A file using the IFC file extension is an Industry Foundation Classes file. The IFC file format is developed by BuildingSMART and is used by Building Information Modeling (BIM) programs to store architectural, building and construction industry data. There are three file format variants, IFC-SPF, IFC-XML, and IFC-ZIP. SPF is a human-readable text format, XML is an XML format and ZIP is a compressed format containing an embedded version of one of the other two formats.
How can you open IFC files?
Any text editor is capable of opening the IFC-SPF variant as these are written in plain text, an XML viewer is ideal for the IFC-XML file format version and any unzip program can unzip the zipped file format. For a proper 3D design and rendering of the data, a BIM program is ideal.
What programs work with IFC files?
A number of free or open-source tools are available that can fully render IFC data such as Areddo, BIM Beaver and BIM Surfer. Professional tools that can open IFC files include Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture, GRAPHISOFT ArchiCAD, Tekla BIMsight, Autodesk Revit and Adobe Acrobat DC. These professional-grade tools generally contain larger tool sets and come with better support. Solibri IFC Optimizer can open IFC files but only to reduce its file size, it cannot display any data from the file.