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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Revit MEP: Design to/versus Fabrication

In Revit 2017, as opposed to the 2016 version, one can now convert existing Revit MEP design elements directly to Fabrication parts. This Revit Recess post will briefly explain the process thereof. As per the image below, we have a simple HVAC system containing Supply Air ducting with spigots, flexible ducting and diffusers. The Return Air system contains spigots, flexible ducting and return air grilles, with the Fresh Air system connected to a common mixing plenum. These elements have been created in Revit.

By selecting all of the elements outlined above, in the Modify/Multi-Select green contextual tab and green Fabrication panel of the Ribbon, we will see a Design to Fabrication command.

The Design to Fabrication command will allow you to convert your current design to MEP Fabrication Parts. This however, needs to be done by first specifying a Fabrication Configuration to use. There are numerous configurations available to us by default, using various Content Packs. Each configuration we choose will contain fittings, valves, equipment, etc. applicable to that specific service.
Once the Configuration Packs have been loaded, we are now able to convert each Revit Service's Design to Fabrication Parts. As you might have noticed, filters were created to colour each Revit Service. Once converted to Fabrication Parts, the converted element colours should reset to default as these elements will no longer apply to, for example, the ducts category, but to the Fabrication Parts category.

In the example below, you will notice various elements which have been converted, and you will also notice that some disconnects and improper element placements exists. This is due to the fact that Revit is a design program, not a fabrication program. The Supply Air transforming piece has been deleted as the Fabrication transformation piece is much longer than the Revit fitting. Similarly, the Return Air spigots now show that the mixing plenum connection is clashing with the unit itself. These are small examples of how the initial design will differ to real-world fabrication and installation scenarios.

Fixing the disconnects and improper placements as explained above is not a difficult process though. We do have the MEP Fabrication Parts tool pallete available in Revit 2017, which will allow us to manually draw and place service parts according to the configurations loaded into our project.  

We will notice that our existing duct, duct fittings, and duct accessories schedules will now not show all Revit ducting. This is due to the fact that the Revit ducting, fittings, accessories, etc. have been converetd to another catgeory: Fabrication Ductwork, Fabrication Hangers, Fabrication Pipework, Fabrication Containment, etc. We will need to create seperate schedules for these categories.

There are numerous Fabrication properties we can show within these schedules to create much more elaborate and defined MEP Fabrication Schedules. Just keep in mind that the more parameters (i.e. Columns) we add to the schedule, the wider the schedule will become. If you need to place the schedule on a sheet, keep the information contained in the schedule to the most important fields only.

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