June 30, 2021
How to Turn 3D CAD or Revit Symbols into 2D CAD Blocks
Revit is an increasingly popular format for foodservice design. Back in 2010, KCL developed a feature to load 2D or 3D CAD blocks into Revit and allow those “families” to include parameter data for Revit tagging and scheduling. That made it easy for our end-users to continue to save time using our software until more native Revit families were available.
Indeed, in 2021, most restaurant equipment manufacturers list native Revit families on our platform. However, some manufacturers use their new Revit content to replace their 2D CAD blocks, instead of adding both CAD and Revit to their content libraries. This has created confusion. But we’re here to clear it up for you and show you how to turn 3D CAD or Revit symbols into 2D CAD blocks with the new Flatten command (and one other way).
Keep up with software updates here.
Flatten Command Turns 3D CAD or Revit Symbols into 2D CAD Blocks
Years ago, KCL built a feature that automatically converts 3D Revit into 3D CAD blocks with “good” layers. This means CAD users can load a 3D CAD block and turn off either 2D or 3D layers to be used in AutoCAD.
It’s a good workaround. However, this solution doesn’t create a simple 2D plan, front, and side views. And the Revit-to-CAD conversion may not include things like clearances, connections symbols, or manual notes.
Some KCL users weren’t happy with this approach, especially as more manufacturers created Revit-only content.
And we want you to be delighted with our software.
So in the summer of 2021, we debuted the “Flatten” command. Flatten generates the 2D views in seconds!
All you have to do is right-click on the 3D preview and choose “Flatten.”
Note that these 2D views are not as good as the manufacturer-provided views. It may be missing details or may include details you don’t want.
KCL aims to provide a seamless and efficient design process, but it will help if you press manufacturers to include AutoCAD 2D along with Revit symbols.
If the quick conversion Flatten command doesn’t meet your needs, you can try the more time-intensive conversion method below.
Another Way to Convert 3D CAD to a 2D Elevation View
Create 2D Elevation Views from 3D CAD or Revit
Please contact manufacturers directly to inquire about 2D CAD blocks. If they are not on KCL, we don’t have them.
If you’re not happy with the results of the quick conversion using our new “Flatten” command, try this method:
Open Blank AutoCAD File.
Send 3D CAD to AutoCAD.
If the Balloon is on/yes, then erase it.
Explode the Block once.
Use the 3D View Cube and Choose South or Vpoint – X-Axis: 270 and XY Plane: ).
Type “Flatten” then press Enter.
Select objects (or type ALL) then Enter.
Enter to Confirm Selection from the prior step.
Remove Hidden lines type YES then enter.
Wait for AutoCAD to process (which might take several minutes depending on your computer speed. (We edited the video above to speed up the process.)
When the command prompt shows again, type “ROTATE3D” then Enter.
Select objects (or type ALL then Enter).
Hit Enter to confirm selection.
When prompted to specify first point on axis or define access type “X-axis” in the prompt box.
When prompted to specify a point on the X-Axis, type “0,0,0”.
When prompted Specify Rotation angle type “-90”.
Type Plan then Enter.
Type World then Enter.
Optional: if you want to change objects to a desired layer, do that here. The KCL standard is 250.
If layer 250 does not exist – create the new layer and change objects (CHPROP).
Once this process is complete, you can copy the objects to the drawing needed or add your KCL Private Cloud Library by saving the drawing to your local hard drive, closing the drawing, then adding it to your KCL Private Cloud Library for future use.