April 18, 2017

Help! My .dwg Is Too Large For Email

I was on tech support when a client called in with a question about making a .dwg file smaller. The client had used Revit to export a floor plan to a .dwg to hand off to a consultant, but once exported, the file size was too big to send via email.

In response, I shared some things to consider when exporting a Revit view to a CAD file:

  • Although exporting a view creates a .dwg, it doesn't create an optimized .dwg. Here are a couple of ways to try to optimize it:
  1. After exporting the view to a CAD file, open the .dwg in AutoCAD, use the PURGE or the -PURGE commands to purge the model and clean up the file. 
  2. Save the file.
  3. Check the file size. Is it smaller? If not, go to the next bullet point.
  • After the .dwg has been exported, open the file.
  1. Use the WBLOCK command to create a new .dwg using the Entire drawing option. See the image below.
  2. Specify a location and name for the new .dwg.
  3. Specify the Insert units for the .dwg.
  4. Press [OK]. This will create a new “native” .dwg from the exported Revit view .dwg. This .dwg should be optimized and be the absolutely smallest the CAD file can get without deleting geometry.
  5. Check the file size. The file should be smaller and optimized for working with AutoCAD consultants.

Use this process to optimize and reduce the size of your exported .dwg files prior to sending to consultants. 

Until next time, 

For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

Ron Palma
AEC Application Specialist
Ron has 25+ years of experience in the architectural industry as a drafter, designer, lead project designer, trainer, and a CAD manager implementing Autodesk Architectural Solutions for residential design firms. His instructional accomplishments include: Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), trainer, support technician, educator at Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges, as well as a U.S. Army certified instructor. Ron holds a BA in Instructional Design suma cum laude, is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard, where he is a First Sergeant of an Infantry Company, specializing in training and mentoring soldiers in their careers, and has been deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Resolute Support. Ron is a published author and continues to write professional technical training manuals and shorts for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor and Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Professional, Ron continues to provide Revit Architecture and AutoCAD training and support for various AEC firms. @RonPalmaAEC