Thursday, August 22, 2013

Light Fixture Grid Positioning and Wires

I've seen some lighting content that has been modified to make it easier to align with acoustical ceiling tile grid patterns. For example this stock family is the Downlight-Recessed Can.rfa with some reference planes added so we can snap to the grid during placement, or use the Align tool easily afterward.

I didn't bother to assign any parameters to control them. I can use them to fit the fixture in a 2x2 grid or use the Align tool later to position it in the middle of a 2x4 grid. It might not be obvious but I can use one reference in a family to move the family over by selecting another part of the family as my second pick. This means it is easy to just set the reference planes at a fixed position and use the family's own references to move it over if necessary. It just means I don't have to have parameters to decide if the fixture is meant for a 2x2 or 2x4 grid. All this is seems good at first except when it comes time to add wiring to the fixtures.

These helpful reference planes end up affecting where the wire's graphical ends terminate. The fixtures are connected to their wire but they just stop at the extents defined by the reference planes. Not fun when you have to adjust a lot of wires to get closer to the fixture. This means Reference Planes aren't ideal for this task. This is what the family looks like if I use Reference LINES instead.

I've held the same attitude toward adding dimensions in this example too, with much better results as well! We can set the reference lines to Strong (IsReference) and uncheck the Visible parameter. They won't be visible when you select the family but the Align tool will "see" them and Revit will highlight the ceiling grid pattern when you place the fixture too. Fwiw, if you leave it checked they still won't be visible when you select the family.

Fwiw, Model and Symbolic Lines that are Strong References and assigned to Invisible Lines provide the same result. You can uncheck the Visible parameter so they aren't visible when you select the family.

(This is based on working in 2014, it does not work in 2012 or 2013. Nothing seems to resolve it in those versions)


Unknown said...

hello sir

this is good note but its work in 2012 ?.ok will check

Steve said...

Quick test of this in 2012, reference planes, lines, symbolic and model lines all seem to suffer from the offset wire issue. It must have been addressed to some degree in later releases.