Download and install Blender
Blender is a free and open-source program for 3D authoring. It works on Linux, Mac, and Windows. It is developed by the Blender community.
No administrator rights on Windows? Choose the “Portable .zip” option when downloading from the Blender website.
Download the BlenderBIM Add-on
The BlenderBIM Add-on extends Blender with OpenBIM related capabilities.
If you are not using Blender version >=3.1, please follow the Unstable installation instructions. Read more
Install the BlenderBIM Add-on
Open up Blender, and click on
Edit > Preferences.
Select the Add-ons tab, and press Install… on the top right. Navigate to the .zip you downloaded in Step 2, and press Install Add-on.
You do not need to unzip the add-on file. You should install it as a zipped file.
You should now see Import-Export: BlenderBIM available in your add-ons list. Enable the add-on by pressing the checkbox.
All done! If you check your Scene properties in the panel on the bottom right, you will see a panel to manage your IFC Project.
You can enable add-ons permanently by using
Save User Settings from the Addons menu.
If you are a poweruser, you may be interested in the Unstable installation to help with testing. Read more
Where is the add-on installed?#
If you downloaded Blender as a
.zip file without running an installer, you
will find the BlenderBIM Add-on installed in the following directory, where
X.XX is the Blender version:
Otherwise, if you installed Blender using an installation package, the add-ons folder depends on which operating system you use. On Linux:
Upon installation, the BlenderBIM Add-on is stored in the
First uninstall the current BlenderBIM add-on, then install the latest version.
Edit > Preferences > Add-ons. Due to a limitation in Blender,
you have to first disable the BlenderBIM Add-on in your Blender preferences by
pressing the checkbox next to the add-on, then restart Blender. After
restarting, you can uninstall the BlenderBIM Add-on by pressing the
button in the Blender preferences window.
Alternatively, you may uninstall manually by deleting the
directory in your Blender add-ons directory.
It is important to follow the sequence of disabling, restarting, then removing. If you do not restart Blender, the add-on will fail to remove correctly, and you will need to uninstall manually.
I get an error similar to “ImportError: IfcOpenShell not built for ‘linux/64bit/python3.7’”
Check which BlenderBIM Add-on build you are using. The zip will have either
py310in the name. See the instructions in the Unstable installation section to check that you have installed the correct version.
I am on Ubuntu and get an error similar to “ImportError: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libm.so.6: version GLIBC_2.29 not found”
Our latest package which uses IfcOpenShell v0.7.0 is built using Ubuntu 20 LTS. If you have an older Ubuntu version, you can either upgrade to 19.10 or above, or you’ll need to compile IfcOpenShell yourself.
The add-on does not install on a Mac with an M1 arm chip
The BlenderBIM Add-on uses the IfcOpenShell library, which is not yet available for computers which use an ARM chip. You may compile IfcOpenShell yourself to get this to work, but this may be too difficult for most users. Please consider donating so that we can devote more time to supporting all platforms.