Thursday, June 21, 2012

Autodesk Revit: Grids on a 3D view

First of all it's necessary to mention that grids aren't visible on a 3D view in Autodesk Revit. Of corse, our main workflow is based on 2D views (plans, sections and elevations), but sometimes it can be very useful for better understanding of building dimensions or positions of its main constructions.

If you want your grid lines are visible on a 3D, there are some ways to solve this issue. I'm sure experienced users successfully work with them, but I hope these advice could be useful for beginners.

1. Model lines over grid lines

I suppose this way to be the simplest to make your grids visible. You should use button "Model lines" (Screen 1: 1), in drawing options set "Pick lines" (Screen 2: 2) and activate "Lock" (Screen 2: 3), then select one-by-one grids. Lables will not be seen, but you will understand its position. Locking lines enables tracking grid position by model line - in case of moved grid, the linked line will update its location.

Screen 1. Select "Model Line"

Screen 2. Place Model lines over grids
Screen 3. The result

2. Custom grid families

Also you can create your own grid familiy and place it over native Revit's grid like it's shown in way 1. This method doesn't look like fast, but it gives to you possibility to customize it as you want. You have to know Revit family editor tips to use this method.
I have created simple example of custom grid family:

Screen 4. Custom grid example

The lettter is instance parameter, so you need to check it manually. Also this family is line-based, so it doesn't support curve lines.

After placing and naming, you'll recieve something like this:

Screen 5. Custom grid in the project

If you want to try it, you can dowload this family from here: Grid.rfa

3. AutoCAD export and import

When grids position is fixed, you can export any plan of your model to AutoCAD, and import layer with grids back. There will not any link between AutoCAD and Revit, so this method is not useful when you move grids often - it's better to use it at big buildings with lot of grids. If you want, you can duplicate AutoCAD file on several plans. So, simply save any plan as DWG (Screen 6, 7).

Screen 6. Exporting AutoCAD, step 1

Screen 7. Exporting AutoCAD, step 2

Import back layer with grids after export (Screen 8).

Screen 8. Importing AutoCAD back

In the field Layers/Levers set "Specify" (Screen 9: 1), and for precision positioning select "Auto - Origin to Origin" (Screen 9: 2) and press "Next".

Screen 9. Setting up AutoCAD file

In the appeared window select layer with grids "S-GRID".

Screen 10. Choosing layers to import

This way seems to be long, but it takes less that one minute to do this, so I suppose it to be the fastest method.
Here is the result:
Screen 11. File with imported grids

In AutoCAD file grid names can be seen only in wireframe visual style.
In all these methods you are able to copy your created grids on several views to understand position of your levels.

So you could see my ways to solve this. Issue - I'm sure you can have your own method - I would be thankful if you could describe it in comments!

Yours respectfully,
Alexander Vysotskiy
leading BIM engineer of PSS
Revit training, consulting, families creation

Skype: VisikPro

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