by Dennis Collin
There is a lot of useful content available for users who need to quickly produce visuals or add custom content in whatever product they happen to be working in. Autodesk Revit is a popular tool for all kinds of disciplines and there is a need to have the ability to bring in data from a range of different sources to quickly make compelling visuals and drawings.
Fig. The Express OBJ import tool is easy to use
Whilst Revit can import some formats like DWG, DXF, Sketchup’s SKP, Rhino’s 3DM and SAT files, it doesn’t have the ability yet to directly import OBJ formats. Although this could be achieved using 3ds Max’s extensive file support, licenses or product knowledge are not always available. It is desirable therefore to have other data transfer options and that could be utilising AutoCAD and its wide range of add-ins located on its APP store.
Fig. OBJ Mesh imported into an AutoCAD environment
OBJ2DWG is a useful free add-in that imports mesh objects to an AutoCAD environment. This mesh can then be saved to DWG format and then taken into Revit via DWG or DXF. Although this imported geometry cannot be flexed like modelled Revit geometry it does provide an easy way to quickly ‘Revit-ise” 3rd party data when no dedicated families are available.
Fig. Mesh saved as DWG and imported into Revit
The add-in also has a feature to create flat 2D representations of the geometry which works in a similar way to the conventional AutoCAD Flatshot command.