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Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Revit Clinic: Placing exported MEP systems onto separate AutoCAD layers

Repost: http://revitclinic.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/11/placing-exported-mep-systems-onto-separate-autocad-layers-a-workaround.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Ftherevitclinic+%28The+Revit+Clinic%29

November 13
A known limitation, and often raised issue by Revit MEP users, is the inability to have individual MEP Systems end up on separate layers when exporting to CAD drawings. Instead, all elements of the same category, regardless of the system that they are part of, wind up on the same layer. This makes it more difficult for a CAD user to separate and control the visibility of separate MEP systems in AutoCAD.

As an example, a Revit MEP user may have a model consisting of several pipe systems (e.g. Domestic Cold Water, Hot Water, Hot Water Return). When exporting the information to CAD, all of the pipes, pipe accessories and pipe fittings are placed on a single layer in the AutoCAD drawing, M-PIPE (default specified in Revit MEP). Therefore, the user has to manually separate these items into layers to turn them on/off or change their appearance.

However, one workaround that I wanted to share may simplify this process somewhat for the AutoCAD user. The key is to create view filters to physically differentiate between systems in Revit, so that when exported, the items belonging to each system will have unique properties, such as color or linetype. This will then allow the AutoCAD user to use AutoCAD filters to quickly select and control the objects based on their properties. An advanced user can even create a macro or script to automate the separation of these elements.

In the video here (no sound), I have shown an example of a Revit model with the three piping systems referred to above. The view filters are rather simplistic, overriding the color and linetype of the pipes and fittings based on a unique comment (DCW, DHW, or DWHR). When exported, the objects maintain their color and linetype in AutoCAD. Once in AutoCAD, the user can use Qselect, filters, or some other function to select the objects that they want.

In short, it would be ideal to be able to export systems to individual layers. This is a wish request that development is looking at. For now, this may be an acceptable alternative.

If anyone else has come up with a workaround, please feel free to share.

Source: The Revit Clinic: Placing exported MEP systems onto separate AutoCAD layers


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