Have you tried to Import or Export an MAJ file in Revit 2021? Have you tried to run a Fabrication Report or Export in Revit 2021? If so, you may have noticed that it’s not in the Add-Ins ribbon any longer.
Your first thought might be you need to install the Revit Extension for MEP Fabrication 2021. But even after installing, it’s still not there. You might then be tempted to submit a support ticket to Autodesk to help troubleshoot your install. No need. Autodesk simply moved the commands and made them more integrated to Revit.
MAJ Exports can now be found in two locations in Revit 2021. The first location is under File -> Export.
The second location shows up in the context ribbon when you select Fabrication Parts….
MAJ Imports have moved as well. This is a little easier to find if you think about it, it’s located under the Insert ribbon.
Fabrication Reports / Fabrication Exports
Your Fabrication Reports and Fabrication Exports will also show up in the context ribbon when you select Fabrication Parts.
Context Ribbon Doesn’t Show MAJ Export or Fabrication Reports/Exports?
If you select parts in Revit and the context ribbon does not show the MAJ Export or Fabrication Reports/Exports drop-downs, take a look at the Ribbon’s title.
If the Title of the ribbon says Multi-Select, this means you have a more than just MEP Fabrication Parts selected. You can quickly filter your selection to just MEP Fabrication Parts using the Filter tool in the lower right of Revit.
Un-check all items except anything that begins with “MEP Fabrication …”. This will deselect any non-Fabrication Parts and your MAJ Export and Fabrication Reports/Exports tools will then show up.
Still Can’t Find These Tools?
Unlike prior years which required a separate install, Revit 2021 installs the Fabrication tools as part of the product install. However, if the tools somehow become uninstalled, and you don’t find them, you can reinstall them by downloading the Revit Extension for MEP Fabrication 2021 from your Autodesk Account. Alternatively, you should be able find it in the Autodesk Desktop App in the updates.
Setting up Autodesk Fabrication to communicate with a TigerStop isn’t difficult. But there really isn’t any good resources that explain how to do it. I’ve explained it multiple times to multiple people so I thought it might make sense to document it here.
This following instructions are not needed of you’re using a system like GTP Stratus or MSuite (formerly FabPro1) as they have their own process for interfacing with TigerStops. However, you can easily run a TigerStop from Autodesk Fabrication without buying any additional software. All you need is a TigerStop and Autodesk Fabrication.
Step 1 – Install TigerLink
From Autodesk Fabrication, you’ll be exporting CSV files. TigerLink is a free software from TigerStop that will take those CSV files and break them down and reformat them into files your Tigerstop software can use.
You can get TigerLink software from TigerStop.Com. Go there and search for “TigerLink” and download the latest version (6.x used in this documentation).
Once installed, you’ll notice a TigerLink folder on your desktop…
And an icon in your system tray…
Right-Click on the TigerLink icon in your system tray and select Open. This will display the following dialog. TigerLink can do several things but we only want it for one purpose. You’ll want to ensure the Auto Connect toggle is Unchecked so that TigerLink does not look for a TigerStop machine.
Be default, TigerLink runs automatically when you start your system and clearing this toggle will prevent it from warning you that there was no machine found. If you don’t want it to run automatically, remove the shortcut it places in the Windows Startup folder.
For now, close the dialog. Then, Right-Click on the system tray icon again and choose Exit. We don’t want the software running when we do our initial configuration a little later.
Step 2 – Creating Your Fabrication Export (Items)
For Tigerstop to work, you need to export data from Autodesk Fabrication. Tigerstops need a minimum of 2 pieces of information. One is a length (decimal format) , the other a quantity. That’s it. However in practice, you’ll want a little more information.
Cutting Pipe is one of the primary uses for TigerStop. So we need to configure a CSV export to do this. But let’s also plan the data we want. We may want to export all types of pipe and sizes in a single export. But you can’t cut mixed materials or sizes from the same stock. So we’ll need material and size in our export so TigerLink can use those fields to break down the data. Let’s breakdown our list of data fields here that we’ll want to send to the TigerStop….
This won’t be output but is used in the Report to filter the Exports to CID 2041 (pipe) only.
Required by TigerStop
Item Centerline Lenth
Required by TigerStop. Must be decimal.
Job File Name
May be helpful in the TigerTouch display for the operator
We want to know the piece number for a label
This typically holds the “Size” of pipe in product listed ITMs. e.g. 1/2″, 3/4″, etc. TigerLink will use this data so files are separated by “Size”. We’ll also use it on the label.
Item Centerline Length
We’ll include this again formatted in Ft-Inch for the shop guys who may want that on the labels
Item Material Name
Tigerlink will use this data so files are also separated by material name. .e.g. Copper vs PVC vs Cast Iron, etc.
Item Spool Name
We’ll want this on the label too.
Use the CSVEXPORT command in CADmep to create your export report. When done, your report configuration might look like the following….
When your report is done, the resulting data might look like the following. Notice how all the sizes and materials are mixed together. This is what TigerLink will fix for us.
Qty,Length,Job Name,Item No,Description,Length,Material,Spool
1,39.146,Sample Data Export,12,4'',3'-3 1/8",Pipe Systems: Cast Iron,
1,40.421,Sample Data Export,12,4'',3'-4 3/8",Pipe Systems: Cast Iron,
1,48.250,Sample Data Export,12,4'',4'-0 1/4",Pipe Systems: Cast Iron,
1,11.835,Sample Data Export,12,4'',11 7/8",Pipe Systems: Cast Iron,
1,42.242,Sample Data Export,10,2'',3'-6 1/4",Pipe Systems: Cast Iron,
1,21.542,Sample Data Export,10,2'',1'-9 1/2",Pipe Systems: Cast Iron,
1,18.024,Sample Data Export,8,2'',1'-6",Pipe Systems: Cast Iron,
1,35.939,Sample Data Export,6,3'',3'-0",Pipe Systems: PVC,
1,22.101,Sample Data Export,6,3'',1'-10 1/8",Pipe Systems: PVC,
1,22.101,Sample Data Export,6,3'',1'-10 1/8",Pipe Systems: PVC,
1,54.987,Sample Data Export,6,2'',4'-7",Pipe Systems: PVC,
1,22.101,Sample Data Export,6,2'',1'-10 1/8",Pipe Systems: PVC,
1,22.101,Sample Data Export,6,2'',1'-10 1/8",Pipe Systems: PVC,
1,16.664,Sample Data Export,6,2'',1'-4 5/8",Pipe Systems: PVC,
1,17.845,Sample Data Export,4,2-1/2'',1'-5 7/8",Pipe Systems: Carbon Steel,
1,14.678,Sample Data Export,4,2-1/2'',1'-2 5/8",Pipe Systems: Carbon Steel,
1,33.388,Sample Data Export,4,2-1/2'',2'-9 3/8",Pipe Systems: Carbon Steel,
1,38.282,Sample Data Export,4,2-1/2'',3'-2 1/4",Pipe Systems: Carbon Steel,
1,12.919,Sample Data Export,2,3/4'',1'-0 7/8",Pipe Systems: Copper,
1,13.923,Sample Data Export,2,3/4'',1'-1 7/8",Pipe Systems: Copper,
1,7.293,Sample Data Export,2,3/4'',7 1/4",Pipe Systems: Copper,
1,10.252,Sample Data Export,2,1/2'',10 1/4",Pipe Systems: Copper,
1,10.252,Sample Data Export,2,1/2'',10 1/4",Pipe Systems: Copper,
1,10.252,Sample Data Export,2,1/2'',10 1/4",Pipe Systems: Copper,
1,19.558,Sample Data Export,2,1/2'',1'-7 1/2",Pipe Systems: Copper,
1,19.558,Sample Data Export,2,1/2'',1'-7 1/2",Pipe Systems: Copper,
Step 3 – Configure TigerLink via XML
TigerLink uses the file “C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\TigerLink6\CutListLinks.xml” to understand how to process exports. We’ll edit this file in Notepad. If you’re familiar with editing XML, it’ll be easy and you may want to use an XML editor however Notepad will be just fine.
I highly recommend making a backup copy of the CutListLinks.xml file in the event you ever need to start over. If you recall the dialog for TigerLink, it listed a number of Export formats in the left column. Each export format are enclosed between a set of XML tags named <LinkType> & </LinkType>.
I’m never going to use any of those formats so I delete all of them from CutlistLink.xml except a single entry which we’ll edit for our purposes. Take some time to study the file before editing. It’s not difficult to see what’s going on with a little close examination.
When we have only one set of <LinkType> & </LinkType> tags, we’re ready to start editing. I’ve highlighted the lines that I edited and/or verified in the following image…
Edit the Link Name which is the name of the Export configuration that will display in the left column of TigerLink.
Verify the Extension matches that of the export…CSV in this case.
As you recall, we have 8 columns of data in our export so use the Columns field configures this.
The DataRowStart tells TigerLink that the data starts on row 2 as our export has headers. Adjust as your export report requires.
Delimiter is set to a comma for a CSV but if your data has commas, you may need to use a different character.
Verify Decimal is set as required. Typically only different in some other countries.
LengthColumn tells TigerLink which column is the length TigerStop will use to drive the machine.
QuantityColumn tells TigerLink which column stores the quantity of parts.
At this point, we’ll ignore the other data as it’s easier to set via the TigerLink interface. Save your CutListLinks.xlm file and restart TigerLink.
Step 4 – Configure Tigerlink via User Interface
When you restart TigerLink, your version should look similar to the following…
The checkbox next to Fabrication Items tells TigerLink that this Export configuration is active and ready to be used. If you Right-Click on Fabrication Items and select EDIT, you get to the configuration user interface as shown below…
Here, we’ll want to do several things to finalize your configuration.
Put a check-mark next to Column entries 5 & 7. These columns hold the Size (Item description) and Material Name. This tells TigerLink that for this export, anytime there’s a new Size and/or material, it belongs in a separate file.
Unless you’re doing something unique, Style should be set to Push
Optimized tells TigerLink that the material will be optimized for best yield/utilization when nesting.
Send File Name is not required but can be used to display the file name on the TigerStop system.
Use the Add button to add data fields to your label. You can add a lot but TigerStop’s label system only works with up to 5 lines. Drag where you want and Right-Click to edit the header, font size and assign to a data column. Thje preview isn’t the most accurate as you can see. My data is off the display but does print properly. You can later go into the CutListLinks.xml file and get a little more fine control over the font size and placement in the <PrintLabel> & </PrintLabel> XML tags.
You’re now done configuring TigerLink and Fabrication. The only thing left is to process data from an export.
Step 5 – Process Fabrication Exports
To process data from an export, take a file with Fabrication piping in it and run the CSVEXPORT command. Once you;ve run the report you created earlier, look for the the CSV file and copy or move it to the TigerLink folder on the Desktop. Once the file is in that folder, TigerLink will process the file and break it into separate *.tiger files. One for each Material and Size if pipe.
These *.tiger files are what the TigerStop machine will use to cut your pipe.
If your CSV file is not processed into separate files, verify that the TigerLink software is running before you copy your CSV to the Desktop folder. Also make sure that the Fabrication Items entry in the TigerLink interface is selected to make sure it’s active.
The following image shows how your file should look once opened in the TigerTouch interface…
Ancillaries can be cut on a TigerStop in a similar way. Use the ANCILLARYEXPORT command to setup your ancillary exports. Using Ancillary Type and Names, you should be able to generate reports for your TigerStop to cut ancillaries.
Because filtering is limited, it may be a little harder to get a single export for all ancillaries. You may find it’s easier to create a report for each ancillary type. As long as all reports for Ancillaries have the same fields and number of columns, you should be able to just add a single “Fabrication Ancillaries” entry to the TightLink’s CutListLinks.XML file to process any of them.
For a copy of the CutListLinks.xml file and CSV Export report used in this example, you can download them from this file…
If you’re using Revit 2018 or 2019 with Fabrication Parts, you may notice that upon loading or reloading your configuration some (or many) of your parts become “Invalid”.
I’m not talking about Fabrication Parts whose CID/Pattern isn’t supported in Revit. I’m referring to perfectly valid Fabrication Parts. Parts that once worked. They may even be currently in your model but are no longer active in your Parts Browser. Here’s a couple examples…
You may even notice valid parts become invalid after unloading a service or that invalid parts become valid again after loading a new service.
What’s happening is that your Fabrication Configuration’s Image Cache has become corrupt. The issue is in Revit 2018 and 2019. Revit 2020 does not experience the issue. Whatever changed in Revit 2020 made it more resilient to a corrupt image cache.
The only known fix until recently was editing your service template. You would have to remove and re-add the part. Reloading the Fabrication Configuration in Revit and it would be fixed. Unfortunately, future database changes would often revert back to the invalid state.
Quick and Dirty Work-Around (Revit 2019 Only)
If you’re using Revit 2019, there is a quick and easy work-around. That’s assuming you only have a few parts that are invalid. To work around the issue, reload your Fabrication Configuration and individually load the invalid part in the Parts tab. The following image shows one invalid part added to the Parts tab.
Once added, the Part then becomes valid in the Parts Browser.
A Permanent Fix (For both Revit 2018 & 2019)
The prior work-around was only available in Revit 2019. This didn’t help Revit 2018 projects which do not have the Parts tab in Fabrication Settings.
To properly fix the issue, you need CADmep. Load your Fabrication Configuration in CADmep. Once loaded, find an open area of your service and press CTRL+SHIFT+Right-Click and select Clear Cache.
Next type the REFRESHALLBTNS command. You’ll see a progress bar while CADmep refreshes your button image cache.
At this point, your button cache should be rebuilt. However I’ve seen instances where you have to “coerce” or otherwise persuade CADmep into saving it back to disk. To verify the changes are saved, go to the Service Editor and click the Apply button then close the dialog.
At this point, you should be all set. If you go back to the problem Revit file and reload your Fabrication Configuration, you should see the Fabrication Part become active again.
Preventing Future Corruption
To prevent future corruption, you first need to understand how it happens. When loading CADmep, you may have noticed the “Button Validation” as shown in the following image…
Because this can be a slow process, most users simply hit the Escape key to terminate the validation. This isn’t a big deal for a user. For a database administrator, this can leave your image cache partially built and corrupt it.
While you can simply stop canceling the process, the better option is to prevent it in the first place. By default, CADmep enables Button Validation. But you can turn it off. To do this, use the Edit Configuration utility that comes with CADmep.
Note that this utility is named the same between versions and between CADmep, ESTmep and CAMduct products. It may be tricky to pick the right one. You need to select the one that comes with CADmep.
You also need to perform this for each CADmep version that’s installed. To help, you may want to choose the Open file location option. This will bring you to the folder with the shortcuts. You can then easily navigate to the proper version of Edit Configuration that you’re looking for.
When you run the utility, it’ll prompt for a configuration. You can pick any, it doesn’t matter. The setting to change is not specific to the configuration, only the product and version for the currently logged in user. The following image shows the Skip Validate Buttons at Start-Up option.
Select this option and the next time you launch CADmep, you’ll no longer see the button validation. This prevents you from canceling out of the validation as well as speeds loading of CADmep.
Credit Goes To…
Special thanks to Martin Schmid and Craig Farish of Autodesk for helping with this issue. We’d been experiencing this issue on and off for over 1/2 a year. Autodesk Support had indicated that nobody else had reported the issue and provided the 2019 work-around. They repeatedly assured me it was fixed in 2020 and not a problem with my data. They had no fix for 2018 which is used by several projects.
After experienced a large volume of invalid buttons, our database administrator spent 6 hours before users arrived rebuilding service templates. The the issue resurfaced within hours of a simple database update. With $5k-10k of lost productivity over 2 weeks with several detailers unable to model certain services, I called in a favor with Martin and Craig. They quickly had their team analyse our data and identify the fix.
I’ve since run into 4 other companies experiencing the same issue and this fix has worked flawlessly for them as well. Hopefully you’ll not need it but if you do, it’ll save you load of time, frustration and money.
Autodesk Fabrication configurations can Compress their data files. It’s a good idea to have this enabled. Not only does this make the files smaller and take up less space, it makes them faster to load. This increases your performance as the data is expanded in memory as opposed to read more data from disk.
You can enable this option in your database settings. Doing this does not automatically compress existing data that’s not already compressed. The following image shows a suggested sequence of operations. This would both enable compression and compress the existing data.
First Enable Compression by selecting the Compress File to Save Disk Space toggle. Future writes to data tables will be compressed when if they are configured to.
Next, enable the toggles for Compress Database Files (.MAP) and Compress Item Files (.ITM) options. This will tell Fabrication to Compress the existing Database and Item files. Also, “unselect” the Compress Jobs (.ESJ .MAJ) option.
Click the Compress Now button. This compresses the Database and ITM files but will not scan your ESTmep and CAMduct job files.
Once compressed, select the Compress Jobs (.ESJ .MAJ) option. This will compress all Future ESJ and MAJ files but not existing ones. If you wanted, you could have left that option selected in Step 2. However it would significantly increase the time it takes to perform the compression process. Because most of your ESJ and MAJ files are likely past jobs, there’s really no value in processing them now….but you could.
Press the OK Button to save these settings.
Check Settings for Each Product, Version and User of Each Computer
You should also know that these settings are NOT saved in your configuration. The file that stores these settings is located here…
You can tell by the folders, that this setting is stored separately for each user on a computer. Because each product and each version is part of the path, those variations need to be set too.
Because Best Practice #9 tells you to use only one version for database administration, version may seem unimportant. But it IS important to know when you upgrade to a newer version for administration. Those versions should also have these settings reviewed.
Every user who does work in your database, should check each product and version for those settings. If they don’t, your work may compress files while their work may decompressed them.
Because clicking this just once makes it do it’s magic in your database, you don’t need to click the Compress Now button for each version, user, product or computer. The options merely need to be Set., telling those products what they should/should compressed or decompressed.
Every once and a while, a Fabrication Configuration can lose data or become corrupt which leaves Revit unable to access it. This after you’ve already been working in a model and using the configuration without issue.
When this happens, it’s likely a result of the Fabrication Configuration loosing it’s GUID or “Global Unique Identifier”. You really only notice when attempting to reload the configuration in one of your existing models. The error will look like the following image…
When you launch of the other Fabrication products (CADmep, ESTmep or CAMduct) you can view the data from the database editor. In the image below, you can see the data is missing.
Retrieving Lost Data
The good news is that you can the data back. For this, we’ll use Revit and Dynamo, Revit’s visual programming environment.
Start Revit and open up one of your existing project that already had a Fabrication Configuration loaded. From the Manage ribbon, click the Dynamo button.
Once in Dynamo, you’ll need to load a Fabrication Dynamo package. Click the Package menu to display the Online Package Search dialog. You’ll need to wait a little while for the dialog to populate. Once populated, you can type Fabrication in the search box. In the results, select the DynaFabrication2018 package. Next, click the down arrow button on the left to install it as shown in the following image…
Once installed, the dialog will show the loaded modules at the bottom. It should look like the following image…
After the Dynamo packages are installed, you can build a Dynamo program that will extract the needed data. But instead of walking you through that, simply download, unzip and open the Dynamo program I’ve already created.
One Dynamo program Get Missing Fabrication GUID.dyn is loaded, your Dynamo screen should look like the following image…
In the lower right corner, if the button says Manual click the Run button otherwise if it’s set to Automatic, the information you need is already populated. Record the data in the fields marked A, B & C. This is what you’ll enter back in the database.
Add Data Back to the Fabrication Configuration
Launch of one the Fabrication products (CADmep, ESTmep or CAMduct). In the database editor, enter the information from Dynamo into the fields marked A, B & C as shown below…
Exit the database editor and exit from the Fabrication product you launched. If you still have Revit/Dynamo loaded, close both. Now, relaunch Revit again and open the model you opened before.
When you go to reload the configuration again, Revit should successfully find and reload your configuration.
AutoCAD was famous for it’s command line. It was easy to move items and type locations, distances or coordinates. Revit isn’t quite as intuitive for those coming from AutoCAD.
There’s a lot of reasons you need more control of Fabrication Parts in Revit. You may want to align the ends of pipe for a rack. Or perhaps you want to control the spacing between pipes in a run of parallel pipes.
At first it appears like the best you can do is drag items close. Eyeball them up so to speak. The traditional methods used in AutoCAD just won’t work. Methods like drawing construction geometry and using point filter and/or object snaps.
You can precisely control placement and location when moving to Revit from CADmep. In Revit, you simply place dimensions and edit them. Seems easy enough but there’s a couple nuances that can leave users frustrated. We’ll cover how to do this below.
Adding Dimensions in Revit
You can use the Annotate tab on the Ribbon in Revit. You’ll use the Linear, Aligned and Angular dimensions the most.
When you place a dimension between parts in Revit, the obvious thing would be to double-click the dimension to edit it. You’ve likely seen the following dialog…
If you see this dialog, you’re on the wrong path. This is not where you’d edit a dimension to control part placement. For controlling parts with dimensions in Revit, you actually select one of the parts you dimensioned.
The following image shows a Fabrication Part selected. But there’s still a problem. If the dimension text is black, you can not edit it. This is because one of the parts are over constrained. If you find a Lock icon on one of the parts, try unlocking it.
After unlocking the part, you may need to deselect and re-select the part for the dimension text to be editable. In the following image, you’ll see the dimension text is now Blue.
With the dimension text Blue, you can now click on the text to edit it as shown in the following image.
With the edit box for the dimension text activated, simply type the desired value and press <Enter> or click out of the edit box.
You’ll see the part move to the dimension you entered. The key to determining which part moves when editing a dimension is based on the part you select. If you just wanted to align the parts, you can delete the dimension afterward. On the other hand, if you want to maintain that relationship, highlight the dimension. You’ll see a unlocked Lock icon as shown in the below image.
If you click to Lock the icon, this relationship between parts will be maintained going forward.
The below video shows three pipes modeled with various end lengths. We’re using dimensions to align the ends of the pipe. We also delete the dimensions afterward. Moving one of the pipe ends later will not move the ends of the other.
Pipe spacing is set using dimensions just like before only this time, the dimensions are retained and the lock icon locked When one pipe later moves, the other moves to maintain the spacing.
CADmep, ESTmep and CAMduct all use the concept of an Attacher. This is what tells Fabrication which way to route elbows and branches.
Most people know how to place and rotate the Attacher. There are a few other tricks to working with the Attacher that you may not know about.
Up or Down, How to Get Around
Depending on your view orientation, you may notice part of the Attacher turns from Red to Blue or Green. As you rotate the Attacher it’s color will change to indicate the direction the arrow is pointing.
Green = Grass (Attacher is pointing away from you)
Blue = Sky (Attacher is pointing toward you)
Depending oh which program you’re in (CADmep, ESTmep or CAMduct) and the keys you press, the Attacher rotates differently. Here’s a chart explaining those nuances.
Don’t use Commas (,) in Database Entry Names, ITM File Names, Don’t Use Them Anywhere.
Similar to Best Practice #1 (Don’t use Double Quotes), you should avoid using commas. Commas are the delimiting character in a CSV file. Using a comma can throw off the data columns in data exports that use the CSV file format.
Below, you can see Autodesk let a comma slip into a file name in their Metric Configuration.Yes – Ancillary in Ancillary Kit
Warning: This is last part (4 of a 4) in a series on merging Autodesk Fabrication Databases. Autodesk Fabrication software is extremely powerful and flexible but that also makes it very fragile. Use the below guidance with caution. I highly recommend backing up your configuration before attempting anything I’ve recommended. It never hurts to have a firm grasp of how Autodesk Fabrication functions from an administrative perspective. Consider yourself warned!
Method 4: MERGEDB (CAMduct only)
This last method is very quick and powerful but only available in CAMduct. If you’re not a CAMduct user, simply download and install to perform this process while in the 30-day trail period.
This method doesn’t let you pick and choose individual database entries but you can pick certain database types and quickly merge all of them into a new configuration. Unlike prior methods were you typically started in the old Database to export an *.IOX / *.IEZ file or create a Proxy ITM first, in this process, you start with the database you want the items to be imported into.
In addition to make of the database entries Method 1 supported, this method also supports these additional entries.
To use this method, start CAMduct and type CTRL-SHIFT-C to display the command window as shown below.
From the command window, type MERGEDB and press <Enter>. This doesn’t do anything other than tell you the data the command needs as shown below. The Strict/Unstrict options tell the merge process if it should only look at the name or the data to determine if it’s duplicate. If you choose strict and the items are already in your database, something as simple as 3 vs 4 digits after a decimal will cause a duplicate entry. In most cases, unstrict is all that’s required.
For this example, we’ll type MERGEDB UNSTRICT NOTCHES to import all the notches from one database to another as shown below.
When you press enter, you’re prompted to select a folder. You should select the Database folder of the old database you want to merge into your current database.
If new items are found, you’ll be notified and prompted if you want to save the changes or not.
Upon completion of the merge, you’ll need to go to those items in your database and make permanent any you intend to keep and remove those you didn’t want.
Pros: > Only way to import some database entry type. > Easiest way to merge the bulk of 2 database together. > Extremely fast and efficient. Cons: > Requires CAMduct. > Can not pick and choose database entries, only database types. > Requires post merge cleanup of deletion or making entries permanent
Warning: This is Part 3 of a 4 part series on merging Autodesk Fabrication Databases. Autodesk Fabrication software is extremely powerful and flexible but that also makes it very fragile. Use the below guidance with caution. I highly recommend backing up your configuration before attempting anything I’ve recommended. It never hurts to have a firm grasp of how Autodesk Fabrication functions from an administrative perspective. Consider yourself warned!
Method 3: Service Export/Import
This method is very similar to Method 2 above except that it works on a full service and all the items within it’s service template. If you have an existing service you want to post from one Database to another, this is a great method. Even if you just have a library of multiple ITM’s, it’s very common to create a transport service. That service holds those ITM’s and can be used as a means to get ITM’s from one database to another. Here are the steps.
From CADmep, type EXPORTSYS at the command line or in ESTmep or CAMduct, while in the Takeoff screen, select Takeoff -> Services -> Export as shown below…
This displays the Export Systems dialog. Use the Browse button to select the location and name of the *.IEZ export file. Select the service(s) you wish to export and click the Export button.
Importing is a similar process. Type IMPORTSYS from CADmep or from the Takeoff screen in ESTmep or CAMduct, select Takeoff -> Services -> Import as shown below…
You are prompted to select an *.IEZ file for import. The file will be read and display all the services that were exported. Select those you want to import and click Import.
Because IEZ imports can contain a lot of data, it’s likely you may have a lot of duplicates. Upon import, you are prompted if you’d like to Import ALL or NEWER item. Select as appropriate for your situation as shown below.
If Estimating data is found, you are also prompted to Replace or Keep existing tables. Because the database you are importing to is likely your current desired database, I’d recommend to Keep existing tables and only Replace if you intend to bring over labor and cost data in the Import. Once again, choose the option that best suits your needs as shown below.
Like in Method 1 earlier, if the import finds a service or template it thinks is the same, it’ll prompt you how to proceed. I highly recommend NOT selecting the “….To All” options as it’s common for the database index to cause false matches and mislead you.
You are prompted once the import is complete. As with Method 2, if ITM’s imported through this process contain new database entries, you’ll need to find those and make them permanent in a similar way.
Pros: > Easiest way to import large numbers if ITM’s and their related database entries. > Easy way to import Services and Service Templates Cons: > Slowest of all process do to all the verification the Import process needs to do. > Can Import a lot more data than you intend. > Can not pick and choose individual database entries to import
Stay tuned for Method 4 in my next and last post in this series.