Toposurface in Revit is defined as a 3D topographical surface created using points or by using an imported dataset.

In this tutorial, you will learn to,

  • Create a toposurface by points
  • Create a toposurface with DWG import
  • Create a subregion
  • Split and Merge toposurfaces
  • Create a graded region
  • Label Contour Lines
  • Site Settings

Create a Toposurface by Points

Step by Step Guide: Create a toposurface by placing points

Learn about creating a toposurface by defining points in this video tutorial – by Autodesk

Create a Toposurface with Points File:

Sometimes, you receive a points data file from the Site Surveyor using which you may like to create a topographical surface in Revit. Before importing the points file, please ensure that your imported file matches the following requirements:

  • The points file must be in a comma-delimited file format (a CSV or TXT file).
  • The file must contain x, y, and z coordinate numbers as the first numeric values in the file.
  • Any additional numeric information for a point must occur after the x, y, and z coordinate values.

Step by Step Guide: Create a Toposurface with a Points File

Create Topsurface from DWG file

Most surveyors or site engineers use CAD to collect the data points for the topography survey. If you have received a DWG file that you would like to import in Revit and create your toposurface, you can use the tutorial below.

Step by Step Guide: Create a toposurface from an imported CAD file

Learn about how to create a toposurface from a DWG file with this Video Tutorial – by Autodesk. Although, this tutorial is created using Revit 2011 version, the method shown here is also applicable to other Revit versions 2011 and above.

Learn about how to grab real world geo-location sites from SketchUp, convert them to DWG and bring them to Revit using this video tutorial – by HowNowVideos

Create subregions in Toposurface

If you would like to mark up an area on your toposurface that contains a different material such as green spot of grass, parking lot, road, etc, you can create a subregion. A subregion adapts to the contours of the toposurface and is dependent on it. Thus, if you delete the toposurface, the subregion also gets deleted.

Step by Step Guide: Create a Toposurface Subregion

Learn about how to create subregion on the toposurface using this Video Tutorial – by Autodesk

Split and Merge Toposurfaces

If you would like to split your toposurface in two independent surface and then edit them separately, you can use Split Surface tool. Use Merge tool to join two surfaces into one.

Step by Step Guide:

Learn about the difference between Split Surface and Subregion with this Video Tutorial – by emanuel Kantbronce

Learn about how to merge two toposurface with this Video Tutorial – by John Bordeau

Create a Graded Region

Graded regions are created when you want to compare your original toposurface with the proposed site design. Revit will mark the existing surface as demolished phase and a copy of it will be created as a new surface in the current phase for you to work on the proposed site design. You can later compare these two surfaces to calculate total cut/fill volumes.

Step by Step Guide: Create a Graded Region

Learn how to create a graded region with this video tutorial – by Autodesk

Report Cut/Fill Volumes

Revit can report cut and fill volumes on a site by comparing two surfaces from different phases. Creating a graded region is a helpful tool to create a copy of the toposurface in the current phase and work on the proposed site development which can then be compared with the original toposurface.

Step by Step Guide:

Learn about how to calculate cut/fill volumes with this video tutorial – by Autodesk

Property Line

Use property lines to mark the area of your property on Site. Property lines automatically calculate the area of the property and can be tagged, scheduled as well as exported. By default, the property lines are visible only on Site plan. To enable its visibility on other view, adjust Visibility Graphics.

Learn how to create a property line by adding distances and bearings from a site survey and add setbacks to the site plan with this video tutorial – by Jonathan Falkinburg

Step by Step Guide:

Label Contour Lines

You can label the contours to mark the contour elevations.

Step by Step Guide:

Site Settings

You can use the Site Settings to control the display of your toposurface and its contour lines.

Step by Step Guide:

Learn about how to use Site Settings with this Video Tutorial – by Autodesk

Q&A

Have any Questions? or Suggestions? or Feedback? Please feel free to Contact Us, we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Modeling Toposurfaces

Tutorial: Lines

About Lines

If you are a beginner in Revit or transitioning from CAD tools, lines are the best way to get started. Revit works a bit differently than other popular CAD tools. Thus, getting comfortable in sketching lines would give you a good feel about how the software works.

Many architects like to begin their designs by sketching lines in a layout for space planning. Once an overall single line diagram for the space plan is prepared, the design then moves on to defining walls, columns, grids, etc. In Revit, you can use this approach by starting your project with lines too and then build it up as the design evolves.

There are two types of lines in Revit –

  • Model Lines: Model lines are visible in all views and are mainly used as a reference for the model.
  • Detail Lines: Detail lines are visible only in the specific view it is drawn in and are typically used for annotation in detail drawings.

Tutorial Objective:

In this tutorial, you will learn to,

  • Create Model Lines in the project
  • Create straight line, rectangle and fillet arc lines

Sample Problem:

Sketch the site boundary line of the sample project using model lines as shown below:

  • The overall site boundary dimensions are 20.26m x 17.30m with 1.80m radius arc at the bottom left corner.
M2 Lines Tutorial
Fig 1. Site boundary line for sample tutorial project

Files required for this tutorial: “TutorialLines_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt” (If you do not have this file, please download it from here.)

Solution:

  1. Open the sample project file TutorialLines_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt
  2. From the Project Browser, navigate to the Floor plan view named “00 Ground Level”.
  3. First, we will begin by drawing site boundary lines as shown in Fig 1 above.
  4. Go to Architecture tab -> Model panel -> Model Line
    • OR type “LI”as a shortcut on the keyboard
  5. In the Modify| Place Lines tab, under the draw panel, you will see options for choosing different shapes to draw. Choose a straight line. Ensure “Chain”option is checked from the options bar.M2 LInes 1
  6. In the drawing area, click to enter line start point in your drawing area.
  7. Move your cursor in a straight horizontal direction.
    •  Revit will highlight tooltips. It will also display dimensions highlighted in blue which change when you move your cursor. They are known as listening dimensions, which gives you relevant references while sketching.
  8. In order to create a line with a specific dimension, type the length of the line (20.26m) from your keyboard. Press Enter. This will determine the end point of the line.M2 Lines 2
  9. As chain option is checked, the line tool is still active allowing you to continue to draw more lines from the last end point.
  10. Move your cursor downwards at 90 degrees to draw a vertical line and type on your keyboard the length of the next line (17.30m). Press Enter.
  11. As we want to create a rectangle, move the cursor in a horizontal direction towards the start point of the first line. This time, Revit will automatically detect the reference for the end point based on the parallel horizontal line that we first drew. It will also highlight the dimension 20.26m, same as we took for the first line. Click at the intersection highlighted. M2 Lines 3
  12. Now, move the cursor upwards in 90 degrees vertical and click at the start point of the first line to close the rectangular loop.
  13. Click Esc twice to end the Model Line tool.
  14. Next, we want to create a fillet arc of 1.8m radius at the bottom left corner of the rectangular site boundary as shown in Fig 1.
  15. Go to Architecture tab -> Model panel -> Model Line
    • OR type “LI”as a shortcut on the keyboard
  16. In the Modify| Place Lines tab, under the draw panel, you will see options for choosing different shapes to draw. Choose a fillet arc. Check the Radius option from the options bar and specify 1.8m as the radius value.M2 Lines 5
  17. Go to the drawing area. Click anywhere on the left vertical line. Next, click on the bottom horizontal line. A fillet arc of 1.8m will be created between these two lines. M2 Lines 6
  18. Click Esc twice to end the Model Line tool.
  19. After completing all of the above steps, Go to File -> Save As this project as “TutorialLines_Output_LearningRevitOnline.rvt

NOTE: As we have created the site boundary line using Model Lines, these lines are also visible in other views including 3D views.

Alternative Approach:

  1. Repeat Steps 1 to 4 from above.
  2. In the Modify| Place Lines tab, under the draw panel, you will see options for choosing different shapes to draw. Choose a rectangle.
  3. In your drawing area, draw a rectangle of an approximate size. Accuracy of the dimensions are not important at this stage.M2 Lines 7
  4. Now, let’s make this rectangle of the exact size as specified in the Fig 1.
    • NOTE: If you click on a vertical line, a horizontal dimension appears in the rectangle and if you select horizontal line, a vertical dimension appears. This might be strange for users who are accustomed to CAD. However, in Revit, the temporary dimensions appear as references to other objects nearby. It understands that if you are selecting a vertical line, you might want to move it either left or right for which you will need the reference of the horizontal dimension. Similarly, for horizontal lines, vertical temporary dimension appears considering that you may want to move the line upwards/downwards.
  5.  Select the left vertical line of the rectangle. Click on the text of the temporary dimension, change its value to 20.26m. Note that the line would move (stretching the rectangle accordingly). Similarly, select the top horizontal line. A vertical temporary dimension will appear between two horizontal lines, change its value to 17.30m and note that the line move accordingly while stretching the rectangle.M2 Lines 4
  6. Now, repeat steps 15 to 19 from the above method, to create a fillet arc at the bottom left corner.

TIPS:

  • TIP: Property Line: As this tutorial is to learn about Model lines, the site boundary has been drawn using Modeling Line tool. However, in reality, it is better to draw site boundary lines using the “Property Line” tool. This will automatically calculate the area of the property enclosed by property lines (which would be a smarter way to do it, right?) Learn more about property line here.
M2 Property Line

More References:

Following are some references from where you can learn more about drawing different shapes with the lines

Q&A

Have any Questions? or Suggestions? or Feedback? Please feel free to Contact Us, we will get back to you as soon as we can.