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Transferring Models - Rhino to Revit to Rhino

Trying to import a Rhino (.SAT) file into a Revit project?  Or transferring a Revit model to Rhino?

It can be done!  Just follow the steps outlined below...


Importing a Rhino model into Revit

The key to importing a Rhino .SAT file into Revit is to create a new mass family as an intermediate container (Application menu > New > Family > Mass), and then import the SAT file into the mass family. 

  1. Click New (Family).
  2. In the New dialog, select Mass.rft, and click Open.
  3. Import the file containing the design, as follows:
    1. Click Insert tabImport panel (Import CAD).

      For more information, see Importing or Linking CAD Files Using the Import CAD and Link CAD Tools.

    2. In the Import CAD Formats dialog, navigate to the folder that contains the file to import.
    3. For Files of type, select the appropriate file type (such as DWG, SAT, or SKP).
    4. Select the file to import.
    5. Specify the desired import settings.

      The following settings are recommended:

      • Colors: Preserve
      • Layers: All
      • Import Units: Auto-Detect
      • Positioning: Auto - Origin to Origin
      • Place at: Level 1 or Ref. Level
      • Orient to View

      See Import and Link Options for CAD Formats and Revit Models.

    6. Click Open.

    To see the massing study, you may need to do the following:

    • Switch to a 3D view.
    • Type ZF (Zoom to Fit) to adjust the drawing area to show the entire mass.
    • On the ribbon, click Show Mass Form and Floors.
    • To improve visibility, on the View Control Bar, for Visual Style, select Shading with Edges.
  4. Save the mass family.
  5. Load the mass family into the project and place the component, as follows:
    1. Click Insert tabLoad from Library panel (Load Family).
    2. In the Load Family dialog, navigate to the mass family file and then click Open.
    3. On the ribbon, click  (Place Mass).
    4. At the Show Mass Enabled message, click OK.
    5. Click in the drawing area to place the mass.

    If you cannot see the mass, you may need to do the following:

    • Switch to a 3D view.
    • Type ZF (Zoom to Fit) to adjust the drawing area to show the entire mass.

    For more information, see Placing a Mass Instance from a Mass Family.

With the .SAT file imported into a mass family, you can load the family into your Revit or Vasari project (Modify tab > Family Editor > Load into Project) and use it as context or for solar radiation or wind flow analysis. 

This imported .SAT mass cannot be divided into mass floors directly, but it can be used as a template. To create mass floors:
  1. Create a new in-place mass in Revit or Vasari.
  2. Pick the edges of the imported mass to draw profiles.
  3. Use these profiles to create forms.
  4. Complete the new in-place mass.
  5. Select the in-place mass and use the Mass Floors command (Modify|Mass tab > Mass Floors) to divide it by floor levels.

Export a Revit model to Rhino

You can transfer the geometry in Revit models to Rhino by switching to a 3D view and then exporting the model using the DXF or DWG file format.
  1. Set up a 3D view in Revit that contains only the essential elements that you want to transfer.
  2. (Turn on the walls, but turn off the Masses or other categories) using Visibility/Graphics overrides.)

  3. Export this view as a DXF  or DWG file.

  4. Import this DXF file into Rhino.


Tutorials Available Online

Be sure to check out the EXCELLENT tutorials available on the BUILDZ Blog, listed in the Related Articles section below.


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