<aside> ℹ️ See also: Converting Models to XKT with convert2xkt


<aside> ℹ️ See also: Converting IFC Models to XKT using 3rd-Party Open Source Tools


The xeokit SDK enables the loading of large, full-precision BIM models over the web in seconds, which can then be viewed in a browser. To achieve this, we convert our IFC files into xeokit's native XKT format. This format compresses model geometry and metadata into a compact payload that can be quickly loaded by a xeokit viewer while using minimal browser resources.

This tutorial demonstrates how to use the ifc2gltfcxconverter tool from Creoox AG and the open source convert2xkt tool from xeolabs to convert an IFC model into an XKT file, which can then be loaded into a xeokit viewer. This combination is currently the most efficient option for converting IFC files to XKT.

Additionally, this tutorial shows how these tools can automatically split each model into multiple XKT files, allowing huge models to be converted and loaded in chunks that don't overwhelm server and browser resources.


What's IFC?

The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model is used to describe architectural, building, and construction industry data.

IFC defines an entity-relationship model consisting of various entities organized into an object-based inheritance model. Classes represent various building elements, such as IfcWall, geometry, such as IfcExtrudedAreaSolid, and basic constructs, such as IfcCartesianPoint.

The data model is developed by buildingSMART to facilitate interoperability in the AEC industry. It is a commonly used open collaboration format in BIM-based projects.

An IFC file is usually provided as an IFC-SPF file ("STEP-file"), which is a text format in which each line represents an entity that instantiates a class within the data model.

What's XKT?

XKT is xeokit's native 3D model format. It compresses IFC models (and other formats) into a compact binary payload from which large numbers of objects can be loaded over the Web in seconds, at full geometric precision.

An XKT file also contains metadata on its objects, which enables a xeokit viewer to navigate them according to their types. This is useful for building things like object tree view UIs and automatic building storey plan views.

For each object/element, the metadata stores the following information: