Export Vasari/Revit to Rhino

While sending data out of Rhino and into Revit is pretty commonplace, I've seen a bunch of situations where folks need to go from Revit to Rhino and run into trouble.  Data is imported and doesn't show up, imported geometry is faceted, or in some way not what you're looking for.

Luckily, it doesn't have to be like this, you just need to change a couple default settings.  Here's how to get a nice clean, smooth DWG into Rhino

Step 1:  Solids v. Polymesh

Strangely, the default setting for DWG exports is polymesh.  Assuming you want to bring in real smooth, accurate, analytic surfaces and solids, open up Export, Options, Export Setups DWG/DXF
Go to the "Solids" tab and change "exports solids as" from the default "Polymesh" to "ACIS Solids"

Step 2:  DWG Versions

Every 3 years, the folks who make DWG update the file format and often times it takes a couple releases for other companies to incorporate the new file formats.  If you are using Rhino 4, you will be able to import the 2007 version of DWG, if you are on Rhino 5, you can import 2010.  However, the default setting in Revit 2013 and Vasari is the 2013 version, which Rhino will not accept.

So, while you are still in the export options dialog, wander over to the General tab.  In the "Default export options", change the Autocad 2013 Format to 2010 or 2007 depending on what version of Rhino you are on.

 Alternately, you can also change the version while you are exporting

Either way works.

Export is What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get.  Export a Plan view and you get some funny sliced shape.  Isolate or hide elements in a 3d view and you get what is on screen.  Knowing this, go to a 3d view, isolate/hide what you need or don't need and Export.  Import them into Rhino, and Unrollsrf, or Grasshopper, or Squish or whatever else you desire. 



  1. Hey Zach,

    I've been using your blog as a resource for quite a while, very impressive work; great for critical problem solving and non-traditional workflows!

    I did have a question about the repeat component functionality though.

    I created an adaptive component family with the intent of being able to index the row and column placement of a 4 sided panel hosted on a fixed distance divided surface

    It's just a 7 point family that uses the first 3 points, #1 as an origin point, and the #2,#3 points to stretch to the corner of the desired row/column and the remaining 4 to place the family itself.

    Then dividing the 2 reporting dimensions by the cell size to derive a row and column number (IE (row report:30')/ (fixed cell size:10')= row 3)

    I can place the family in any given cell on the grid and it works great! BUT when I then repeat across the surface, each repeated cell reports the same row/cell # as the original?!?!?

    I know this was a lot to read but I'd love to hear your thoughts


  2. Hi Christopher.
    The reporting dimensions only display the wrong number in the readout seen in the properties menu. While this is a pain, and a bug, your reporting paramters will be displayed correctly in schedules (if you make them shared parameters) and will drive other parameters appropriately.

  3. Zach,

    Thanks so much for illuminating the dark art of parametric design! The settings in revit seem super easy, but the import dialogue box that pops up in Rhino looks, uh, somewhat daunting for me. Could you recommend an efficient setup when actually importing into Rhino (using v.5.6)

    Thanks again

  4. Hi zac , exporting generic model would be easy like this and it coukd be modified in rhino environment or not

  5. Hi zac , generic model component would be editable after exporting to rhino ? Thanks man


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