Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Duplicating a Material and its assets

It is important to know how to properly duplicate a Material in your Revit model, so you do not unintentionally affect another Material. Today's post highlights how to do this and promotes a Revit Idea I created to better deal with challenge in Autodesk Revit (please vote!).

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! For example, in the image below, we will right-click on Carpet (1) and duplicate it. Before we duplicate it, notice the Appearance Asset named “RED” is not shared.

Keep reading to lean more...

Once you have duplicated a Material, notice the two carpet materials, in this example, now indicate they both share the same Appearance Asset. Changing one will affect the other. Click the Duplicate this asset icon in the upper right (#3 in image below).

Finally, when the Appearance Asset has been duplicated (next iamge), you can expand the information section and rename the asset. You can now make changes to this material without affecting other materials. This applies to all assets in a Material.

Duplicate Material and Assets Revit Idea

On Revit Ideas, I submitted an idea to allow us to duplicate a material and its asset. Here is what I wrote:

  • While in the Material Editor, in addition to Duplicate it would be helpful to have another option; Duplicate Material AND Assets. Maybe an intermediate dialog appears to prompt (with check boxes) for which assets (Appearance, Physical, Thermal) to duplicate. Often, we duplicate a material and then have to immediately, manually, duplicate the appearance asset so the original material does not get messed up.
This could be similar to the options we have when right-clicking and duplicating a view (duplicate, w/ detailing, dependent). As an instructor and Revit support person in a multi-discipline firm, I find a lot of people do not know about the need to duplicate the asset, or they forget and accidentally mess up other materials.

To vote this one up, click here: Duplicate Material and Assets

My friend Pieter Schiettecatte commented on this idea with his suggested workflow:

When you right-click a material, you have a sub-menu for duplicating with two options:

  • Duplicate
  • Duplicate with shared assets
"Duplicate" will duplicate the material and duplicate all its assets. That way the user can make changes to the assets without ever having to worry they are affecting another material because the assets are linked.

"Duplicate with shared assets" will give you a popup dialog box that asks you what assets the new duplicated material should share with the original: appearance, physical, thermal. 

I would also add a "duplicate material" at the bottom of the dialog with the same two options.

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

Check out my video-based  courses on ArchSmarter.

I also write blog posts for Enscape - a new paradigm in rendering, animation and VR for AEC.