Establish Coordinates: Acquire Coordinates from a CAD Link

I recently started a new project file at the office, and looking back over the archives, I figured it was a good time to revisit some of my workflows for file set up. At some point since I last posted about establishing coordinates, I discovered on Revit OpEd that you can actually acquire coordinates from a dwg file. Acquiring coordinates is by far the superior method for establishing coordinates. Not only is it more efficient but it is also more accurate and leaves less room for human error.

Steve’s post goes into some good detail about how to clean up your dwg file and also how you can link subsequent CAD files via Shared Coordinates once you establish coordinates. So I would definitely recommend reading his post, but if you are unfamiliar with either the Survey Point or Shared Coordinates, here is the step by step process. Continue reading

Add 3D Model with Real Coordinates

There are a wide variety of 3D Models that can be added as data sources in InfraWorks. The options for 3D Models Files are .3ds, .dae, .dxf, .fbx, and .obj. With the right version you can also add IMX, Revit, IFC, and LandXML files as well. But for this post, I am going to be working with .fbx files exported from Revit.

iw_3d_exportFBX is a 3D exchange format that can be used and generated by a variety of programs and tools. In Revit, FBX is towards the top of the Export menu.

Like with any 3D export, you want to make sure you are in a 3D view. Unlike with DWG or IFC export, there are not many settings to be adjusted.

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Specify Coordinates at Point

One of the interesting things about Revit is that you will frequently encounter various methods and workflows of accomplishing the same task. This is particularly true of Shared Coordinates. Since posting about the Survey Point in March, I have started to use a slightly different and potentially more efficient method of establishing coordinates. This is an update to the previous post.

Much of what I said previously, still applies:

“The world in Revit is entirely different than AutoCAD. It doesn’t like your project/project base point to be larger/outside 20 miles. Unlike in AutoCAD, your project should never be way off in space from the project base point (origin). […] Revit has two moveable points that control coordinates: project base point and survey point. […] The survey point is key; it has northing, easting, and elevation data that you can set, relating it back to the real world, and thus AutoCAD…”

If using a CAD survey, link in the survey and move the survey so that the Project Base Point is within the survey boundary. Often, it is a good idea to place the survey so that the Base Point is on a known project benchmark Continue reading