If you’re at all familiar with our suite of UNIFI products, you know that our BIM content management system and Project Analytics solutions integrate seamlessly with Revit. But did you know that we support the storage of more than just Revit families and materials? You may be surprised to learn that UNIFI can also help you sort and manage your AutoCAD libraries as well.
Using UNIFI to Organize Your AutoCAD Blocks
There are several benefits to using UNIFI to maintain your CAD library (as opposed to storing them in a folder location on your network).
First and foremost, any piece of content (virtually any file type) hosted in UNIFI has the opportunity for applying metadata which makes AutoCAD blocks easier to organize, find, and revise.
In screenshot below, you can see an example of some of the metadata that I’m referring to.
1. Star Ratings: Users have the option to rate AutoCAD blocks. This gives users the ability to sort or filter by how high or low the DWG is rated.
2. Custom Preview Images: By default, we will display the DWG file thumbnail as the preview image in UNIFI, however, users have the option to upload or capture their own preview image for display within UNIFI.
3. File Size: From an CAD perspective, file size can be a critical piece of what determines the quality of an AutoCAD block. Here you can see the file size of the block before inserting it into a drawing.
4. Libraries: Rather than living in a single folder on a network drive, your CAD blocks can now be made available to multiple libraries, which allow for control over who can access this DWG or who has admin rights to modify it.
5. Tags: Similar to libraries, tags allow multiple ways for users to find AutoCAD DWGs stored in UNIFI The main difference is, unlike libraries, tags do not offer permissions control.
The screenshot below is what it looks like to view an AutoCAD block in UNIFI. The added benefit here is the versioning capability. As you can see in #1 below, anytime a DWG is updated in your library, we’ll automatically create a version which records who made the change, when the change was made, and even give users the opportunity to describe what they changed. As you would expect, admins even have the ability to roll back to a previous version if the need should arise.
As mentioned earlier in this post, UNIFI is integrated with Revit, but did you know that we also play nicely with AutoCAD?
It only takes a single click to insert a CAD block into your current AutoCAD drawing. When a user clicks on the preview image from within their Unifi Core library, our add-in downloads the block from the cloud, inserts it into your current AutoCAD drawing, and prompts the user to place it immediately.
Exporting and Uploading
We also install two AutoCAD add-ins which support two functions.
1. Upload Drawing: Uploads the entire DWG that is currently open to UNIFI.
2. Export Objects: Prompts the user to select blocks within the current DWG and batch uploads them to UNIFI.
With the exponential adoption of Revit, we often forget that several firms still rely on AutoCAD as a core application in their daily workflows. So, whether you’re a current UNIFI user or not, I hope that this post has helped shed some light on how our platform not only supports virtually any file type, but also integrates directly with AutoCAD.