Revit MEP

256 Posts
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Registered: ‎12-27-2007
Post 1 of 4

Mulitple Switch Wall Plate

613 Views, 3 Replies
01-24-2013 03:42 PM

See photo below.  I am trying to do a wall plate/switch family for an instance like this, (multiple switches, one plate).  Is it possible in Revit?  The reason why it's important is because we are a modular building manufacturer, modeling our own buildings in Revit before providing shop drawings for our factory.  We are also trying to use Revit as much as possible for scheduling quantities and cut lists for all of our components... single switch wall plates on one line, double on another line, triple on another, etc.


multiple switch wall plate.PNG




*Expert Elite*
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Registered: ‎08-28-2009
Post 2 of 4

Re: Multiple Switch Wall Plate

01-25-2013 06:37 AM in reply to: norcaljess

I had delved into this issue some time ago, and unfortunately it can only be done to a limited degree (a big surprise to us all, right?).


So, of course you can model the multi-gang switch and add three Connectors. No problem, right? Well, the Connectors don't even matter for the purposes of hosting a Switch System. In fact, there is no electrical information even contained in a Switch System, aside from "Switch ID".


Now that brings us to our next issue. Since the switch is a single element, it may only be assigned a single value for "Switch ID". This mean that even if lighting fixtures are connected to it via separate Switch Systems, they will all share the same value for "Switch ID" as well.


Another issue that I'm just tacking on (to rant a little) is that Revit is currently incapable of designed a 3-way switch system, which is a fundamental aspect of design!


As for my current switch configuration...


I have two separate families - "Light Switch (Multi)" and "Light Switch (Extra)", both of the Lighting Devices Category and of the "Switch" Part Type.


Light Switch (Multi)

This family hosts the switch's model, and parametrically resizes and adds (arrays) more switches as defined by the parameters. There is also an embedded Generic Annotation that also changes the number of switch symbols shown based on parameter values. There is a single Electrical Connector in this Family.


Light Switch (Extra)

This family is basically a single Invisible Line and an Electrical Connector. In the Project, this Family is placed beside the "Light Switch (Multi)" elements (with constraints) to provide a host for additional Switch Systems. Additionally, these elements can be Grouped with the switch element, but each instance must be created as a separate Group in order to have different Switch ID values. Also, there is a Shared Parameter in this Family so that it can be filtered out of schedules


This method will allow for multiple "Switch ID" values, seemingly from the same switch, since the latter family has no visible elements. Tagging works very well, except that you cannot easily list multiple switch legs in a string (i.e., "a, b, c").



Anyway - one of the more common methods of bypassing Revit's Switch Systems is to create a Shared Parameter that is added to the Switches, Lighting Fixtures, and associated Tags. Unfortunately, this value of this parameter is manually entered and possesses no automation. So, the way you build this Family depends heavily on how you intend it to be used in the Project: with or without the use of Switch Systems.

Corey D.                                                                                                                  ADSK_Logo_EE_2013.png    AutoCAD 2014 User  Revit 2014 User
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256 Posts
3 Kudos
Registered: ‎12-27-2007
Post 3 of 4

Re: Multiple Switch Wall Plate

01-25-2013 02:41 PM in reply to: CADastrophe

Ai yai yai!  I feel like I'm reading a different language when I read this stuff sometimes!  I have to go back and disect the entire message piece by piece in order to translate it, haha.  Thanks for the help though.  I can figure this out... *deep breath*




Distinguished Contributor
131 Posts
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Registered: ‎09-12-2008
Post 4 of 4

Re: Multiple Switch Wall Plate

02-07-2013 08:38 AM in reply to: norcaljess

Seriously, don't over complicate this.


1 - Stop using the switch system in REVIT, it's useless.


2 - Add the Switch ID parameter to the lighting families and create an instance based tag to populate them.


3 - Create a switch that can flex based on how many gangs it is. Then a tag that's instance based that says whatever you want.


The best decision I ever made was to stop using the Switch Systems ADESK has included.



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