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Thread: working between autocad and revit

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    Default working between autocad and revit

    first let me say that i know this is not the ideal way to approach revit....but

    i have a superior that i have to coordinate with who is comfortable working in autocad and is not going to take on a learning curve for revit anytime soon. in fact they haven't even moved to the ribbon in autocad. so i'm exporting from revit and he is exporting from autocad and we are duplicating a ton of work. to make things more complex we are using our custom layer structure so i get complaints when revit exports to the standard layer structure and it's not very user friendly on their end.

    so i'm asking if anyone is in a similar situation and, if so, what worked for you. opinions on how to change the minds of my superiors are welcome but keep in mind i've been trying to accomplish that for a while and my feeling is that is not going to happen anytime soon. i'm more interested in any strategies people have developed for working with the slow to change crowd.

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    Super Moderator david_peterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: working between autocad and revit

    First let me say I feel your pain.
    Anything you export out of Revit is basically junk in Autocad. Block with-in blocks, lines not set to 'by layer"....... lots of issues.
    We've tried to write scripts to convert them, no real luck since you spend 100hrs writing it and you'll get 90% of the stuff correct. So you write another one to fix that and another one... and so on. Then the version changes and you'll have to start all over again.
    If you boss knew how much time you spent changing drawings, I'd bet he'd have some stronger words to say to those unwilling to learn.
    I'd install Revit on their workstation, and show them how to export a drawing. If they want to spend all of their time trying to get a silk purse out of a sow's ear, let em.
    We've gotten many requests form consultants who didn't want to use revit. We post the model to our ftp site. If they want a drawing, they have to download the model and they can export what ever they want. We don't do it anymore.
    Dave Peterson

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    "The more you know, the less you know, because the more you know you don't know". --M. Lin

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    AUGI Addict MikeJarosz's Avatar
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    Default Re: working between autocad and revit

    There is a type of person who stubbornly resists change, especially if it means they are the one that has to change. People who cling desparately to outdated software have been a favorite target of mine, especially when it's Acad. I have never been a fan of Acad, even though I had to master it. I know someone still working only in release 14. Keep in mind that these people are hurting themselves. They probably have had the job they are in for some time and they feel safe. However, if you find yourself back in the job market and all you have on your resume is Acad 2005, that resume goes right into the wastebasket, especially when the previous resume had Revit, Acad 2012, 3D studio, Navisworks, Maya, Rhino, Grasshopper, Microstation, all of MS Office, Buzzsaw, Newforma, and more. And THEY didn't get hired.

    Anyone not learning Revit is in their last job.
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    Default Re: working between autocad and revit

    shenderson, how are you using the Revit model and how is your superior using ACAD? Is s/he using ACAD as a design tool to work things out and you are then modeling everything for actual production? If so, perhaps s/he can draft less and hand it over to sooner as ACAD or even just hand sketches.

    As for layers, you should definitely set up Revit to export to your company standards. That will take you a little while, but will appease your superior to some extent. It won't make 100% organized ACAD drawings as mentioned by David, but even 90% is probably better than what you have now.

    Personally, I'd try to approach this from a different direction: I'd try to get my superior to do less drafting/modeling. You might have more work to do for awhile, but it will probably soon become more efficient.

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    Default Re: working between autocad and revit

    damon -

    that is pretty much how we are using it. we both are designing but he prefers to work things out in autocad. he likes the feedback from the 3D model but doesn't like having to frontload some decisions that he could traditionally put off. personally i like that it shows us where the holes are so we can address them. i also run into issues with them wanting things to look like they do in autocad.

    we get a bit into the model and then i have to export things out to him so he can 'think' in autocad. since i'm the only one in the office who has taken the time to learn revit, the drawings start getting transferred to autocad so other people can work on them. before you know it i'm just updating the model to match the 2D work which is where all the duplication of work comes in.

    to clarify - the 'superior' is also one of the partners. there are 2 - it's a small firm. neither have accepted that to move forward in revit - or autocad for that matter - requires stepping out of the comfort zone from time to time.

    my current tact is just as you suggested - less drafting/modeling for them. it could be that i'm going about this the best way possible giving my circumstances. i was just hoping there might be something i'd not thought of.

    thanks for all the input so far.

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    Default Re: working between autocad and revit

    That sounds very familiar. I'm sorry you're going through that. If you read some of the implementation threads, you'll see that switching to Revit is often painful. Learning to work in Revit making only necessary decisions is hard. There is a tendency to believe you should put in more information earlier. I've found that one can be just as abstract in Revit as Autocad. Generic walls; all fixed windows with no mullions; simple, simple doors; etc. Early in projects, I often do quick sketches with detail lines to test out ideas or let my modeling get messy on purpose. Some people will probably cringe at these statements, but it starts making using Revit feel less rigid and seems to facilitate conceptual/schematic design.

    One thing that may help is if you start to change the settings in Revit to match the graphics your partners are used to from Autocad. The OTB line weights from Revit are often a little thicker than wanted (at least in firms where I've worked). Our schematic work often has poched walls, so I add a solid medium-dark grey coarse fill pattern to all my walls, floors, and roofs. We have modified the furniture families to hide the model in plan and just use symbolic lines. It simplifies the look so it matches our Autocad blocks. We've also edited most of the annotations so that text, bubbles, etc. are smaller and look more refined.

    If you get a better graphic match and fix your export settings, things will move more quickly.

    Good luck!

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    I could stop if I wanted to Revitaoist's Avatar
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    Default Re: working between autocad and revit

    This is something I have had to deal with as well. I have done "hybrid" CD's with both programs by creating "dummy" details and sheets laid out to match the CAD sheet, so the CAD monkeys could do all the details in CAD and I could do the callouts in Revit to match the CAD sheet. A tip along the lines of Damon's post above, invert your background under the options, so the background is black sim to CAD. Use "checkstandards" in ACAD to convert everything to company standard linetypes. Not sure if you've moved to a newer version of CAD, but I use an action macro from the action recorder to do what I call "Megaoverkill", which selects all, explode, select all, overkill, -purge all, check standards. That cleans up the export and converts everything to company standards.
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    Default Re: working between autocad and revit

    Quote Originally Posted by Revitaoist View Post
    This is something I have had to deal with as well. I have done "hybrid" CD's with both programs by creating "dummy" details and sheets laid out to match the CAD sheet, so the CAD monkeys could do all the details in CAD and I could do the callouts in Revit to match the CAD sheet. A tip along the lines of Damon's post above, invert your background under the options, so the background is black sim to CAD. Use "checkstandards" in ACAD to convert everything to company standard linetypes. Not sure if you've moved to a newer version of CAD, but I use an action macro from the action recorder to do what I call "Megaoverkill", which selects all, explode, select all, overkill, -purge all, check standards. That cleans up the export and converts everything to company standards.

    careful, using the term "CAD monkeys"

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    Super Moderator david_peterson's Avatar
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    Default Re: working between autocad and revit

    Quote Originally Posted by martin.c428082 View Post
    careful, using the term "CAD monkeys"
    In today's new world aren't us revit users referred to as BimPanZee's?
    Dave Peterson

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