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    How to make a 3D view with CAD backgrounds?

    As an MEP firm, sometimes our clients are using CAD for their architectural backgrounds, but we use revit for MEP. We'll import the CAD into an ARCH revit model, then link the arch model into our MEP model for use as backgrounds.

    Anyway, I'd like to make a 3D view of our MEP (easy enough) but I want to show the CAD backgrounds on the 'floor' if that makes sense. Since there is no actual revit architectural parts to use, my ductwork / pipe is just floating in nothing with no context. That's why I'd like to put the backgrounds on the ground in the 3d view

    #2
    Welcome to the forum clorenz!

    If you link the CAD files directly into your model, rather than a host architectural model, they'll be visible in your model's 3D views - only 2D mind - but that should give you more than nothing.

    BUT

    If you're adverse to linking the CAD files into your model (no reason not to really - you can always put them on a workset dedicated to the task so you can open/close them easily) - and want "more" from these visuals, you could, I guess depending on the complexity of the building, quickly knock up some generic walls, floors and whatnot in your "architectural model" file.

    After that... next time work with an architect who's using Revit - they'll be more than happy to engage with an MEP firm who want to work this way!

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks! The reason they don't it in directly (I think. I'm not part of that decision making process) is to keep our models from slowing down from all the CAD stuff that comes in.

      I agree with working with Revit architects though. Trouble is, with the way our economy is beggars can't really be choosers when it comes to who we'll work with.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by clorenz531 View Post
        Thanks! The reason they don't it in directly (I think. I'm not part of that decision making process) is to keep our models from slowing down from all the CAD stuff that comes in...
        If that's the case, you might consider to do the following for least Revit speed impact:

        Prior to using CAD files
        Clean CAD files
        A) Turn all layers on, thaw and unlock as well
        B) Remove any data not needed, such as items far away from project (check from elevation view in ACAD, as there may be stuff way up high, etc)
        C) Purge
        D) "Overkill"
        E) Purge (yes again) -also might want to bind any xref's
        F) SaveAs into new location...

        Using CAD files
        1) New Family - Generic Model (One for each needed CAD file, named per the CAD file such as:
        Family Name: CAD Plan 01
        Type Name: Level 01

        Family Name: CAD Plan 02
        Type Name: Level 02

        Family Name: CAD Section 01
        Type Name: A301 (Sheet Name from original Arch. set)
        etc...
        2) Import CAD file into those family files (Please please please never "import" cad directly into project!!!)
        3) Load those families into project, place at correct Levels, locations

        This will lessen the impact as much as possible
        -J
        http://about.me/JayZallan
        Tweet, Link or Blog me up!!!

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks JBZ! I just tried that and it works really well

          Comment


            #6
            Good list JBZ. I would add delete all hatches, whiteouts or solid geometry. They have a bad habit of appearing ABOVE modeled stuff in the revit model (Like piping at ceiling level, even though the dwg is at floor level) because they seem to behave like annotation families. Pattern hatches can be exploded into individual lines if you really need them.
            "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." Albert Camus - "The innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may ​do well under the new." Nicolo Machiavelli -"Things that are too complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple." Mikhail Kalashnikov

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by JBZ View Post
              A) Turn all layers on, thaw and unlock as well
              B) Remove any data not needed, such as items far away from project (check from elevation view in ACAD, as there may be stuff way up high, etc)
              C) Purge
              D) "Overkill"
              E) Purge (yes again) -also might want to bind any xref's
              F) SaveAs into new location...
              I have a script to turn on, unlock, unfreeze all layers, pasted below. Copy it to notepad and save as a .SCR file. I went so far as to make a button in CAD so I can do it with a click.

              Code:
              layer
              ;Thaw
              TH
              *
              ;Turn On
              ON
              *
              ;Unlock
              U
              *
              ;Set Current
              set
              0
              
              ;end
              Before you start any of this I would recommend saving the file you are about to modify to your new location so if you screw something up you still have the original file.

              You can also try the FLATTEN command but depending on what's in the drawing it can have unexpected results, hence the save as first mentioned above. Overkill can be funny too but it usually works ok.

              LAYDEL works wonders as well, although if their drafting is like what I see here half the drawing will be on the wrong layer
              Revit for newbies - A starting point for RFO


              chad
              BEER: Better, Efficient, Elegant, Repeatable.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by cellophane View Post
                ...LAYDEL works wonders as well, although if their drafting is like what I see here half the drawing will be on the wrong layer
                Or the entire drawing will be on Layer0 with color overrides.
                Dan

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by JBZ View Post
                  If that's the case, you might consider to do the following for least Revit speed impact:

                  Prior to using CAD files
                  Clean CAD files
                  A) Turn all layers on, thaw and unlock as well
                  B) Remove any data not needed, such as items far away from project (check from elevation view in ACAD, as there may be stuff way up high, etc)
                  C) Purge
                  D) "Overkill"
                  E) Purge (yes again) -also might want to bind any xref's
                  F) SaveAs into new location...

                  Using CAD files
                  1) New Family - Generic Model (One for each needed CAD file, named per the CAD file such as:
                  Family Name: CAD Plan 01
                  Type Name: Level 01

                  Family Name: CAD Plan 02
                  Type Name: Level 02

                  Family Name: CAD Section 01
                  Type Name: A301 (Sheet Name from original Arch. set)
                  etc...
                  2) Import CAD file into those family files (Please please please never "import" cad directly into project!!!)
                  3) Load those families into project, place at correct Levels, locations

                  This will lessen the impact as much as possible
                  By importing, do you mean never link cad files? or

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by nick_h View Post
                    By importing, do you mean never link cad files? or
                    The first rule of (Revit-fight club) is : NEVER import a cad file into a project.
                    The second rule is the same as the first.
                    The third rule goes something along the lines of "Since you can only import a cad file into families, do so, but do it properly*



                    *the "proper" part being the way Jay explained in post #4.

                    Comment

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