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Thread: Managing Autocad Linked Details

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    Question Managing Autocad Linked Details

    I am working on some Revit 2013 projects where all the details are linked into the project as separate .dwg's into their respective drafting views. There are some 20 sheets of details set up in the project in this way. We have good computers and I am not including the hardware in this discussion. I feel this file should perform better, and I have never worked anywhere where we linked Autocad details. I do know that a large civil autocad file can slow down my file, but should I be suspecting this detail set-up as a dog on my file performance?

    Anyone else doing this as a normal workflow?

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict tedg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managing Autocad Linked Details

    I do that all the time and never seem to have an issue.
    Of course I'm talking about 4 detail sheets with about 10 details per sheet, AutoCAD linked details in their respective views.

    So I don't know if your issue is with so many details or maybe you have allot of line work/hatching on your details.

    Not sure if that helped or not..
    Ted
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    AutoCAD 2013 - REVIT Structure 2013 & 2014 - MicroStation V8i - Windows 7 Professional - (dabble with Inventor Professional 2013)

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    I could stop if I wanted to Misteracad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managing Autocad Linked Details

    Quote Originally Posted by rsharp351374 View Post
    I am working on some Revit 2013 projects where all the details are linked into the project as separate .dwg's into their respective drafting views. There are some 20 sheets of details set up in the project in this way. We have good computers and I am not including the hardware in this discussion. I feel this file should perform better, and I have never worked anywhere where we linked Autocad details. I do know that a large civil autocad file can slow down my file, but should I be suspecting this detail set-up as a dog on my file performance?

    Anyone else doing this as a normal workflow?
    Linking a large number of DWG files into Revit can be bad news. A better approach is to combine multiple details into one DWG file, and link it instead. Depending on the number of details, you may opt to follow this workflow and link multiple DWG files, but do it in moderation.

    Also, the file "pathing" is very important as well. Do NOT mix and match drive letter and UNC paths. Meaning, use the format Z:\Projects\XYZ\Drawing.dwg for example, OR \\serverXYZ\Projects\XYZ\Drawing.dwg, but do not combine these formats in the same Revit project. It'll ultimately cause problems.
    Timothy S. Kramer
    AEC BIM Specialist

    "Just because you can doesn't mean you should!!!"
    "You don't know what you don't know!"

    What am I doing HERE??? I should be working on my Nash!

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    Default Re: Managing Autocad Linked Details

    So.. linking in a whole sheet of details will not give you a drafting view for each detail to be referenced in the set. how do you accomplish this? It is vital that we are able to have live detail referencing in our set. I don't want to give that up for many reasons. We also have to provide the client with a DWF set on a regular basis.

    While we are on the subject, we have several issues with the text and hatch patterns that are a bit of a problem. Our autocad details are quite consistant, but as I mentioned 20 sheets of details can produce quite a chore to go in and try to fix these problems.

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    I could stop if I wanted to Misteracad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Managing Autocad Linked Details

    Quote Originally Posted by rsharp351374 View Post
    So.. linking in a whole sheet of details will not give you a drafting view for each detail to be referenced in the set. how do you accomplish this? It is vital that we are able to have live detail referencing in our set. I don't want to give that up for many reasons. We also have to provide the client with a DWF set on a regular basis.

    While we are on the subject, we have several issues with the text and hatch patterns that are a bit of a problem. Our autocad details are quite consistant, but as I mentioned 20 sheets of details can produce quite a chore to go in and try to fix these problems.
    I think I should back up here and re-address your original post...

    Quote Originally Posted by rsharp351374 View Post
    ...should I be suspecting this detail set-up as a dog on my file performance?
    Yes, it is definitely possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by rsharp351374 View Post
    Anyone else doing this as a normal workflow?
    It can be done successfully both ways that have been mentioned, but you should follow some best practices. Searching these forums turned up some very good hits, including some that suggest linking individual DWGs for each detail. Read thru them and decide what will work best for you, but regardless you'll need to take certain steps to insure good performance...

    http://forums.augi.com/showthread.ph...tails-to-Revit
    http://forums.augi.com/showthread.ph...-go-into-Revit
    http://forums.augi.com/showthread.ph...eader%20import
    http://forums.augi.com/showthread.ph...hlight=details

    Take note of the comments included therein that mention issues regarding text, hatch, etc.

    Hope this helps!
    Timothy S. Kramer
    AEC BIM Specialist

    "Just because you can doesn't mean you should!!!"
    "You don't know what you don't know!"

    What am I doing HERE??? I should be working on my Nash!

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    Default Re: Managing Autocad Linked Details

    We've created a pretty good system of maintaining a single detail library that can be used in both AutoCAD and Revit.
    Our goal was to be able to edit the details in both ACAD and Revit w/ out errors or performace/File Size issues.

    The trick is to Revitize the cad drawings really well using a serious of steps.
    Note: our cad details are not big, biggest is about 200kb.

    For 2D drawings some of these steps are:
    -Aecobjexplode (we use ACAD MEP, not sure if this will work for vanilla, you can also try -EXPORTTOAUTOCAD)
    -Proxygraphics 1
    -Change Qleaders to Mleaders
    -Change all mtext/text to Arial font and then explode to maintain formatting.
    -Use Window's Charmap to replace symbols that won't import.
    -Make sure there are no lines, circles, hatches whos length or area is smaller tha 1/32" as Revit won't create them.
    -Explode any non-solid hatch patterns and make sure they are not too dense.
    -Make everything ByLayer.
    -Audit
    -Purge including RegApp items.
    -Drafting View scale must match cad drawings scale.

    Some things that won't transfer:

    -Pline thickness won't transfer.
    -Linetypes that use shapefonts won't transfer.
    -Test Mask won't transfer.
    -Mtext line spacing and tab spacing won't transfer.

    Some things that will transfer:

    -Degree symbol %%D will transfer.
    -FIELDS will transfer.
    -Splines will transfer.
    -Mtext bullets will transfer.
    -Mtext width factor will transfer.
    -Dimensions will transfer as exploded elements.
    -Tables will transfer.
    -Attributes will transfer.

    For 3D CAD Drawings we use a different approach that uses the Convertto3Dsolids command in an isomentric view and importing that to a generic model family.
    This allows for proper View Range and Section Cut representation.

    We create a command in ACAD that automates a lot of these steps including checking for elements that are smaller that 1/32".

    You can then create a Revit project file that's been purged. Link a cad detail per drafting view and built your library from there.
    Linking is key when building your library as this keeps your Revit Details up to date w/ your Cad Details.

    Once you have your library built, you can use the Insert View from File --> select your library file --> select a detail you want to import.
    If the cad drawing has been revitized correctly, you can then explode in Revit if you want and make changes to it as needed.
    No this will not affect performance or file size if you followed the steps outlined above.
    We use ACAD MEP, but when cleaning the drawings we use Vanilla ACAD as this makes the file size smaller.

    HTH
    Miguel Valencia, LEED® AP BD+C
    CAD/BIM Coordinator
    Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.

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