Webcast follow-up: Data Exchange between Revit and Civil 3D

I thank everyone for attending my webcast on April 24th where we examined ways of exchanging data between Autodesk Civil 3D and Autodesk Revit.  For Civil Engineers (or site designers), we looked at incorporating a Revit 3D model and/or 2D building footprint into the project, and for Architects, we discussed best practices to incorporate the Civil 3D surface in the Revit Project.

To revisit the webinar, we have posted the recording on the ASCENT YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/yeToSGeVwZg 

I used the Civil 3D and Revit 2019.2 products because:

  • Among the major changes from 2019.0 to 2019.1, Revit no longer can export to a Building Site format (*.adsk)
  • A new feature got introduced, the ability to share surfaces.
  • The Shared Reference Point is not (yet) available in the 2020 versions.

The webcast was prepared for:

  • Architects
  • Civil Engineers
  • Site Designers
  • Landscape Architects
  • Technicians

Topics covered in the webcast:

  • Export the Revit Model in a 2D and 3D format efficiently
  • Link a Civil 3D surface at the proper location
  • Reference a Revit Model in Civil 3D, choosing 2D or 3D
  • Create a surface link for Revit
  • Referencing the surface in Revit

Below are some questions that came up during the webcast:

Q: When importing the surface from civil 3D into Revit, it comes as one piece. Because of that we can only apply one type of material. We would like to have the surface come in to Revit in a way that we can apply sidewalk material to the sidewalk area, pavers material to the pavers are and so on. Is there a way to achieve this?

This is a new tool and one can hope that as it matures, more functionality will become available. For now I would suggest using the Revit Paint tool to outline the areas of concern and apply a Revit material to this painted surface. I realize this will be cumbersome. Another more professional  approach would be to bring both the Revit Model and the Civil 3D surfaces (with properly defined materials) into Autodesk 3D Studio for rendering.

Q: ­ Do you have a written list of settings recommended for view templates?­

Typically in Civil 3D one doesn't need the interiors of a building (however care must be taken as to what is visible through the glass from the exterior). Thus I recommend creating a View Template in Revit to control the visibility of such interior objects. Use the "Interior" filter, and ensure that this is set for the Revit objects that contain that setting. This will handle the Revit categories, however you still have to go through the 3D model and 2D site plan to turn off (or on) individual objects.

Q: Any concerns importing Revit in Civil 3D "Feet" units or "US Survey Feet" units when exchanging information?

No concerns. The Shared Reference Point utility asks for a "local" origin point in the Revit Model and then the coordinates are relative to that origin point. Thus any differences between Feet and US Survey Feet become negligible at such short of distance (from the "origin"). 

Q: Or millimeters I guess for us in the UK?

The demonstration used Imperial units for both Civil 3D and Revit, however it works just as well for Metric units. The Ascent courseware for these products come in Metric and Imperial versions.

Q: Can this handle multi-building projects?  For other discipline Revit models (i.e. Structural, electrical, etc.) do you need to import the shared coordinate xml file into each of those as well?

For multi-building projects Civil 3D can handle it with simply inserting more xrefs. Revit on the other hand may have issues. Ascent has a course dealing specifically with this topic, in which a workflow for sharing coordinates with other linked files is outlined.

Once a coordinate system is established in a Revit model, it can be published to other linked models (such as structural, electrical, etc.)

Q: What should we do when surface changed in C3D by site designer?

As the site changes, the site designer re-publishes the surface and Revit will re-link to the shared surface through its reference manager. There is a new tab now for Topology in the reference manager.


Thank you again! If you have ideas or requests for future webcasts, please let us know.

About the Author

Jeff Morris

Learning Content Developer<br><br>Jeff specializes in infrastructure tools such as Civil 3D and Infraworks, delivering training classes and contributing to the learning guides for these Autodesk software applications. Jeff has worked for several Autodesk resellers and has had roles of both CAD and BIM Manager with Civil and Architectural firms.

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