CAD Menu bar

A quick tip for enabling your Menu bar is to type MENUBAR in your command area and set the value to one (1). A value of zero (0) will turn the Menu bar off.         You can also right-click on the Menu bar and deselect it to turn it off.

Laywalk

LAYWALK, an efficient tool for managing drawings and layers Laywalk is a very primitive command in AutoCAD but it is mostly ignored or overlooked by most of the CAD users despite its great features and user friendly behavior. LAYWALK allows you to view objects of a particular layer(s) without using On/off or freeze/thaw features of […]

AutoCAD Base Drawing

Have you ever worked with multiple drawings that have xrefed ones among them and found that they are not lining up? You are working with multiple floors, for example. When you xref one floor to the other and they are not lined up. It could be that they were not drawn at the same origin […]

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Importing AutoCAD files to Revit

You can import AutoCAD files into Autodesk Revit and then manipulate it from there as a Revit file or you can xref the file. See this tutorial on how to xref CAD files and the Revit Help blog.

NB: Importing a CAD file will not automatically convert the drawing to 3D.

To import as a link file:

  1. Go to the insert tab.
  2. Select “link CAD“.cad to revit
  3. Browse for the CAD file that you wish to link. cad to revit
  4. On the positioning tab leave the default position ”Center to Center”. You can also change that to “Origin to Origin”.
  5. On the “Place at” tab select the level you want to import the file. For example, level 1or level 2 if you have many levels or floors in your project.
  6. Pick your color preference on the “Colors” tab. You can set the link file to show black and white, invert color or the original color.
  7. On the Layers tab leave “All” selected, if you want to import all the layers from the file.
  8. Leave the “Import units” as Auto-Detect. revit-cad-3
  9. Select “Open”.

Now that the file is showing in the drawing as a cross reference file. You can also turn on and off layers from Revit as you wish, the same as in AutoCAD.

To import as part of Revit:

  1. Go to the insert tab.
  2. Select “Import CAD”.
  3. Browse for the cad file that you wish to import.
  4. On the positioning tab leave the default position ”Center to Center”.
  5. On the “Place at” tab select the level you want to import.
  6. Pick your color preference on the “Colors” tab.
  7. On the Layers tab leave “All” selected, if you want to import all the layers from the file. Otherwise, you can select which layer to import individually. By doing so it will not import any object on unselected layers.
  8. Leave the “Import units” as Auto-Detect.
  9. Select “Open”.

Once the file is imported you can edit the CAD drawing as a Revit file.

NB: We used Revit MEP 2010 for this tutorial. I believe the steps are similar in Revit MEP 2009. You start from File, Import/Link, CAD formats.

Expand viewport using VPMAX

You can use VPMAX  (same as double-click within a viewport layout) or VPMIN (same as double-click outside a viewport layout) to switch within model space and paper space tab of a layout.
VPMAX expands the current viewport for editing and VPMIN restores the current layout viewport.
The advantage of using these two commands is that you can pan and zoom while you are in model space, and when you go back to paper space the position and scale of the objects in the layout viewport remain unchanged.
It is useful when you zoom in a viewport on paper space while your viewport borders are not visible and accidentally double click inside the viewport and you cannot double click out.

Engineering and Architectural scale table

Below are two standard scale tables for Engineering and Architectural drawings.

To obtain the scale factor of an Engineering drawing scale:

  1. Multiply the feet of the desired scale by 12.
  2. For example 1″=50′ scale would be 50×12 = Scale Factor 600.
Engineering Scale
Drawing Scale Scale Factor Viewport Scale
1″ = 10′ 120 1/120xp
1″ = 20′ 240 1/240xp
1″ = 30′ 360 1/360xp
1″ = 40′ 480 1/480xp
1″ = 50′ 600 1/600xp
1″= 60′ 720 1/720xp
1″ = 70′ 840 1/840xp
1″ = 80′ 960 1/960xp
1″ = 90′ 1080 1/1080xp
1″ = 100′ 1200 1/1200xp
1″ = 200′ 2400 1/2400xp
1″ = 300′ 3600 1/3600xp
1″ = 500′ 4800 1/4800xp
1″ = 1000′ 9600 1/9600xp

To obtain the scale factor of an Architectural drawing scale:

  1. Multiply the denominator of the desired scale by 12.
  2. for example 1/4 scale would be 4×12 = Scale Factor 48.
Architetural Scale
Drawing Scale Scale Factor Viewport Scale
1/128″ = 1′-0″ 1536 1/1536xp
1/64″ = 1′-0″ 768 1/768xp
1/32″ = 1′-0″ 384 1/384xp
1/16″ = 1′-0″ 192 1/192xp
3/32″ = 1′-0″ 128 1/128xp
1/8″ = 1′-0″ 96 1/96xp
3/16″ = 1′-0″ 64 1/64xp
1/4″ = 1′-0″ 48 1/48xp
3/8″ = 1′-0″ 32 1/32xp
1/2″ = 1′-0″ 24 1/24xp
3/4″ = 1′-0″ 16 1/16xp
1″ = 1′-0″ 12 1/12xp
1 1/2″ = 1′-0″ 8 1/8xp
3″ = 1′-0″ 4 1/4xp
6″=1′-0″ 2 1/2xp
1′-0=1′-0″ 1 1xp

Create CAD table from Excel table

Working with tables in Microsoft Excel is much easier and convenient than the CAD table features in AutoCAD, and there are many ways to use your table or schedules created in Excel to be imported into AutoCAD:
• As a Microsoft Excel worksheet:
The table will look exactly like the Excel spreadsheet you created and changes can be made in Excel by double clicking on the table. In other words, it is an Excel spreadsheet hosted in AutoCAD.
Procedure:
1. Select all the cells that you want to import from Microsoft Excel.
2. Right click, select Copy or simply use Ctrl+C.
3. Open AutoCAD.
4. From the top menu, select “Edit” then “Paste Special” then “Paste” then “Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet”.

• As an AutoCAD Entity:
The Excel table will be converted to an AutoCAD table.
Procedure:
1. Select all the cells that you want to import from Microsoft Excel.
2. Right click, select Copy or simply use Ctrl+C.
3. Open AutoCAD.
From the top menu, select “Edit” then “Paste Special” then “Paste” then “AutoCAD Entities”.

• As an image or picture:
The Excel table will be converted into an image entity.
Procedure:
1. Select all the cells that you want to import from Microsoft Excel.
2. Right click, select Copy or simply use Ctrl+C.
3. Open AutoCAD.
From the top menu, select “Edit” then “Paste Special” then “Paste” then either “Picture (Metafile)” or “Bitmap” or “Image Entity”.

• As a linked Excel table:
The table will be linked to the Excel sheet so that when you make changes in Excel the table will be automatically updated in AutoCAD. This is very useful if many people share one document and constantly need updating.
Procedure:
1. Select all the cells that you want to import from Microsoft Excel.
2. Right click, select Copy or simply use Ctrl+C.
3. Open AutoCAD.
4. From the top menu, select “Edit” then “Paste Special” then “Paste Link” then “Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet”.

• As a linked AutoCAD Entity:
The Excel table will be converted to an AutoCAD table and linked to the Excel sheet, so changes made in Excel can be updated automatically in AutoCAD.
Procedure:
4. Select all the cells that you want to import from Microsoft Excel.
5. Right click, select Copy or simply use Ctrl+C.
6. Open AutoCAD.
5. From the top menu, select “Edit” then “Paste Special” then “Paste Link” then “AutoCAD Entities”.

Uploading LISP routine

Follow these steps to add an automatically loading LISP routine to your ACAD STARTUP.

1. Save the LISP file with lsp extension to your C drive in this directory C:\Documents and  Settings\username\Application Data\Autodesk\..your AutoCAD version here..XX\RXX.0\enu\lisp routines folder.
2. Open AutoCad and type “APPLOAD” in the Command line.
3. When the dialogue box pops up, click on
the “contents…” button in the bottom right hand corner (“Startup suite”).
4. In the Startup Suite dialogue box, select the “Add…” button.
5. Browse for your LISP file with .lsp extension that you have saved before.
6. Click Add once you find your lisp file.
7. Close all dialogue boxes and you are done.

The next time you open AutoCAD the lisp routine will automatically load without any command invoke.

Rotating the crosshairs, grid and snap angle

Use this command If you need to quickly rotate the crosshairs on the screen at a specific angle so you can draw along any object alignment without having to change The UCS settings nor rotating the view:
In the command line type SNAPANG. When prompted enter the new angle rotation for the crosshairs.

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