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As popular as Revit is, 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 of, or all of, your project to a format that AutoCAD can understand. Depending on the needs of the recipient, exporting to DWF, covered in an earlier movie, is one option. However, Revit is also capable of exporting directly to AutoCAD's native DWG format. In this movie, we'll look at the steps for preparing an AutoCAD export. So I'm in a file called Export to AutoCAD, and I'm looking at a Level 1 Floor Plan at the moment. And I'm going to go my Application menu, and under Export, at the top I have CAD Formats and if I slide over there, you'll see that in addition to DWG, we can actually export to DXF, MicroStation DGN, and even ACIS 3D SAT files.
So there are a few different file formats that we can do. The process is actually going to be similar in each one. I'm going to focus in this movie on DWG, so I'm going to click that. And the dialog that displays has a variety of options, so let's walk through a few of them. At the top right hand of the dialog, we'll see something similar here that we saw when we were exporting DWF files. We can choose here whether we want to export the current view or sheet only, in which case we'd get a very simple list, or if we do the In session view/sheet, we get the same options we had with DWF.
We can choose from the available views in our file, the sheets, all of them, or some predetermined set that we might have saved. Now, in this case, I'm going to choose all the views and sheets, and I'm going to be a little more selective. Instead of doing the entire set of sheets, I'm going to pick just the views that my recipient needs to see. So I'm going to scroll down here a little bit, and I want the Aerial View, 3D View, and I'm going to scroll down and choose the A1 - Floor Plans sheet.
Now, before I click Next, I want to come up here, and you'll notice there is Export Setup. It says "in session export setup," so we're getting the default when we see that. There's a little Browse button right here and when I click on that, we get this very detailed, and sometimes scary- looking, dialog that appears here. It would obviously take me too much time to go through each and every setting here, but what I'm going to do is just sort of scan through a few of them and give you a flavor of what's possible. This is an incredibly powerful dialog. No doubt that if you've been working in the architectural industry for a while, and particularly if you've been using AutoCAD for a while, you know that there are an awful lot of standards out there.
People have standards for layers, they have standards for line types, line styles and so on. What this dialog is going to allow us to do is map the objects in Revit to the closest- available corresponding object in AutoCAD. Now AutoCAD doesn't have walls or roofs or stairs; AutoCAD has lines, arcs, and circles. So those lines, arcs, and circles are organized onto layers. This first tab is probably the most important, because what you'll see here is every category in our Revit project is listed here and then in a layer column here--let me just widen this up a little bit-- you'll see a suggested layer name.
Now, those layer names are based on the American Institute of Architects Standard, which is also the US National CAD Standard. If you click here, there are some other layer standards that are available. So if I'm not using AIA layering, if I want to use the British Standard, I can select this. It's going to warn me. I'm going to say Yes and you see how it will swap out all of the layer names to British Standard. And I'm going to go back to AIA, say Yes again. So these standards built in already makes your work certainly a lot easier if you're using one of those standards because otherwise, this is a pretty extensive list.
So if you need to customize it, you better set aside some time. Next, we have lines. Here, we can take the line types in Revit and map them to corresponding line types in AutoCAD. The default is just to automatically generate a line type, but if you've got an AutoCAD line type that you want it to map to, you can choose it there. We can do similar things with our hatch patterns, similar things with our text styles. We can tell it to use just the default AutoCAD colors or all of the True color palette, depending on how you want to have things set up in AutoCAD.
If you're exporting 3D--which we are; one of our views is 3D-- we can choose to export that as solids or as meshes, make any changes on units if necessary, and finally on the General tab, we can do some interesting things like export our rooms as a closed polyline. So I'm going to just make those two simple changes. I'm going to export the rooms as a polyline, and I'm going to export my 3D as solids. I'm going to click OK, and then I'll click Next. And I'll get a name here, Export to AutoCAD, put it on my desktop. And then one last little setting here that's on by default that you want to probably leave on is this Export views on sheets as links and xrefs.
What this means is AutoCAD has a feature called xrefs, or external references, which is almost exactly like the Links feature that we've discussed here in Revit. If I choose that checkbox, then any file that I have that has a link in it, like a sheet with a viewport, it will actually export two DWG files: one for the sheet and another one for the nested AutoCAD file that's inside the viewport, and it will set that up as an xref. So it's a really handy feature. So let's go ahead and click OK and it will do the exporting.
Okay, so that completes the export and now all that remains is for you to zip up the DWG files that were created and send them off to your AutoCAD recipient for them to review.
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