September 1, 2016

Revit 2017: Filling Gaps in a Revit Fabrication Model

Fabrication detailing in Revit 2017 supports different MEP detailing workflows. In this post, I'll provide a brief rundown for each.

For each fabrication model you must specify a fabrication configuration and load services. You can then place parts to create a detailed fabrication model in Revit, or convert an existing Revit model with generic duct, pipe, and electrical containment parts to a model that uses fabrication parts.

Continue to add fabrication parts and modify the elements in the model as needed. For all those new to the feature this can be found on the Systems tab > Fabrication Part:


Download sample fabrication configurations for use with the MEP features of Revit. The sample fabrication configurations contain generic US Imperial and UK Metric content.

Download the Imperial and Metric sample configurations

  1. Click the file names: and
  3. Open the files. The files are installed to:
  • C:/Users/Public/Documents/Autodesk/Fabrication /Revit MEP Imperial Content/Vx.xx
  • C:/Users/Public/Documents/Autodesk/Fabrication /Revit MEP Metric Content/Vx.xx
However, to access and use a full set of real-world content, I would suggest an installation of any of the Autodesk Fabrication products:
Trim and Extend:

Use the Trim/Extend tool to fill a gap between two straights, For example, when connecting a duct branch to a main or pipework to a header:

Quick Connect:

Use the Quick Connect tool to fill a gap between a fitting and another straight where no additional fittings are needed. 

Please note: the Quick Connect command is available only when a fitting is selected. The command is disabled when a straight is selected. You can use this tool to drag the connector onto another part to connect them:

Route & Fill:

Use the Route and Fill tool to add parts between two open connectors in a faster, more efficient way than placing parts one-by-one. The Route and Fill tool provides one or more solution depending on the service. You can narrow the number of solutions by filtering the fittings used, switch direction of the route, and even filter the solutions to force it to use certain parts:

Per the Autodesk help file, one thing to remember with this feature is that “A route must exist in a single plane. Solutions that require two planes or three bends are not supported.” This means varying height connections that also require bends will not automatically connect. It may be quicker using the “Design to Fabrication” feature for these situations.

Design to Fabrication:

Use the Design to Fabrication tool to convert a design model with Revit elements to a fabrication model with LOD 400 fabrication parts.

You can convert selected parts, or an entire duct or pipe network. The Design to Fabrication tools provide a more efficient workflow, since the fabrication model does not need to be redrawn from scratch. The result of the conversion is based on the design line algorithm used by the Autodesk Fabrication products, and uses the same content available in the Autodesk Fabrication products:

It's important to note, this is a one-way process; once the Revit MEP Design has been converted to Fabrication Parts, it cannot be reversed. I would suggest using a copy of the MEP Design to convert, as this gives us the benefit of linking the projects for comparison.

Swap Parts:

In 2017 we now have the ability to swap Fabrication parts in the same way as Revit Families:

Optimize Lengths:

This feature allows you to optimize the straight lengths of generic ductwork by adding, removing, or modifying lengths of straight segments.

Please Note: If a straight is pinned, or part of a group, it will not be optimized.

To go in-depth with each of these features, check out my videos in the Revit Architecture, Revit MEP and Revit Structure 2017 playlist on Ideate Inc.'s YouTube Chanel.

Thank you for reading. For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

Senior Application Specialist MEP/AEC Solutions
Bill has over 25 years experience in applying MEP & AEC design solutions for large commercial companies, this has led to actively develop Autodesk® Revit® implementation strategies, techniques, and procedures for architectural and MEP companies. He has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill is an Autodesk MEP Implementation Certified Expert, and has been the Lead Designer for several multimillion dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He graduated from the Pasadena Institute of Technology and has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.