October 10, 2017

Tips & Tricks: Insert real openings in place of AutoCAD IFC voids

Some AutoCAD add-ons use a workaround that inserts a blank element where you want an opening in a wall or floor. We know many clients have had this experience, for example, with the MagiCAD plug-in for AutoCAD. But usually you need real openings, not provisions that cause clashes and fail to reflect the actual structural geometry. So, a common question we get is, “Can you insert a real opening in place of a void that came from an IFC file?

With Cut Opening, you can!

Here’s a workflow you can follow to insert REAL openings in your Revit project.

Workflow steps:

  1. Change AutoCAD MagiCAD’s void provision category from “Generic Model” to “Duct.” (Cut Opening doesn’t work with Generic Models.)
  2. Save the .rvt file.
  3. Link .rvt file to your architectural / structural model.
  4. Run an Interference Check.
  5. Export the Interference Check data as an .html file.
  6. Prepare your Cut Opening configuration.
  7. Combine Configuration and Clash detection data.
  8. Insert Openings.

    Here we might run into a problem: We can’t insert openings if an element’s Width, Height, and Length are all equal (i.e. a cube) OR its Length is less than the Height or Width. To overcome this:

  9. Open MEP file.
  10. Stretch rectangular elements so that Cut Opening can recognize the Length dimension. Length should be greater than the Width or Height parameters.
  11. Open the architectural / structural model, and run Cut Opening once again.

So, in between Steps 8 and 9, we run into a strange situation: Cut Opening cannot understand where the Width and Height parameters are, so we have to do some manual rework on the MagiCAD elements. But it’s easy peasy. 😀

Hope this helps you turn your voided elements into REAL openings in your Revit project!


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