Revit’s divided surface bug

2 min read

One of the reasons that Rhino remains so popular amongst designers is Revit’s primitive conceptual modelling tools. Below is a clear example of Revit’s limitations when it comes to conceptual modelling and how Rhino can help. Special thanks to David Baldacchino from do-u-revit for contributing to this solution. 

Planar = Cropped UV divisions

A known ‘bug’ within Revit is how planar trapezoidal surfaces are divided. Revit takes the liberty of ‘optimising’ the divisions by treating the surface as a trimmed surface and cropping the UV divisions. There is no way to prevent Revit from doing this, even if you are in Dynamo. This automation can cause significant problems, as often one needs the UV divisions to follow the surface, not some imaginary trimmed surface.

Planar surface
Non-planar surface

There are a few workaround options to make the trapezoidal surface with a skewed UV grid. Unfortunately, none of them are great.

Workaround 1: Minimal non-planarity

The first workaround is to displace one of the vertices a tiny amount, say 1mm so that the surface is not a real plane. This workaround is not ideal and very inaccurate.

Workaround 2: Use intersections

The second workaround is to set the number of ‘V’ divisions to zero, and use intersects instead. To do this:

  • Take the top and bottom edges and divide the path.
  • Set the number of points you want. This number will be the V grid divisions.
  • Add reference lines between these nodes. Note: these cannot be used as intersects as they are not plane-based.
  • Create reference planes by picking these reference lines and use them as intersects. 
Intersecting planes
Divided surface


Neither workaround is great but until Autodesk decide to fix the problem, and it is a problem, this is the best we can do.

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