Detail Revit Drawings: How to Achieve Quality and Beauty

In the realm of architecture, precision meets artistry in the intricate world of detail drawings. For architects navigating the digital landscape, Revit should be considered as a tool of innovation in drawing, offering not just functionality but a canvas for creativity. Detail drawings, are not just lines on paper- they are the key to quality control and architectural expression.

Employing a method to create comprehensive detail Revit drawings is key in helping architects maintain quality control in Revit projects and in their information output. This article explores how architects can ensure that the details are drafted clearly, efficiently and beautifully, and in an organised manner in their Revit models.  It outlines the best practices in using the model and intelligent, customised 2D annotations to meet specific design requirements and to draft intricate and visually appealing details.

image: Drawing Exports – Project by n. Sample Revit Project

How to Master Detail Revit Drawings

When creating detail drawings in Revit, it is important to find a balance between using the graphic information already in the 3D model and employing 2D detail that is overlaid on top of the 3D model view.  All 2D drafting elements should be grouped, such that they are held together more securely and can be copied and automatically updated across several drawings at once. 

The 3D Revit model should be modelled up to a level of detail that is suitable for general arrangement drawings.  Beyond that, depending on the characteristic of the project such as scale and complexity, it can be counterproductive to model in greater levels of detail in 3D.  The detail required for drawings of a smaller scale such as, 1:20, 1:10 and 1:5 can be achieved using 2D drafting tools in Revit.

The 3D model can be used for the following in detail drawings:
  • Showing the wall, floor and roof build ups
  • Connections between floors walls and roofs (see ‘how to join walls’ section below)
  • Hatching of materials i.e. cut patterns

image: Drawing Exports – Project by n. Sample Revit Project

10 Tips for Drafting Detail Drawings in Revit:

  • The 3D Revit model should always be shown in the detail drawing. 
  • Never mask the 3D model or hide significant elements such as walls, floors roof and ceilings. 
  • As much of the 3D model should be shown as possible, while making sure the details still accurately reflect of the construction. 
  • Masking with filled regions or hiding can be used sparingly, but only where some of the smaller 3D elements of the project not accurately represent the construction.
  • The finer detail for these drawings can be added with 2D elements such as, detail items, repeating detail and filled regions. 
  • Loose lines should be used sparingly, use 2D families instead i.e. detail items, repeating details etc. 
  • Use tags e.g. material tags instead of standard text
  • Use detail item tags instead of standard text when there a multiple instances of an element to tag.
  • All 2D elements overlaid on a view should be grouped together
  • Ensure that 2D detail groups follow a naming convention so that they are clearly identifiable and consistent.

Steps to Drafting Details in Revit:

1. Draw a Section

Create a section view of the model by drawing a section through the area of the model relating to the detail to be drawn.. Update the scale for the detail drawing e.g. 1:10, 1:5

2. Ensure floor edges are in the correct location

Ensure that the edge of the floor structure extends to the correct location relative to the wall. Use the ‘edit profile’ command to updated the floor edges. In some cases floors and walls will overlap each other.

3. Join all floors, walls and roofs

Use the join tool to join all floors, walls and roofs. Walls can be joined to flat roofs using the join tool. Use the attach to element tool to join walls to pitched roofs.

4. Modify the structure of the walls, floors and roof

Once the elements are joined, the way in which each of the layers of materials join together must be adjusted to ensure that the construction and interface of these elements is properly illustrated. To adjust this, you must edit the assembly of these elements from the ‘Type Properties’. The location of the core, situated between two boundary lines i.e. the thermal layer above, and the ‘wraps’ tick box, dictate how the element joins to other elements within the model. Change the core boundary in the wall / floor / roof build-up:

5. Add 2D detailing and annotation

Once the 3D elements in the view have been adjusted to reflect the correct construction as far as is possible, 2D elements can then be added. Use, detail items, repeating details, fill regions and lines to build up the detail on top of the model elements. Use loose lines sparingly.

image: Project by n. Revit PRO Template

6. Use groups for 2D detailing

Create a group that includes all the 2D elements. Name all groups consistently using a set naming convention. Grouping all 2D elements will ensure that all 2D detail elements are kept together in one block and editing is more controlled. Grouping also allows these 2D details to be copied across several views of different scales and updated simultaneously.

7. Create details at different scales

Use the ‘Callout’ View to create new detail views of a different scale from the section. For example, a 1:20 scale external wall assembly drawing showing the full wall from foundation to roof eaves, can have a callout for the roof eaves detail or foundation detail at scale 1:5.

image: Drawing Exports – Project by n. Sample Revit Project

8. Copy and paste the detail group

Copy the 2D group from the main section view and paste in into the new view created with the callout. Use the ‘Paste in Place’ command to ensure groups are identically located relative to the 3D model. Any updates made either of the 2D detail groups in any one view, will be updated simultaneously on the other. If additional detail is required at this scale, it can be added outside of the main group so that it only appears on the callout views.

9. Add 2D annotation and tags

Add text and tags to the details as required. Use tags instead of standard text as much as possible to ensure descriptions are consistent and can be updated automatically. Material tags and detail items tags are commonly used for detail drawings. Tags may be left out of the groups as they are often unique to each view.

image: Drawing Exports – Project by n. Sample Revit Project

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