Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Fill and line patterns, part of Revit Templates: System Settings.
- Many specialized and line patterns are used in building design documentation. There are dash lines, hidden lines, center lines, and dotted lines. The possibilities for fill patterns are nearly limitless. In this movie, we will consider these crucial elements and make sure that we have a strategy in place to develop these items and the graphic standards that go along with them. I'm in a file called Patterns and it's just a continuation of the file we've been working on. We can access line and fill patterns from the manage tab on the settings panel under additional settings.
Now you can start in whatever order you like, but I'm going to go with the easy one first. So I'm going to do line patterns as our first example. Now naturally your first step here would be to consider all of the line patterns that may or may not exist in your file already. As you can see here, there are quite a few of them. I should have most of the line patterns in this file that I'm going to need in a project. But let's just pick a situation where maybe we wanted a slightly different type of line style. Here under dash we have a standard dash line and then we have some other variations of it.
Let's consider the dash lines. You can see here I have on called dash and then several variations of it that all have the size indicated in the name. But this first one doesn't have the size in the name. I'm going to click the edit button here to see what that is. Now that one's got an eighth inch dash pattern and if I cancel that, we've got another one right here which also has an eighth inch dash pattern. It's a little unnecessary to have two that are exactly the same. So what I'm actually going to do is, you could create a new one here. You could certainly delete the redundant one, but what I'm going to do is just take the one that's a copy and I'm just going to rename it and modify it.
I'll click rename here and instead of dash we've got 16th eighth inch 332nds. Maybe I'll make a really large dash line here and I'll make this one dash one quarter inch. It will resort the list to put that one in order and then with it selected, I'll click edit. You can make a very complex dash pattern if you like. Basically the first item has to be solid, so it has to be a dash. Your choices here are either dash or dot.
But after that you can do a space and then once you get here, again back to dash and dot. The idea is that it's going to alternate. All we have to do in this case is modify the sizes here to match the description that I gave it. By the way, I could have renamed it right here directly in this dialogue. That will take care of this, but if I wanted to make a more complex pattern, then I could continue adding additional components. For example, if we look at this center line here and choose edit, we could see that it starts with a dash, then it's got a space, then another dash, and then another space, and you could see the dashes are two different sizes.
And then it will just repeat. Your job here is to go through the list first and identify which ones you need and which ones you don't need, so you can delete the ones you don't need and the ones that you do need, make any modifications to them as necessary. Then you can click new and create additional patterns that you might need in your Office standards that aren't already here. Now a similar process is used for fill patterns. If I go to additional settings and choose fill patterns, you're going to see a similar dialogue and you have basically the same strategy.
Go through the list, identify the ones that are already here, decide whether they're needed, decide whether they need to be modified. Delete what you don't need, modify what you do. Then you can create new for any that aren't already here. Now there are two kinds of patterns in Rabbit, we have drafting patterns and model patterns. You're going to want to look at both lists. When I click model here, it gives me a different list and drafting it gives me a different list. Drafting patterns are not to scale. The size of the spacing between the lines in a drafting pattern is fixed regardless of the scale of the drawing underneath.
It's just a pattern. Another way to think of that is it's paper scale. For example, if I look at this crosshatch right here and I choose edit, you can see that the lines are 15 128th's of an inch apart. I know that's a rather odd size there. In other words, they're very close together. That spacing is regardless of whatever the scale is. So you could change the scale of the U and it won't have any impact on those spacings. When you print the drawing, it will be 15 128ths apart.
On the other hand, a model pattern, if we select one of these, maybe this eight inch tile and choose edit, you could see that these lines are eight inches apart. That's eight inches in real model scale. If this was a metric drawing, it would be 200 milimeters in real model scale and it would be unchanged. Let me cancel out of here. Now when you want to create a new pattern there's two ways you can do it. If I click new, a simple pattern, you give it a name, and it just has an angle and a spacing.
You can do either parallel lines or a crosshatch and then you indicate the spacing. That's all it does, so one set of lines or two sets of lines at a spacing. If you want a more complex pattern, for example, something like this herringbone pattern here or this parkay pattern here, those have to be created from a custom pattern. This actually uses the pat file, file format which was originally part of AutoCAD. If you're familiar with how pattern files are put together in AutoCAD, then it works kind of the same way in Revit.
If you know how to code your own pat file then you could actually do it in Windows Notepad. I don't know too many people who actually know how to code their own pat file. There are tools out there, you can go out on the internet and do a search for pattern creation tools or hatch pattern creation tools. You'll find some where they're more user-friendly and they have a graphical user interface to be able to create custom pattern files. Once you've got a pat file, then when you create a custom pattern, you just click this import button and import that pat file and then Revit will create a pattern based on that custom file.
If you're like most Revit users you probably have AutoCAD libraries laying around in the office that were used for many years. There might be a whole collection of AutoCAD pat files on your server that are ready to go. You could just simply import those in and create the appropriate Revit hatch patterns from those pat files. It should be pretty easy for you to replicate all of the existing hatch patterns that your company standards have and bring them into your Revit template file here. Line and field patterns are simple items to create and customize, but they'll have a big impact on your overall template.
Nearly every drawing and view you create will be effected by them. This is an area in your template development where you can put in a relatively low amount of effort but yet achieve a big overall impact.
Find more courses in this series on Paul's author page.