Endcap creation by X-ref from AutoCAD

Last modified by Desi Borisova on 2021/12/06 15:01

IMPACT Revit 15.0.010


The conversion from AutoCAD to Revit does not happen instantly. Thus, every implementation step requires time and effort. One of the important steps in this conversion is making Endcaps in Revit that fit company standard. The endcap creation workflow in AutoCAD and Revit are different, thus X-ref can be used to make sure that the geometry is right in Revit and such a reference can be used as an underlay. 

To make Revit endcaps that match AutoCAD, proceed to the following chapters. 

Getting X-ref (external reference) ready

Please note that X-ref in this article refers to the Underlay. AutoCAD export in Revit can be imported as a reference layer, as well as the opposite. 

To prepare X-ref from AutoCAD, please follow the steps below:

  1. Open AutoCAD file to be used as an X-ref
  2. Click on "A menu" - Save As - Drawing and make sure that the format is .dwg

Importing X-ref to Revit

First, it is important to note the difference between commands IMPORT CAD and LINK CAD:

"Linked files retain the reference to the external files and will update when the Revit model is reopened or the linked file is reloaded.

Imported files become a part of the Revit model and lose any connection to the source. The same applies to linked Revit files that are bound into the model. You will as a result notice that the elements of the imported/bound files are editable while the linked files can only be selected and moved around as a whole."

Thus, in this chapter as an example, Import CAD function was used. 

  1. Revit menu: Insert - Import CAD
  2. Find recently saved AutoCAD file
  3. Change the settings that fit your work scope, for example, units or colors:


When imported, the group of lines will be moved away from "Revit centre" due to mismatch of origin point.

Setting X-ref

  • Once imported, the X-ref will be pinned. Select the group and unpin by "Modify" - "Unpin". Now the instance can be moved around. 
  • The next important step is to Scale the x-ref so it can be further used. To see the measurement variance, measure an edge using Measure tool in Revit:


  • For instance, the edge that was 20mm in AutoCAD is now 19,7mm in Revit. The drawing has to be scaled to have measurement ratio 1:1. 
  • To achieve that, the Revit Scale tool is to be used. See the video below, how to rescale the imported object. 


An explanation: Select the line's starting and ending point as a reference edge, then insert a new dimension to be applied for the line marked (See gif above)

  • Optional: As the X-ref is imported as one group, the group can be further used when exploded into smaller parts. To avoid too many lines and objects, Partial explode is recommended. 


The same procedure can be repeated at any Revit view, thus by using the steps and recommendations above, the AutoCAD view can be used as underlayer for new endcap creation, the points can be snapped and and accurate endcaps created. 

For further Endcap creation, see article Create new endcap

The final result of the new endcap in Revit by using AutoCAD X-ref:



Figure 1 - Endcap created by AutoCAD Drawing used as an X-ref

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