ETIM Modeling Classes for BIM

With the Modeling Classes, ETIM offers a BIM concept that combines many advantages for our industrial customers and which we therefore actively support.

Albrecht Bosler
CTO, crossbase mediasolution GmbH

Böblingen, 03-31-2022: ETIM is a manufacturer-neutral standard classification for the electronic exchange of product data. The BMEcat format makes it possible to make this data available in several languages worldwide. The ETIM classification has been fully supported by crossbase since version 3.0; the current version is 8.0.

What is ETIM MC?

ETIM has extended the classification standard by the so-called "Modeling Classes" (MC). For each of the existing ETIM base classes, there will also be one or more Modeling Classes in the future.

The Modeling Classes are developed from a BIM perspective and contain geometric features matching a parameterizable 3D CAD model, which is provided per Modeling Class. Currently there are versions 1.0 and 2.0.

Here is an example of Modeling Class MC000126 (reducer for cable tray) with the following information:

  • Geometric features (Features tab), e.g. insertion length IL1
  • Drawing (“Dimensional Drawing”), which contains the reference to the geometric feature ("Drawing Code") and the respective port ("Port").
  • Linked base class (Linked ETIM base classes tab, in our example the base class EC001007 with the corresponding base characteristics, e.g. the material grade). Here you can also find the information which of the features are "duplicate", i.e. used in both base and MC class, e.g. the cable tray height Ho.

A special feature of ETIM MC are the so-called ports. These are designed to use the same geometric feature, e.g. the insertion length IL1, several times for different connection points (port 1, port 2) on other components. Thus, the number of features can be significantly reduced.

The corresponding 3D CAD model with reference to the geometric features and to the basic features can be found here.

The view of the planners

Planners can generate BIM objects – based on selected ETIM modeling classes – by selecting the corresponding geometric features and use them as vendor-neutral BIM objects in their planning tool.

In the later course of works planning, planners can exchange these neutral BIM objects for manufacturer-specific BIM objects. These are provided by the manufacturers with the geometric and other product data, e.g. technical properties such as color, surface, material.

The view of the manufacturers

Manufacturers do not have to generate and provide BIM files for the various BIM systems such as Revit or Allplan, and this is the greatest benefit. It is sufficient if they supply the new ETIM Modeling Classes with the geometric data for their products – this can then be used to generate the 3D CAD models on a manufacturer-specific basis. This is a crucial step in the creation of a building information model (BIM). Other BIM-relevant product data, as described above, can be exchanged as usual via the base or product classes.

BMEcat 2005 is used as the exchange format for customers and portals. This can transfer the modeling class-specific features in constructs extended for this purpose (the so-called User Defined Extensions – UDX, in particular UDX.EDXF.PRODUCT_FEATURES_MC).

crossbase supports ETIM MC

crossbase supports the ETIM base versions and recently also the ETIM Modeling Class versions with meanwhile more than 300 3D BIM objects that can be generated. This enables all manufacturers who classify their products according to ETIM to make BIM data available for use by architects, planners and designers with minimal effort.

For this purpose, the classification data model, the classification import and the feature mapping (among others for the mapping of the ports mentioned above) as well as the BMEcat format (for the UDX) were extended.

The new module will be available in the third quarter of 2022. We are already in close exchange with our customer Spelsberg, who is accompanying the pilot phase with us.