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I am currently working towards PAS1192:2-2013 mandate and I am having some issues with the IFC import and the way we create windows. As we work on large housing schemes we work with window types, a method Vectorworks have previously advised to do it. So we create windows and then turn into symbols, so when placed within a wall they appear as a 'symbol in the wall'. However when exporting to IFC and either re-importing into VW to test or into Solibre Model Checker, the IFC format does not acknowledge the relationship between the wall and the window. 


I therefore tried exploding the symbol to test if it was this and when it is a 'window in wall' it views fine. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar issue and a work around. 


One way i was going to try was using symbol geometry in the window settings. therefore if you change the original source component then this will still change. However this will result in manual window changes to each window for height width etc. I have attached a solider model checker screenshot showing the if import result of a door in a wall as a 'symbol in a wall'.


This also applies to doors. 


Thank you.



Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 13.47.53.png

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  • 4 weeks later...

HI Gavin, 

Rather than placing the symbol in the wall directly use the Window tool to place a window in the wall and select your Window Type symbol as for its source.

Note, VW 2017 Window and Door Styles make this unnecessary when dealing with windows and doors that can be drawn sufficiently using the PIO itself.

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 7.30.15 AM.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...
13 hours ago, JuanCarlos said:

Have to ask – Are all windows inserted in walls?

If yes, could you send me a file with the wall and windows you are showing, for testing.

Thank you


Yes all windows are inserted in walls.

The issue with windows disappear when exported as 2x3 'simplified geometry' but most of our custom 3D objects are dislocated/misplaced all over the place... files attached.IFC_issues_Misplacement.thumb.jpg.d65a12b19545f1f64c4773c3714a71e6.jpg


Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 3.33.25 PM.png

Edited by ardee
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

For the dislocated objects, attach the Ifc entity before you group them, if you have multiple objects with different Ifc entities use from the AEC dropdown menu "IFC Zones, Systems and Groups..." to create any of these.

As for the windows, the window is there, the frame cuts the wall the glass doesn't, reinserting it and flipping it some times fixes it, I will write a bug for it.


Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 12.37.17 PM.png

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On 1.3.2018 at 6:39 PM, JuanCarlos said:

For the dislocated objects, attach the Ifc entity before you group them, if you have multiple objects with different Ifc entities use from the AEC dropdown menu "IFC Zones, Systems and Groups..." to create any of these.



I tried similar with Symbols. Does it work different there ?

Have some furniture Symbols that contain some Extrudes.

(Everything on same Class, ....)


To be sure I assigned IFC_Furniture to all Extrudes AND the Symbol.

No it seems I have each furniture piece as a separate object.

No more grouping by the Symbol.


Should I assign the IFC Tag to the Symbol only if it contains IFC Object of same Type only,

or also use "IFC Zones, Systems and Groups..."  for the Symbol ?


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  • 2 years later...


I´m having some problems exporting custom symbols by IFC. First of all, when i create datasheet custom fields, they don´t appear when a try to use it with a custom symbol. Second, all my custom symbols don't appear in my model at Solibri.
Have anyone trouble with custom symbols and IFC data? It´s driving me crazy 😬




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  • 3 months later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi Henrique, 

You have to attach the IFC record to the symbol at the Resource level (Right click on the Symbol), in you case would be IfcFurnishingElementType then mark/check the IFC entities/Psets that are to be used and fill the Property Values as desired

Resource Manager.png



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