Creating Custom Surface Patterns in Revit

November 2, 2010

Metal Roofs, Block, Tile, Brick, etc. Revit comes with a number of built-in surface patterns but inevitably you will run across the need to customize your pattern file.

Revit’s pattern files are stored in the ” revit.pat ” file located at:

   C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Data

Path varies depending upon your current working version.

In explorer go to the file but don’t’ open it. You need to change it’s properties to turn off the ‘read only’ protection by right clicking on the ‘revit.pat’  file, go to properties, and uncheck ‘ read only’  This can be a pain in Vista so if you run into a problem with being able to over-write the file here’s the work around.

  1. Control ‘X’ on the file and Control ‘V’ it to a temporary location.
  2. Then save your file to the original location.

Then open the file (with notepad) and edit the code per the instructions at the beginning of the file.

Below is a code sample for a demolition lay-in ceiling.

*Ceiling-Demo 24×48, 24 x 48 Tiles
0, 0, 0, 0, 24, 2, -2
90, 0, 0, 0, 24, 2, -2

Save out this file once you are done.

Now open Revit. You will need to create a new material, in this case a demolition ceiling pattern “Ceiling Demo 24 x 48″ and then edit its surface pattern.

Select ‘Model’ then ‘new’ then ‘custom’ then ‘import’ then import the ” revit.pat ” file at this path
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Data

You will then have a number of patterns to select from, one of which will contain the new demolished ceiling pattern.

I believe the pattern generator code is not unlike AutoCAD.  We save our Revit Pattern file to our main library so its accessible throughout the office.  Frequently used patterns should be established in your template as just saving the revit.pat file to the library does not automatically make this pattern available to all your stations.  Another approach would be to load an object with the pattern attribute already assign on an as need basis for each project.


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