There are many reasons why architectural and engineering firms require AutoCAD to Revit conversion services. But one thing is certain, low-quality drawing conversions can be ripe with errors; lost layers and line types, unusable line types (raster graphics rather than vector elements), corrupt or missing data, zero-length lines which can corrupt a drawing file, and loss of Z-plane dimensions.
While CAD software companies have worked hard to improve the quality of translating and converting files from one platform to another, the process still requires a certain amount of checks and balances to ensure a clean and error-free conversion. The most recent release of AutoCAD 2017 has finally tackled the issue of .pdf to .dwg conversion into native AutoCAD objects – a long-awaited feature.
Post-processing of converted drawings is key to a successful conversion. AutoCAD blocks which were exploded before conversion, should be re-blocked after conversion. Layers, line weights and styles, and other features that were lost should be re-established within the new Revit drawing. Overall dimensional accuracy should be checked against the original to ensure a clean translation.
Accurate and complete conversions require attention to detail, in addition to applying the productivity features which make post-processing of converted drawings easier.
Considerations for Outsourcing AutoCAD to Revit Conversions
The most common reason for outsourcing Revit conversion is to take advantage of the BIM software applications the program offers. Many companies hesitate to make the switch to BIM using Revit because of the vast amount of drawings, details, standards, and schedules that are already accomplished in pure AutoCAD. But, the worst time to acclimate your staff to a new software platform is when the company starts a new BIM project.
It is for this reason companies consider converting all drawings into Revit format. As part of a total office conversion to Revit, many companies opt to have supplementary documents converted by third-party engineering services as part of becoming a full BIM consultant.
The second most often cited reason is to bring all disciplines under the Revit umbrella. This way mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP services) documentation can be easily and accurately coordinated with the architectural and structural disciplines. This way moving a door on the architectural plan is automatically updated for all other engineering groups.
Relying on the fact that MEP files drawn in AutoCAD can link to Revit drawings successfully, does not constitute a total Revit BIM project. Your company can take advantage of the full array of features and benefits of BIM when the entire project and all disciplines are on the same platform.
A third consideration when outsourcing conversion tasks is the benefit of establishing a foundation of drawing templates (such as title blocks and schedules); Revit standards of text, lines, dimensions, and other symbology; a wide range of insertable blocks with appropriate data tags; and the many, many blocks, components, assemblies and details which are repeatedly used on every project – these items are the foundation of all projects and the reason why CAD saves time over manual drafting.
Establishing a clean Revit template into which the AutoCAD drawings will be translated into will ensure adherence to corporate standards for all documentation – either converted or new drawings.