Autodesk Revit Materials 101: Organising, Documenting, and Managing Your BIM Model!

Posted On 2021-06-04

Autodesk Revit continues to be the preferred design solution for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction professionals across the world who want to create coordinated, consistent, and complete model-based designs.

In continuation of our digital transformation journey to helping you level up your BIM Journey theme, we’ve taken some key elements and functionalities of your favourite design tools such as Autodesk Revit and broke them down to show you how you can easily use these to design, document, and manage your BIM model more efficiently. The first of these is Autodesk Revit Materials.

What are Materials?
A Material is a collection of settings and related assets. Some libraries are provided by Autodesk, and others are created by users. You can create libraries to organise your materials.

How do Materials Work in Autodesk Revit?
In Autodesk Revit, a Material is more than just something you can touch or hold in your hand. It’s a source that contains information that enables users to keep track of items such as:
• Identity settings
• Graphic Settings
• Appearance Assets
• Physical assets
• Thermal Assets.

In Autodesk Revit, there are 3 primary ways in which materials are used or applied in a model, these are by category, element, or face. Here’s how each is applied:
1 – By Category:
• When a 3D element does not have a specific Material applied, the project-wide Object Style is used
• When a 3D element has its Material parameter set to By Category, the Object Style Material is used.
• Assigning a Material directly to a 3D Element overrides the Object Style
2 – By Element:
• The most common way of applying Materials is by the element, this is true for both System Families and Loadable Families.
System Families – e.g. walls, floors, ceilings, roofs: are elements that can’t exist outside of your project, therefore the Material adjustment option is built into the Edit Assembly dialogue box.
Loadable Families – eg. furniture, casework, specialty equipment, doors, etc – are developed in the Family Editor environment where every 3D element within a Family has a Material parameter. When the element is first created, the Material parameter is set ‘By Category’ and can be changed in one of two ways: Selecting a material in the family itself OR Changing the material in the project.
3 – By Face:
• Another way in which a Material is typically applied is by using the Paint tool, which adds a Material to a single face. The Paint tool is used on System Families, such as walls, ceilings, floors, etc.
Painting a Surface: When a surface is painted, Revit paints the entire face and not just the portion visible in the current view. Let’s say the back wall of an office is a common wall to a
corridor – if you apply the paint tool to the internal face of a wall, the entire side of the corridor wall will be painted and not just the portion visible in the room you are in.
• Revit does provide a way to constrain the area or extents of a Material to be painted on a face. You can use the Split Face tool for this which is found under the Modify Tab under Geometry in the ribbon. Using this tool allows you to easily split the face of a wall and apply a different finish without having to draw a separate layer or wall.


Are you keen to know more about Autodesk Revit Materials and how you can apply these features to your BIM models?

Connect with our team of Autodesk Revit Product Specialists to learn more about these and other smart features on your Autodesk Revit solution.

Written By Andile Sikhakhane

Autodesk Revit Materials 101: Organising, Documenting, and Managing Your BIM Model!

Related Posts

Discover Rebar in Autodesk Revit

Discover Rebar in Autodesk Revit

Detailing reinforcement for concrete structures in Autodesk Revit provides a solution to redundant work that may be required in traditional 2D rebar detailing...


Submit a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!