I wrote a post years ago about importing AutoCAD 2D drawing to Revit model, the user interface in Revit has evolved significantly over time and I feel there is a need to revisit this topic.
If you are reading this post, you are properly looking for tutorial on how to bring CAD file into Revit. Here is my question for you:
- Are you trying to import CAD floor plans or details for tracing?
Yes -> Skip question 2 and continue to read this post.
No -> Go to question 2.
- Are you trying to import CAD site plan or Civil drawing to your Revit model?
Yes -> Please read my other post Setting up True North for a Project – Best Practice and download the free PDF tutorial at the end of the post.
No -> Leave me your question in the comment, I will try my best to help you.
Linking CAD file to the model
To bring a CAD floor plan or detail into Revit, open up the View you want to place this CAD file to. That is, bring it to Floor plan View if you want to use the CAD floor plan as a background to build your building model; Drafting View if you want to trace over the CAD detail.
Go to Insert tab > LINK CAD (always LINK*, do no import!)
Link vs. Import
Link* – You can always reload the CAD file to show the latest updates you made by going to Insert tab > Manage Links.
Import – The CAD file is inserted into the model. All changes made to the CAD file will not be updated unless you remove and reinsert the file into the model. Import too many CAD file can overload your model.
It is always a good practice to unload the CAD file once you have finished using it.
Browse the CAD file you want to bring into your model, under Positioning, select Auto – Origin to Origin. Always make sure the content in the CAD file is close to the (0,0,0) origin. Revit will gives an error message if the content is greater than 20 miles from the origin.
Why Auto – Origin to Origin?
The origin in Revit is called Project Base Point (PBP). When the CAD file is inserted with Auto – Origin to Origin positioning, the CAD origin (0,0,0) will fall on the Project Base Point. The benefit is:
- In cases you are inserting multiple CAD floor plans into the model, this will ensure all the plans lines up properly on each level.
The geometry in the CAD file is close to the PBP, Revit don’t like anything that is too far away from the PBP.
Locate the Project Base Point
To locate the PBP, open a floor plan view. Go to Visibility/Graphics Overrides (type VG). In the Model Categories > Sites > CHECK “Project Base Point”. A blue icon will now appear in your view. This is the PBP in your model.
Want to learn more?
When you work in a team, it is important to properly set up project orientation to get everyone on the same page. I wrote several posts about this topics:
- Project North vs True North
- Setting up True North for a Project
- Setting up True North for a Project – Best Practice