The New Materials User Interface in Revit 2013

The latest version of Autodesk Revit brings several new features. Most notable are the following: • An all-in-one version of Revit is available in addition to the discipline specific packages (Architecture, Structure and MEP) • Model based stair sketches, which allows for T-shaped, Y-shaped and stacked multi-run stairs • Artificial lighting and photographic exposure in realistic views • Ray Trace mode • RPC content appearance in realistic views • Save and reload selections (this was in Revit Structure previously) • Split a dimension string • View Templates can be assigned to a view, and then drive the view’s settings • Thermal properties in Materials, and assemblies which automatically calculate Resistance (U) and Thermal Mass This article will cover the major changes made to the Materials user interface (UI) that current users need to be aware of in order to efficiently use the 2013 family of Revit products. We will be looking at the new Materials UI from the perspective of an existing experienced user.

Once you read this article. just click OK/Cancel and never click the Done button. one can see that the original dialog was essentially split down the middle into two dialog boxes. If you want both to always open. In 2013. but complaining about that will not change anything for this version. both of these dialogs open side-by-side. Admittedly. If you do this. It is possible to close the Material Editor (right) and still have the Material Browser (left) open. the new design feels more cumbersome. you will be aware of where everything is and not get hung up on a few notso-intuitive aspects of the new Materials UI. The 2012 dialog is largely self-contained within a single dialog box.Compare New and Old The two images shown below compare the Materials dialog for 2012 (Figure 1) and 2013 (Figure 2). when you first open Materials from the Manage tab. the process has been broken down into multiple dialogs. the next time you open Materials. By default. The Materials dialog for Revit 2012 is shown below: Compare this to the Materials dialog for Revit 2013: Looking at the new UI shown above. . the Editor dialog will not open.

In the image below. Second. Once you make these changes. you can see the adjusted dialog boxes for overall size and Material text view. Revit will remember them so you only have to do this once. First you can adjust the two dialogs to be taller. This is similar to the default view in previous versions. This allows you to see more information. .There are a few steps you can take to maximize the usability of this new layout. especially in the Material Editor. follow steps #1 and #2 in the image shown below. To do this. you can switch the Material list to Text View so you can see more materials.

Notice the circled arrow icons in the image below. Think of a Material as a container. which is Assets. Consider the simple illustration shown below. These icons expand and collapse sections of information. Notice this heading in the figure above. The box shown here represents a Material in Revit. let’s first talk about the overall concept of a Material.Understanding Revit Materials There is a new term being thrown into the mix.  General Information . while others do not. within the Material Editor dialog. The first one is the easiest to miss as it is collapsed by default and not near the others like it. All of these components shown within the box existed in previous versions of Revit except Thermal. We will take a look at each of these material components in the order listed. Some of the information represents elements you can touch and see when the building is complete. To better understand Assets. We did not have the terminology of Assets either (except in the API). Knowing this will help to ease the initial shock one might experience when first looking at the new Materials UI.

which was previously found on the Identity tab in 2012. as shown below.Clicking this arrow expands the General Information such as Keynote and Product Information. .

seen in the lower left of the image above. In the previous version. In 2013. gives you access to a list of material-based parameters in the project.  Graphics Assets . This information was displayed at the bottom of the Identity tab previously and only appeared if the project had any instances of this type of parameter in it.One big thing missing in 2013 is the Material Class field. the parameters were only viewed from a small area within the main Materials dialog.  Custom Information The Custom Parameters button. as shown below. It was at the first item on the Identity tab. a separate dialog opens to view the custom parameters. It is too bad one cannot initiate the creation of a Material parameter from this dialog. This allowed us to sort Materials.

you need to select the asset name (item #1) to see the related information highlighted by item #2.All materials have a Graphics asset. the Appearance asset mimics the information found previously on the Appearance tab.  Appearance Assets . The only thing worth pointing out is the new Tint option. Clicking any of the other three assets listed here will change the information displayed in #2. This is the same information which was on the Graphics tab previously. Similar to the Graphics asset. Here you control what the material looks like in your basic nonrendered views. as shown below. As shown in the image below.

 Physical Assets The Physical asset relates to the Structure tab in the previous release. that being the Thermal asset. The “physical” properties about a material’s thermal characteristics are defined here. as shown below.  Thermal Assets The last Asset to cover is the big new thing with Materials. An . A Physical asset defines the physical/structural properties of the material.

Note that deleting all the Thermal assets from your Materials will cause these fields to be blank. system families) can now calculate the total R-Value and Thermal Mass as shown below. from which you can choose a different asset. All of the assets. If the asset already exists..  Adding or Replacing Assets This will open the Asset Browser. Additionally. click the Replace icon as shown below. A related feature enhancement is that assemblies (i.e. but you want to change it. the Physical and Thermal assets can be deleted. can be replaced with another option from the provided library. Notice that these values can be changed in the project if needed.example of this is shown below where we see the values for Polyurethane – Foamed In Place. The asset’s properties are hard‐wired in the Autodesk libraries and not directly editable until loaded into . except Graphics.

a project.  Adding Materials Back in the second figure. . A new material can be created from the drop-down list in the lower left corner of the Material Editor dialog. you see the Autodesk Material Library. you use the Add Asset dropdown option shown below. If your Material does not have a Physical or Thermal asset. These materials are complete with the Assets preloaded (with a few exceptions). Clicking the icon pointed out in the image below will push the selected Asset into the current Material. Here you can double-click on a Material and thus load it into your project. As before. you can create a custom user library as well. This too will open the Asset Browser. you can now also create a new Material from scratch. which is shown again below. In addition to duplicating a Material within the project. in the lower left of the Material Browser.

the old way) so you don’t have to worry about that right away. but you still have access to Stair by Sketch (i. an existing Revit user should have no problem using the 2013 version of Revit. .Conclusion With this information.e. Not much has changed that will affect the day-to-day work other than this. The next big change is the stairs.

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