Revit Construction Modeling Tools
Illustration by Richard Downs

Editing assemblies


From:

Revit Construction Modeling Tools

with Paul F. Aubin

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Video: Editing assemblies

When you have a Rivet project with assemblies there are times when you may want to actually edit the assemblies. There's a very simple editing interface that allows us to add and remove elements from existing assembly. When you do that, RevIt may actually change the composition of the assembly, and even in some cases, move an assembly to another existing one. So in this particular file that I'm in right now, this is called Edit Assembly. If we scroll down here on the project browser, in the Assemblies branch of the browser, I have three assemblies.
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Watch the Online Video Course Revit Construction Modeling Tools
2h 9m Intermediate Mar 11, 2014

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If your job requires working on Revit models created by someone else, then you have probably run into situations where portions of the model need to be reworked. Perhaps you're a subcontractor or an interior designer who needs to accurately convey finishes. Traditionally tasks like these would require a good deal of time, but with the three unique construction modeling tools in Revit, you can now add the details and refinements you need without rebuilding the entire model. Paul F. Aubin shows how model elements can be broken down into parts and articulated with their own finishes, materials, and other details. To assist in documentation, Paul explores assemblies: detailed drawings of isolated portions of the model. And with the Displace feature he shows how to create compelling "exploded view" illustrations to convey how things fit together.

Topics include:
  • Creating and removing parts
  • Dividing parts
  • Adding and merging parts
  • Creating parts from linked files
  • Creating assemblies, assembly views, and assembly sheets
  • Creating and editing displacements sets
  • Controlling displacement views
Subjects:
3D + Animation CAD
Software:
Revit Architecture Revit Structure Revit MEP
Author:
Paul F. Aubin

Editing assemblies

When you have a Rivet project with assemblies there are times when you may want to actually edit the assemblies. There's a very simple editing interface that allows us to add and remove elements from existing assembly. When you do that, RevIt may actually change the composition of the assembly, and even in some cases, move an assembly to another existing one. So in this particular file that I'm in right now, this is called Edit Assembly. If we scroll down here on the project browser, in the Assemblies branch of the browser, I have three assemblies.

Bay 2, Bay 3, and Typical Bay. So, if we look here on screen, this is a Bay 2, this is a Typical Bay, I have also Bay 2 and Typical Bay here. And if I spin around to the north side of the building, if you watch the last movie I discussed how if you mirror you end up with different assembly that's how come we have Bay 2 and typical side by side on the front side of the building. But here on the back we actually have Bay 2 and Bay 2 right next to each other. Now here I have Bay 2 and Bay 3, even though this was a copy, not a mirror, what happened here was if I select this assembly there was a couple walls missed when it was created.

So in addition to making sure that it was an actual copy, you also have to make exactly the same selection when you create that new assembly. If you don't, you get a different assembly. So this one right here is actually called Bay 3 even though it was similar objects. So what I want to do is make it match the Bay 2 assembly. So I want to edit that assembly to add elements. Now I do that by just simply selecting the assembly as I've done, and then clicking this Edit Assembly button here on the ribbon.

I'll get this really simple toolbar here that has an Add and Remove button. And you'll also see that on screen, the assembly turns green, to kind of indicate which elements are part of the assembly. So I can add elements, and if I just added one of these walls, all that'll happen is it'll update this assembly, but it will still stay a Bay 3 assembly, because it's still different than Bay 2. But a really interesting thing happens if I edit it again and add this second wall right here.

Now, this assembly matches the Bay 2 assembly. So when I click, Finish, Revit will actually remove Bay 3 over here. You can notice over on the project browser in the background, that Bay 3 is no longer there. And it will give me a dialog to indicate that the assembly, Bay 3, in this case, has been removed, because it no longer exists. Because it will automatically take my assembly that I was working on. And make it just another instance of Bay 2. So, this behavior is just sort of built into the assembly behavior.

Revit is always looking to, I guess, make it more efficient by having the fewest quantity of assemblies possible. So you can't actually have two assemblies that are exactly identical. They have to have some variation if you want a separate assembly. Now we can also remove elements from an assembly. And it will kind of do the opposite thing that I just showed you. So for example here, lemme take this topography. Let me zoom out here so I can select the topography. Let me just hide that for a moment. I'm going to go to my View Control bar here, and I'll do Hide Element.

So that we can see these walls down below. These are just like little foundation walls. So I'm going to select this assembly here. It doesn't really matter which one I pick. And choose Edit Assembly again. And let's say I want to remove those foundation walls from the assembly. Well, it's the same process, except now I use the Remove button. And I just touch the walls that I want to remove here. Now, before I leave this Edit mode, I also want to point out, let me click the Modify tool here to cancel the Remove mode. I want to point out this little symbol right here.

This is the origin point for the assembly. And you can actually click that and move with this little gizmo here, move that location so if you wanted this thing to insert from a different location, like you know, somewhere up here at the top of the model, for example. You could do that as well. Well, all that means is if you add another instance of this assembly, that'll become your insertion point. But I'm actually going to undo that and leave it where it was. And let me go ahead and click Finish here. And what'll happen is Revit's going to warn me that now that edit has caused the creation of a new assembly.

And if we look over here on my browser, it's decided to call that one Bay 4. So that's kind of interesting that even though Bay 3 is no longer there, in typical Revit fashion, it remembers that the last number used was 3, so it just goes sequentially to the next number available which is 4, even though 3 no longer exists. But of course if you think about other things in Revit, doors behave that way, rooms behave that way, grids behave that way. Anything that auto-numbers in Revit, it just sort of remembers the last number you used and it picks up from there, regardless of whether that object has been previously deleted.

So as you can see, we can select assemblies and we can add and remove elements. But the behavior may not be entirely expected at first, so sometimes people equate assemblies to being similar to groups and there are some similarities but they're really not the same as groups. Because if I had made a similar edit to a group, the removal of these walls would've actually removed from all instances and kept the same name, but that's not what happened with the assembly. It actually created a whole new assembly to house the different selection.

So, the behavior of assemblies is a little different than groups, and so you want to keep that in mind if your expectation is that it should be the same.

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