Import AutoCad 2D drawing to your Revit Model

Update: I wrote a new post on this topic for Revit 2013.  Please visit my other post Import AutoCAD 2D drawing to your Revit Model – Revit 2013.

I tried to import an AutoCAD 2D site plan into Revit.  It seems pretty straight forward by going to File > Import/Link > CAD format to bring the CAD file into the model, until I realized the CAD site plan is located nowhere close to my model.  Why is the CAD file living so far away from my model?  Does Revit place the site plan randomly on the plan view or does it have an origin and the site plan is located correctly on the plan view?

The answer is YES!  Revit does have an origin, if you try to draw a cross at the origin in AutoCAD and import the file into Revit (in the dialog box, check the box next toLink*, and under Positioning, select Auto – Origin to Origin), you will see where the origin is.  Knowing the origin location is specially important if you are trying to import several levels of floor plans, site plan, etc., into the model.


Here are 2 useful articles if you want to learn more:


Link box checked– Your CAD file in your Revit model will be updated every time you make changes to it.  You can view your entire list of imported cad files under File > Link Manager

Link box unchecked – The CAD file is inserted into the model instead of linked.  All changes you made to the CAD file will not be updated.  You will have to remove and reinsert the file for the updates.





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  1. Though this event which has been spoken about is a real experience. but at the same time it an informative one. Thanks for the information.

  2. Hi,

    I have imported a 2d dwg file into my revit project. I want the 2d lines to be visible in my renders in Revit, however I cannot get this to work. I can se the lines in all 2d views and even in 3d view, but as soon as I hit the render button, the lines are not visible anymore.
    Any sugestions to how I can make my 2d lines visible in the render output?


  3. Hi, I have tried to insert the AutoCAD dwg into Revit MEP as per the above said method. However, a message box appear and said that as follows:-

    ” …. Revit cannot import (THE autocad drawing) becasue it will create a Revit model that is larger than 2 miles across. This can cause inaccuracies and instabilities. Either select a different Import units seting or adjust the project size before importing….”

    What should I do to tackle the problem?

  4. Revit does not like anything that is located too far away from the origin. Make sure you move the drawing (floor plan or model) in your Autocad file close to the (0,0,0) coordinate and that should resolve the problem.

  5. I have already moved the centre of the whole 2d autocad drawing towards the coordinates (0,0,0). However, same message appeared. I have already purge all the layers, open all layers and delete all unnecessary. What fine tune should I do at AutoCAD or Revit MEP before I do the action of “Import CAD”?

  6. Have you exploded all the blocks in the cad drawing, there might be blocks that were set at a base point far away from the (0,0,0) coordinate. Also, try the zoom extent command in cad to check your drawing boundary. If this doesn’t help, try to copy only the lines that you need and paste it to a fresh new cad file. Hope this help. Good luck!

  7. Thanks. Veng.

    BTW, I have solved the problem by xref the file into a new blank drawing and can link CAD to Revit.

    Actually, I try to do it at the same original file( before xref), but the same problem come. Maybe it is the bse point problem.

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