April 19, 2016

Finding Missing Revit Mullions

I recently taught an online Revit Fundamentals course, where we had just finished adding Curtain Grids and Mullions to a curtain wall in Revit, when a student had difficulty displaying mullions in a Plan View he had just added to his curtain wall. The Mullions displayed in elevation and 3D views, but not in the plan view. Hmm...

My first thought was to check the Visibility Graphics settings, as that certainly had to be it! Upon quick review, Visibility Graphics had Curtain Wall Mullions turned on. Strike One, that wasn't it.

Next thing to check was the Reveal Hidden Elements (Lightbulb) button. Perhaps the student had used the Hide in View>>Element option in the right-click menu. Revealing Hidden Elements would surely show the missing mullions…Strike Two, that wasn't it either.

In our Revit Fundamentals class, we do not typically introduce Phasing, but because this was a custom class and Phasing was part of the curriculum, it was worth a shot to check it out. Now, because Curtain Grids and Mullions are dependent upon a host Curtain Wall, the phase the Curtain Wall is assigned is automatically transferred to the Curtain Grids and Mullions. As such, the Curtain Grids and Mullions should take on the Phase the Curtain Wall is assigned.

In our case, the Curtain Wall was set to a New Construction Phase, hence the Curtain Wall Grid and Mullions were assigned to the New Construction Phase. Upon inspection of the view, the Phase was set to New Construction, with the Phase Filter set to Show Complete. Combined together, the view should have displayed New Construction elements; in this case, the Mullions. Strike Three…but not enough strikes to call it quits.

Now, one other thing that came to mind in trying to resolve this issue, was that Floor Plan views, by default, display elements as they appear at a 4’-0” cut plane. This is controlled by the Floor Plan Views’ View Range parameter. 

In the Properties Palette, you have to ensure you are looking at the Floor Plan parameters. Scroll down the list of parameters until you come to the Extents Group. The View Range parameter has a large [Edit] button. 

Selecting the button displays the View Range dialog box. The default value for the cut plane is set to 4’-0”. For the student, the Curtain Grid and Mullion were also at the 4’-0” mark, causing the cut plane to cut through the horizontal mullion, not displaying the vertical mullion, as there was a mullion above and below the horizontal mullion. 

Change the value to be either above or below the 4’-0”. In this example, changing the Cut plane to 4’-6” moved the cut plane above the horizontal mullion, allowing the Cut plane to cut through the vertical mullion, thereby displaying it in a Floor Plan view. Success! We had finally discovered where the missing mullions were hiding.

An alternative to adjusting the cut plane for the entire view would be to apply a Plan Region across the curtain wall with its own View Range setting. The use of a Plan Region will override the View Range settings within a view for the area specified by the Plan Region.

Sometimes the smallest fixes in Revit, aren’t always the easiest to identify. Knowing where to look, and the different tools that can control how elements appear in a view, is very helpful. And, sometimes, it can only be accomplished through the process of elimination.

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Ron Palma
AEC Application Specialist
Ron has 25+ years of experience in the architectural industry as a drafter, designer, lead project designer, trainer, and a CAD manager implementing Autodesk Architectural Solutions for residential design firms. His instructional accomplishments include: Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), trainer, support technician, educator at Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges, as well as a U.S. Army certified instructor. Ron holds a BA in Instructional Design suma cum laude, is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard, where he is a First Sergeant of an Infantry Company, specializing in training and mentoring soldiers in their careers, and has been deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Resolute Support. Ron is a published author and continues to write professional technical training manuals and shorts for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor and Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Professional, Ron continues to provide Revit Architecture and AutoCAD training and support for various AEC firms. @RonPalmaAEC