Controlling Revit Wall Component Linework

Architectural drawings have been created throughout the years with the intent of accurately and effectively conveying the design intent to the builder for proper construction of the building.  Utilization of CAD made it easier for the designer to show the various components that made up the wall by showing lines representing the edges of each of the wall components.  When showing the multiple components of a wall, we have traditionally shown the lines representing the two faces of a wall as darker lines than the interior linework of the wall.  When using Revit, this same appearance can be easily accomplished.

Revit wall components (layers) are shown as Subcategories of the Wall category.  As such, they can be controlled separately with both their on/off visibility and their appearance characteristics.  The following image shows the Walls category with the default settings of the Subcategories.  (This dialog box is accessed via the Object Styles button on the Settings panel of the Manage tab.)

The three different default Subcategories for the Wall category are:

  1. Common Edges
    • This subcategory defines the edges that are common to 2 adjacent layers (components) of a wall, such as CMU and rigid insulation.
    • This is the one that we are going to specifically address in this article.
  2. Hidden Lines
    • This subcategory controls how edges (faces) of the wall will be seen when hidden behind another wall or other component.
    • This is seen when the Show Hidden Lines command is issued, which is availabe from the Graphics panel of the View tab.  This allows the user to select specific objects that they desire to be shown through another object and this setting controls how the object edges will be displayed.
    • It is common to have this be a dash or hidden line.
  3. Wall Sweeps – Cornice
    • This subcategory allows you to control the appearance of any sweeps attached to the wall.

There are two columns in the dialog box that control the line weight thickness of the lines of the wall.

  • The Cut column controls the lines when the wall is cut in any way, such as in plan or section.  The default cut plane of plan views is 4′-0″ which means that walls are visually “cut off” at 4′-0″ above the floor.  Whatever wall layers (components) would be visible at that 4′-0″ elevation will have their line weight controlled by the number that is in the Cut column.
  • The Projection column controls the lines of wall layers (components) that are not being cut.  This is typical of elevation views or walls seen in plan view where the wall is shorter than the cut plane elevation.

The two line weights to the right of the Walls category in the dialog box control the outer lines of the wall.  In the above image, the two wall faces will have a line weight of “5” whenever the wall gets cut.  If you desire to have the outer wall lines to be even darker, you can change this to a line weight of “6” or “7” (or increase the thickness of Line Weight 5 in the project settings).

The two line weights to the right of the Common Edges subcategory control the inner lines of the wall and are the ones that we want to change.  The default linework shown in the above image is set to a “2” line weight which is already somewhat thinner than the “5” setting for the outer lines.  If you desire lighter lines for these, you can change this to a line weight of “1”, which is the thinnest of all the line weights.

The inner lines can be made even lighter by specifying a different Line Color for the Common Edges.  If you are printing with either Color or Grayscale settings for Appearance in Print Setup, then the inner lines will print even lighter with a Gray color used.  If you are printing with the Black Lines setting, then it will not print with a thinner lineweight since the colors will print as black and not be a grayscale.

The above settings were made in the Object Styles dialog box, which will affect the default settings for all views.  Individual views can have the Cut line weight settings overridden through the Visibility/Graphics Override dialog box for the view.

While this article did not address all aspects of the Wall settings, I hope it helps you understand how to get more contrast in the wall lines within Revit.

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