DWG drawings from Revit and IFC BIM projects with ARES Commander

In this blog post article, we will see how we can create 2D drawings in DWG format from BIM models. Remember that we can import BIM files either in Revit RVT format or in IFC format. We can even combine them to unify BIM information from different sources, and use BIM filters to isolate only the content that we want to see in our drawings. 

From the Navigator, we can easily access the different views of the model. That is section views, floor plans, or elevations. To save time, we created all these drawings previously. In a minute, we will learn how to create them ourselves. Note that we can see here the cutting planes for the drawings we created. We can show or hide these references using these icons.

What are BIM Drawings?

The BIM drawings are 2D views extracted from the 3D geometry of our BIM projects. After extracting each of these views, we can insert them into layouts as viewports. As expected, the result will be layouts with multiple viewports at different scales but that’s not all. The BIM drawings combine geometry extracted from the BIM project and additional content we will add with ARES Commander’s CAD features. The link with the BIM project is preserved. If we receive a new version of the BIM files, we will be able to update the drawings to reflect the changes in the BIM project without redoing all our drawings. But let’s proceed step by step.

Create DWG drawings from Revit and IFC BIM projects:

First, we will see how to create these drawings. As an example, let’s create a section view. We find this option in the BIM tab of the ribbon. Before making this section, we will change the display mode and the viewpoint to see our model from the best angle. We select the SECTION command and specify the section plane with two points. Next, we indicate the third point to define which side of the building we want to keep in our section view. Now, we have to name this view. We can see the new section view in the Drawings list within the Navigator. We can even rename it after creation, simply by right-clicking on it and choosing RENAME

To see the view, we double-click on it. Remember that we can turn off the references to other views from here. To organize our project, ARES Commander automatically creates a project folder where each of these BIM drawings will be stored as external references. When we click on any BIM drawing in the BIM Navigator, we can see how it opens as a new tab. Each of these references is named after the main drawing. If we need to copy or move our project, please be sure to remember these external references. In each of these drawings, we can use the BIM Navigator to jump to another drawing. But to manage the project, we need to return to the main drawing where we will find the BIM files imported, as well as the filters and elements.

In the section view we created, ARES uses a thick line to represent the BIM entities crossing the section. The entities that are further in the back are represented in a shade of grey, and with a thin line. In addition, the BIM entities keep all their information. We can, for example, check the BIM information of a window or a wall. Note also that this section view is only showing the BIM entities that we decided to keep in the BIM filter. In other words, we can hide all the BIM entities that are not relevant to our project. We created our section view from the 3D model. Alternatively, we can use a BIM drawing we created before to work from a floor plan view.

BIM Drawing – Elevation:

To demonstrate, let’s create an Elevation view from here. Again, we specify two points, as we did for the section view. But in this case, our points have to be outside the building. Finally, a third point is needed to give the direction of our view. We type a name for this elevation, and press Enter. Thus we can create all the sections, floorplans, and elevations that we want in a matter of seconds. In the roof area, we can see that the BIM project does not include any detail about the roof structure. This will be an opportunity to show how we can draw on top of the BIM drawing with the ARES Commander.

But first, let’s make a change. In this section view, the roof was not sectioned at the ridge. We will move the section plan to fix that. In this case, it will help to work from the 3D model, so we return to the model space of the main file and we move the section plane in such a way that it will cut our building through the ridge of the roof. Now, let’s ask ARES Commander to refresh our drawing. Remember that we can activate this option to more easily distinguish the cut entities, relative to those in the backplanes. After fixing our section view, we can now use the CAD features of ARES Commander to draw the details of the roof structure. We may also add annotations and dimensions  insert blocks and title blocks or virtually anything else that we can expect in a DWG drawing

Sheets and Viewports:

Now that our content is ready, we will configure our sheets. The BIM Navigator palette shows us the BIM drawings in an organized way: Plans, Sections, Details, and Elevations. But we also see in the list all the sheets that we have previously created with these drawings. Note that the names of the sheets correspond to the layouts of our DWG file. The BIM Navigator shows that our layout contains two of our section views.

Let’s open this sheet and add another BIM drawing to it. We select it in the “Drawings” tree, and press the right button to select “Place on Sheet”.By pressing the right button, we can select the scale for the view we are inserting. If we don’t select the scale, it will default to the one that was used most recently. Finally, we click to insert the drawing on our sheet. Now, we can see our section also appears on the list in the BIM Navigator.

Everything is connected. We are generating drawings from a BIM model and can draw anything on top using the CAD features of ARES Commander such as this detailed view of the wall. This is the level of details we would expect from a DWG drawing but that is not available in the BIM project and these drawings are much smarter than they look. Note that ARES Commander goes beyond sectioning the 3D. 

When available in the BIM project, symbolic graphics such as a door or swing symbols replace the section view of the corresponding BIM elements.ARES Commander also automates the creation of callouts to reference each view and section on other drawings as well as the sheet where it is inserted. We can also open the Sheet Set palette as ARES Commander is automatically organizing a Sheet Set for our project.

Let’s see what will happen to our content if we receive a new version of the BIM project. For this, we go back to the BIM Files tab, right-click, and choose the option “Reload from” to select a new version of our BIM file. Next, we need to review our BIM drawings. In our floor plan, we see that a new partition has been created. The electrical network we see in blue was created with ARES Commander. We will now modify it to adapt to the new configuration of the building

To conclude, the BIM features of ARES Commander help us to minimize the effort to create and most importantly, update the drawings. Indeed, BIM and CAD are frequently two processes running side by side, in an isolated fashion instead of a cooperative one. With ARES Commander, we can create smarter DWG drawings that enable CAD users to work in good synergy with BIM users.

Do you work in the construction industry as well? Are you looking for a cost-effective solution to help you enhance your productivity? Then sign up for a free 30-day trial of ARES Commander. This trial contains all three CAD solutions ARES Commander, ARES Touch, and ARES Kudo, allowing you to try Graebert’s 2D CAD on your desktop, mobile device, or in the cloud. Start your free trial today and take advantage of the features