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Hi! I'm currently trying out Vectorworks to evaluate if it's a viable choice for me when starting up my own landscape firm. I've got some Revit-files for playing around with and some questions arise:

 

  1. Can I link Revit files so that they are automatically and continually updated? Not just imported without a link.
  2. The architect has taken some time to georeference her building. How do I get Vectorworks to read the correct origin/rotation?
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@Anders Blomberg 

1.The way I manage Revit files is to create a new vectorworks file that exists solely for the purpose of holding the Revit import.  I then reference that into my landscape design file.  When the architect issues a new revit model, I have to go into that special file I set up for referencing and reimport the Revit file.  I'm interested in hearing how others address this.  I would not want an automatic and continuous update from my architects though as I would miss the opportunity to visually check to see what has changed.  I always hear "we just changed the building in this one area" to find that all kinds of other stuff was changed too 🙂  I only see that because I compare the models.

 

2. I have yet to receive a Revit project that was georeferenced correctly, interested to hear other's experiences.  Typically, I'm the one dealing with survey, civil, and georeferencing with the architects just delivering pretty little boxes orientated with the front facade facing up most of the time.

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@jeff prince 

  1. I've been working mainly in AutoCAD/Civil3D for the better part of my career and have experience in both live references and and static imports. Typically I'd work with multiple other disciplines. The last year I've been in heavy infrastructure working on railway stations where we have lots and lots of models to keep track of. I do see the point of manually exporting/importing other disciplines models but for me this is definitely a source of trouble. I very much prefer xref's to models that are continually updated so that I can keep track of the latest changes. The habit of exporting/importing easily gets lost. I fully understand other preferences but I'd like to choose my workflow for myself, not having the software limit me.

    I will try out your way of importing the Revit-file into a separate Vectorworks-file, makes sense to me. Do you typically create Vectorworks native objects of the Revit file? What about mesh, 3d-polygons or solid objects for other objects? As options in the import dialogue.
     
  2. At my office we have discussed georeferencing with the building engineers and architects for some years and we have developed a mutual knowledge of each others needs. It has taken some time and effort but I would say that the engineers have gotten very good at georeferencing their buildings over the last year, to the point where they even georeference without me being in the same project and nagging them about it 🙂 So when we've put all the work into this I would really like to take full advantage of of smarter imports. I guess you're saying that's not possible?
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@Anders Blomberg

1. I spent most of my career in the Autodesk world too.  I am not aware of any method possible for live linking Revit files in Vectorworks.  Can you live link files in AutoCAD or Revit from other softwares like Archicad or Bentley Systems?  Seems like most of these software companies would prefer you stay in their ecosystem for such functionality.

 

The work around of course is to use shuttle files as I described to hold these imported files from other softwares.  I do the same thing with sketchup files.  I suspect that if having live and continuous updates is mission critical for you, you should just use the same software as the rest of your team.  If you are opening your own office, maybe it's wiser to give up on that aspect of your workflow and choose the software that fits best with your practice.  As your practice grows, it's unlikely all your clients will be on the same software or version of software.  When I ventured out on my own for a second time, I abandoned Autodesk and moved to Vectorworks because they provide tools and workflows suited for landscape architecture, something Autodesk has refused to do since they started offering industry specific toolsets.  Prior to that, I did the same thing for a very large AEC firm.  Most everyone was on Revit or AutoCAD there.  The design architects and landscape architects decided to use more appropriate tools for our tasks.  Similarly, all the large international consultants we worked with generally gave their designers the freedom to use whatever it took to get the job done.  Most of the architects used Rhino or Sketchup rather than Revit during concept and design development.  Eventually, that work made its way into Revit without issue.  In the absence of strict standards and workflows, with many hands in the work and variable compliance with the standards, I find it safer to store my work in a separate silo so the weevils don't spoil the harvest 🙂

 

2. I didn't say it wasn't possible, I just haven't seen people do it properly on a regular basis.  It sounds like you have done the necessary legwork in establishing standard operating procedures, so you should be fine.  Prior to switching to Vectorworks and during my evaluation of it, I did have the opportunity to collaborate with a very knowledgeable BIM manager and several internationals that had figured a few things out.  The general consensus was each building or infrastructure element would be created in a single Revit file without Georeferencing.  Each of these Revit files was then imported into a master site model which was georeferenced.  Each building was then orientated within the site file horizontally and vertically.  This worked exceptionally well on large campus projects where FF elevations were having to change throughout the development process.  After seeing this work within the Revit environment, I adopted the same in Vectorworks and have been very happy with it.  Individual georeferenced buildings become problematic, especially if they are duplicated on a site 🙂

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