In EDSI's second webcast of 2018 Mariah and Douglas explored the workflow of importing a conceptual FormIt model into a Revit project environment to begin further development and how this can lead to construction documents.
The recording of the session can be found here but for a quick synopsis keep reading.
As Autodesk switches from Suites to Collections, both FormIt Pro and Revit are available with the AEC Collection. This allows for seamless interoperability of the programs and saves time when navigating between them.
- Revit understands/reads location information that has been set in the FormIt concept model.
- FormIt Levels transfer and become Revit Levels (reference Elevation view), although there is not a view automatically created for them.
- The FormIt model imports as a Revit Mass; ensure Mass is visible in Plan/Site/Elevation/3D/any appropriate view. The default Revit Architectural Template has Mass not visible in these view types.
- Revit 2017 will not retain material information from FormIt.
- Revit 2018 will retain material information.
- Revit 2017 will import FormIt Sections as Revit Masses.
- Revit 2018 will only import FormIt Sections if they are visible.
Importing FormIt Concept Model
The first step is to Save the FormIt model - no need to Export. Within Revit on the Add-Ins tab > FormIt Converter panel > use the command Import FormIt to RVT > Path to the particular file you want to import and select Open. The process will run for a few minutes, depending on the file size is how long the process will take. IF a location has been set in FormIt, one of the first steps you should take is to Rotate Project North; this is to ensure True North and Project North are appropriately set. This can be found on the Manage tab > Project Location panel > Position command > option Rotate Project North > you can then use the appropriate selection for your project. The video covers this topic more in depth.
Another important step is creating views that correspond to the Levels. Under the View tab > Create panel > Plan Views command > select Floor Plan > here you can select the levels you wish to have Floor Plans associated with. Once this step is complete you should see the Floor Plans in the Project Browser.
Using your FormIt model for Revit geometry
The FormIt model can be used to create multiple categories of Revit geometry. The particular workflow is as follows: under the Massing & Site Tab > on the Model by Face panel > a user can select Roof/Wall/Floor and select the Mass geometry to place Revit elements. Alternatively, this command can also be achieved with the default Roof/Wall/Floor command and then selecting Pick Faces in the Draw panel. The method is a personal preference of workflow.
Doors and Windows are hosted elements and as such can be tricky when it comes to imported geometry. Typically, it is best to ensure the host element doesn't have an edited profile where the element needs to be placed and place the hosted element as normal. In some instances Curtain Walls can be used to represent openings, although more often than not they need to be accurately redrawn in Revit.
It was emphasized in the last webinar that Categories in FormIt are vital, this is because once imported into Revit those elements can easily be swapped out for a different element of the same category, such as a bench being swapped out for chair. Elements, such as plants, might be on the Category of Site in FormIt but can easily be altered to become Planting in Revit and swapped out - see the video for a more in depth explanation to the process.
FormIt is a great in between software that reads multiple file types and can easily be imported into Revit. One of the most common files types it can read is Sketchup. Knowing this we can Open a Sketchup file in FormIt > Save it > Import it into a Revit family > then Load it into a Project for future use. Additionally, we can Export out Revit (RFA) family files that fall within FormIt's categories > use it in our FormIt Content Library > then subsequently Reimport the native Revit family once the FormIt model has been Imported into a Revit Project.