February 3, 2012

Revit Plywood Fill Pattern

I've researched my options for representing various fill patterns in Revit previously. One has frustrated many users for years, plywood. I manually created a vertical plywood pattern (I've included the code below for your use) and have offered it to my clients. Even though I can create a custom fill pattern as a model pattern in Revit, I am limited to the linework density it can interpret. I hope Autodesk will give a little more latitude in a future release.

Until then this is my breakdown of Drafting vs. Model fill patterns to represent "plywood". I will add that this pattern is usually used for details only, at scales no smaller than 1"=1'-0". It would turn to solid black in other scales.

The reason I created a "vertical plywood" pattern file is because drafting fill patterns do not orient with the object when it is rotated other than the direction it was created in. The other downside to drafting patterns is they are the same size no matter the scale. They are meant to be representational.

Model patterns, on the other hand, will rotate to orient with the object. The other advantage is that the pattern will scale the same no matter the view scale. It can represent layers of material thickness. So it's relative size to the object remains the same and looks different from one scale to the next. The downside of this model pattern is the density Revit can import at. I found no matter how large or small I made the pattern file, I had to increase the import scale when creating the fill in Revit. It ends up being larger than I wanted.
The options break down to two, either you have patterns for different orientations for use as drafting fill patterns or you use a model pattern and live with the limitations on the size of the pattern.

Here is the .PAT file code for the Vertical Plywood pattern I created and used above. Just create a new text file using Notepad, save with a .PAT extension and then copy and paste the lines below into it. Now you have the pattern file for import into Revit.

;; Created by: John R. Ade
;; Created on: 11/12/2010




90, 0,0, 0,-.1, 1.0

45, 0,0, .0707106781,.0707106781, .1414213562,-.1414213562
135, 0,0, -.0707106781,.0707106781, .1414213562,-.1414213562

I hope you find this useful and will share with your colleques.

John R. Ade, AIA

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