Export a Road Model to IFC 4.3

To export data from Quadri, you should select the “Export to File” task in the OUTPUT tab.

1. Selecting data for export

After selecting the “Export to File” task, the following interface will appear. In Quadri, objects are referred to as “Features.” To choose specific objects for export, you should click the “Select Features” button.

After selecting “Select Features,” the following dialog box will appear:

Objects can be selected in three different ways:

In this case, we want to export the road model, terrain, and alignment. Therefore, we are selecting all the objects included in the tasks. The total number of objects we want to export is 90, of which 88 are road model elements. These objects include various components such as corridor surfaces (TrafficLane, RoadShoulder), drainage elements (DitchSlopeSurface, DitchBottomSurface), embankments (EmbankmentSlope), construction layers (StructureLayer), earthworks (FillLayer, Cut, SubgradeSurface, LowestConstructionWorkSurface), and boundary lines that can be exported as stakeout lines.

2. Choosing the IFC Format

The next step is to select the format to which we want to export our objects. In our case, we choose the IFC format from the available list.

Next, we proceed to the next dialog, which is accessible by clicking the “Settings” button.

In this dialog, we have the opportunity to perform several actions. First and foremost, we can select the version of the IFC standard. We are interested in version 4.3. Additionally, we can add project information such as the project author, software used, and other relevant details. There is also the option to assign coordinate points at which the model should be displayed and to customize units of measurement to our needs.

We can define the insertion point of the model as follows:

3. Spatial Structure Configuration

After selecting the 4.3 format in this dialog, we can take another important step in the IFC export process, which is choosing the configuration file that configures the spatial structure in IFC.

By clicking the button with the “folder” icon, we open an XML file in the tool looks as follows:

The file contains a definition that allows for the mapping of IFC objects (with geometry) to the IFC spatial structure. The file enables the specification of the spatial structure for the road, railway, and drainage industries. The highlighted section in red contains the definition related to the road model. In yellow, spatial objects are highlighted. The above notation represents the following breakdown schema:

Understanding the principles and relationships between objects is crucial for flexibly shaping the spatial breakdown structure of the project. 

4. Selecting Conversion Rules

The final step in our process is selecting the file containing conversion rules. This XML file plays a crucial role in enabling the mapping of objects from the Quadri format to objects in the target format. The conversion file is opened in an editor and contains the necessary definitions for transforming data. It allows for precise determination of how source objects, their geometries, and attributes are to be mapped to target objects in the target data format. Each data format has a separate conversion file designated for import and export. In our case, we are selecting the conversion file for the road model, which will be used to export data to the IFC 4.3 format.

After opening the conversion file in the editor, its appearance is as follows. The editor provides the opportunity for precise mapping of source objects to target objects (1), considering geometry (2) and attributes (3). The editor offers advanced mapping tools, which may appear complex at first glance. A detailed discussion of this topic will be presented in another article.

Now, all that remains is to choose the location where we want to save our file. We can save the file directly to the local disk, Trimble Connect, or Project Wise. Finally, simply click the “Finish!” button, and the save operation will be executed.