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Understanding CAD inserts

From: Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

Video: Understanding CAD inserts

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.

Understanding CAD inserts

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

96 video lessons · 13038 viewers

Paul F. Aubin
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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