New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Up and Running with Revit
Illustration by Richard Downs

Importing a CAD file


From:

Up and Running with Revit

with Paul F. Aubin

Video: Importing a CAD file

While you may have chosen to do all of your work in Revit, some of the colleagues and coworkers that you have working in other firms, or even in your own firm, may have chosen to work in other programs such as AutoCAD or MicroStation. Well, Revit understands the file formats used by these other programs. It can import and export to DWG and DGN. And so in this movie, I'd like to show you the process of importing data that was created in AutoCAD to use here in your Revit project. So let's say that the site plan for our restaurant building here was created in AutoCAD, that our civil engineer is working in AutoCAD. They've sent us a DWG file and we want to be able to bring that DWG file in and use it here in our project.

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Up and Running with Revit
3h 58m Beginner Jun 20, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Autodesk Revit is one of the most popular building information modeling (BIM), solutions today. This course covers the differences between the various editions of Revit and shows architects and engineers who are new to the software how to use them. Learn how to choose a template; set up the basic levels, grids, and dimensions; and start adding walls, doors, and windows to your model. Author Paul F. Aubin also shows how to create views and documentation that clearly communicate your plans, import files from other CAD programs, and produce construction documents.

Note: The techniques shown in this course will work with any version of Revit, but due to backwards compatibility issues, the exercise files for this course will only work with Revit 2014. Unfortunately, we cannot downsave the files. Please see a Revit 2013 course for usable files.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the different editions of Revit
  • Setting up levels and grids
  • Adding doors and windows
  • Loading families
  • Working with 3D views
  • Dimensioning a plan
  • Adding a schedule view
  • Importing CAD files
  • Linking to another Revit file
  • Creating sheets
  • Plotting a set of documents
  • Generating a cloud rendering
Subjects:
Architecture BIM CAD
Software:
Revit Architecture Revit Structure Revit LT Revit MEP
Author:
Paul F. Aubin

Importing a CAD file

While you may have chosen to do all of your work in Revit, some of the colleagues and coworkers that you have working in other firms, or even in your own firm, may have chosen to work in other programs such as AutoCAD or MicroStation. Well, Revit understands the file formats used by these other programs. It can import and export to DWG and DGN. And so in this movie, I'd like to show you the process of importing data that was created in AutoCAD to use here in your Revit project. So let's say that the site plan for our restaurant building here was created in AutoCAD, that our civil engineer is working in AutoCAD. They've sent us a DWG file and we want to be able to bring that DWG file in and use it here in our project.

So, I'm in a file called Link CAD, and I'm looking at the level 1 floor plan, and I think it would make a little more sense to work in the site plan for this process. So, I'm going to double-click Site Plan, and you can see that I get a simplified view of the building. We're looking down on the building, now, so you're just seeing the roof. And let me go ahead and zoom out a little bit to give myself some room to work. Now, on the insert tab, I'm going to choose the Link CAD button. Now, it's possible to actually link a CAD file or import a CAD file, but, generally speaking Link CAD is the preferred method.

And one of the main advantages of Link CAD is, that later if my civil engineer sends me an updated version of the CAD file, I'll simply be able to refresh and get those changes. I won't have to repeat the whole process all over again, so that's one of the Key advantages of using link cad. Here's a file, site plan. I'm going to select it. Notice down here under files of type that you can do dwg or dxf or dgn. So, there's several, several different formats that you can choose from, so just make sure you choose the appropriate files of type before you start but, we've got a dwg here. I'm going to accept most of the default options but, let me just talk through a few of them.

You can change the colors all to black and white if you want to. I'm going to preserve them in this case. You can bring in just some of the layers in the file. I'm going to bring in all of the layers. Layers are the way that cad files are organized, so it might have a few layers, it might have dozens or hundreds of layers, so sometimes it's nicer to specify if you don't want to get all of them. In this case, I only have a few, so I'm going to bring them all in. Import units, usually Revit will do a good job. It will interpret the file correctly. If for some reason it doesn't, just undo, go back out, and choose either feet or millimeters or whatever the unit might be, but in this case, I'm going to leave it auto-detect. I'm going to leave this correct lines feature. That's a nice feature that corrects some things that are slightly inaccurate in the file and prevents an error message from occurring, so that's usually a pretty good idea.

For positioning, if you know for sure that the owner of this file worked with the same origin as you, you can choose origin origin. In this case I'm not certain that's the case, so I'm just going to bring it center to center and then move it after it comes in. So usually it's a pretty safe bet to do that, but you can try origin origin, see what you get. I'm going to orient it to view at level one, and then finally, over here, you can tell it to be current view only, which means that the file will come in and display only in the view that you're in. So if I bring it in the site plan, that's the only view it would show in.

If you leave that unchecked, then it's going to show in all views. Regardless of the kind of data it is, it'll treat it like it's part of the models. So that's what I'm going to do in this case. I'm going to leave that unchecked. So I'm going to go ahead and click open. And you're going to see that site plan data come in. And of course, it's in the wrong spot. You can see it here. It's right on top of my building. When you move your mouse next to it, you see it highlights with this big rectangle around it. That's the CAD file. So when you click it, you're going to select the whole thing. This blue dash line represents my property line. So what I want to do is move that into position relative to my building.

So I'm going to move it roughly first and then I'll fine tune that position. So I'm going to go to my move command right here. And notice that I can snap to point in the CAD file, so that's a really powerful feature of this technique is that even though it's data created outside of revit, revit still can snap to the points in there very accurately. So let's click that end point and I'm going to snap that exactly to column line 'A' one. Now, that's just a rough starting point you could see that it gives me lots of room on the right side of the building and no room on the left. So I'm going to go to move again and pick any old point and I'm going to move it over to the left ten feet.

So I'll just type in 10 and now I'm a little bit better centered. Now, I'm going to zoom in so we can get a better look, and again, I'm, building is a little bit off here, and I've got some room in the back. So let's try moving it down. So I'm going to pick any old point, move is straight down. And I'm going to move it down about six feet. And now you can see that, that gives me a little bit of room right here to the set back line, a little bit of room in the back. So, I'm fitting on my property line correctly now. We'll zoom out.

I've got the neighboring street. I've got the parking lot. If I come up here and I click the default 3D view, the birdhouse icon, you can see that this site plan is going to show in any view I look in. So here it is in 3D. It's flat. It's a flat 2D drawing, but it still displays here in 3D. That's because we did not check that current view only. Had we checked the current view only checkbox, it wouldl not show here. It really depends on how you're intending to use the CAD file, whether or not you want to check that box. Again, like I said, a really important benefit to this process is, if I come over here to the Insert tab, I have this Manage Links button. I can click that.

And under CAD formats, there's my site plan. So if my civil engineer calls me and says, I've sent you a new copy of the site plan, you want to reload it. All I have to do is click it here and choose the reload button right there and it will bring in the latest data. So that's a really useful technique to employ to make sure you've always go the latest copy. So if you're getting CAD files from outside sources that weren't created in Revit It's real easy to bring them in. Link CAD is really the way to go, because then, if necessary, you can update and get the latest version anytime you're sent a new copy of the file.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with Revit.


Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: Will Revit 2014 files work in a previous version of Revit? Will the exercise files for this course work in Revit 2013?
A: Revit file formats are not backwards compatible. A new file format is introduced with each new release. Newer versions of Revit can open older version files without issue. However, files will be upgraded to the latest file format during the initial open. Once saved in the current version, there is no way to save them back to a previous version. Therefore, it is important to consider this issue carefully and discuss it with all project team members before beginning a project. For example, it is not possible for the architect to use a newer version of the software than the consulting engineers and vice-versa. All members of the team must collaborate using the same version/file format. This course was authored using Revit 2014. Therefore, its exercise files can be used with any flavor of Revit (Architecture, MEP, Structure, or LT) 2014 and later. Files cannot be opened with versions 2013 and prior.
 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Up and Running with Revit.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.