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Revit for MEP: A Secret Undocumented Command

Did you know that when routing sloped plumbing pipe in Revit MEP, you can easily toggle an undocumented snap that facilitates pipe fitting connections to the centerline of the pipe? Let’s say you want to add a branch of piping off a sloped main drainage pipe. When connecting the branch, you may be tempted to snap to the curve of the sloped main drainage pipe and model the pipe perpendicularly. Let’s see what happens in this scenario and how we can model sloped piping in a better way.

Unnecessary Transitions in Revit MEP

Before we jump into the details, allow me to introduce a method from Plamen Christov I learned around a decade ago. I would like to credit and dedicate this blog post to Plamen, thank you.

Observe the gif below. The pipe fitting has something mysteriously added between the fitting and the pipe. This happens when adding a new sloped pipe branch. Review the illustration further and you will see in the section view of the pipe that the branch added a useless transition. This usually happens with the standard tee fitting but may occur with custom fittings you model as well.

The Undocumented Command

The next method in Revit MEP involves starting the pipe command and picking the first point of the pipe location. Once the first point has been selected, depress the space bar. Make sure you do this but before selecting the end point of the pipe location. This overrides the snap from the curve of the pipe to the center. It also does a few other things that facilitates the connection and matches the pipe type, size and elevation. I discovered in my past research that this was essentially an ‘undocumented command.’ This has been available since the first release of Revit MEP when it was called ‘AutoCAD Revit Series Systems Plus.’ Observe the gif below.

Finally, review the resulting section view of the piping in the illustration below. You will notice that no useless transition was added. Additionally, you will see that the pipe fitting, the tee in this case, was rolled so that the branching 4-inch pipe is also sloped to match.

By pressing spacebar after starting a pipe command, you have the potential to increase your Revit MEP capabilities and productivity. I have personally gained a lot of efficiency over the years by using this method.

This blog is written by Sr. MEP Technical Specialist Jay Ayala. Learn more about Revit here. Contact marketing@atgusa.com for more information.

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