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Dividing Complex Surfaces into Regular Patterns using Revit

on Thursday, 10 March 2011. Posted in Front Page, Global AEC, FAQ If want to divide a complex surface into a regular pattern, Revit's conceptual modeling environment has features that make it easy to do. You can divide a surface into a grid and apply a regular pattern (for example, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, octagons, and so on) that will smartly wrap to the surface's shape. You can then use this pattern to generate curtain panel elements.

Here's how to do it... Start by creating a mass in-place in your project file or create a new conceptual mass family. Then, select the mass and start editing it.

Subdivide one of the surfaces into a grid


1. Open the conceptual mass family or select the in-place mass and choose Edit In-Place to open Revit's conceptual modeling environment. 2. Choose one of the wall surfaces. 3. Switch to the Modify | Form tab, and choose the Divide Surface tool. 4. Enter parameters for the number of spaces in the U and V directions. For example, to create a grid that is 8 cells tall by 13 cells wide, enter U Grid = 8 and V Grid = 13.

Choose a pattern that will be applied using the regularly-spaced points in the grid
1. Open the Type Selector (at the top of the Properties window) and choose one of the patterns available. 2. Revit will map the selected pattern onto the points on the divided surface. You can choose a simple Rectangle pattern or try something more complex like a Hexagon or Octagon pattern.

Load a curtain panel component that matches the pattern


1. Open the application menu and choose Open. 2. Navigate to the Curtain Panels by Pattern folder in the Imperial or Metric Library. 3. Choose a curtain panel type that matches your pattern. For example, for a rectangle pattern, choose Rectangle Surface. 4. Don't make any changes to this panel. Switch to the Home tab, choose Load into Project, and then, select your Revit project (or the conceptual mass family) as the destination.

Apply the loaded curtain panel component to create curtain panel elements based on the pattern
1. Switch back to the 3D view in your Revit project (or the conceptual mass family) and reselect the divided surface. 2. Open the Type Selector, and you'll see that the new Curtain Panel types have been added to the list. 3. Choose Rectangular Surface Glazed (or Solid), and Revit will generate curtain panel elements that match your pattern.

Note that the Show Component button is now enabled in the ribbon. You can choose to show the surface, the pattern, or the components. 4. Choose Finish Mass to finish editing the mass.

You'll probably want to hide the mass, so you can see the new curtain panels. Open the Visibilty/Graphics Overrides, turn off the checkbox for Masses and make sure that the checkboxes for Curtain Panels and Curtain Systems are turned on. That's it! You can use this technique to wrap a regular pattern of curtain panels on the surfaces of any form in the conceptual modeling environment. It's very flexible and makes it easy to add curtain wall skins to complex shapes.