Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Export AutoCAD MEP to Revit

Autodesk has a white paper on effective collaboration between Revit (Structure) and AutoCAD MEP which talks about exporting Revit objects to AutoCAD MEP as intelligent entities. If you want to import AutoCAD MEP entities into Revit, the whitepaper recommends to use the “Export to AutoCAD” feature within AutoCAD MEP. No intelligent entities here.

Autodesk has another white paper on exporting Revit elements as ACIS DWG objects, to be imported into AutoCAD MEP which does not work for us, since we want the conversion the other way.

We are examining the pros and cons of bringing in the AutoCAD MEP entities as IFC objects into Revit. The irony is that the MEP consultants typically work on separate DWG files for each floor and each disciplines (M, E and P). This means that we get around 30 IFC files for a 10-floor-project! Hmmm... So here is the best practice we are experimenting with:

  1. Create a master file:
    1. In AutoCAD MEP create a new DWG.
    2. Xref all the floors and discipline DWG files. The project navigator should do this very easily.
    3. Save the file, say as, “MEP Project.dwg”
  2. Export to IFC for architects using Revit:
    1. Open the “MEP Project.dwg”
    2. Save as the file as “YEAR MM DD - MEP Project.dwg”
    3. Bind and explode all xrefs. Now the DWG should have all MEP elements for all floors and disciplines.
    4. Export to IFC.

The best part of creating a master file (“MEP Project.dwg”) is that, this DWG is still linked to all the other DWGs and will automatically get updated. The consultants have to just open this DWG and saveas, bind and explode and export as and when needed.

The Revit does not work 100% perfectly with IFC. However, it should  work fine.

All this is theoretical for the time being. This page will be updated as and when things unfold. Please add your comments if you have a better method.


David Kingham said...

Or buy Navisworks :)

I used to use this method
IFC is very flaky but I haven't tried it in 2010 yet. I probably won't try either because of the oh so wonderful Navisworks

Nicholas Iyadurai said...

I checked your link!
Wow! Even after 2 years things have not changed much! We wanted to import MEP into Revit to show MEP elements (power receptacles, etc.) in our drawings and not only to do clash detections!
Your (costly!) suggestion of using Navisworks cannot help here, right? Or can Navisworks export the autocad MEP into a more palatable file format for Revit?
Thank you for your comments.

David Kingham said...

No Navisworks will not help short of purchasing it. It's kind of sad how little has changed, sheesh it was still ABS back then. Be careful bringing in mep models, it will slow your file to a crawl.

GO_ANAN said...



Pine said...

Thank you for the tip! I am wondering whether you also had the issues that all the IFC objects imported into Revit as the Generic Models type? Is there a way to transfer them (like ducts) back to the type/family used in Revit? Thank you

Pine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nicholas Iyadurai said...

We could not find a way. We ask our consultants to work in Revit only!