BIM Workbench

From FreeCAD Documentation
(Redirected from Arch CompSetMaterial)
In v1.0 the BIM, Native-IFC and Arch Workbenches have been merged into the integrated BIM Workbench.
This page has been updated for that version.
BIM Workbench icon

Introduction

The BIM Workbench provides a modern Building Information Modelling workflow in FreeCAD, with fully parametric objects such as walls, beams, roofs, windows, stairs, pipes, and furniture. It supports Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) files, and the production of 2D plans in combination with the TechDraw Workbench.

The BIM Workbench imports tools from the Draft Workbench, as it uses its 2D objects to build 3D parametric objects. But it can also use solid shapes created with other workbenches like Part and PartDesign.

See FreeCAD BIM migration guide for a quick overview if you are already a user of another BIM application.

The developers of Draft and BIM also collaborate with the greater OSArch community, with the ultimate goal of improving building design by using entirely free software.

Getting started

Upon starting the BIM workbench for the first time, a welcome dialog is shown, giving a quick overview of how the workbench works, and allowing the user to start an in-game tutorial. The welcome dialog is also available from the help menu. When the welcome screen is closed by clicking OK, the BIM setup dialog will be shown, that allows the user to quickly set some of the most common BIM-related preferences of FreeCAD without the need to browse through the full FreeCAD preferences pages.

The BIM project setup tool allows you to quickly setup a BIM project by filling some basic information about your project. You can then, for example, use the different 2D drafting tools to sketch guidelines and baselines, then use the different 3D modeling tools to automatically build 3D BIM objects from them. A line, for example, can become a wall simply by selecting it and pressing the Wall button.

If you are used to another BIM application, check our BIM application compatibility table to get your marks when starting with FreeCAD.

The in-game tutorial is an easy way to quickly get on track with the BIM workbench.

Tools

The BIM workbench gathers tools from several other FreeCAD workbenches, mainly Draft and Part, roughly reorganized in logical categories.

Additionally, if such addons are installed, tools from Reinforcement (extra reinforcing bar tools), Fasteners (bolts and screws), Flamingo/Dodo (metal structure and piping tools) and Parts Library are automatically included in the BIM workbench.

The BIM workbench also adds a series of items in the status bar of FreeCAD, and a couple of context menu items, accessible by right-clicking in the 3D view or in the tree view.

2D drafting

2D objects are commonly used as drafting aids, or to draw base lines and profiles to build BIM objects on. They can also be used to draw symbols and annotations in your model. Apart from sketches, that use their own coordinate system, 2D objects will be drawn on the current working plane.

  • Sketch: Creates‎ a new sketch and enters sketch edit mode. Sketches are advanced 2D objects with constraints support.
  • Line: Creates a straight line.
  • Polyline: Creates a polyline (also called wire), a sequence of several connected line segments.
  • Circle: Creates a circle from a center and a radius.
  • Arc: Creates a circular arc from a center, a radius, a start angle and an aperture angle.
  • Arc by 3 points: Creates a circular arc from three points that define its circumference.
  • Fillet: Creates a fillet, a rounded corner, or a chamfer, a straight edge, between two Draft Lines.
  • Ellipse: Creates an ellipse from two points defining a rectangle in which the ellipse will fit.
  • Polygon: Creates a regular polygon from a center and a radius.
  • Rectangle: Creates a rectangle from two points.
  • B-spline: Creates a B-spline curve from several points.
  • Point: Creates a simple point.

3D/BIM

3D and BIM objects are the real-world elements that will compose your BIM project.

  • Project: Creates a project including selected objects.
  • Site: Creates a site including selected objects.
  • Building: Creates a building including selected objects.
  • Level: Creates a floor including selected objects.
  • Space: Creates a space object.
  • Wall: Creates a wall from scratch or using a selected object as a base.
  • Curtain Wall: Creates a curtain wall from scratch or using a selected object as a base.
  • Column: Creates a vertical structural element at a given point, optionally using a selected object as a profile.
  • Beam: Creates a horizontal structural element between two points, optionally using a selected object as a profile.
  • Slab: Creates a flat structural element by extruding a selected flat object.
  • Door: Creates a Window object using door presets.
  • Window: Creates a window from scratch or using a selected object as a base.
  • Pipe: Creates a pipe.
  • Connector: Creates a corner or T-connection between 2 or 3 selected pipes.
  • Stairs: Creates a stairs object.
  • Roof: Creates a sloped roof from a selected wire.
  • Panel: Creates a panel object from a selected 2D object.
  • Frame: Creates a frame object from a selected layout.
  • Fence: Creates a fence object from a selected post and path.
  • Truss: Creates a truss from a selected line or from scratch.
  • Equipment: Creates an equipment or furniture object.
  • Reinforcement tools:
These tools, except the first, are only available if the Reinforcement Workbench has been installed.
  • Custom Rebar: Creates a custom reinforcement bar in a selected structural element using a sketch.
  • Straight Rebar: Creates a straight reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
  • U-Shape Rebar: Creates a U-shape reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
  • L-Shape Rebar: Creates an L-shape reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
  • Stirrup: Creates a stirrup reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
  • Bent-Shape Rebar: Creates a bent-shape reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
  • Helical Rebar: Creates a helical reinforcement bar in a selected structural element.
  • Generic 3D tools:
These tools build generic 3D objects that can be turned or used into BIM components.
  • Profile: Creates a parametric 2D profile.
  • Box: Creates a box by specifying its dimensions graphically.
  • Shape builder...: Creates more complex shapes from various geometric primitives.
  • Facebinder: creates a surface object from selected faces.
  • Component: Creates a non-parametric Arch component.

Annotation

Annotations are visual help objects that can be placed inside your model. They can be used to export your model directly to a 2D format like DXF, or reused when creating 2D views of your model with the TechDraw Workbench.

  • Label: Creates a multi-line text with a 2-segment leader line and an arrow.
  • Axis: Adds a 1-direction array of axes.
  • Axis System: Adds an axis system composed of several axes.
  • Grid: Adds a grid-like object.
  • Hatch: Creates hatches on the planar faces of a selected object.

Snapping

This menu contains the Draft Snap tools as well as the following tools:

Modify

  • Move: Moves or copies selected objects from one point to another.
  • Copy: Copies selected objects from one point to another.
  • Rotate: Rotates or copies selected objects around a center point by a given angle.
  • Clone: Clones selected objects.
  • Offset: Offsets each segment of a selected object over a given distance, or creates an offset copy of the selected object.
  • 2D Offset...: Constructs a parallel wire at a given distance from the original, or enlarges/shrinks a planar face (parametric version). This is the same tool as Part Offset2D.
  • Trimex: Trims or extends a selected object.
  • Scale: Scales or copies selected objects around a base point.
  • Stretch: Stretches objects by moving selected points.
  • Upgrade: Upgrades selected objects.
  • Array: Creates an orthogonal array from a selected object. It can optionally create a Link array.
  • Path array: Creates an array from a selected object by placing copies along a path.
  • Circular array: Creates an array from a selected object by placing copies along concentric circumferences. It can optionally create a Link array.
  • Point array: Creates an array from a selected object by placing copies at the points from a point compound.
  • Mirror: Creates mirrored copies from selected objects.

Manage

  • BIM Setup...: Configures some of the FreeCAD preferences most commonly used for BIM.
  • Views manager: Manage the different views and levels of your project.
  • Schedule: Creates different types of schedules.
  • Annotation styles...: Allows you to define styles that affect the visual properties of annotation-like objects.

Utils

  • Split Mesh: Splits a selected mesh into separate components.
  • Mesh to Shape: Converts a mesh into a shape, unifying coplanar faces.
  • Close holes: Closes holes in a selected shape-based object.
  • Check: Check if the selected objects are solids and don't contain defects.
  • Survey: Enters or leaves surveying mode.
  • Panel tools:
  • Panel: Creates a panel object from a selected 2D object.
  • Panel Cut: Creates a 2D cut view from a panel.
  • Panel Sheet: Creates a 2D cut sheet including panel cuts or other 2D objects.
  • Nest: Allows to nest several flat objects inside a container shape.
  • Structure tools:
  • Structure: Creates a structural element from scratch or using a selected object as a base.
  • Nudge:

Status bar

TBD

Tree view context menu

TBD

3D view context menu

TBD

Obsolete tools

  • Arch 3Views: Creates top, front and side views from a mesh. Not available in version 1.0 and above.
  • Arch Project: Creates a project including selected objects. Not available in version 1.0 and above. Use BIM Project instead.

Preferences

  • Preferences: General preferences for the BIM Workbench.
  • Fine tuning: Extra parameters to fine-tune BIM behavior.

File formats

  • IFC: industry foundation classes
  • DAE: Collada mesh format
  • OBJ: OBJ mesh format (export only)
  • JSON: JavaScript Object Notation format (export only)
  • 3DS: 3DS format (import only)
  • SHP: GIS Shapefiles (import only)

API

The Arch module can be used in Python scripts and macros using the Arch Python API functions.

Tutorials and learning