Add and reuse IfcMaterial properties

Has anybody have some experience with adding properties to IfcMaterial, but also using it in another software enviroment?

There seem to be some attributes and multiple Psets in IFC4. But also IFC2x3 had some options if I’am correct.
It seems to be very hard to add information to IfcMaterial. And it seems even harder to reuse this info. And almost no viewer can show this info.

I understand that IfcMaterial should be handled differently than e.g. an IfcWall.
But it is a very fundamentel part of a BIM. So I’am wondering why it seems to be so hard.
So I would love to hear some working example workflows of properties added to an IfcMaterial, and reused in another software enviroment.

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It seems to be very hard to add information to IfcMaterial.

In IFC4 it’s the very same concept Property Sets for Objects applies to IfcMaterial, the confusing thing here is that IfcMaterial is not an object. But it’s not that different - IfcMaterialProperties holds link to IfcMaterialDefinition with inverse HasProperties attribute.


Relevant discussion from not too long ago. With software examples.

@Teun another relevant discussion: Proposal for standardisation of property set relationships

In IFC4, it became a lot more “standardised” to support material properties. In fact, I have a line of source code in the BlenderBIM Add-on which says this:

return False  # We don't support material psets in IFC2X3 because they suck

If materials become rooted, then it becomes even easier to support them. If you’re looking for a free and open source BIM authoring tool that support IFC4 material properties, the BlenderBIM Add-on might help. For IFC2X3, it seemed too painful for what it was worth (IFC2X3 materials in general were missing a lot of basic information). I’m curious to know if anybody has implemented it for IFC2X3.

Thanks for the feedback @claimred and @Moult.
I think there is definitely room, and also a need for some improvements from a user point of view.

Good to hear about BlenderBIM. I have seen some examples off Archicad. And used the FZK viewer. We just tested (only 2x3) the GeometryGym exporter for Revit.