Autodesk Revit: Model Lines explained

One of the main concepts of Autodesk Revit is that there are 3D model elements (eg. walls, doors, windows, etc) and their are 2D Detail and Annotation elements (eg. hatch patterns, detail lines, detail components, symbols, etc). However, there is a third type of component that straddles somewhere between these two classes- and that is the Model Line element.

Quire simply, you use Model Lines in your model where you need to add a little more detail, but do not want to have to add additional geometry. Let’s take a look at some examples of where Model Lines would be used….




In the above image, Model Lines have been used to represent the court markings in a sports hall.



In this second example, Model Lines are used to depict a high-level panel on the wall. Please Note: In this example, we would only use Model Lines if we were absolutely sure that we do not require any of the benefits that adding a true modelled component would bring (ie the ability to schedule the number of panels, etc)

So how we do add Model Lines to model? Very easily infact! First of all we need to decide which “Work Plane” we are going to use to host our Model Lines. In our first example (above), the floor of the sports hall is the plane on which we need to add our Model Lines- this is easy, just switch to a Plan View that has the “Level” of the floor set as the “Associated Level” of that particular Floor Plan View.

The second example (adding Model Lines to the face of a wall) is a little more complicated- but not by much! First of all switch to a 3D view, where you can see the wall in question…



Now we need to switch the Work Plane to that of the face of the Wall. To do this go to the “Architecture” menu and look at the far end where you will find a Panel called Work Plane….


Go ahead and hit the “Set” button on the Work Plan panel. We are now presented with different options for specifying the Work Plane we need….




Go ahead and change the option to “Pick a plane“. With this selected, we can now hover our cursor over our model and Revit will automatically detect each potential work plane it comes across- the boundary of each plane will be highlighted in blue as you hover your cursor over them.  Go ahead and select the wall you wish you place your model lines on. Now we just need to add our model lines. Staying on the “Architecture” menu, you will find a panel half way along called “Model“…..



Go ahead and select Model Line, in the centre of this panel. Upon selecting this, your Ribbon Menu will change to present to you all the tools you need in order to create your Model Lines on the Work Plane you have just previously picked. Note that this context-sensitive Modify/Place Lines menu consists of two parts- the Draw panel and the Line Style Panel. Choose the type of line you need from the Line Style panel and then choose which tool best allows to place the line in the model, from the Draw panel……




And now just place your Model Lines….



Remember: The best thing about Model Lines is that they quickly add additional detail to your model without weighing it down with further true 3D geometry. As you may expect, your model lines are visible in all plan, elevation, section and 3D views of your model.


If you’re new to Revit Architecture, you may be interested in my freeComplete Beginner’s Guide to Revit Architecture84 part video tutorial course

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