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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.
When working with CAD files, either Inserts or at Links, there's a couple of key things you want to keep in mind. I have a file called Import Tips onscreen here. And it has a Drafting View, visible onscreen, called AutoCAD Details, and a single AutoCAD Detail file, which came originally from an AutoCAD file imported in. This is not a link. This is actually an AutoCAD insert. Now when I select this AutoCAD insert, it highlights as you would expect. And we have a few tools over here on the context Ribbon that I want to point out to you.
The first is Query, which we've looked at in a previous movie, but this is a tool where you can reach into the CAD file and select individual parts of it, and that will indicate for you what layer that particular item was on. So in this case you could see that that's A-Deti-Bold. You can actually use these buttons over here to either delete the layer or hide the layer. So if I choose Hide, that layer gets hidden in this view. Now to get the layer back, you would go to the View tab. So you would go to Visibility/Graphics dialog, click the Import Categories tab, And you will see each of the CAD files that you have imported or linked into your project listed here, with each of its layers listed beneath it.
So I can see that A-Deti-Bold has been unchecked, and I can simply check it, click OK, and that will restore that part of the file. If I want to permanently delete a layer - so not turn if off, not hide it - I can actually use the Delete layers button, if I want to permanently delete a layer. And I could select the same layer and click OK. And the difference here is that layer is now deleted permanently from the file. So even if I went to Visibility/ Graphics, Import Categories you would now see that A-Deti-Bold is no longer on the list.
It cannot be restored. So make sure, before you delete a layer, that that's in fact what you want to do. I am going to go ahead and undo that. Now sometimes it might be tempting when you select the file you see this button right here called Explode. And if you read the explanation of that, it tells you it disassembles this import into its constituent pieces. That might be tempting to do, particularly if you want to just make a quick, little modification and move something around. Let me go ahead and choose Explode here, and show you what would happen. You can see that these are now individual lines.
These are individual pieces of text. And you know, again, it might be tempting because I could say, oh, well, now I can click in here, and I can edit that text, or I can select this line and do something to it. In general we really discourage CAD files from being exploded. It's not considered best practice. What this tends to do it is balloon the size of your Revit project quite substantially. It may not be so bad with one small detail like this, but if this practice is used quite a bit, it can actually prove to be quite a detriment to the overall performance of your Revit file. Furthermore, what you're going to end up with is a bunch of extra symbols and styles and other things that get created from the CAD file that you may or may not want in your file.
For example, if I select this line and I open up the list, all of my previous AutoCAD layers have now been turned into Line Styles in my Revit file. Now that may seem logical, but that also might be distracting to folks doing other work in Revit. Furthermore, if I click the Manage tab and I go take a look at the Materials dialog, you are going to find some things that suddenly start appearing in your file that you may not expect at all, like these Render Materials down here. Now these are not really useful materials. They simply took all of your CAD layers and looked at the color of those layers and created a Render Material for each of those colors.
So again, not a very useful thing that it did there, so what I generally like to refer to that as is when you Explode a detail, it basically pollutes your Revit file with all sorts of extra stuff that you really don't want to have there. It is possible to delete and purge those things out, but it's much better practice to just not have them there in the first place. So if you're tempted to explode an AutoCAD file in a Revit project, my recommendation would be: bring it into a temporary Revit project first, explode it there and then copy and paste only over the geometry that you actually need, rather than exploding it in your main project.
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