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    by Simon Brown


    For some time now, we have been enabling our customers to deliver BIM Level 2 co-ordinated modelling projects. Inevitably though, there are still occasions where it makes sense to design and engineer a project in a 2D environment.

    A lot of our users have Revit, but are not using it to its fullest potential, but could still use it alongside AutoCAD in a 2D workflow as there are several approaches a user can take. Revit and AutoCAD are fully interoperable and depending on your skill sets and familiarity of the product, these can be manipulated to suit either 2D, or where required 3D BIM co-ordination. Cylink is the add on to Revit that takes the pain out of redrawing the detailed HVAC design by allowing you to reuse the layouts you have produced in Cymap. Although not its primary functionality, we are finding that many of our customers are saving time by using Cylink in a slightly different manner to produce 2D drawings very quickly.

    The basic premise is this. You would have imported a DXF file from AutoCAD in order to design, calculate and route your services in Cymap as below:


    Ordinarily you would export to a fully co-ordinated 3D model, but you don’t have this on a 2D project. However this doesn’t matter. Simply start a new project in Cylink using our standard template library as you would normally do so. As there is no 3D model to link to this doesn’t matter as you simply import your services into free space (as below).


    The 3D view above shows the HVAC system. Switch to the Plan view below and select the floor of interest, in this example the ground floor is shown from the Revit properties tab.


    Now all you need to do is to FILE- SAVE AS DWG for this particular ground floor.


    This then creates a drawing of the Ground floor services.

    Remember back at the beginning, the DXF file you wrote from the original ground floor drawing in AutoCAD, well it’s time to open that original DWG file in AutoCAD the Architect provided. Now XREF or “DDInsert” (for us seasoned AutoCAD users) select the HVAC drawing file you saved in Revit…then use the 0,0,0 entry for your co ordinates to position the services from the HVAC drawing - hey presto! Cylink has done all the drawing for you and all you do is place it on the original layout. Explode it afterwards though, as everything imported will represented in a single AutoCAD block.


    You could also import the DWG file from the Architect into Revit and merge it with the services created in Cylink. So either way Cylink isn’t just about 3D and BIM models. Why not give it a go and save a lot of time in redrawing the services, or enhancing the very basic Cymap DXF export offering?



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