Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Custom detail module, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- A lot of my clients like to organize their detail sheets on standard grid module. So, what I'd like to talk about in this movie is how you can set up a process to do that in Revit. Now, there are a few little hoops that you have to jump through here, it's not actually a completely smooth process but I think it's a completely acceptable and workable one. So, the first thing you need to know is what your live area of your title block is. So, that's pretty is easy to do. You can just throw a couple dimensions on the title block, you know, in both directions.
There's a dimension there. You can do another dimension in this direction. Take that and divide those two numbers by the quantity of grids you want in each direction. So, in my vertical direction here, I came up with six and in my horizontal dimension, I came up with five. Now, you're probably looking at this and saying, "Well, I count five, you said six." Well, if you look carefully, you'll notice that this one and this one are a little taller than these other two.
So, what we wanted to do was keep it flexible as well, because not every detail is created equally. So, my detail module is if it's the default size here, then it's that six by five, but it's stretchable to increase the number of base. So, just keep that in mind as we go forward here. Now, each of these is viewport, kind of place those on and they're all referencing these detail views that I have over here. So, I'm just going to open up one of these.
I've got this head detail right here for a doorjamb. Now, this particular view is at three inches equals a foot and here is the detail module here. Now, I chose to create the detail module as a generic annotation. Now, a generic annotation is like any other annotation element, like a tag or a symbol and its unique superpower is that it responds to scale. So, the idea is that you go to here's a detail grid one to one, so here's where I figured out if was five by six and you go to that default grid, that one to one scale, and you figure out what this size is in both directions.
So, in my case, that's four inches wide, 4 1/2 inches tall and you draw a rectangle that big. So, if I go to the application menu here and I do a new annotation symbol, choose the generic annotation family template. I'll delete the note here. One of the things you can't do in a generic annotation is you can't add reference planes, which I find a little frustrating. So, they're not available. You can add reference lines, which is kind of interesting, but you can't snap to them afterwards.
So, what I did find is if you do a making or field region, you can snap to that. So, what I did was a masking region. I set the line type to a dash line, so I don't have to actually create that line type, but for now I'll just do it as a solid line, created it from that intersection there and for now, I'll just throw some dimensions on here to size it, select this. This is already four inches, but I'll just make sure and then in this direction, this is supposed to be 4 1/2 inches, like so.
So, there is the basic module and I'll just leave it solid for now, but if you want, you can go to manage, you can go to object styles, you can add in a dash line type. So, let me just load this in, but I also added the chunk over here where the notes go, but if I load this into, let me finish that, into my project, it will react to the scale of the view. Now, here I'm loading it into a sheet, so it just comes in at one to one, but if I go to this door head detail and I load it in here, annotate symbol, do you see how it comes in four times that? Because it's reacting to this scale now and then, because I put this is a field region, you can actually snap to those edges.
So, that makes it nice in terms of being able to use that as the detail module. Now, the additional feature that I build into this one, let me go ahead and open this one up, edit family, is, I got a little bit more sophisticated in here. I added the small little circle to mark the insertion point. I added these little vertical lines here and a parametric array, so that it kind of divides it into smaller sub-grids and if you go to family types, I added some numerical properties here where you could say how many grids you want in each direction.
So, it defaults to two by two, but you can say I want it two by three and then it will just repeat those little grids and it'll stretch everything out and that's how I got those taller ones. So, by just adding a couple parameters and a few formulas that do the math for you, you can get it to be stretchable in both directions and that's pretty much what I did there. Now, unfortunately, because of the whole thing about not having reference planes, I did find that it is necessary to kind of come back and add a couple reference planes on top of your grid if you want to line these up with one another.
So, what I mean by that is if you look at any of these details, what I did was, I just simply added reference planes, right? So, let me undo that, let me tab in here and delete this reference plane. All I did was go to reference plane, click the pick lines option and add a reference plane right on the edge of the detail module. Why? Well, when you go back to your sheet now, if you go ahead and duplicate one of these views, and I'll just add it in again, so, I'm going to right click this and duplicate it, with detailing, okay, so, it's just an exact copy and I'll just say number two, so that we know it's the second one, let's close that.
Okay, let's switch back over to this sheet and then let's take this copy, drag it in here, and kind of put it on the sheet. So, I always put it sort of sloppy first because now I can click it and the only thing you can snap to through viewports are grids and reference planes and levels. So, data elements, basically. So, notice that I am able to snap to that intersection, that's not because of my detail module, it's because I put those two reference planes there, but then, that will allow me to snap it directly to the other one and then I just sort of move the title bar and re-size it.
So, it does take a little bit of manual effort to kind of configure it, but it's pretty easy to do once you get the hang of it and you can compose an entire sheet of details this way. So, it's a couple steps, step one is to create a generic annotation family with your desired detail module. It can be as simple as a rectangle like I've done here, or you can make it fully parametric like the ones over here. That's entirely up to you. Once you've got that, you bring those in to your drafting views and you build your details within those little boxes and then when you drag them to a sheet, as long as you've added a couple reference planes, you'll be able to snap these two one another and create a very nice, neat and orderly presentation of details on your sheet.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
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