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Monday, November 16, 2015

Batch Convert DWF to Revit using Navisworks

Sometimes you have a set of DWFs that you would like to work with in Revit. For example, you might have DWFs of site equipment, fences and trucks that would be useful for site modelling in Revit. Here is one way to get those dwfs into a more Revit-friendly format...

Note: You need to have iConstruct with their Smart IFC Exporter for this workflow

Phase 1
Create a container NWD for DWF files, so that you can fix rotation and coordinates:
  1. Append DWFs
  2. Save as rotator.nwd
  3. Append to an NWF
  4. Adjust units, 90 degree rotation about 1-0-0 axis as per this link:
  5. Save as container.nwf

Phase 2
Steps to convert DWF to IFC with colours and object selectability:
  1. Open two Navisworks 2016 instances
  2. Open the rotator.nwd from above in one instance
  3. Append any DWFs you would like to convert
  4. Adjust their Units and Transform until they look right
  5. Save the rotator.nwd
  6. Open the container.nwf
  7. Refresh to reload the rotator if necessary
  8. Now, hide everything but 'shell' elements using a search like this:
  9. Save the search set for Item Type = Shell
  10. Set up an iConstruct IFC config...

    Type a Name
    Press Building button
    Expand to IfcBuildingElementProxy, userdefined
    Choose search set for Item Type = Shell from above

  11. Should look like this...
  12. Close config dialog
  13. Go to Smart IFC Export and choose the export config you just saved 
  14. Fill out next dialog and press ok
  15. Choose target IFC location
  16. Wait for Navisworks to export the IFC
Phase 3 - into Revit
After IFC is created, open Revit. Ensure you have latest IFC updates installed, then open the the IFC. Wait for Revit to complete importing... For the most part, you should get a pretty good looking result. One exception is where the DWF had one 'shell' with multiple materials, like this:

In any case, now you have a bunch of 'Revit elements' (yes, I use the term loosely) that can be made into Model Groups. They aren't in families, but you can make them into little rvts to load as links. I realise there are some limitations in this workflow, but in some cases there is no other way...

If you are interested in more to do with DWF conversions, check out these links:

What Revit Wants: How to Convert a DWF to Editable Format, or How to Export from Navisworks and Keep Modelling in BIM
What Revit Wants: Convert DWF to DWG using free tools

Future post: hope to see some Dynamo method to consume DWFs and create DirectShapes in Revit :-)

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