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Friday, March 4, 2011

Revit Tutorial - Creating and Modifying Surface Patterns ( .pat files)

Surface patterns and filled regions are a very important part of CD's in Revit. I refuse to call them "hatch patterns" for obvious reasons but they are essentially the same thing (only better).  Model Patterns are very powerful when used correctly and can save loads of time, energy, and money.  I have copied/altered/pasted from the default Revit .pat file to break it down a bit and give you an understanding of how to create your own simple pattern.  I also made a video at the end of the post to help you understand.  First, find the default Revit .pat file.  In 2011, it is located at:
  • C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Data
The pattern we are going to create is a 24"x144" running metal panel.  To edit the .pat file simply open it in notebook.  Instead of showing you those lovely notepad lines full of text I made a nice little table to graphically understand what to do:

This pattern is called "24x144 Metal Panel"; you will see this name when you import it into Revit. It is
a model pattern. It has two families of lines. The first family creates the horizontal coursing:

  • angle = 0 = lines are horizontal
  • x,y-origin = 0,0
  • shift = 0 = line pattern is not shifted
  • offset = 24 = consecutive lines are 24 model inches apart
  • no line pattern = the line is solid.
The second family creates the vertical joints:
  • angle = 90 = lines are vertical
  • x,y-origin = 0,0 = the pattern begins at the same point as the horizontals
  • shift = 24 = line pattern is is shifted by 8 model inches for consecutive lines
  • offset = 144 = consecutive lines are 8 model inches apart
  • dash = 24 = each line is built of 8" dashes and 8" spaces
  • space = -24 = this pattern repeats until the face boundary
The shift makes the vertical segments appear between alternating pairs of horizontal lines,
which appears as 24 inch joint lines in interlocking bond.

Now, simply save your .pat file as a new name or the same name (Note: It is best to go to File > Save As... > Set the "Save as Type" drop down to "All Files" > give your file the ".pat" extension.

Finally, open Revit, go to your Materials, and load the Pattern File...

I have made a little video of the whole process to help you understand....

Click here to see the video via Screencast

BIM After Dark - Volume 2

If you liked this tip than you will definitely enjoy my video series BIM After Dark - Volume 2. It is packed full of little time saver techniques like this one... The video series is live now!