Revit: Hiding the Edges of Meshes

By default, Revit will display every edge of any imported meshes, however one can hide the edges in 3DS Max using the following procedure.

Hiding a Meshes Edges in Revit

  1. Import mesh/polygon/subdivision into 3DS Max
  2. Select the object
  3. On the palette on the right go the “Modify” tab
  4. Looking at the modifier stack, if the object isn’t an “Editable Mesh” -> go to the “Modifier List” pulldown -> Select “Edit Mesh
  5. In the tools below the modifier stack, in the “Selection” group, pick the “Edge” icon to select edge subobjects
  6. Select all the edges
  7. In the tools below the modifier stack, scroll down to the bottom group “Surface Properties -> Select “Invisible”
  8. Because Revit prefers to select objects using edges (rather than faces), a few edges still need to be visible.  Newer versions of Revit allow you to select by face, but it can still be an issue if you don’t have a couple of edges to select.
  9. Select a few edges on the bottom of the object -> Select “Visible”
  10. Turn off the “Edge” subobject select in the “Select” group
  11. With the object selected click on the 3DS Max icon in the upper left -> “Export” -> “Export Selected”
  12. Pick a location and file name
  13. Change “Save as type:” => “AutoCAD (*.DXF)
  14. Click “Save”
  15. In the “Export to AutoCAD File” dialog change “Export Version” => “AutoCAD 2007 DXF” or “AutoCAD 2004 DXF”.  The other setting don’t matter in this instance, but exporting as 2004 or 2007 does matter.  For whatever reason, other DXF versions do not work.
  16. Click “OK”
  17. Open the exported DXF file in AutoCAD
  18. If it worked, only the edges that you left visible will be visible.
  19. Click on the “Layer Properties” button
  20. Click on the “New Layer” button
  21. Give the layer an appropriate name for the object.  This will allow you to assign materials and change the lineweights for the mesh in Revit.
  22. Change the layers color to white
  23. Select the object -> using the layer pull down, change the object layer to the new layer
  24. Verify that under the properites group on the Ribbon, the object color, line weight and linetype are all set to “By Layer”
  25. Save (either as a DXF or DWG)
  26. In Revit -> create a new family or in your project under the “Architecture” tab -> “Component” button -> “Model In-Place”.  The type of family should match what the object is.  Generic Models or Masses are typically good choices.
  27. In the family -> “Insert” tab -> “Link CAD” or “Import CAD” (Link CAD will only be available in “Model In-Place” families.
  28. Select your DXF or DWG file and place it (don’t forget to check the “Import Units” and the “Positioning”)
  29. The mesh object will come in as an outline, with only the edges you left visible still there.
  30. By default you can only select the object by the visible edges and the outline, you may consider toggling the “Select Elements by Face” selection filter in the lower right.
Mesh Geometry into Revit without Triangulated Edges via 3ds Max
Also check out the Revit Shades of Grey blog by Andy Milburn for excellent examples of this technique put to use.

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