models. This can be useful for some applications such as Revit “One Box”, in which Architectural, MEP, and Structural can all be modelled from the same application. In the Discipline Mapping window, notice the File Name column in each row of the out-of-the-box mappings that is set to *.*. This pattern simply matches any filename with any extension since these default mappings are only mapping based on the Application Name column.

For example, if all of your plumbing DWG models end with a “-P” in the filename and any structural model (ifc or dwg) begin with “STRUCT_” or “Struct-” in the filename, you could add the following rows to the table that disregard the application name and map to disciplines using the File Name column using the patterns *-P.dwg and *struct?.* respectively:

Adding File Name mappings
Adding File Name mappings

In the pattern *-P.DWG, notice that there is no asterisks (*) after “dwg” since dwg is the file extension and no other characters should come after it.

In the pattern struct?*.*, notice that there is no preceding asterisk before “struct” since the filename should immediately start with “struct” (ignoring case).  The question mark (?) pattern character was used immediately after “struct” as this will match exactly one character, which could be either _ or – in this example naming convention.  The last part of the pattern map is *.*, which simply matches anything in the filename thereafter, and the file extension can be anything (though only IFC, ZIP, IFCZIP, and DWG supported).

You can find additional information in our online help here: https://solution.solibri.com/help/smc/9.5/en/html_discipline_and_color_mapping_settings.htm

Disciplines in SMC