BIM Reader and Sending Data to Cubit

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BIM Reader is a free standalone program that allows you to extract quantity information from BIM files into Cubit. BIM Reader uses Autodesk software to render some BIM files, so you can move and interact with a model.


BIM Reader offers functionality designed to improve moving quantity information into Cubit. You can convert units across an entire BIM file, create aliases for Trades and Items so that they're named to suit your estimate needs and create intersections so you can see specific elements on the BIM model.


BIM Reader supports some .dwf and .dwfx BIM Project files. Typically, BIM Reader will open most BIM files that were created with an Autodesk Revit Architecture from 2014 or earlier. Some larger files may not render, but will still be readable and the quantity information can still be imported into Cubit.

Opening the BIM Reader

You can open BIM Reader from an open Cubit Job.

To open BIM Reader:

1. On the ribbon, click "Data" tab.

2. Click "BIM Reader" from the "Import" group



                                                                                                                   Fig1. BIM Reader

3. "BIM Reader" will open in a new window.

Note: You may be prompted to download and install Autodesk Design Review, a button will link you to the Autodesk Design Review website.


                       Fig2. Prompt to download and install Autodesk Design Review

Inserting a BIM File

To insert a BIM Plan from the BIM Reader:

1. From the Quick Access tool bar, click "Add" button.

Fig3. Insert BIM Plan

2. From the Open window, navigate your computer to the BIM file you would like to open

3. When you have selected a ".dwf" or ".dwfx", click "Open"

4. You will be asked if you want to display the loaded BIM in Design Review. To see the BIM model select "Display in Design Review", alternatively select "Don't display".

Note: Not displaying the BIM model in Design Review is great for handling large BIM files or less capable computers, while still allowing you to import quantity information to Cubit.

Fig4. Displaying in Design Review

Once the plan is loaded you can select the items that you wish to send to Cubit.

Editing Takeoff

Using the Takeoff pane, you control what information will be transferred to your Cubit Job. From the Takeoff pane you can choose what quantities are transferred and also rename Trades, Items and headings.

Picking Results

You can choose what results are transferred into your Cubit Job in the Takeoff pane from BIM Reader.

To pick the results to be transferred to Cubit:
1. From the "Model" pane, click on the top level heading

Fig4. Model pane


2. From the "Takeoff" pane select an "Attribute" from the "Object takeoff" pane.

3. Click the "Display as" column and the available Result Types will be displayed.

4. Click a Result Type to associate with the "Attribute" or select "Not displayed" to ignore that attribute when transferring quantities to Cubit.

Note: You can also change the Unit column, this will set the Unit column in Cubit for transferred jobs.

Fig5. Takeoff pane Result type

Renaming Quantities

Although BIM files are read only, you can rename Trades, Items and Headings before they are imported Cubit by creating an Alias for them. You can create an alias in the Takeoff pane from BIM Reader.

To create an alias:
1. Using the mouse, select a Trade, Item or Heading from the "Model" pane.

Fig6. Model pane Item

2. From the "Takeoff" pane enter a new description in the "Alias" dialogue box. The Name dialogue box will remain unchanged.

Fig7. Takeoff Alias

Importing Results to Cubit

When you're ready, you can import your Job to Cubit by clicking "Return to Cubit" from the Cubit group in the ribbon. When imported all the BIM shapes will be listed in the Shapes window of the Cubit job.

Note: If you have made changes to the BIM file - like setting an Alias or changing some Display as columns - you will be asked to save changes or continue.

Fig8. Return to Cubit

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