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Exporting from Revit to AutoCAD

From: Migrating from AutoCAD to Revit

Video: Exporting from Revit to AutoCAD

Just like that we can import CAD files into Revit, we can export any view of our Revit project out to CAD. We can use any of the standard industry CAD formats, obviously DWG being the most popular. And in is this movie we'll explore the settings and procedures that we use to perform that export. So I'm in a file called Export, and I'm actually in one of the sheets right now. I am in Sheet: A102 - FloorPlans, and you can see that over in my project browser. What we're going to look at first is the settings that we use to control the export.

Exporting from Revit to AutoCAD

Just like that we can import CAD files into Revit, we can export any view of our Revit project out to CAD. We can use any of the standard industry CAD formats, obviously DWG being the most popular. And in is this movie we'll explore the settings and procedures that we use to perform that export. So I'm in a file called Export, and I'm actually in one of the sheets right now. I am in Sheet: A102 - FloorPlans, and you can see that over in my project browser. What we're going to look at first is the settings that we use to control the export.

Remember that we're taking a bunch of objects and a bunch of elements in Revit that know what they are walls and doors and windows, and we're going to be exporting them out to CAD, and basically turning them into bunch of lines, arcs, and circles. Because CAD uses layers as the primary organizational tool, that's going to be one of the things we're going to want to make sure that Revit establishes correctly we want it to map all of the objects to the correct layer. So I'm going to go here the Application menu-- the big R--go down to Export, we can see there's lot of options, and if you slide all the way down at the bottom you can see there is an item called Options at the very bottom.

Slide over here, and it says Export Setups DWG/DXF. So you really want to start here. This is a big scary looking dialog box, but the things that you're configuring in here are all pretty familiar AutoCAD stuff. So let's start with Layers. The Layers tab is your first, and you can see a long list of Revit categories here with the scrollbar. Right next to each of the category names you can see a layer. Now if you look at the names of these layers they are using the AIA format A-GLAZ, E-POWER, and so on, that's because right here it's says load Layers from Standards and AIA Americans Institute of Architects is chosen here.

Or you can even do Load a Settings file if you have a standard that's not on the list. Now I'm going to stick with the AIA, and I am not going to make any changes, but the important thing to realize here is every object in your Revit model will get mapped to a layer that it's based on AIA, in this case, and the color assigned to that layer. So that's the first thing you typically want to look at, and so you get all that configured the way you want. If I click on the Lines tab next what we're going to see here is all of the lines patterns in Revit things like Dash and Dash-16 are going to map some corresponding line style in AutoCAD.

You see how it says Automatically Generate the Line Type, if you click and open up this list it's possible for you to scroll through here and choose a line type that already exists and make a direct mapping. You can either let it create new line types for you, or you can map to existing ones in your office standard. The same is true for hatch patterns all of the Revit hatch patterns listed here can be mapped to corresponding hatch patterns in AutoCAD, or you can let it automatically create them.

You can do the same with text and fonts, so all of the fonts on the Revit side are listed over here, and this is how they map over here on the right. Now with colors, you have two choices. Do you want to use just the 255 AutoCAD color index, or do you want to let it map to true colors? Most people are going to use the color index, so that's the default setting. Solids refers to 3D. If you export a 3D view from Revit, it will either create Polymeshes or ACIS solids, so you can choose whichever format you prefer.

Units & Coordinates I thinks it's is pretty self-explanatory. What Unit system do you want to use, usually guesses correctly. And then under General we have her variety of miscellaneous settings, many of these can be pretty useful. For example, if you've got room objects in your Revit project, you can have those create Poly Lines for you on the AutoCAD side so that people can still calculate the square footage from that AutoCAD file that's generated. If you've got Non-Plotting layers you could have it search for those Non-Plotting layers and automatically make them Non-Plotting in CAD side so that's pretty helpful.

And you can even hide the Revit only objects that AutoCAD doesn't really need to see. When you get all the settings configured the way that you want, you probably want to come down here and Duplicate this setup and give it name, and maybe call it office standard or something like that. Now because I haven't really made any changes I'm just going to cancel this but I highly recommend that you create a custom setup to match your office standards. Once you have the setup in place, you're ready to Export. So we're going to go to the big R again and go to Export come up to the very top this time and under CAD Formats we've got all these different formats we can use.

Now if you want to Export a 3D model you could use SAT files, if you are going to Micro Station DGN. Some CAD program other than AutoCAD DXF and of course if you are going AutoCAD choose DWG. And that's what I'm going to choose. And that brings us here to do the DWG Export. Now at the very top left-hand corner we have a drop down here that would include all of your setups, now I never created my setup, so I only have the default list. If you realize that you forgot to change the settings, and you want to change something on the fly, you can ask a click this little browse button here it takes right back to setups.

So you don't have to cancel out of everything and start over. So you choose your setup here off the list or configure it directly. The next thing you want to look at is what you're actually exporting. Here it remembers that I was in this Floor Plain view, what I want to do is instead of exporting just that one sheet I want to open up this list and tell it that I want to choose my views, and sheets, and when I do that I have different filtering options of what I can include in the list, so could include just the views or I could choose the sheets or I could choose all of the sheets that are in the model.

Now when I do that I'm going to check all of them here so that I can export my complete set of sheets. Instead of having to do them one at a time this can be a big time saver. I'm going to go to Next, it will ask me where I want to save this file, I'm just saving it here on my desktop. The file name isn't actually the file name of the individual file what it is the prefix to all of the files, so because I'm exporting several files, it's going to use that as a prefix so I'm going to stick with export which is fine, but you can change that if you want. It's going to create 2013 DWG files and then this setting here is a really neat setting.

If I move this dialog kind of out of the way a little bit, in the background I've got a title block sheet with a view port on it. Down here I have elevations in section sheets that I'm also exporting in those also have view ports on it. What this feature does is it creates one DWG for the sheet itself, sets it up in paper space, and then it creates a separate DWG for each view port and X-refs those in and puts them on the sheet. Really nice because that pretty much matches exactly way that an AutoCAD user would set up it up.

So let's go ahead and click okay here, and then we'll just wait for these files to process. So when it's done it'll back to Revit and all that remaining for us to do is just switch over to AutoCAD and take a look at what we've got. So I'm here in AutoCAD, and I'll just simply go to Open, go to my desktop, and as you can see here, there are several files that got created. Now these are the actual sheets. Those are set up and paper space with the title blocks and then all of these down here are the X-refed files.

So I'm going to open up the sheet Export A102-FloorPlan click Open, let's do a zoom extends. Now at the moment it is very bright with these bright colors on a white background, that's simply because the Plot Style hasn't been assigned to it yet. But, as you can see, we're in paper space, we have got a title block here is being created as a block, we've got a view port here, and inside that view port we have a file that has been X-refed in to represent the building model.

So, again it's set up everything up kind of the way that we would expect, and all that remains for me to do is go to big A now under Print and choose Page Setup, I'm going to modify the current Page Setup, and I can assign the AIA Standard Plot Style, and I'm going to turn on the Display Plot Styles. When I do that instead of everything being in color it'll make a black and white and so it looks a little bit nicer. It takes a little bit of setup, but once it's set up its a fairly straightforward affair, you can take all of your Revit views, export them out and they become separate DWG files complete with title blocks, paper space and X-refed views.

It's very handy and the recipients on the AutoCAD side will appreciate the setup because it will match the office standards.

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Migrating from AutoCAD to Revit

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Paul F. Aubin
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