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Thread: CAD link vs CAD import - file performance and benefits

  1. #1
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    CAD link vs CAD import - file performance and benefits

    I was always told - even by an autodesk AE from that linking CAD files should be kept to a min. since it would tend to slow down project performance in the same way that groups apparently do, and that it was always best to insert CAD files as long no one explodes them. From what I know both processes are the same with one naturally having the ability to reload information.

    In the past I have only imported CAD files as a result of what I was told and thought.
    Now that I think about it with more calm and experience linking may have some benefit such as "easy removal" of all CAD from a project I wanted to. I am aware that there is not way to find imported cad files in a project easily with out the help of add-in or dynamo.

    This is sort of a debatable topic. Any thoughts on this matter guys?

    Thank you

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    What you were told is 100% wrong.

    Linking is world's better than importing. Importing is terrible. Importing and exploding is the worst. Linking is still lousy, performance wise. But no worse than importing. Importing does other lousy things to the file Linking doesn't do.

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    Of course it is ! (hot topic) so give us some reasons, elaborate.
    no-one is exploding - they all know better.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Elaborate on what?

    Even if ability to reload was the only benefit, that would still be enough, because the supposed benefits someone told you about (related to performance) simply aren't true. It's just completely 100% incorrect. No opinion matter about it.

    So there are ZERO reasons to import at all.

    But, importing DOES load junk in to the Revit file that linking doesn't.

    Either ONE of those reasons should be enough for any person that isn't trying to rationalize something they already decided they wanted to do in the first place.

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    "importing DOES load junk in to the Revit file that linking doesn't."
    I have not been able to confirm this - yet someone people who have made up their minds about linking keep saying. So I am wondering if someone would be willing to provide an example I can recreate. But it all just sounds like a preference.


    Again from what I have seen the only time you load junk in to the model from the cad file is you are stupid enough to explode it. Yes some people are, I get it.

    "
    Either ONE of those reasons should be enough for any person that isn't trying to rationalize something they already decided they wanted to do in the first place."

    Here is an example, there is no reason to be linking a survey, or a standard detail that isn't going to change dynamically. But wasn't the question.

    I am not trying to rationalize or overthink ****. I am asking straight out WTH is the deal with wanting to link over importing because other than functional I don't see it and I can't get ONE single hard fact - even you reply is unsupported subjective bullshit. Sound to me like you have already made up your mind about a bunch of things and you seem to think you have all the answers and everyone else is wrong, good for you my friend !

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Profoxcg View Post
    Again from what I have seen the only time you load junk in to the model from the cad file is you are stupid enough to explode it. Yes some people are, I get it.



    Here is an example, there is no reason to be linking a survey, or a standard detail that isn't going to change dynamically. But wasn't the question.

    I am not trying to rationalize or overthink ****. I am asking straight out WTH is the deal with wanting to link over importing because other than functional I don't see it and I can't get ONE single hard fact - even you reply is unsupported subjective bullshit. Sound to me like you have already made up your mind about a bunch of things and you seem to think you have all the answers and everyone else is wrong, good for you my friend !
    LOL. I don't think everyone else is wrong. I think people who tell others Importing performs better than Linking are 100% wrong, yes.

    But as I mentioned above, EVEN If JUST being able to reload was the only reason, that would still easily be good enough for me. Because on e you Import, if you are wrong and have to update it later, you lose all overrides, layer hides, dimensions, etc.

    And likewise, you haven't provided a single factual reason to Import over Link, other than "someone told me it's better."

    But hey... Just trying to help. Sorry you didnt like what I had to say. No worries on my end. Since you think I'm such a lousy opinionated person who doesn't know what I'm doing, I'm going to assume the PM's and emails asking for help are going to stop now, and ill make sure to skip your threads with my "opinions" as you don't like them. Certainly not intending to aggravate people.

    Just try to teach people things when it can help them. Friends don't let friends import CAD. I haven't actually heard anyone defend importing CAD in years... Thought it was pretty well understood it's a subpar workflow. Then again... We have flat earthers now, too.

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    But hey... Just trying to help. Sorry you didnt like what I had to say. No worries on my end. Since you think I'm such a lousy opinionated person who doesn't know what I'm doing, I'm going to assume the PM's and emails asking for help are going to stop now, and ill make sure to skip your threads with my "opinions" as you don't like them. Certainly not intending to aggravate people.
    I never said you dont know what you talking about.. NEVER that would disrespectful and I have not reason to do that. If you want to skip them I can't stop you. But I will say that you have to realize that you are not going to be right all the time - period.

    Import, if you are wrong and have to update it later, you lose all overrides, layer hides, dimensions, etc.
    Try it, you don't loose any of that - that is my point.

    And likewise, you haven't provided a single factual reason to Import over Link, other than "someone told me it's better."
    I think there is a place an application for both. I am just trying to get factual information as to why the dislike to importing.

    Just try to teach people things when it can help them. Friends don't let friends import CAD. I haven't actually heard anyone defend importing CAD in years... Thought it was pretty well understood it's a subpar workflow. Then again... We have flat earthers now, too.
    Do you think the earth if flat ? - that is all you.

    Importing CAD is not subpar, if used where it fits and understood correctly. They way I see it, it is less file management at times - when that level of reloading and updating is not needed. The next thing I wouldn't be surprise to hear from you would be that shared coordinates are garbage and we should be linking files by origin. That would be some hardcore revit newb thinking.


    let's delete this tread or close this tread.

  8. #8
    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Profoxcg View Post
    I never said you dont know what you talking about.. NEVER that would disrespectful and I have not reason to do that. If you want to skip them I can't stop you. But I will say that you have to realize that you are not going to be right all the time - period.
    Im not sure why you are going back to this point... Its almost as if you didnt read my last response: I dont come anywhere NEAR claiming im right all the time. Thats just a weird thing to claim. Maybe because you dont know me at all, you feel justified in that... But (frankly) thats your problem, not mine. Im wrong all the time. Just so happens, this isnt one of those times.

    Try it, you don't loose any of that - that is my point.
    So, BECAUSE i am wrong all of the time, i figured i would humor you, and give this a whirl (because hey, maybe something has changed inside Revit).

    NOPE. Still does exactly what i was expecting. Maybe you want to chime in on how you are RELOADING a newer version of a CAD file that was IMPORTED, and not losing overrides? Ill go through my process first, in the interests of transparency:

    1. Insert Ribbon > Import CAD
    2. Select CAD File, and Place it.
    3. VG (or VT > VG) > Imports > CAD FILE (expand) > Layers, uncheck a few.
    4. Now there is an updated CAD file from the author, for some reason.

    You are saying you have a way to replace your IMPORT with the new version, without losing the settings you unchecked in Step 3? Awesome! Id love to see that workflow. As i said, im wrong all the time. So when you are ready to show that workflow, i am all ears (or eyes, i guess).

    I think there is a place an application for both. I am just trying to get factual information as to why the dislike to importing.
    So, again, lets go with the "there is an application for both" train of thought: Whats a good reason to WANT to import, over Link?

    Simply so you dont have to keep track of the CAD File? Because- i get the "there are times for both approaches" argument, in theory. But it also typically means there are differing circumstances, where each has different benefits, that apply to those different circumstances. YOUR OWN logic for importing is "well these files dont EVER need to update, and it means i dont have to keep track of the DWG." (There was a performance argument, but simply put, that one is baloney, so we can leave that one out, unless the person who told you they perform better gave you FACTUAL data saying so (which i would also love to see!)).

    Do you think the earth if flat ? - that is all you.

    Importing CAD is not subpar, if used where it fits and understood correctly.
    So what i am hearing you saying is: I dont understand "where importing fits, and that i dont understand it correctly." Is that about right? AWESOME! Cant wait to hear what it is i am *misunderstanding* about IMPORTING a CAD File, that you can tell me, that suddenly makes it not subpar.

    They way I see it, it is less file management at times - when that level of reloading and updating is not needed.
    Just so we are clear: By File Management, you mean having to keep track of the DWG, correct? Because its not "embedded" in the RVT file?

    If you dont mind my asking: Do you have that much trouble "managing" your consultants files, day to day? Not asking to be snarky, genuinely curious. We get thousands of PDF's, DWG's, RVT's, IFC's, NWC's, NWD's, NWF's, and ZIP's from consultants and clients all week long. The idea of having trouble "managing" a single DWG that is the "Survey" is shocking to me (seriously).

    The next thing I wouldn't be surprise to hear from you would be that shared coordinates are garbage and we should be linking files by origin. That would be some hardcore revit newb thinking.
    If its newb thinking, it doesnt surprise me you would think to bring it up, bucko! Im not interested in trying to validate (to you) that i know how to get work done, in Revit. If you think im a newb... Thats more a reflection on you than it is on me.


    let's delete this tread or close this tread.
    Why? It seems really educational, for me. Especially since im about to learn so much about importing CAD!
    DavidLarson likes this.

  9. #9
    Mr. Revit OpEd
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    AutoCAD metaphor:

    Import = insert block
    Link = external reference

    Two different methods and reasons to use either one. Insert block is a dead single reference to an external source and replacing it or updating it is extra work. External references are intended to be refreshed regularly and are managed intentionally through manage links.

    Hearing an Autodesk AE say that I'd have asked for a clarification. Context is important, for example trying to work out if a network connectivity issue was affecting performance. If so I could see importing over linking if the source file is never going to be accessible while opening the file. We have to wait for a link to be re-read while the host Revit file is opening.

    9.99 times out of 10 I'd link instead of import...for 19 years. There are lots of things that people can do wrong making their DWG files, that impact performance, but linking has never been enough to make me choose import instead.

    Import is a much bigger hassle to deal with while supporting others...
    Last edited by Steve_Stafford; July 15th, 2019 at 05:03 AM.

  10. #10
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    The very light amount of file management needed for linking is a plus for me. It may seem like it adds a bit a of work but I think it will save time when coming back to old projects or updating when standards change.

    Also linking not allow exploding is invaluable. I don't care how much people know not to explode. It will happen. Even if everyone knows not to do something doesn't mean it wont happen. Your not supposed to throw kids in cages but it still happens.
    DaveP likes this.

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