There are different methods of installation, depending on your situation.

  1. Pre-built packages is recommended for users wanting to use the latest IfcOpenShell builds.

  2. PyPI is recommended for developers using Pip.

  3. Conda is recommended for developers using Anaconda.

  4. Docker is recommended for developers using Docker.

  5. Using the BlenderBIM Add-on is recommended for non-developers wanting a graphical interface.

  6. Compiling from source is recommended for developers actively working with the C++ core.

Pre-built packages#

  1. Choose which version to download based on your operating system, Python version, and computer architecture.

  1. Unzip the downloaded file and copy the ifcopenshell directory into your Python path. If you’re not sure where your Python path is, run the following code in Python:

    import sys

    This will give you a list of possible directories that you can install the IfcOpenShell module into. Most commonly, you will want to copy the ifcopenshell directory into one of these called site-packages.

  2. Test importing the module in a Python session or script to make sure it works.

    import ifcopenshell
    model = ifcopenshell.file()


pip install ifcopenshell


# To install the latest daily build of IfcOpenShell (recommended)
conda install -c ifcopenshell -c conda-forge ifcopenshell
# Alteratively, to install an older, stable version
conda install -c conda-forge ifcopenshell


Installing IfcOpenShell from Conda will also install IfcConvert.


Conda builds are not yet available for Mac ARM devices (M1 chip). Instead, please follow the instructions for the Pre-built packages or PyPI sections above.


$ docker run -it aecgeeks/ifcopenshell python3 -c 'import ifcopenshell; print(ifcopenshell.version)'


Installing IfcOpenShell from Docker will also install IfcConvert.

Using the BlenderBIM Add-on#

The BlenderBIM Add-on is a Blender based graphical interface to IfcOpenShell. Other than providing a graphical IFC authoring platform, it also comes with IfcOpenShell, its utilities, and a Python shell built-in. This means you don’t need to install Python first, and you also can compare your IfcOpenShell scripting to what you see with a visual model viewer, or use a graphical interface to access the IfcOpenShell utilities.

  1. Install the BlenderBIM Add-on by following the BlenderBIM Add-on installation documentation.

  2. Launch Blender. On the top left of the Viewport panel, click the Editor Type icon to change the viewport into a Python Console.

  3. Make sure you can import IfcOpenShell successfully with the following script.



Before changing the Editor Type to a Python Console, you can click on the View > Area > Vertical Split menu which will divide your viewport. This allows you to write scripts next to the 3D view of a model.

Blender also comes with a text editor so you can write longer scripts. Instead of choosing the Python Console, choose the Text Editor.


You can now create a new text file for your script by clicking Text > New, and run your script using the Text > Run Script menu or by clicking on the Play Icon.


See also

You may be interested in learning how to graphically explore an IFC model in Blender. This can help when learning how to write scripts as you can double check the results of your scripts with what you see in the graphical interface. Read more.

Compiling from source#

Advanced developers may want to compile IfcOpenShell. Refer to the IfcOpenShell installation guide for instructions.