Clean 2D Pipe Fitting Symbols

One of the gripes that a lot of hydraulic engineers and modellers have with Revit is the representation of pipework bends in 2D views. It’s something that I fixed up pretty early on, but I’ve come to realise when I come across drawings that look similar to the screenshot below that some may still not know how to fix this.

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I’d a quick fix per fitting, the problem will be if you have a lot of fittings to modify, it becomes a long repetitive process.

The first thing that you want to do is to edit the family, and switch to the Ref. Level view, you will be greeted by something that looks like this:

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In this instance I am modifying the out of the box Revit family Elbow – Soldered – CU.rfa. If you’re  little overwhelmed by what you see on the screen, don’t worry; we’re not touching any of the dimensions or 3D elements. If you need to, you can adjust the scale of the view to change the size of the dimensions, or you can completely turn off the dimensions in Visibility/Graphics (VV / VG shorcuts).

2014-11-25_14-02-40What we are wanting to change is the 2D representation of the fitting, which are model likes of the pipe fitting subcategory. In the screenshot below, I’ve highlighted them in red with the dimensions turn off for clarity.

 

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When modifying the pipe fittings, I like to keep the original linework in the family as a just in case. I usually change the linework to the <Invisible Lines> subcategory or turn the visibility off, you can however remove them if you wish.

 

To achieve the clean 2D representation that you’re used to, we’re going to create some new linework along with a reference line to control the angle.

First up, find the intersection of the Front/Back and Left/Right reference planes, from the intersection, draw a model line using the Pipe Fitting subcategory on a 45 degree angle (1) and then create an angular dimension between the Front/Back reference plane and your newly created reference line (2)

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When you start drawing your line from the intersection of the two reference planes, Revit will automatically lock your line to the intersection point, this is also the point the the fitting is scaled around.

Next, apply the angle parameter to your dimension, the line will snap around to the same direction as the fitting.

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You now need to align and lock the endpoint of your line to the reference plane for the outside edge of the fitting.

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Now draw the other half of your fitting symbol. You don’t need to apply an angle in this case, just draw the line from the intersection of the Front/Back and Left/Right reference planes to the outer edge of the fitting. Don’t forget to align and lock the line to the outer reference plane.

Once you’re done, flex your fitting within the family editor, changing the diameter and angle. Make sure everything works as expected.

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Now load your fitting back into your model or template and check out the difference

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For the tee fitting, there is no need to recreate the symbology from scratch, all you really need to do is to remove the ticks by either making them invisible, or changing them to the <Invisible Lines> subcategory.

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