Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Maya export to .dwg

In a technology preview from Autodesk released yesterday we now have access to exporting to the .dwg file format from Maya courtesy of Autodesk Labs.

From the site:
The DWG Plug-in for Maya 2008 enables users to export complex conceptual building designs from Maya for further design development and documentation in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2008. For additional information including a how-to overview of the technology, please see BIM: Maya 2008 for Complex Conceptual Design.pdf which accompanies the install file in the ZIP download

The workflow mentioned to go from Maya to Revit Architecture is the following:
• Create initial design expression in Maya
• Export file from Maya to the DWG file format
• Convert DWG™ files to SAT file format (ACIS® Solid) in AutoCAD® 2008 software via export.
• Import SAT file to Revit Architecture 2008 for documentation via massing.

The Negative:
First, the pitch about bringing this into Revit Architecture is a bit misleading as I modified the steps above slightly to show what is really occuring. The way it is written up makes it sound like a seamless 4 step transition to getting your model from Maya to Revit. This is not seamless, first AutoCAD is used as a "translator" to take the geometry and make it readable by other packages via the .sat file format. To get this into Revit it then takes additional work to clean this up and you have to work from massings, not exactly a smart family to begin with so if you have any experience with family editing you may be better off doing it that way. Ex. a known issue mentioned in the .pdf is that the model may need to be rotated in the massing to get the model in the right orientation.

Second, we can export to .stl directly in Max. Why can we not get that in Maya and skip the whole AutoCAD step?

The Positive:
Great job on the tool as we are now able to share this with other Autodesk users not on Maya.

happy exporting...
beau turner


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