AEC Tech News (#333)

18 Sep, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

Understanding Autodesk Revit Materials

Learn how to manipulate materials skillfully, and you'll be able to get the results you want from Revit.

By Daniel John Stine

During the 2013 Revit Technology Conference (RTC), held this past July in Vancouver, Canada, I gave a presentation titled, "Mastering Materials: Getting What You Want from Revit." The class covered many aspects of managing and applying Revit materials — skills that are essential for every Revit user. For those who did not get a chance to attend the conference, I've written this tutorial to summarize that presentation. (The live version contains more information, however, so be sure to mark your calendar for next year's RTC, to be held June 19–21 in Chicago!)

Starting with Revit 2013, there is a new term that users must become familiar with: assets. To better understand assets, let's first talk about the overall concept of a material in Revit 2014. Consider the simple illustration at right: This box represents the primary components of a material in Revit.

Think of a material as a container. Some of the information represents elements you can touch and see when the building is complete, while some does not. Assets are modules, if you will, that better define a material. These modules are optional and can be added or deleted as needed; however, most materials have an appearance asset, which cannot be deleted.

Duplicating a Material and Its Assets

It is important to know how to properly duplicate a material in your model so you do not unintentionally affect another material. The process has changed significantly from previous years. Many experienced Revit users still do not fully understand this process. Not following these steps results in multiple materials being changed when only one material was intended to be modified. If you duplicate a material in your model, the appearance asset will be associated to the new material and the material you copied it from!

In this example, we will right-click on Carpet (1) and duplicate it. Before we duplicate it, notice the appearance asset named Red is not shared (see arrow No. 3).

Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Daniel John Stine is an author, instructor, BIM manager, and architect with more than twenty years of experience.

HP Marries Workstation Power with Ultrabook Portability

Company launches three brand-new ZBooks and introduces updated Z workstations and two new IPS displays.

By Robert Green

HP announced the expansion of its Z portfolio of professional workstation and monitors this month, including the first-ever workstation Ultrabook, the HP ZBook 14; updates to the company's line of Z desktop workstations, now offering Intel's Thunderbolt technology for high-speed data transfer; and two new HP Z displays.

Last week in New York City, the company hosted a preview event for the media, allowing attendees to get a firsthand look at the new products, pose questions to company officials, and hear from HP customers from a variety of industries.

Setting the Tone

The event keynote was neatly summarized by Jim Zafarana, vice-president and general manager of Commercial Solutions, when he stated, "Professional customers rely on trusted partners to provide technology solutions that are tested and certified for the mission-critical applications they run. The HP Z subbrand has become a hallmark for professional products engineered to the highest standards. The expansion of the Z portfolio demonstrates HP's commitment to the professional market that many other vendors have abandoned." Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Robert Green performs CAD programming and consulting throughout the United States and Canada.

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Second Annual 3D Documentation Conference
October 16–18, 2013
Orlando, Florida
The 3D Documentation Conference, hosted by FARO, will offer laser scanning professionals a platform to exchange ideas, discuss emerging technologies, and participate in cooperative workshops. Read more »

Autodesk University 2013
December 3–5, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
This annual conference is designed for users of Autodesk software, including architects, engineers, and designers. The event comprises more than 650 classes, networking receptions, preconference events, and an exhibit hall. Read more »

Building Innovation 2014: The NIBS Second Annual Conference & Expo
January 6–10, 2014
Washington D.C.
This event from the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) will focus on advancing lifecycle performance. During the conference, the Institute will look back on its 40 years of leadership and advocacy and present an agenda that highlights its activities and programs for developing innovative solutions for the built environment. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at

GIS Leads Gleaners to Garden of Plenty
Trimble Navigation solutions help San Jose volunteers collect thousands of pounds of backyard produce for families in need. Read more »

After 20 Years, SolidWorks Still Striving for Improvement
Dassault Systèmes looks to the future while updating its product design portfolio for 2014, but steers clear of the controversial cloud. Read more »

Support Your Purchase Requests with a Quick and Dirty ROI Calculation
Don't just ask for that new hardware or software your department needs — justify it! Read more »

Build Better Lessons for Your Users
Whether you're recording videos or delivering live training sessions, the planning stage is the most important. Read more »

Dell Precision Unveils New Mobile and Desktop Workstations
Latest models are "most powerful ever," company reports. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

Add comment

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition