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There are lots of ways to use CAD data in your Revit projects. Sometimes you don't need to maintain a link back to the original CAD file. In such cases, you can simply import the CAD file and embed it directly in your Revit project. The most common scenario where this might occur is bringing in detail drawings. Most firms have large libraries of standard details that they've accumulated over the years. It's pretty common that a lot of those standard details would have been generated in a program such as AutoCAD. So as you make the move to Revit, rather than redraw all of those details, you might want to reuse and leverage some of that existing data and just simply import them into your projects.
So in this movie, we are going to simply look at the process we could follow to import a legacy CAD detail and use it in our Revit project. So I am in a file called Import Detail, and I want to bring in a CAD file in here. Now at the moment, I don't really have a good view anywhere in the project browser in order to do this import. So I am actually going to create a new view to receive this detail. Revit gives us a view type specifically for this purpose. So if I go to the View tab, we can create a drafting view.
So it looks like this little T-square icon right over here, and I am going to click on that. And what it will ask me is what name I want to call this? So I am going to call this AutoCAD Details, and what scale I want that drawing to be. So I am going to stick with the default one-and- a-half inch equals a foot, and I'll click OK. What I get is a blank sheet of paper. Now I could do anything that I want on this blank view. I could start drawing, I can import stuff, it's really up to me. Unlike the other views in a Revit project, a Drafting View is not actually linked to anything.
So that's why we are not actually seeing any of our project data in this view. So it's a completely disconnected view for this purpose. I am going to go to the Insert tab, and this time I'm going to choose Import CAD. Now if you watch the last few movies, we did Link CAD. Now I should note that a lot of CAD and BIM managers actually prefer to use Link CAD exclusively. So I'm going to talk about some of the reasons why both in this and the next movie. But for now, I want to show you the process of Import CAD.
The major difference between Import and Link CAD is that when we import, there is no link back to the original file. So if the original file changes, you would have to delete the import and re-import it in order to get the latest change. That's the major difference. Here is a file called AutoCAD Detail, and down here at the bottom, I am going to change a couple of the settings. Now first of all, the Current view only setting is now grayed out. So when you import, that's not even an option. So we can ignore that. Down here under Colors, I'm going to assume that when I bring this detail in, I'm going to want to print the detail along with my Revit project.
So rather than bringing in a color this time, I'm actually going to force it all to Black and White. I am going to bring in all the layers and let it Auto-Detect the units, but as far as Positioning goes, this time I'm going to do it manually, and I am going to set my cursor at the center point of the detail. Now the reason I'm choosing the center point is I don't really know where the origin of the detail is. So I could choose the origin and it might be way off screen. So using the center point guarantees that the image will be on my cursor when I start to place it in, and you'll see what I mean when I click Open here.
And there it is right there. So you notice how the cursor is right at the sort of geometric center of the detail? And what this allows me to do is just place it wherever I'd like it to go. Now I'm going to zoom in using Zoom in Region, Z R if you want to type it on the detail, and you can see that it's come in and it's just a pretty typical head detail, but if I start to zoom in a little closer, you can see it's a little bit lifeless. Notice that all the line work is the same thickness.
It doesn't really have any kind of punch to it. Let me zoom back out, I'm just using my wheel here and give myself some room. I am going to bring that same detail in again right next to the original, and show you that we actually do have control over how it comes in. The way that line weight is handled in Revit and AutoCAD is quite different. In AutoCAD, files are organized into layers. Those layers typically have colors and it's usually those colors that control the line weights. Now it doesn't have to always be that way, but that's probably the most popular way to do it in AutoCAD.
When we bring it in to a Revit project, we have to let Revit know that that's what's happening and tell it to key into that. Over here on the Import panel, there is a tiny little icon right here. Now you remember, these things were called Dialog Launchers. We talked about that in one of our earlier movies. So when I click it, it launches a dialog. And in this case, it's the Import Line Weights dialog. Now what I have here is a long list of numbers, 255 to be exact, and those numbers represent the color numbers in the AutoCAD file.
Now what you see here is that every single one of them is set to a Pen Weight 1 at the moment, and this is why my detail back here in the background is so lifeless because every single color was interpreted the same way. Well, what I can do is either come in here and click in a field and start changing the numbers or to save a little time here, I've actually created a Line Weight file, and saved it out to the hard-drive and we can load that in. Now because I just typed over one of the values, it's warning me that I'm going to be overwriting that and I'm going the say, no, I don't need to save that change.
Now I am going to change this to my Desktop and go to my exercise files and here in the Chapter05 folder, I have this file here called Detail Line Weights. Now this is just a simple text document. All these files are just TXT files, but when I open it up, what you'll see is if you scroll through this list here, some of the line weights have changed, like this color number 31 for example is now a Pen Weight 3 and a little bit further down, we might find some others like this 131 here or even further down here is a Pen Weight 6.
So the file contained a bunch of settings that told Revit what pen weights it should use for each of these color settings. Now before we click OK here and dismiss the dialog, I should note this note down here at the bottom of the screen. These values only apply to lines and layers set to the default line weight in the source file. If AutoCAD uses the Line Weight property, then these settings are ignored. And if you think about it, that's perfectly logical. Why would I want to use the colors to generate line weights if there's already a Line Weight assigned? So where this comes into play is if the AutoCAD user didn't use the Line Weight feature and instead is using the color feature to control line weights.
So I am going to click OK and then I am going to choose Import CAD a second time, select my detail, leave all the settings the same, place it over here, zoom in, and you can see that the Line Weights are now a lot more potent. We have a lot more punch, we have a nice outline around the edge. This is a very bold line here. The entire drawing reads a lot more graphically. So that means I can simply select this one and I can delete it and that's my completed detail file.
At this stage, that detail is ready to go. I can place it on a sheet, and I can print it right along with my Revit project. If you want to reset your line weights back to the way they were by default, you can go back to the Dialog Launcher, click Load again, and I've provided a Reset file which just resets everything back to 1.
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