11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 8, 2018 8:44 AM by Raahul Ragunathan

    SW to Revit

    Aaron Baumgartner

      Im sure its been covered before. But what is the best way to get a sw model into a building layout done in revit?



        • Re: SW to Revit
          Christopher Thompson

          The last time I checked, the only 3-D CAD file format Revit could import from SolidWorks was ACIS (*.sat). ACIS files are based on solid modeling format produced by Spatial Technology, Inc. Information about Revit from AutoDesk is available on this link: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=10275191



          ·         Revit: Import/Export Capabilities - Revit Architecture supports a wide range of industry standards and file formats, including DGN, DWG, DWF™, DXF™, IFC, SAT, SKP, AVI, ODBC, gbXML, BMP, JPG, TGA, and TIF. In addition to transferring standard lines, arcs, and circles, Revit Architecture can also transfer complex 3D model geometry for use in programs such as Autodesk® VIZ or Autodesk® 3ds Max® software. This capability provides opportunities to create stunning photorealistic interior and exterior renderings.



          To clarify, export the file from SolidWorks as an ACIS (*.sat) file, then import into Revit.

            • Re: SW to Revit
              Kevin Quigley

              If you have VectorWorks 2009 onwards, export from SW as parasolid, then export from Vectorworks as IFC.....


              Welcome to the great myth of Autodesk interoperability. Revit is being pushed hard as the BIM product of choice, but the import formats are dire. I have no doubt that in a  year or two Revit WILL read Inventor files (or more likely Inventor will be able to export the Revit format), but until then......


              One thing to watch. If you are exporting the sat files, make sure your SAT options are set to version 7 or less.

            • Re: SW to Revit
              Vineeth S.

              Hi Aaron,

              The best option to export your SolidWorks model to Revit is try the BIMDeX SolidWorks to Revit Exporter. With their product, you can export your SolidWorks model seamlessly to Revit with all parameters and hierarchy maintained. You can export as a native Revit family/ project too. If you still face this problem, you can contact sales@bim-dex.com. They would be the best to advice on this requirement.

                • Re: SW to Revit
                  Kevin Quigley

                  Wow, this is an old thread! Somewhat superceded by the fact that SolidWorks has a fairly decent IFC export capability now. We export to all the AEC applications pretty much on a daily basis.


                  Prep work in SolidWorks - save assemblies as part files and outside surfaces only. Most (as in 99%) of SolidWorks data that is needed in AEC applications is so that AEC users can integrate a manufactured product into a scheme, or so they can do visuals, or both. So from the manufacturers point of view the models need only show the visible surfaces and the interfaces to the assembly so that the AEC user can introduce it into their model. All the AEC systems are single file modellers, so your exported 500MB model in SolidWorks adds a lot of "weight" to the AEC file. AEC systems are nowhere near as good at "lightweighting" big data sets as MCAD focussed systems yet. Even now we often export our cut down models and the AEC users request DWGs as their systems cannot handle the models.


                  Assuming they can though, in our experience, the best options for export from SolidWorks to common AEC platforms are:


                  Revit>ACIS or IFC

                  VectorWorks>IFC or Parasolid

                  ArchiCAD>IFC (we have tested this one a lot and IFC works perfectly)

                  AutoCAD (3D models)>ACIS

                  AutoCAD (2D)> DWG from drawings sheets (also applies to other 2D systems)


                  Yes there are lots of add ons that claim to allow mapping of various elements in IFC classes and the like but to be honest (in our experience in the UK at least) the AEC users do not want the added complexity of that and they prefer to organise their models the way they want.


                  In all the cases above, the SolidWorks data comes into the AEC application at 90 degrees (on its side). This is becuase the SolidWorks "up" axis is Y and most of the rest of the world uses Z! All the AEC user has to do is rotate the model....but you would be surprised how often that creates issues!!

                    • Re: SW to Revit
                      Kevin Quigley

                      Meant to also add, the ONLY guaranteed way to ensure your data gets into a AEC system intact and as you want it to, is to invest in that system. Fortunately most AEC systems are available on a trial basis so I recommend you trial them all and test the data path into that system. Only then will you really see what your recipient sees. If you do a lot of Revit work, get Revit LT. It imports IFC fine and allows you to prepare the data precisely for the Revit user in a way that now 3rd party plug in can do. I don't know the cost of that Revit SolidWorks plug in but I'd be willing to bet that Revit LT is cheaper.

                      • Re: SW to Revit
                        Jonas Ekholst

                        Hi Kevin,


                        thanks for the great explanation, it's a djungle figuring this one out.

                        I have followed your steps to export IFC files, but when I export IFC files from the part with outside surfaces only, the IFC file is empty. I have contacted Solidworks support and they explained to me that only solids can be exported as IFC. How are you able to export IFC-files?





                          • Re: SW to Revit
                            Kevin Quigley

                            Hi Jonas,

                            Sorry should have made myself a bit clearer. We tend to knit the surface into a solid before moving it along the chain. We need the volumetric data a solid gives as we punt the files into Rhino and other applications for 3D printing (where you need a closed body). The sorts of thing we tend to export via IFC are enclosures or "closed" items.


                            If I'm honest I tend not to be the one doing this for this approach - the vast majority of the jobs I get involved with require the complete part or assembly (more complex systems that don't really lend themselves to the external surfaces only option). In these cases IFC works fine but the files are heavy, so we spend a bit of time removing as much detail as possible via configurations - so we remove all fasteners at assembly level, and at part level we simplify forms where approriate (like suppressing cosmetic fillets).

                              • Re: SW to Revit
                                Jonas Ekholst

                                Ah, I see. I think we need to simplify our products as well before converting to IFC. We're designing furniture and when architects use our furniture in large scale models like new hotels, airport and so on the files are simply to heavy. I've got this tip from another person as well, so I'll gues we just have to dig in


                                Thanks again Kevin!

                                  • Re: SW to Revit
                                    Kevin Quigley

                                    No problem Jonas. For what it is worth, we deal with a leading exponent of BIM in the UK (as in they have used BIM processes for over 10 years and they present at all the conferences on BIM). They said to us that they do not actually want our data for the "BIM" model. They only need our models for visualisation purposes. The actual construction documentation they use generic models they have set up.


                                    The issue with BIM is that none of the modelling packages used in AEC have any form of lightweight large assembly mode that works. MCAD is years ahead in this respect.

                          • Re: SW to Revit
                            Raahul Ragunathan

                            you can probably try the solidworks to revit conversion plugin that is offered by bimdex. i used a academic copy of the plugin and it work pretty well in carrying all the metadata from solidworks into revit and we also get revit family rfa files for all solidworks parts and assemblies. although there might be more options with the commercial edition, the academic edition was itself more than satisfactory for our project needs.