Breaking down the walls that blind us

I’m always confused by Autodesk’s reluctance to give the users of their programs control over how things should appear. For example, it took until Revit version 2009 for dimension text overrides to appear and even then it is in a forced way that still limits control. Graphical accuracy in drawings is important because a misinterpreted drawing will cause lots of frustration on site and may end up as a very costly lawsuit.

This brings me to the point of this blog entry. Walls from a previous phase that are demolished in the current phase display as opaque, instead of transparent in plan views. That is if you have a model line or linked CAD file on the floor level it appears to break at the demolished wall. This probably goes unnoticed by most drafters, but it could lead to problems in certain cases.

First the work around, select all the walls and other items that have been demolished (this can be made easier by creating a phase filter that only shows demolished items) then use the right click menu to “Override the graphics in view” the “By element”, click on the transparent checkbox and then select ‘OK”. Your done……until some other walls are demolished a couple weeks down the road….then you have to remember to do the same override to the newly demolished walls in all the views again. Hope you don’t forget. It’s a pain I know.

Next the better solution, fairly new to Revit is the “Filters” tab in the “Visibility/Graphics Overrides”. This could have been an excellent solution to the problem because once applied to a view any wall that would be demolished after would automatically become transparent but Autodesk stopped just short of giving the end users complete control. While it’s very easy to setup a filter for walls and then make them transparent. Oddly enough the phase parameters are missing when you try to create the filter so you can’t specify walls that were demolished in the current phase. I’ve also tried setting the “Phase-Demo” material to 100% transparency but this did nothing.

Hey Autodesk let your users decide what the drawings should look like. After all it’s our butts on the line, not yours.

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Revit and Building Information Modeling