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Forums >> Revit Building >> Technical Support >> Importing ACAD Drawings - Experiences?

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Thu, Aug 5, 2004 at 4:50:34 PM | Importing ACAD Drawings - Experiences?

#1

mkravit


Joined: Thu, Aug 5, 2004
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Our office has reviewed Revit and has all but made the decision to switch from ADT 2004 to Revit. Our last concern is the dwg file format conversion issue. What has the experience been of users here on this forum? We exchange drawings with our engineering consultants and clients who use ACAD 2000/4/5 on a regular basis. We certainly can not accept problems everytime we need to exchange drawings. Experiences?, suggestions?, comments?

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Michael J. Kravit, AIA President Kravit Architectural Associates, Inc. 902 Clint Moore Road Suite 136 Boca Raton, Florida, USA 33487 561-893-0042

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Thu, Aug 5, 2004 at 7:47:43 PM | RE: Importing ACAD Drawings - Experiences?

#2

Steve_Stafford


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Revit is pretty good at dealing with exporting and importing dwg. It has a few weaknesses when exporting to dwg, which we are optimistic they will improve in the future, they are: (These are more relevant when someone expects to actually alter/edit the file you send as opposed to just referencing as an underlay to do their work) Objects are not assigned a BYLAYER status. Short line segments and in some cases overlapping or redundant lines where a native AutoCAD drafter would use one line. This looks sloppy to an outside person who doesn't realize you didn't "draft" the file they are using, the computer did. Hatch patterns in filled regions and walls for example are placed on the same layer as the object and therefore make it difficult to manipulate just the hatch pattern. If you have an object that will export to one layer but has multiple linetypes associated with it, that objects(s) will end up with a CONTINUOUS linetype only. (this makes sense, sort of because it only has one layer to use...but it could create two layers and assign each to the appropriate one...but it doesn't yet) These can be readily overcome by establishing a list of steps that suit your needs to post process exported files so that they will be ready for a consultant. We do this post export processing in Autocad using our own program that batch fixes each of the deficiencies listed above in for all the files in a folder. Hope this helps you out! Post edited on 2004-08-05 14:52:03 Post edited on 2004-08-05 14:53:23

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Fri, Aug 6, 2004 at 2:19:43 PM | RE: Importing ACAD Drawings - Experiences?

#3

mkravit


Joined: Thu, Aug 5, 2004
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Interesting, What we have found in evaluating the Revit package is a bit discouraging. When importing an AutoCAD drawing sthe issues are not as profound and when importing Architectural Desktop drawings. First, we have been using ADT for quite some time. Our firm has built up a database of almost 50gb of files since 1987. Many of these files are tenant improvement drawings for suites in mid and highrise office buildings. As tenants move in and out we have to update the drawings (architectural, as well as MEP) with renovation changes. These working drawings become living documents that span many years. What I am finding is that when importing ADT drawings Revit imports the drawings fine. When I attempt to explode the drawing, Revit returns a "Can't Explode File" error message and no other explanation. I then exported the ADT drawing as an AutoCad 2004 file. This modifies the 3d ADT objects to simple AutoCAD elements. Now Revit will explode some drawings but not others. I would think that although a different package than AutoCAD, Autodesk would have developed a drawings exchange utility that would allow for a better transfer of drawings, especially for those of us that have huge database archives of large office building type projects. New projects are not an issue, it is the 20 or 30 building we currently have under contract on an ongoing basis. My dealer tells us to keep a copy of ADT to continue working on these projects. Not a viable option as it appears that a two software solution would be cumbersome and a PITA. After reading a comment here on this forum that ADT will be phased out in the near future, I am left with a quandry and a concern. Do we continue using ADT and continue the subscription path, or do we at some point move on to another CAD solution. Obviously, personnel training is an issue with programs like ArchiCAD or Vectorworks. Revit just appears to be intuitive and easy to use. After just 2 days, I was able to create a full set of working drawings. On the edge and feeling a bit uneasy. -Mike

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Michael J. Kravit, AIA President Kravit Architectural Associates, Inc. 902 Clint Moore Road Suite 136 Boca Raton, Florida, USA 33487 561-893-0042

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Fri, Aug 6, 2004 at 2:36:52 PM | RE: Importing ACAD Drawings - Experiences?

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mkravit


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I forgot to also stress that should we commit to Revit and give up ADT, converting 16 years of data to Revit is a long and arduous process since it appears that each ADT drawing has to be converted to ACAD2004 and then imported into Revit before it is exploded. Again, I just can not understand why Autodesk would not develop a drawing conversion utility that is more functional? Mike

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Fri, Aug 6, 2004 at 5:28:56 PM | RE: Importing ACAD Drawings - Experiences?

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hjacobs


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just out of curiosity, what are you hoping to do by exploding the ADT drawing?

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Sat, Aug 7, 2004 at 12:00:18 AM | RE: Importing ACAD Drawings - Experiences?

#6

mkravit


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Quoting hjacobs - 2004-08-06 12:28:56

"just out of curiosity, what are you hoping to do by exploding the ADT drawing?"



We are trying to import an ADT drawing into Revit so that we can utilize our database of drawings in the future. I tried importing an ADT drawing into Revit and it comes in as one big non-editable entity. Revit manual says the ADT drawing must be expoded to become editable.

Problem is, when we try to explode the imported ADT drawings we get an error message that says "Can not explode". No explanation, no suggestions. We then tried exploding in ADT and saving as an ACAD2004 drawing and we even did a dxfout command to save it as a dxf file. Still Revit does not allow us to explode the file so that it is editable.

Another reason is to use Acad drawings provided to us by our national retail clients. These retailers give us their prototype drawings in Acad dwg format. We can not use them if they can not be imported and made editable.

I spoke with the dealer today and he says that his head Revit guru has no help for this issue. It seems to me that in order for Autodesk to attract medium sized and small sized architectural firms (which make up the majority of the industry) they will have to provide a translator that works in both directions.

I am hestitant to proceed with Revit until I know that we can import these ADT files and get them to an editable state. I don't care if their 3d components are imported in 2d, I just need the ability to import a usable file.

I spoke with Revit tech support at AutoDesk. The technician said he was an architect and could not understand why we want to use our old ADT files. I wonder if he ever worked in the real world?

Anyway, any other help would be appreciated, otherwise I think this program will not pass our evaluation process. A shame really as I really like the interface.

Mike

Post edited on 2005-06-13 03:43:13

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Michael J. Kravit, AIA President Kravit Architectural Associates, Inc. 902 Clint Moore Road Suite 136 Boca Raton, Florida, USA 33487 561-893-0042

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Sat, Aug 7, 2004 at 1:54:57 AM | RE: Importing ACAD Drawings - Experiences?

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Steve_Stafford


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My earlier reply was focused on exporting data because your initial commentary and questions seemed to be concerned about that primarily. It now seems your real concern is using legacy data in Revit. From your posts it sounds like you hope to explode imported legacy data and continue to draft in 2D in Revit? What else can you hope to achieve with this exploded data? There is no "Silver Bullet" conversion routine yet to turn ADT intelligent objects into Revit intelligent families. I'm not certain that it will ever be 100% possible, so many variables from one object creator to another. But if one were to exist it would be a great help. As much as I'd like to think you could succeed with Revit, perhaps you will need to remain using ADT for the forseeable future. If you do prefer Revit and are determined to succeed, perhaps you can start slowly by doing new work over the top of legacy data, modeling only the new work, some portions of existing as they touch or relate to the new and otherwise not altering the underlying dwg data, just hiding what you don't want to see because of the alteration that is required. Use time and each project to your advantage and slowly build the overall building in Revit. Get "buyin" from your clients too by "pitching" the data mining possibilities from a well developed bldg model, this is a deep well if only you can get some "mining" equipment to the "site". Linking dwg files for use as an underlay is the primary relationship of dwg to Revit projects. Revit was never intended as a replacement drafting tool for 2D Autocad or to simply continue editing the 2D linework. 2D drawings are meant to be a byproduct of the design process...(all marketing "foo" you've heard before...) Good Luck! Post edited on 2004-08-06 20:58:57

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