Create and Refresh BIM drawings in ARES Commander

ARES Commander now with powerful BIM tools

In this video, we will see how ARES Commander can create 2D drawings in DWG format from a BIM project. We can import BIM files in RVT format of Revit, or IFC format. We can even combine different BIM files to mix the BIM information from different sources.

You can see here different BIM drawings that I have created with ARES Commander from the BIM project. And multiple layout sheets where such drawings were inserted.

We will see later in this video how to generate more BIM drawings like this.

ARES Commander, the only CAD DWG that supports RVT and IFC files.

But to begin with, I would like to stress out that the sheets we have created not only contain viewports at the right scale with the geometry extracted from the BIM model. After generating these 2D views we are able to add more content, such as annotations, dimensions, title blocks and other CAD entities.

Another fundamental aspect is that, if we receive a new version of the BIM project, we can update the geometry of our BIM drawings. We would simply reload the corresponding BIM file and refresh them.

For this, we will select our BIM drawings and use this icon. Once your drawing is updated you could proceed the same for another one. Now, let’s go to the BIM tab of our ribbon to see how to create a new section view.

I could start from the 3D model but in this case I will start from a floor plan view. To begin with I will specify the section plane with two points. Next, I will pick a third point to define which side of the building we want to keep in our section view.

Finally, we will enter a name for this section view. Press ENTER, and see that our new section is added to our Drawings list. Now, to finalize the creation of my BIM drawing I will open it once and this will generate the geometry from the settings I defined.

As a result, you only need to define the views you need from the BIM model and ARES will create them for you. Pay attention that those entities that have been cut are highlighted with a thicker white line, while the rest of the entities that remain uncut are displayed in a shade of gray and with a thin line.

Let me also remind you that, with the BIM Navigator palette, you can go in the Elements tab to see listed all the BIM entities of the project. You can select these elements individually or collectively by space, type or family. You could also decide to show or hide the BIM entities.

Selecting BIM entities from the palette or directly from the model

You can select the BIM entities from the palette or directly from the model. And the very next step is to see that the Properties palette will display their BIM properties. The BIM entities keep all their information. You can for example check the characteristics of a window or a wall.

When we insert BIM files, we have the ability to assign them to discipline. For instance, I want to define that this IFC file is for Planning… and this Revit file is for Architecture.

We can further use this information when we will create our BIM filters. Note that the “Discipline” option appears in the list of “Criteria” we can use for our filter.

Using BIM Filters to your advantage in ARES CAD

The BIM filters play a fundamental role to let you isolate only the BIM information that you want to see in your drawings. In other words, you can hide all the BIM entities that are not relevant for your project.

With a filter by discipline you may for example easily switch from the architecture of the building to the content from the discipline “Planning”. But you can also create more specific filters such as this one that is isolating only the pergolas in this building.

And, at any time, you can use the pre-defined “BIM entities” filter to bring back all the BIM objects You can learn more about the BIM filters from a previous video.

The BIM drawings are generated from the geometry of the BIM model. Drawings can be created from the 3D model in the Model space and you can change the viewpoint to see for example a top view. Or, alternatively, you can use a BIM drawing you created before to work for example from a floor plan view.

Let’s for example create an Elevation view from here. Again, we specify two points like for the section view. But in this case it has to be outside the building. Finally, a third point is needed to give the direction of our view.

We enter a name for this elevation and press Enter. Now we click on the ISOLATED button so that ARES Commander will generate the geometry.

This process is very important, 2D geometry is automatically generated from the 3D model. In floorplans or sections you would see for example that doors or windows are replaced by symbols, instead of showing a section of these objects.

Thus we can create all the sections, floorplans and elevations that we want in a few seconds.

Adding more CAD content to your DWG Drawing

The next step is that you can add more content yourself with the CAD features of ARES Commander. It could be dimensions, annotations or details that you want to draw. In other words you can produce drawings with a higher level of details than what is available in the BIM project.

For example, let’s go to a floorplan view and we will create a new section. We specify the section plane by two points, and which side should be in the section view … Now we write the name and press ENTER. We ask ARES Commander to generate this view.

But in the roof area, we can see that the BIM project was not including any detail about the roof structure. We can draw it directly in ARES Commander.

But first, let’s make a change. Note that in our section the upper part of the roof is shown in the back. We double click on the view and this allows us to visualize it in 3D.

This green box is the one representing our section view. We are going to move the section plane, in such a way that it will cut our building through the ridge of the roof.

Redraw your drawing using ARES Commander

Now, let’s ask ARES Commander to redraw our drawing. After fixing our section view we can now use the CAD features of ARES Commander to draw the roof structure. We are therefore adding CAD entities to the geometry obtained from the BIM project.

This additional content is placed on an “Extra” layer that ARES Commander is activating for us when we switch to any BIM drawing. Using this Extra layer ensures that your additional content will display only in this specific view.

You can use any of the well-known CAD features of ARES Commander to draw any detail.

Besides, I would like to stress out that this content you are adding will remain if you get a new version of the BIM project and refresh the drawing. The BIM geometry would be updated and your own content would stay on top.

The BIM Navigator palette shows us the BIM drawings in an organized way: Plans, Sections, Details, Elevations. But we also see further in the list all the Sheets that were created with these drawings.

Note that we see here the name of a sheet and it corresponds to this layout sheet. The BIM Navigator shows that our layout contains two of our section views and we see also their scale.

Add multiple BIM drawings to your project

Let’s open this sheet and we can add another BIM drawing to it. We select it in the “Drawings” tree, and press the right button to select “Place on Sheet”. We select the SCALE option and enter a scale factor.

Finally, we click to insert the drawing on our sheet. Now, we can see our section appears also on the list in the BIM navigator. Everything is connected. We are generating drawings from a BIM model.

Besides, these drawings are much smarter than it looks. As explained we can add our own content, for example, a dimension. But ARES is also automatically adding callouts and symbols for us to reference the sections, elevations, etc.

See for example how this callout is showing the name of the corresponding drawing, as well as the sheet where it is inserted. In this drawing, you can also see other CAD entities that we previously added manually with ARES Commander such as dimensions, a title block and annotation.

Let’s take another example. On this floorplan, we could draw some electrical installation. When we switch to the corresponding sheet we can see that it is reflecting our changes. These CAD entities have been drawn by ARES Commander on top of the BIM geometry that was extracted from the BIM project and the result is a DWG file that I can print and share.

But let’s see now what will happen to our content if the BIM model is updated. For this, we go back to the BIM files tab and do a right-click to choose the option “Reload from …” to select a new version of our Revit file. Next, we need to review our BIM drawings. We select our floorplan and see that a new partition wall has been created.

As a result, we will modify our electrical system to adapt our content to the new configuration of the building.

To learn more about ARES Commander, don’t forget to visit the ARES Commander Product Page.