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Importing an AutoCAD file as reference for drawing walls

From: Revit for Interior Design: Interior Walls

Video: Importing an AutoCAD file as reference for drawing walls

There are a number of options to create walls within Revit architecture. Positioning is different within AutoCAD because it works on And then come down and pick the intersection on the AutoCAD background.

Importing an AutoCAD file as reference for drawing walls

There are a number of options to create walls within Revit architecture. You can use sketch lines. You can draw basically walls anywhere you want and then move them into play. Or you could actually use an autoCAD drawing, if it has existing walls on it, and use that as a background to draw on. Let's take a look at how to do that. I would like you to do is, go to and click on first floor. And we should see the entire layout of the building here, and I want you to go the Insert Tab.

And click on there. There is an import panel of which the first icon is to import an AutoCAD drawing. Go ahead and click on that. You'll see Pick AutoCAD drawing. Make sure that that's selected and then come down to the bottom of the dialog box because there's a number of little things we have to check on. We want to preserve the AutoCAD colors because Revit is in black and white. We want to be able to see the AutoCAD colors so we can draw on top of them. We want to make sure that we bring in all the layers.

Unless AutoCAD has had certain layers turned on and off, which mean inspecting the drawing, we're going to assume that we want to look at all of them. And we can then turn them off within Revit. As far as import units, there is feet and inches within Revit and feet and inches within AutoCAD. And Revit will auto-detect and make sure that both are in sync. Positioning is different within AutoCAD because it works on zero comma zero, where Revit really does not do that. So what will happen is, is that when we bring in this AutoCAD drawing, it's going to be off and then we're going to have to line it up.

Place at. That's the first floor which we're on. So we're going to hit Open and you'll see the import come in. And as I kind of hover over it you're going to notice a blue box. That blue box is called an import symbol. And as a result it is the background that we're going to use. So go ahead and click on it and it should turn blue. And we're going to zoom in to the top corner here where the gridlines don't actually line up. And what we're going to do is take these two and marry them up so they come closer to the Revit ones.

So on the Modify panel, pick Move. And then come down and pick the intersection on the AutoCAD background. And then move it onto the Revit one. And they should both line up. So now we have our AutoCAD walls. Lined up within our Revit building. Now, let's take a look at how this is going to work. Comment about AutoCAD. In most cases when you draw walls in AutoCAD, they're either poly lines or lines. And it's possible that when you use a couple of the Revit tools that they might be off a little bit.

And you'll have to go back and modify. Now there's two methods that we can go ahead and use when putting walls in. We can use the lines method. And we can also use pick lines. We're going to try both and see how they work. So let's come up to Architecture tab. And pick Walls > Architecture. And you notice we have our 4.5 inch partition there. Now, the first one that we're going to do is going to be pick lines.

To work with pick lines, we have to make sure that we set the location line correctly. And in this case, I'm going to pick up Finish Face Exterior. I'm going to pick that. And I'm going to make sure the chain is off, and then I'm going to come over here in pick lines. And I'm going to zoom in, down to the bottom here, and I'm going to kind of look at this wall and click on it and you'll see that it lines itself up pretty well with the existing AutoCAD one, and I'll do the same there.

So, that's how you would use pick lines. There are a couple cautionary things here when you look at this, because each one of these things is considered a segment. And I start ending up getting parts if I use pick lines here, which might not be too good. So, in other cases, you might want to use just lines. When you do that, come down to location line and pick Wall Centerline. And then come down to the intersection here and you notice that there's a little tracking line that show's how to draw on it using the AutoCAD lines, just going to come all the way across.

And click there. And I'll hit Modify. So using those two tools alone, you can go ahead and create your walls right on top of a AutoCAD drawing. Just be sure that when you do that, that you might find that if you use the pick line approach, that using that approach it might be off a little bit on the wall and you'll have to move the wall into place.

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Revit for Interior Design: Interior Walls

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Ed Cotey
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