3D Model from Revit to Civil 3D

The Infrastructure Solutions team here at IMAGINiT has seen an increase in Revit and Civil 3D compatibility questions this year.  One of the most common questions I’ve heard is “How can I get a Revit model into my Civil 3D drawing?”

Although BIM360, Navisworks, and Infraworks all provide multiple file format support to create collaborative models, they are all external to Revit and Civil 3D where the bulk of our design work takes place. 

The 2019 release of AutoCAD and Revit brought some welcome changes and enhancements to both product lines, but also removed some perhaps lesser known commands that allowed Revit to export a 3D model that could be imported directly into Civil 3D.

In 2018 and prior releases of Revit, there was an option to export a Building Site.  This option would take a 3D view from Revit and export an Autodesk Exchange (.ADSK) file that Civil 3D understood as a Building Site file.  In Civil 3D, users were able to import the Building Site and generate a 3D block of the Revit model in their drawing file.

A little bit of research through the Autodesk Knowledge Network (AKN) and User forums led to this:

http://help.autodesk.com/view/RVT/2019/ENU/?guid=GUID-C81929D7-02CB-4BF7-A637-9B98EC9EB38B

Notably, the line that says:

Not available in the current release

The following features and workflows are not available.

  • Exporting building sites to ADSK files (2019)

Since that’s no longer an option with the 2019 release, we went looking for a workaround that might accomplish the same or similar result.  Fortunately, in Revit 2019 there is still an option to Export a 3D model as a .FBX file from a Revit 3D view.  Similar to the Building Site file, the .FBX export takes a 3D view from Revit and generates a 3D model in .FBX format.  And it just so happens that AutoCAD based products support .FBX files for import.  But that has also been discontinued in 2019…

So now what?

A little more research led us to this:

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/FBXIMPORT-and-FBXEXPORT-removed-from-AutoCAD-2019.html

In this case, the title says it all:  FBXIMPORT and FBXEXPORT removed from AutoCAD 2019

If you read a little farther down in the AKN link, you’ll see that there is a solution to install a fix that redefines the FBXIMPORT and FBXEXPORT commands in AutoCAD 2019 and AutoCAD based products (like Civil 3D).

After downloading and installing the AutodeskAutoCAD2019FBX64.zip file, you’ll be able to do this with your 2019 Revit and Civil 3D software.

In Revit:

  1. Open a Revit Model
  2. Switch to a 3D View
  3. Export .FBX File (File > Export > FBX)
  4. Set Files of Type to FBX 2015 and Previous (*.fbx) and click SAVE

01

In Civil 3D (after the AutodeskAutoCAD2019FBX64.zip has been installed):

  1. Open a Drawing
  2. Command: FBXIMPORT
  3. Select the .FBX file exported from Revit and click OPEN
  4. Select Objects and Materials (optional). Lights and Cameras are also not necessary.
  5. Choose the option to Insert File as Block and provide a Name
  6. Provide a Name for the Block and click OK

02

  1. Command: INSERT
  2. Select the Block defined through FBXIMPORT
  3. Place the new Block in the drawing.

 

Following that workflow, this in Revit:

03

Becomes this in Civil 3D:

04

Now you have a way to import a 3D Revit model into a Civil 3D drawing through available (for the most part) commands in the 2019 product releases.

About the Author

Matt Miyamoto

Project Manager - Civil Solutions<br><br>With over 15 years of experience in the civil engineering industry, Matt provides training, consulting, technical support, and implementation strategies for organizations transitioning to Civil 3D. Matt is a licensed civil engineer, an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI) as well as an Autodesk Certified BIM Specialist: Roads and Highway Solutions. Additionally, Matt is an Autodesk Certified Professional for AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D.

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