Friday 25 November 2011

Reusing Details - CAD and Revit

Drawn some totally awesome Revit details and want to reuse them?

Or do you have a library of great AutoCAD details that you want to use in your Revit Projects.

Here are some tips on how to get the results you want when transferring from AutoCAD and saving your Revit details.

If you have a detail in CAD you want to reuse in Revit here's how I typically do it.

1) Open the detail in ACAD, if it's part of a group of other details in a file w-block it out so it's on it's own.

2) Explode it! I know we hate to explode things in ACAD but Revit doesn't like some types of hatch and this makes it easier to deal with in Revit.

3) Change everything to Layer "0". You may have to go through each group of items after selecting everything and then under the properties pick each group and change the layer to 0.

I do this so Revit wont bring in all the layers from this drawing, I don't need those, I just need the linework etc... don't worry if the line colours change or not, I typically tweak them once they are in Revit anyway.

4) I delete any leaders from the text, I do this because I typically re-write the text anyway. I do this once again so I don't bring in miscellaneous text styles into Revit that I dont want. Also if your text is single line text and not multiline text you will want to re-write it in Revit anyway so it'll be easier to manage.

5) Purge (at least twice) Audit and save your CAD detail.
Here is an example:

6) Open Revit and start a new project based on no template.
I typically save this project for future use for bringing in other CAD details.

7) Create a new drafting view, name the view and specify the scale for the detail.

8) Import your CAD detail.
Change the Colours to Black and White. Layers to Visible, auto detect Units and Center to Center for positioning.

Explode the view. I then re-write the text and add leaders where applicable, change line weights to suit and add any other information, hatches, detail etc as required.
Check your spelling.... ;-)

10) Right click on the view name in the Project Browser and select Save to New File, it should be at the bottom of the dialog box. Save the file in your Revit Detail directory.

NOTE: If you have drawn a detail in your Revit Project already follow step 10 and you can export the view out into your library for future use.

11) Open your Revit project where you want your new Revit detail to reside.
Under the Insert Tab select the drop down under the Insert from File Icon and select Insert Views from File.
This will then import the detail into your project which you can then refer your Callout too.


  1. My professional edition of Pro-E won't open files that were created in the student edition of the software. I have several CAD drawings that I created at school and now I can't use them at home. Is there a workaround/hack to this BS from Dassault?.

    Solidworks Support

    1. Be careful when using Student versions, they're watermarked and cant be used in a production... in any way. In fact they can really reek havoc....

      There is no work around that I know of...

  2. What about re-using callout views from one project to another. How can one do this?

  3. If your callout view is linked to a drafting view and not the model you can right click on the view and "Save to New file". If your call out view has model elements the "Save to New File" is greyed out and you cant export the view.
    Basically you cant export details that are based upon the Model elements.