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In Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training, author Paul F. Aubin shows how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Revit. This course covers the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from design concept to publishing. It also covers navigating the Revit interface, modeling basic building features such as walls, doors and windows, working with sketch-based components such as roofs and stairs, annotating designs with dimensions and callouts, and adding 3D geometry. Exercise files are included with the course.
As popular as Revit has become, AutoCAD is still very prevalent in the building industry. As a result, there may come a time in your projects when you're faced with having to export a portion or all of your project to a format that AutoCAD can understand. Depending on the needs of your recipient, exporting to DWF, as covered in the previous movie, is one option. However, Revit is also fully capable of exporting directly to AutoCAD's native DWG file format. In this movie, we'll look at the steps to perform such an export. So, I have a file here called Export to AutoCAD and we'll go ahead and walk through the steps of exporting it out to an AutoCAD format.
We'll go to the Application menu and under Export, we've got CAD Formats and Revit is capable of writing a DWG, a DXF, a MicroStation DGN or an ACIS (SAT) file. Let's go with DWG formats, and we'll get a box that looks very similar to the one we were in when we created a DWF, if you watched the DWF movie. We have similar options that are available here.
We're going to start at the very top and choose our In session. Unless you are positive that all you want is the current view or sheet that you have onscreen, you typically are going to want to use the In session view or sheet. So, if all I wanted was a floor plan for the first floor, then I could just do Current View/Sheet and click Next and be done. If you want to export more than one view or sheet, then it's always a good idea to do the In session view or sheet. Then we've got Show in the list. In this case, I'm actually going to export a combination of views and sheets.
So, I'm going to choose this option down here, All views and sheets in the model. That means this list will include everything. It will include all the things in the project browser listed under Views and all the things in the project browser listed under Sheets. I'm going to scroll down and locate my sheets, and I want to export a couple floor plans, and they're both on the Floor Plan sheet, so I'll just choose that one, and then I also want to export some 3D views. Now, depending on what you export will determine what kind of geometry goes over to AutoCAD.
So, I'm choosing two different kinds of files on purpose so that we can see the difference when we get over to AutoCAD. So, this one is going to actually generate 3D geometry on the AutoCAD side, and the plans that we have here in the sheet, that's going to generate simple two-dimensional geometry on the AutoCAD side. Now, on this tab, we have some DWG properties. Most of the defaults should be fine. If you're an AutoCAD user, you should be familiar with what most of these things are. I'm going to go ahead and click Next.
Here I will just input a name. I'm going to accept the default with the automatic naming, and I want to just point out this one little check box here. For the sheet, the export to AutoCAD can actually Xref each of your plan views onto a separate sheet file in the sheet view. So, let me show you what I mean when we click OK here. Okay, when the export is complete, I have AutoCAD running in the background, and we can do Alt+Tab to switch over, and I'm going to click the Open icon, and you'll see that even though we only exported two items we actually have several AutoCAD files.
Now, let's start with the 3D view. This one, if you look at the preview, you can see the site plan exported separately from the building and both are 3D models. Let's go ahead and open up the composite of the two. Now, AutoCAD shares the same view navigation tools that Revit does. So, we have our View Cube over here, and we can spin around to any view that we like. We can hold down the Shift key and orbit the view, and we can roll the wheel to zoom in just like before.
Now, everything is color coded because what Revit will do is actually take each of its object categories and map them to an AutoCAD layer. So, for example, if I select the items here on the roof, they went into a layer called 3D-Roof, and the walls would be in a layer 3D-Walls and so on. Let's open up 2D drawing and here you'll see that we get one drawing that includes the sheet and its title block, and then each of the viewports exported separately as a separate drawing and are Xrefed into the title block.
So, let's go ahead and open up the title block. I'm going to type Z+Enter, E+Enter, which is Zoom Extents in AutoCAD. Select the title block, and you'll see that it came in as a sheet file. Here are the individual viewports and if I double-click in that viewport, you can see that each view actually came in as a separate AutoCAD drawing and up here on the Ribbon you can see that's actually an externally referenced drawing.
So that accounts for why we had three separate drawings for this single sheet. I'm going to switch back over to Revit and on the Application menu, under Export and then Options, there is the Export Layers DWG/DXF and when I choose that, this dialog here is what controlled the layers that were used on the AutoCAD side and the colors that were used on the AutoCAD side. So, the fact that everything was color- coded and came in on different layers is all controlled right here in this dialog and I welcome you to explore it and change it if necessary to match your office standards.
So, that's the process to exporting files to AutoCAD, and you can do that whenever you need to share files with a team member who is not yet on Revit.
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