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How to provide a custom IFC Import menu item?

Patins
Newcomer
Hi, I am an absolute newbie regarding archicad development and have some questions to get started. Our institute at QUT/Brisbane has developed an IFC database, which is similar to bimserver.org. In contrast, we aim at the CPL license and a more lightweight implementation, meaning writing no much own code, instead using e.g. CDO as O/R mapping, maybe also using Objectivity as NoSQL DB, and using a SOAP/REST service as programming API for 3rd parties.

As first step I want to provide a menu item in Archicad, by which the user can browse the project directory of the remote server, and download an IFC file to import it into archicad. To get started, I need to know two points:

(a) How to provide a menu item in Archicad, calling my implementation functionality
(b) how to import an IFC file to archicad when my wizard finishes. I am responsible to download the IFC file to the user's local file system, now its the question how to load it in Archicad. It may be that the user not downloads self-contained IFC files but library parts.


Do I need C/C++ knowledge to achieve this? Where is the starting point? Do I have to read the "GDL Reference Guide"? they say nothing about building custom menu items.

Thanks,
Joerg
Research Fellow, QUT, Brisbane
1 REPLY 1

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
Patins wrote:
(a) How to provide a menu item in Archicad, calling my implementation functionality
(b) how to import an IFC file to archicad when my wizard finishes. I am responsible to download the IFC file to the user's local file system, now its the question how to load it in Archicad. It may be that the user not downloads self-contained IFC files but library parts.
Do I need C/C++ knowledge to achieve this? Where is the starting point? Do I have to read the "GDL Reference Guide"?
GDL (Geometric Description Language) is limited to object development only, e.g. describing 2D or 3D geometry.

You should use the ArchiCAD API instead, which requires proficiency with C, or ideally C++. You will also need XCode for the Mac or Visual Studio 2005 for Windows. To get started, download the required resources here.

In reply to your other questions:
  • (a) You will need to study the API documentation, but in essence you need to write the required menu resources, register the menu when the add-on is first called, and provide a call-back for the menu handling.

    (b) I don't have an answer for this. I know that the DWG/DXF add-on provides a mechanism for other add-ons to invoke the import/export facilities, but there is no documentation for these features in the IFC add-on. I think someone at GS will have to answer that question.
Ralph Wessel BArch

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