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Find out how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Autodesk Revit software. In this course, author Paul F. Aubin demonstrates the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from creating the design model to publishing a completed project. The course 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 plotting and exporting your drawings.
In this movie I want to wrap up our discussion of working with CAD files in Revit by just sharing with you a few tips that you want to keep in mind. Now whether we are talking about inserts or links, there are a few basic best practices. So let me start off by talking about this Query tool that we've already looked at in a few other movies. If I select it, and come in here and touch one of the objects in this CAD file. So you could see that that little hollow metal frame there at the top of my door detail is on a layer called A-Detl -Bold and we looked at this in some of the previous movies.
What we haven't looked at yet is that there's actually some buttons down below here. We can actually take that layer that we've just queried and we can hide it in the current view, we can even delete it. So let me start with Hide in the view. So I'll click that, and as you might expect, it does exactly what that name implies. It hides that element. In this case it only hid the one element, because it just turned out that there was only the one element on that layer, but it actually hid the entire layer. So if there were additional elements on that layer they would have been hidden as well.
For example, if I select this text over here, I'm still in the Query command and do a Hide in view, it actually hides all of the text and all of the leader lines, so you can see that it really depends on how the file is structured. Now let me click the Modify tool, cancel out of there, and how would that stuff back? I mean what exactly does Hidden in view mean? Well, if we go to the View tab there's a command over here called Visibility/Graphics and the shortcut for that is VG, which is a pretty common way that people will execute this command.
They'll just simply type VG. Now when I click on there, there are several tabs and we've got an Imported Categories tab over here. And you'll see each CAD file that you have either linked or embedded in your project listed there and beneath each of those files all of the layers that are in that file will also be listed. And in this dialog, we can use the check boxes here to hide layers or show layers, so I can hide them and show them here. And I can also override their line work over here. So this A-Detl-Bold if I thought that it was too bold, I could override the line weight, or if it was too thin or what have you, I can change that setting, I could even change the color or other settings.
Now I'm not going to make any override settings. I am going to turn it back on and then I'm going to click OK, and you will see that that layer reappears. Now let me select it again, go back to Query, select this guy, what does Delete do? Well in this case it literally deletes the layer. So if I go back to VG and go to Imported Categories, you'll see that A-Detl-Bold layer is no longer here. So that's a little bit more permanent and you want to make sure that that's in fact what you want to do. It's usually safer to do Hide in view than it is to do Delete layer.
However, if you're sure you don't need that layer then maybe that'll free up some file size and help get the file down. So you might consider deleting some unnecessary layers. In this case, I'm going to Cancel and I'm going to undo to bring that layer back again. Now that technique the Query technique in both of those two commands we just looked at work regardless of whether this is an insert or link. The next thing I want to talk about is specifically with regard to insert files and that's actually what this is. This is an embedded CAD file that was done with the Import CAD command.
Now there are many CAD and BIM managers that would argue that we should only use Link CAD and we should avoid using Import CAD and there are some very good reasons for doing that. Import CAD tends to bloat the file size, it tends to increase the file size of the Revit project, and therefore decrease performance, that tends to be one thing that it does. Furthermore, if you select an embedded CAD file, there's this Explode button over here which is awfully tempting, and I am going to go ahead and click it in this file, and what you'll see is that actually converts that embedded CAD file into a bunch of stand-alone Revit geometry.
Now this geometry is just lines or text. It's not actually walls or doors. So if I click on this object that's actually still in AutoCAD Detail, but this is just line work. So it's converting it to drafted entities and it seems harmless enough, but the trouble with this is, this really increases the bloat in the file because, for example, if I look at the line styles, I now have a line style that corresponds to every layer that was in that CAD file.
This means that other folks that are in this project and adding line work are now going to have to sort through all of these layers that got added in here, all of these line styles that got added in here. If we look at the Materials in this file and I scroll down here in the list, what you're going to see is, right here, all of these materials that say Render Material and they have these three numbers, those three numbers are color numbers.
They're just RGB values. And what it's done is it's taken every layer in the CAD file and created this sort of dummy render material for those layers. And again maybe not so terrible, but it does increase that bloat in that file size and what really are these render materials doing for me. And those are just a few examples, the same is true with text types and line types and other things. So it's adding a lot of extra baggage to the file that most of the time we probably want to actually purge out and delete out.
So then there's the extra steps in doing that purging and deleting, and overall it's just considered not to be best practice. So you can't actually explode a linked file. So that's one of the reasons that people favor links. Then of course even if you think you don't ever need to update this file, there's always the possibility that you will. If it's a linked file you maintain that possibility, you can always update the link later. If it's an embedded file, you can't. You have to just erase it and redo it. So for those reasons it is generally considered best practice to use the Link feature almost exclusively and avoid the Import feature as much as possible.
If you do find yourself needing to do the import, my recommendation is import it first into a temporary Revit project, do whatever cleanup and exploding you need to do in that temporary project, and then just manually copy and paste out only the geometry that you require in your actual live project. If you do it that way, you are going to save yourself the steps of all the extra bloat that gets created and all the extra purging that might have to go along with that.
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