Monday, March 30, 2009

Useful workflow? - 3dsmax to Sketchup to Revit

This query came up the other day....I've created a form in 3dmax Design 2009, how can I get this into Revit? Revit generally prefers solid geometry to be exported for use within its massing environment. So either DWG's containing solids or ascii SAT files. The problem is that 3dsmax can't export meshes as solids unless you purchase a 3rd party application. However, AutoCAD 2010 should come to the rescue as it will allow you to convert meshes to solids. So how else can we get 3dsmax geometry into Revit so that we can use the "by face" tools? In reality you should be able to go straight from 3dsmax as a DWG into Revit, but this sometimes isn't that successful. So how about Sketchup? I like Sketchup as an application, but I would never want to use it as a replacement to my beloved Revit. But it does seem to act well as a useful intermediate file conversation tool between 3dsMAX are Revit. So how do we go about doing this?

Start by Creating your geometry in 3dsmax, however you will need to convert this to a polymesh surface.


Next save the mesh out as a DWG file.


Then open the resulting DWG file in Google Sketchup, this can even be the free Google Sketchup as we don't need any features in Sketchup apart from being able to save as an SKP file. Open the DWG by going to file pulldown menu > import and choose DWG.


This will import the DWG into Sketchup, although make sure you have the correct unit set, you can do this by clicking the options button in the import dialogue box. If the model from Max was in millimetres, set the units in Sketchup to be millimetres.


Once you have imported the 3dsmax geometry into Sketchup you may need to do a few fixes to the geometry, but this is easily achieved by infilling any missing faces with the pencil tool.


Then save this file as a Sketchup file, file pulldown menu > saveas.

Now go back to Revit and start a new mass.


Then import your Sketchup model previously saved into the inplace mass. File pulldown menu > import/link > CAD formats.


In the import dialogue, choose Sketchup as the file type to import.


This will import the Sketchup geometry into the mass.


You can then go ahead and use the curtain system by face tools on the mesh to build the form.



This approach is reasonably successfully but it does depend on the complexity of the form create.


Anonymous said...

Sketchup import/export (STL, STEP, 3DS, OBJ, IGES, 3DM, DWG, DXF, VTK). Download plugins...

khyokoo said...

Thank you for another great article. I found this article previous to reading your 3dsmax 2010 Connection Extension article. I have one question, does your 3dsmax to Sketchup to Revit work in Revit 2010? I actually cannot figure out a way to import a dumb box from Sketchup that can be used to generate floors without redrawing the masses in Revit. Thanks for the help and any more light that you can shed on this process would be most appreciated. A good friend of mine works for HOK Chicago. I am going to have to tell her how great HOK UK must be.

Unknown said...

Hi! I am modeling a project using masses, but I haven't been able to edit profiles or make openings for curved faces/walls, do you have any suggestions? I would really appreciate that, thanks!

Sara Ben Lashihar said...

Hi... I'm doing research about BIM abilities...I found out in your article that you still use 3Ds Max in creating complex geometries inspite you are a specialist in Revit... I believe that Revit is difficult to deal with when you try to create a complex form... I want to convince my professor with this point but they refuse the whole research idea.... do you think it's right as a Revit specialist?

Sara Ben Lashihar said...

Hi... I found out in your article that you still use 3Ds Max in creating complex geometries in-spite of your knowledge about Revit.... in my research i try to prove that Revit has difficulties in creating complex forms but my professors refuse the whole idea.... do you think that as a Revit Expert?