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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Controlling Material of Nested Revit Families

Being able to control the displayed materials and finishes of nested families is an important part of creating complex Revit families.  As families are created to provide more options or be more efficient, additional families are created and placed into a Host family.  The use of Nested families has a couple of key advantages:

  1. When the same component is used multiple times in a family, it can be advantageous to make that component a Nested family.  An example of this is a wheel assembly family that is used four different times for a cart.
  2. When a family needs to have multiple options from which the user can choose.  An example of this is a door assembly that has various door panel family options, such as full glass, half glass, solid, etc.

Before I go any further, I want to clarify the difference between a Host family and a Nested family.  A Nested family is one that exists inside another family.  For instance, when family F1 is loaded into F2, F2 is the Host family and F1 is the Nested family.  Typically, F2 is then loaded into the Revit project file.

Anyway, as you create a family with Nested families, you want to be able to control the materials and finishes of those Nested families directly in the Host family Properties palette after it has been placed in the project file.  For instance, you may want to control the material/finish/color of a door panel that is actually a nested family in a door assembly.  If you don’t set the family up correctly, you will not be able to do this without opening the door panel family and changing it in the family editor.  You do NOT want to be required to do this.

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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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Sharing Autodesk Materials Throughout An Organization

Autodesk 2013 products allow you to create a library that contains the most commonly used and standard materials within an organization.  It can be daunting and confusing to users when they go to specify a material for something and there are many materials from which to choose.  Autodesk provides many materials Out-Of-The-Box (OOTB), companies will develop materials in-house, and materials may be downloaded, all of which creates a large collection of materials.  This article will describe how you can create a central library on the company server in 3 easy steps, from which users can select the preferred material.

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Revit Family Cleanup

Before an Autodesk Revit family is put into production, it should be cleaned up to reduce size and eliminate overhead that does not need to end up in a project file.  Information that is not required by the family should not be kept in the family.  The final step in family creation before putting a family into production should be the cleanup effort.

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Clearance Zones in Revit Families – Part 2

My previous article discussed the importance of creating Clearance Zones inside Revit familes for equipment and items that need clearances for ADA, safety, air movement, or other reasons.  While that article also discussed the behind the scenes set up to get Clearance Zones into a Revit family, this article finishes the process of creating the actual Clearance Zone.

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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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