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In Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training, author Paul F. Aubin shows how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Revit. This course covers the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from design concept to publishing. It 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 adding 3D geometry. Exercise files are included with the course.
While linking CAD data is a powerful way to incorporate outside files into your project, linking isn't always the best option. For example, sometimes you might just have a legacy detail from a standard office library, or you might have a file that you have no intention of updating throughout the course of the project. So you might choose to just embed that file directly into your Revit project. So let's go ahead and look at the process for that. In this case, I am going to do it in the context of a standard CAD detail. So the assumption is we have a library of CAD details from legacy files, and we are going to bring some of those details over because we want to use them in a Revit Project.
So I am looking at a project here called Office Building in the Exercise Files for Chapter05. And I want to add this AutoCAD Detail, but I don't really have an appropriate view in my Project browser to add it to at the moment. I have my Schedules and my Floor Plans and my Elevations, but I don't have a detail view. So what we can do is actually go to the View tab. And there is a special kind of view for this purpose called the Drafting View. And you use a Drafting View for creating any kind of a disconnected detail view that goes along with your project.
This is an unlinked view. It's like a blank sheet of paper. So I am going to call this AutoCAD Details. And I am going to leave the Scale at 1 1/2" = 1'. You can change that anytime. And what this will do is just give me a blank sheet of paper. Now where else you'll see this is if I scroll down on the Project browser, we now have a Drafting Views category. And if I expand that, beneath that we have our AutoCAD Details view name, and it is in bold because I have that current. So the next step is for me to go to Insert.
And we used LinkCAD in a few of the previous movies. This time, we are going to use the Import CAD button. And the difference is that when we do link it actually maintains a link to the file. If the file changes, we can update it. Import will not maintain the link. So if we need it to update the file, we would have to delete the one we have and re-import it in. So I am going to select AutoCAD Detail, when the dialog comes up. If you have access to the Exercise Files, it's in the Chapter05 folder. And last time we brought in files, when we were linking them, we inverted the colors because we wanted to trace over them and use that CAD data.
This time I'm actually going to print the CAD data along with my Revit project, so I am going to force all the colors to black and white. I am going to bring in all layers and let it autodetect the units. I don't really want to use Auto Positioning for this, because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for detail. I want to just place it myself on the sheet of paper that I have here onscreen. So the best way to do that is for me to place it manually and to put my cursor at the center of the detail. So I am going to choose Manual Center. And when I click Open, you'll see the detail is now attached to my cursor, and I can put it anywhere I want onscreen.
And I'm going to zoom in a little bit on it. And what I want you to see is it's pretty lifeless. There's not a whole lot of oomph to it. It's kind of flat. And this is because of the different way that AutoCAD and Revit treats line weights. In AutoCAD it's pretty common for folks to use the color system to determine what line weight is what. And in Revit, it's done in a different way. We actually have a line weight property that we use. Now AutoCAD actually has a line weight property as well; it's just that it's more common to see the colors used.
So what I'm going to do is bring the same detail in again, but before I do, I am going to change a few settings and show you the difference of how you can actually import it and map the AutoCAD line weight colors over to Revit line weights. So to do that, here on the Import panel, there is a small little icon right here. And if you remember back in User Interface movies, we talked about Dialogue Launchers. That's the technical name for this little icon. This is a Dialogue Launcher. So when I click it, it will launch a dialog. And this dialog is called the Import Line Weights dialogue.
And what it will do is it has this big long list of the 255 colors that AutoCAD uses. And you could manually go through here, if you were familiar with the colors in the AutoCAD file, and simply type in. If your knew color eight was supposed to be a pen weight 3, you could type in pen weight 3. Now that's a pretty long and tedious process, so what we are going to do instead is I've prepared a file that we can load in. Now if you have an office standard setup here, what I recommend you do first is click Save As and give that a name, like backup or something.
And then that way you can restore your original settings when we're done, but for now, I am going to click Load. In the Chapter05 folder, I've provided this file called Detail line weights. Now these are just text files. You could literally open them in Windows Notepad and type them there. So there is nothing fancy about this file. I am going to go ahead and open it up, and you'll see something happened over here. And if I kind of scroll down, I believe color 31 is a little different. So yeah, there we go. Color 31 is a pen weight 3 and then down toward the bottom here there is a pen weight 6 right there. So you can see it definitely made some changes.
So when I click OK - and let me point out one more thing here. Down at the bottom it says, Note: these values only apply to layers that are set by default. So if your AutoCAD file actually uses line weights, then Revit completely ignores this dialog. So this dialog only applies to those legacy files that don't use the line weight feature, that use colors instead, and then it will look at these colors; otherwise, it just uses the line weight that's assigned in AutoCAD. I think that's pretty logical, right? Why would it bother to look at the colors if there was already line weights there for it to choose from? I don't need to change any of the settings here.
I'll just it Open it up again, place it over here, and if I zoom in, you can see that it definitely looks different this time. We have a bold edge around the outline. The flashing is a little bit more bold, as is this head frame of the doors. So quite a few things look a little different, and has a little bit more of a punch to it. So I can just simply select the old version and delete it, and then I am good to go. Let me just do some housekeeping here. If you want to clean up and kind of get back to the default, you can click the Dialog Launcher again, Load, and load this file that I've provided called Reset.
That will set everything back to the default values of one, just in case you want to have everything back the way it was. So this detail is now available for us to use. We could print it, put it with our set, and it would just be part of our Revit project.
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