Revit Topography

Tips and Tricks
•Interface •Importing Data •Modifying Toposurfaces

Emre Ozkan
GAUDREAU INC. Revit Implementation Group

Revit is a great tool to create and modify Toposurfaces!

The Toposurface tool defines a topographical surface (a toposurface) using points. You can create toposurfaces in 3D views or site plans.

Toposurfaces in Revit are simply faces. Faces are infinitely thin. Faces are made up of THREE points

. Triangulation edges for toposurfaces are turned off by default. You can turn them on by selecting them from the Model Categories/Topography category in the Visibility/Graphics dialog.Always Check Site and Topography Visibility Graphics and View Range  Triangulation edges.

Revit 2009 Interface .

2009 versus 2010 .

Revit Architecture analyzes the 3D contour data and places a series of elevation points along the contour lines. polylines those define an area surface shall form a closed loop    When you import data with the Current View Only option selected. DXF. Make sure that your imported data information is on correct layers All the lines. or DGN formats. you cannot use the data to create a toposurface. .Creating a Toposurface from Imported 3D Data  You can automatically generate a toposurface based on 3D contour data imported in DWG.

Note: If you are importing data from a CAD file for use in creating a toposurface.Importing Options   Current View Only Imports a CAD drawing into the active Revit Architecture view only. and the import behaves like model geometry: it can be cropped by the crop region of the view. If the option is not selected. you might want an AutoCAD 2009 object to appear only in a Revit Architecture floor plan view and not in a 3D view. If you are using worksharing. the import will belong to a view workset. do not select this option. If you set this option. . If you are using worksharing. any text in the imported file is visible and can be cropped by the crop region of the view. only lines and geometry are imported. This option is not available in 3D views. the import will belong to a model workset. For example.

See Implications of Importing vs.Importing Options-Link  Links a CAD file instead of importing it. Linking is similar to having an xref in AutoCAD 2009. these changes are reflected (if possible) in the file when you reload the project. Linking for Xrefs. . When the original linked file changes.

.Importing Options-Color Management    Colors: Invert inverts the colors of all line and text objects from the imported file to Revit Architecture-specific colors. Dark colors become lighter. and light colors become darker. This can improve readability when the file is in Revit Architecture. Black and White: Imports the document in black and white. This option is set by default Preserve: Preserves the colors defined in the imported document.

and then query the import and hide a selected layer in the active view. and then click View menu Visibility/Graphics to control the visibility of different categories in a view.) . If you select Visible or Specify and you are linking the file.Importing Options-Layers    All: Imports or links all layers. (See Querying Objects in Layers. (See Visibility and Graphic Display in Project Views.) Or you can link to all layers. Any layers not selected or visible are not linked. still only the selected or visible layers originally linked are loaded. when you later reload the linked file. If you later want omitted layers to be linked. Layers that are non-visible in the link are turned off in the current view in Revit Architecture. Layers not selected are deleted. Tip: If you want to be able to see and hide layers as needed. you can link to all layers. Visible: Imports or links only visible layers Specify Allows you to select the layers and levels to import or link (on the dialog that displays). you must delete the link and relink the file.

decimeters. then the file imports into Revit Architecture with millimeters as the units. inches. Note: If you import a file into a project with opposing units (for example. and Custom factor. millimeter. Feet. If the imported file has a custom unit. centimeters. If the DGN file has custom units. select Custom factor for Import Units. meter. . Each unit from the source file is now equal to 10 meters in the Revit Architecture file. millimeters are all supported. decimeter. the units in the host project prevail. Revit Architecture reads the units from the file and uses them.Importing Options-Import Units Import Units  Explicitly sets the unit of measure for imported geometry. a metric file into an Imperial project). When importing the file. then the file imports with feet and inches as the units. If the AutoCAD 2009 file was created in metric. This enables the text box adjacent to the selection list so that you can enter a scale value. The values are Auto-Detect. This can increase or decrease the size of the imported elements in Revit Architecture. centimeter. feet. the file has a unit called widget where one widget equals 10 meters. If the units are known. If you specify AutoDetect for an AutoCAD 2009 file created in Imperial (English).  For MicroStation® files. meters. select Custom factor for Import Units and specify a value of 10 in the adjacent text box. inch. The value you enter here displays in the Scale Factor type property of the import symbol. then the unit in Revit Architecture defaults to feet.    For example. you can select Custom factor and enter a scale factor.

If most of the Revit Architecture model is not visible. and uses Auto . this center point may not be visible in the current view. Auto .Origin to Origin Revit Architecture places the import’s world origin at the Revit Architecture project’s internal origin.Importing Options. To test this. . Manual . set the zoom to Zoom View to Fit. Place at Select the level to place the origin/base point. Revit Architecture notifies you. If the import object has been drawn at a large distance from its origin. To make the point visible in the current view. See Shared Positioning. The center of a Revit Architecture model is calculated by finding the center of a bounding box around the Revit Architecture model. Manual . it may display at a large distance from the Revit Architecture model. Use this option only for AutoCAD 2009 files that have a defined base point. NoteThis option is for Revit files only. Auto .Positioning          Auto . You can drag the imported geometry to its location.Origin The imported document's origin is centered on the cursor. This option is available only for non–view-specific imports.Center to Center: Revit Architecture places the center of the import at the center of the Revit Architecture model.CenterSets the cursor at the center of the imported geometry. If there is no current shared coordinate system between the files. This centers the view on the Revit Architecture model.Base Point The imported document's base point is centered on the cursor. Manual . set the zoom to Zoom View to Fit.Center to Center positioning.By Shared Coordinates Revit Architecture places the imported geometry according to its location with respect to the shared coordinates between the 2 files. Orient to View Revit Architecture places the import at the same orientation as the current view.

There is something. It could even be an empty line of text.”   “The problem existed earlier. in the worst case I've run into the problem was actually in a block inside of the dwg. y or z direction. There may be a stray object way off in the x. look from all directions with all layers on/thawed.Revit 2010 Import Rule “Check the DWG. 2010 added this check to help reduce problems associated with DWG imports which are very large. Once that block was deleted.0). could be a tiny line or a point or something. so now they block it. And finally. “ . but Revit did not prevent you from importing it. That tended to create problems in the Revit file. out beyond the 2 mile limit. Make sure the items in the Autocad file are drawn near the origin point (0.0. Try flattening if it is a 3d Autocad file (after saving a copy!). the import worked fine. I have had success also by copying only the objects I wanted out of one Autocad file and pasting into a clean one.

and z coordinate numbers as the first numeric values in the file. y. . and z coordinate values. y. The file provides contour data using a regularized grid of elevation points. The points file must contain x.Creating a Toposurface from a Points File   You can automatically generate a toposurface based on a points file. Additional information in the file (such as a point name) is ignored. Any additional numeric information for a point must occur after the x. The file must also be in a comma-delimited file format (a CSV or TXT file). If the file contains 2 points with the same x and y coordinates. Revit Architecture uses the point with the largest z value. A points file is typically generated by a civil engineering software application.

On the Design Bar. Enter a value for surface accuracy.      Open the site plan view and select the toposurface.Simplifying a Toposurface Simplifying a surface can improve system performance. . particularly on surfaces with a large number of points. On the Options Bar. and click OK. click Edit. On the Toposurface tab of the Design Bar. click Simplify Surface. click Finish Surface.

Subregions  Toposurface subregions are areas that you sketch inside existing toposurfaces. It merely defines an area of the surface where you can apply a different set of properties. you can use subregions to draw parking lots on a graded surface. Creating a subregion does not result in separate surfaces. roads. or islands. . such as material. For example.

. After splitting a surface.Splitting a Toposurface  You can split a toposurface into 2 distinct surfaces and then edit those surfaces independently. plazas. you can assign different materials to these surfaces to depict roads. lakes. or hills. You can also delete entire portions of the toposurface.

.Merging Toposurfaces   You can merge 2 separate toposurfaces into one surface. This command is useful after previously splitting the surface. The surfaces to be merged must share a common edge or overlap.

. you select a toposurface to modify. Revit Architecture marks the original surface as demolished and makes a copy with a matching boundary.Graded Regions   To create a graded region. Revit Architecture marks the copy as new in the current phase If you drag the new graded region. The surface should be an existing surface in the current phase. Select the original and click (Element Properties). notice that the original remains. Notice that the Phase Demolished property has the value of the current phase.

If you add a building pad to a graded surface. You should name both the graded surface and the pad surface in order to distinguish them in your schedule. you can specify a value to control the height offset from the level and other properties. you will see cut and fill reported separately for the pad and the toposurface in a topography schedule. You can define openings in the pad by sketching closed loops inside the perimeter of the building pad. and one is the surface that is not under the pad (the pad surface). . You add a building pad by sketching a closed loop on a toposurface. and you can define a slope for the building pad.Site (Building) Pads    You can add a building pad to a toposurface and then modify the pad's structure and depth. This is because the pad divides the graded surface into 2 surfaces: one is the surface under the pad (the graded surface). After sketching the pad.

it remains attached to the toposurface. you are deliberately setting the parking component on top of the toposurface. When you use the Pick Host command. After placing a parking component. you need to define the toposurface as its host.Parking Components   Parking components are parking spaces that you can add to a toposurface. If you move the parking component around on the toposurface. .

Site Components  Use the Site Component command to place sitespecific components (such as trees) into a site plan. an error message indicates that no appropriate families are loaded . The Type Selector lists site-specific components to choose from. If no site components are loaded into your project.

Revit Architecture issues a warning that it will not calculate the area. select L if the arc appears to the left of the line segment. select Create Property Lines by Table of Distances and Bearings. Click OK. If the property line boundary does not have the desired look. Click Up and Down to modify the order of the property lines. Click Site menu Property Line. In the Property Lines dialog. The larger the radius. or on the Site tab of the Design Bar. Select R if the arc appears to the right of the line segment. enter values that describe a line segment between 2 points on the arc. You can ignore the warning to continue. To describe a property line as an arc. The radius value must be greater than half the length of the line segment. select the boundary and click Edit Table from the Options Bar.Creating Property Lines with Survey Data                   Open a site plan view. For Type. In the Property Lines Creation dialog. you can insert a new line or click Add Line to Close. Insert additional lines as needed. For L/R. resulting in a flatter arc. In the drawing area. move the property lines to their exact placement and click to place. click Property Line. do the following: For Distance and Bearing. Note: You can snap the property line to a benchmark using the Move command . and click OK. Note: If you sketch an open loop and click OK. For Radius. the larger the circle becomes. If the From Last to First Point value is not Closed. select Arc. click Insert and add the distances and bearings from your survey data. enter a value.

If the line does not intersect a contour line. Tip: You may want to select a line type that places labels only on primary contour lines. click (Line). (You may need to zoom in to see the labels. On the Options Bar. select the appropriate contour label line. To set the interval at which primary contour lines occur. Click Site menu Label Contours. Revit Architecture issues an error. The labels will be easier to read. click Label Contours. . or on the Site tab of the Design Bar.Adding Contour Labels         Create a topographic surface with different elevations.) The label line itself is not visible unless you select a label. Open a site plan view. Labels display on the contour lines. use the Site Settings command. Sketch a line that intersects one or more contour lines. In the Type Selector.   Revit Architecture 2009 Help Menu .com   www.revitzone.Thank you! Resources:  www.revitcity.therevitkid.

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