Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Import tips


From:

Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

with Paul F. Aubin

Video: Import tips

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.
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  1. 1m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      55s
  2. 14m 43s
    1. Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
      3m 0s
    2. Working in one model with many views
      4m 48s
    3. Understanding Revit element hierarchy
      6m 55s
  3. 54m 44s
    1. Understanding the different versions of Revit
      1m 19s
    2. Exploring the Recent Files window and the application menu
      5m 20s
    3. Using the ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
      7m 12s
    4. Understanding context ribbons
      4m 43s
    5. Using the Properties palette
      8m 31s
    6. Using the Project Browser
      5m 34s
    7. Navigating views: Zooming, panning, and rotating
      5m 57s
    8. The basics of selecting and modifying
      9m 49s
    9. Accessing Revit options
      6m 19s
  4. 47m 6s
    1. Creating a new project from a template
      7m 42s
    2. Accessing a multi-user project with worksharing
      4m 16s
    3. Configuring project settings
      6m 33s
    4. Adding levels
      7m 40s
    5. Adding grids
      6m 23s
    6. Refining a layout with temporary dimensions
      6m 58s
    7. Adding columns
      7m 34s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Adding walls
      8m 48s
    2. Using snaps
      6m 24s
    3. Exploring wall properties and types
      7m 37s
    4. Locating walls
      7m 27s
    5. Using the modify tools
      9m 32s
    6. Adding doors and windows
      7m 39s
    7. Using constraints
      8m 27s
    8. Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
      8m 39s
    9. Using Autodesk Seek
      4m 19s
    10. Using wall joins
      3m 0s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Linking AutoCAD DWG files
      10m 59s
    2. Creating topography from a DWG link
      7m 43s
    3. Understanding CAD inserts
      7m 56s
    4. Import tips
      6m 49s
    5. Creating a group
      7m 10s
    6. Mirroring groups to create a layout
      5m 3s
    7. Creating Revit links
      5m 16s
    8. Rotating and aligning a Revit link
      7m 6s
    9. Establishing shared coordinates
      6m 5s
    10. Managing links
      6m 0s
    11. Understanding file formats
      59s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Working with floors
      8m 57s
    2. Working with footprint roofs
      6m 22s
    3. Working with extrusion roofs
      4m 59s
    4. Attaching walls to roofs
      3m 17s
    5. Using the shape editing tools to create a flat roof
      6m 33s
    6. Working with slope arrows
      6m 0s
    7. Adding openings
      8m 33s
    8. Working with stairs
      8m 4s
    9. Adding railings to stairs
      3m 40s
    10. Working with ceilings
      9m 36s
    11. Adding extensions to railings
      7m 20s
  8. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a custom basic wall type
      10m 18s
    2. Understanding stacked walls
      8m 12s
    3. Adding curtain walls
      8m 17s
    4. Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
      10m 59s
    5. Creating wall sweeps and reveals
      6m 26s
    6. Exploring model lines
      4m 22s
  9. 47m 40s
    1. Using object styles
      4m 19s
    2. Working with visibility and graphic overrides
      7m 3s
    3. Using view templates
      6m 13s
    4. Hiding and isolating objects in a model
      6m 37s
    5. Understanding view range
      7m 7s
    6. Displaying objects above and below in plan views
      6m 35s
    7. Using the Linework tool
      5m 21s
    8. Using cutaway views
      4m 25s
  10. 21m 28s
    1. Adding rooms
      8m 15s
    2. Controlling room numbering
      6m 13s
    3. Understanding room bounding elements
      7m 0s
  11. 33m 13s
    1. Understanding tags
      9m 58s
    2. Adding schedule views
      7m 55s
    3. Modifying schedule views
      7m 12s
    4. Creating a key schedule
      8m 8s
  12. 58m 40s
    1. Adding text
      7m 29s
    2. Adding dimensions
      9m 6s
    3. Adding symbols
      4m 42s
    4. Adding legend views
      4m 51s
    5. Creating a detail callout
      8m 31s
    6. Adding detail components
      8m 52s
    7. Using arrays to duplicate objects parametrically
      7m 43s
    8. Adding filled and masking regions
      7m 26s
  13. 41m 29s
    1. Understanding families
      2m 37s
    2. Creating a new family from a template
      6m 29s
    3. Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
      7m 52s
    4. Adding solid geometry
      8m 40s
    5. Cutting holes using void geometry
      5m 9s
    6. Adding blends
      6m 2s
    7. Completing the family
      4m 40s
  14. 38m 48s
    1. Adding sheets
      7m 44s
    2. Working with placeholder sheets
      5m 24s
    3. Aligning views with a guide grid
      5m 57s
    4. Outputting sheets to a DWF file
      6m 39s
    5. Exporting to AutoCAD
      5m 42s
    6. Plotting and creating a PDF
      7m 22s
  15. 2m 38s
    1. Next steps
      2m 38s

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Watch the Online Video Course Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
10h 27m Beginner Aug 02, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
  • Adding levels, grids, and columns to set up a project
  • Creating building layouts with walls, doors, and windows
  • Modifying wall types and properties
  • Working with DWG files and CAD inserts
  • Adding rooms
  • Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
  • Using cutaway views
  • Generating schedules and tags
  • Adding callouts such as text and symbols
  • Understanding families
  • Outputting files, including DWF and PDF files
Subject:
CAD
Software:
Revit Architecture
Author:
Paul F. Aubin

Import tips

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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