Back to Basics with Revit Families: Why Ceiling-Based Families don’t display in Floor Plan views

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Posted on February 16, 2017 by Synergis’ Application Consultant, Bill Knittle

In certain circumstances there arises a need for Ceiling-based families to display themselves in plan views. For example, many medical facilities suspend equipment from their ceilings. So, it becomes necessary to display their location in Floor Plan views as overhead information. While these families display easily in Reflected Ceiling Plan views, they miss the mark in displaying in Floor Plan views.

In the sample overhead track light, I’ve set the geometry of the family not to display in plan views because, I have a plan symbol representation in the family. The plan symbol happens to be a nested detail component family comprised of Masking Regions. You can see clearly the plan symbol in the upper-left Reflected Ceiling Plan view. However, the Floor Plan view in the lower-left does not display the light.revit-1

A closer look at the family reveals that there is indeed a plan symbol which happens to be placed on a reference plane called “Plan.”revit-2

Here’s the solution to the problem. Revit has the ability to draw invisible lines. Yes, lines that will not print. There are two types of lines in Revit families you can use. They are Symbolic and Model Lines. Symbolic Lines display only in the view of the family in which they are drawn. But, Model Lines are three-dimensional and display in all views. If created vertically in the family, they will intersect a Floor Plan or Reflected Ceiling Plan view’s Cut Plane. Therefore, draw an invisible Model Line from floor to ceiling on the Center (Front/Back) or Center (Left/Right) reference plane.revit-3

Once reloaded back into the project, the results are immediate. Notice the plan symbol now displays in the lower-left Floor Plan view. Since my nested plan symbol is a Detail Item, I can use a sub-category to display its Line Pattern differently in each plan view.revit-4

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