Sometimes, when you try to open an IFC in Solibri, you get a read error message, and the file cannot be opened. This article explains why the read errors occur and how you can resolve the issue.
Solibri supports the open IFC standard (Industry Foundation Classes) and has certified support for IFC2x3. IFC4 is partly supported, but not yet certified, which may also cause some IFC4-related read errors. These, however, can be very specific and are therefore not covered by this article. If you experience issues with IFC4 export, please contact us directly so we can help you out. For more information on IFC, see the BuildingSmart website.
IFC read errors occur when the IFC file hasn't been exported correctly. This may be due to a syntax error in the IFC file (syntax is not according to the implementation standard), an old exporter version or bug in the authoring tool, or export settings configuration.
Although you might be able to open the IFC file with some other software, opening it in Solibri causes an error. If there is an error in the IFC file structure, for example reliable checking results in Solibri cannot be guaranteed and therefore the error needs to be resolved and the file exported correctly before it can be opened in Solibri.
Here are some of the most typical exporter-related IFC read errors:
"Encountered "<EOF>" at line XXX, column ZZZ ... ":
EOF is shortened from ‘End of File’, which means that no more data can be read from the file at/after the mentioned line number. The Data section in IFC, which contains all instances for the entities of the IFC specification, starts from DATA and should end with ENDSEC. Also, an IFC file starts with ISO-10303-21 and ends with END-ISO-10303-21.
"XXX cannot be cast to ZZZ":
This error may occur due to an invalid relationship between the mentioned IfcEntites, or if an incorrect instance is referenced. For example, in the image above, instance of IfcOwnerHistory should be referenced, in one of lines in the IFC file, instead of IfcDerivedUnitElement.
"Lexical error at line XXX, column ZZZ ...":
A lexical error occurs if an IFC file has either invalid characters, or if some mandatory attribute or character specified in the IFC standard is missing from the IFC file.
All IFC read errors should be resolved in the authoring tool. Sometimes it's enough that you update the exporter and re-export the IFC file, but in other cases you need to contact the authoring tool support. If you wish to know more about for example the syntax or entities, check the relative standards from BuildingSmart.
To resolve the issue, do the following:
Open the IFC file in a text editor. From there, you can see the version the authoring tool you're using:
You shouldn't use an old version of the tool.
Update the authoring tool and/or IFC exporter.
Check the IFC mapping and/or export settings.
Re-export the IFC file.
If the error persists, contact the authoring tool support.