AEC Tech News (#283)

20 Jan, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff

Revit Tutorial: Making the Switch — AutoCAD to Revit, Part 2

Building design firms transitioning to Autodesk Revit should plan for setup and troubleshooting before anything goes wrong.

By Daniel Stine

Some content cannot be made in advance because it is unique to a project. Items such as this reception desk need to be created concurrent to the project development.
Some content cannot be made in advance because it is unique to a project. Items such as this reception desk need to be created concurrent to the project development.

This article is the second in a two-part series about transitioning to Autodesk Revit, but many of the principles described here could apply to any BIM (building information modeling) software transition. This series is intended for those who have not ventured down the BIM road yet, or who have the software but don't know what to do next.

The first part addressed the reasons to switch, the timing, and who to train within the firm; this part will explain which content and template setup you'll need, and what to do when things go wrong.

Content and Template Setup

Another aspect of training and implementation is content and template setup. It is not wise to begin a project without having begun this task; however, you don't want to spend too much time trying to get everything perfect prior to the first pilot project.

Template essentials include:

  • Titleblock with company logo (matching the CAD version
  • Text and dimension styles
  • Schedules (door, room finish, light fixture, VAV, AHU, etc.)
  • Floor plan views and levels
    • For a four-story building you would have:
      • Four levels
      • Four floor plan views
      • Four ceiling plan views
  • Sheets (some are empty; others are not)
    • Title sheet with sheet index, standard notes, and graphics
    • Plans, elevations, sections, details sheets (these are mostly empty place-holder sheets)
    • Schedules
      • Empty schedules can be placed on sheets; they fill themselves out as the model is developed
      • Some schedules are only for the design team and never go on a sheet
  • Some content
    • Only load the essentials into your template; too much can make your starting template way too big and cluttered
    • Some items, such as walls, cannot exist outside of a project file. In this case, you can set up project files that have one instance of each wall type created in each. When a new wall type is needed, the "wall type" project is opened and the desired wall is copied and pasted into the current project.


Read more »

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Daniel Stine is an author and a registered architect with nineteen years' experience. He is the CAD administrator at LHB, providing training and support for two regional offices.

CAD Clinic Civil 3D Tutorial:
AutoCAD Civil 3D and Pay Items, Part 2

Learn the ins and outs of the formula file, the last of the three files that create a master pay items list.

By Phillip Zimmerman

In my previous article, I reviewed the pay item definition process and the files necessary to implement a master pay item list. In this month's continuation, I will review the formula file and its purpose.

The formula file's use depends on the units set for a pay item. For example, a corridor's Pave1 area is in square feet, but in the pay item file the units are square yards. A pay item report for Pave1 will be in the pay item area units, not the corridor's square feet. If Pave1's assigned pay item unit type is a weight unit type, the pay item report is Pave1's actual area — or, in this case, Pave1's square feet. In either case, you need a formula to calculate a volume.

Pay Item Units

When creating a corridor, the pavement unit type is square feet. As mentioned above, if a pavement material's pay item's unit is square yards, the report will be in square yards. When producing a pay item report, the report's pavement units are in the pay item's units, not the corridor's actual area units. If Pave1's pay item unit is a weight type, the pay item report will be the corridor's actual units, or square feet. Read more »

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Phillip Zimmerman is a senior applications engineer serving Imaginit customers throughout North America.

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


Winter 2011 BIMForum
February 10–11, 2011
San Diego, California
The Winter 2011 BIMForum will focus on real-world examples of projects where teams have used BIM (building information modeling) to address building envelope challenges that arise during design, fabrication, construction, and management. Read more »

2011 FIATECH Technology Conference and Showcase
April 18–20, 2011
Chandler, Arizona
The conference agenda will comprise three educational breakout tracks: People and Process, Productivity Improvement Tools, and Academic. Read more »

Revit Technology Conference (RTC) 2011, North America
June 23–25, 2011
Huntington Beach, California
This inaugural event will focus on BIM (building information modeling) and the whole ecosystem that supports it. Attendees can share ideas and insights with an international community of peers, explore the latest trends and technologies, and cultivate business and professional contacts. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


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Safe updates its spatial data transformation software, adding support for laser-scanning data and cloud-computing formats. Read more »

First Look Review: Xi MTower PCIe
Workstation offers exceptional speed at a moderate price. Read more »

Banking on Green
At Yakima, lifecycle thinking generates products that not only reduce carbon footprint but also drive innovation and save money. Read more »

Take Inventor Assembly Constraints to the Max — and Min
IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Add limits to assembly constraints in Autodesk Inventor 2011. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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