Masking Regions in Revit Projects

There are times working within Revit that Masking Regions are needed in order to hide/cover model information within a project file.  There can be various reasons for this, so I won’t discuss the “why” you would do it.  You will recognize the need when you confront it.  However, when working with Masking Regions, it is always good to know the guidelines and rules for how they work.

Following is an illustration of a Masking Region covering part of a simple model.

Masking Region Example

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Show Different Detail Levels for Different Categories in Revit View

Revit has three Detail Levels that can be assigned to a view, which are Coarse, Medium, and Fine and these control how much detail is shown for model elements in the view.  When assigning the Detail Level, everything in the view gets assigned that Detail Level by default throughout the view.  However, there are times when you want to have different Detail Levels for different categories of model elements in the same view.  There can be various reasons for this, but a couple of examples are:

  1. You want some information to display more detail than others to accent certain items, such as only wanting walls to display the outer wall lines (Coarse display) while information such as furniture in the room shows a high level of detail (Fine display).
    1. This is common with MEP designers as they often don’t want the walls to show all finishes within the wall.  An earlier blog post addresses this situation.
  2. You want to show a category like Cable Tray with a Fine detail, but show the Conduit as a single line which requires a Coarse or Medium display level.

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Converting AutoCAD Details to Revit

Details are a vital part of the documentation process for building design and construction projects.  CAD users who have used AutoCAD for years have typically developed a large detail library, or at least possess many details used on previous AutoCAD projects.  Those details are valuable as a lot of time and knowledge has gone into developing them.  It is important to be able to access those details for usage within Revit.

While there are various methods utilized for re-using AutoCAD details, not all of them are good solutions and some can add corruption to your Revit project file and create problems.

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Optional Gray Fill in Revit Annotative Families

I was recently working with a client on getting electrical receptacles to show with a solid gray fill to represent when the receptacle is connected to an emergency power circuit.  Since receptacles are shown as annotative symbols in plan views, it created a different situation than can be done in non-annotative families.  In non-annotative families, you can create the solid fill and send it to the back so linework can be seen on top of the fill.  With an annotative family, fill patterns are in masking regions and will cover any linework that might also be in the family.  This meant that a different approach needed to be utilized to get the circular solid gray fill to not cover the symbolic lines going through the electrical receptacle.

This article will look at how to create the fill to display correctly, and also how to make the fill display only when you specify that the receptacle is on an emergency power circuit.

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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.

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Clearance Zones in Revit Families – Part 1

Many pieces of equipment in a building have clearance zones that are required around the equipment for a variety of reasons.  It may be a drinking fountain that requires ADA clearance, an electrical panel that requires code clearance in front it, or mechanical equipment that requires air movement or access clearance around it.  For whatever the reason, it is good to build that clearance zone into the Revit family so that it be used for interference detection through Revit or Navisworks.

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Revit Architecture 2011 Hotfix for Color Fills

Autodesk issued a hot fix for their Revit Architecture 2011 product to address issues releated to some crashing occuring when using Color Fills.  This hot fix has not received much publicity, so I wanted to mention it and encourage users to download and install the fix.  It is a pretty quick and straightforward operation.

The hot fix can be downloaded from the following webpage:
Revit Architecture 2011 Colorfills Hotfix

Some notes:

  • Make sure that Update Release 2 has been applied prior to adding the hotfix. Verify that the build number of Revit 2011 is 20100903_2115.
  • The Utility.dll file will be manually replaced during this process.  The download only copies this file to your computer in a zip file.
  • Administrator rights are required to copy the Utility.dll to the proper location.
  • The readme file explains where to copy the file.
  • There are separate downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit systems.