IFC and Point cloud sharing in BIMcollab Zoom without using BIMcollab Nexus

IFC and Point cloud sharing in BIMcollab Zoom without using BIMcollab Nexus

We recommend an online workflow to combine and view multiple files (IFC and Point clouds) in a project, so the whole team works with the latest version of the projectfiles and communicates at one central spot online in BIMcollab Nexus. This ensures an effective communication about requirements, model checks, information retrieval and issues to reach high quality BIM. For more information about this online workflow consult the article: Set up the Project folder to link shared files to a project.

The described workflow in this article can be used to archive a project, or as an offline method when you don't connect to a space from BIMcollab Zoom.

Create a project file

Create a project folder structure with all IFC and point cloud files of the project. Use subfolders within the main folder if you like
  1. Open BIMcollab Zoom
  2. Go to File > Add to project and select the file or multiple files (hold the shift button) which you want to make part of the project
    You can quickly set up a federated model with a large number of files without the need of loading them directly. This can be done by clicking Add only… in the file menu, or by holding down shift when clicking open
  3. The models will be loaded into BIMcollab Zoom and displayed in the Navigation tab. Once added, you can set prefixes to easily group and structure your project.
  4. Once your project structure is complete, you can load models by using the right click command Load model.
    For more information on the load status of models within a project, consult this article about different colors of model names.
  5. Save the project structure as a BCP file by choosing File > Save project as... Save the BCP file at the top of the folder structure of your project folder
When a project is created and saved this way, with the project file (*.bcp) in the main project folder and model files in subfolders, it is possible to transfer the complete folder to a different computer or a shared folder and keep the connection to the loaded files.

Share the project file

The BCP project file can be shared like any other file. The BCP project file does not contain IFC data, but is a registry of paths to other files. Because of this, make sure that the people you share the project file with, also have access to the same models as you.

It is best to share the complete folder with the BCP file at the top, and the models in the subfolders.
If BIMcollab Zoom can't find the project folder when opening the project file, it will check the Location for projects in the Settings of BIMcollab Zoom, so you can also choose to add the location of the main project folder immediately in these settings:
  1. Go to Extra > Settings > General / BIMcollab Zoom > Preferences > General
  2. Beneath 'Location for projects' click Select and navigate to the preferred folder and hit the OK button
If the project folder is shared on a network server or via a file sharing system (such as Dropbox, OneDrive, and others), the BCP project file can be edited by multiple users. This means the configuration might be different the next time the file is opened. The models can be loaded or unloaded by another user. To avoid this, share the project files via BIMcollab Nexus to be able to keep your personal configurations. For more information consult the article Set up the Project folder to link shared files to a project.

Update the project with revised models

When the models within the project file need to be updated, you can right click on the models in the model tree, and choose between the following options:
  1. Reload model: Update a loaded model with a file that has the same name and location.
    The Zoom project file (*.bcp) does not contain IFC data so it will always automatically open the latest version of the IFC if it has the same name as the previous version. It will notify the user by showing an asterisk (*) behind the file name that a newer version was detected.
  2. Unload model: If you don't want to display the model anymore in your BIMcollab Zoom project choose this option. It will be still visible in the Navigation tab but turn grey, and can be loaded again at any moment
  3. Update model: Update a loaded model with a file that has a different name or file location. You will be prompted to navigate to the correct file on your computer
  4. Remove from project
When a new version of an IFC file has a different name than the previous version, manually remove the old file and add the new file to the project structure.

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