3D cable trays for Autodesk REVIT produced by IEK


  1.  2018 Cable Tray Library

  2. At the request of IEK Holding, InfoSAPR employees have developed 3D models of cable-carrying systems (trays)

In 2018, the library of cable-carrying systems was radically redesigned for the IEK company. The family of cable-carrying trays was made through a system of manual selection of keys for pre-drawn trays. That is, the user first draws a system of trays with a given width and height and then selects a specific brand of the product for the trays selected with the mouse.

In the video you can clearly see how to work with the library, below there is also a description of the steps of creating a library.

The first difference is a dimension, in particular, width of cable trays and cable raceways.


The list of works for the development of the database included the following stages:

1. Creating two Excel files, which are later exported to the *.RVT file. The files are simple without correspondences, what fits what

List of cable tray keys

List of cable tray accessory keys

2. Creating smart 3D models of accessories that are not available in the standard Autodesk REVIT.

Advantages of such a library:

• Easy to develop

• Easily add new Articles

Disadvantages of such a library:

• Fully editable by anyone, even a novice user.

• It is difficult to find the right accessory in the entire list of trays and accessories

There was a variant of developing a library of cable trays using C# programming (C-sharp). So that the plugin is embedded in Autodesk REVIT versions 2016-2017-2018 and when you click on the button, you could select specific sizes not through an infinitely long list of keys, but automatically through a convenient window.


Advantages of using programming in library development:

It is easy to add new Articles to the rendered Excel file. The Excel file will be located in Program Files. It can be transferred to users separately so that they can replace the old one with a new one

User-friendly and intuitive interface

Disadvantages of using programming in library development:

When a new version of Autodesk REVIT is released, you need to redo the installer

When introducing new types of equipment that logically do not fit into the algorithm of the program, it is necessary to redo the program code

There may be problems with installation if a person does not have access rights at work to install programs.

The option of creating a library using programming was assigned to the next stage of work due to the fact that the library needed to be done as soon as possible.

The 2014 Cable Tray Library

At the request of IEK Holding, InfoSAPR employees have developed 3D models of cable-carrying systems (trays) and plastic cable channels. In the course of the project, a total of about 2000 items and 3D models of equipment of the IEC Holding company were created.

Despite the fact that these sections of equipment may seem the same, but for REVIT there are significant differences between cable-carrying systems, that is, trays, and plastic cable channels.

The first difference between the KNS and cable channels is the dimensions, in particular the width of the tray and the width of the cable channels. Autodesk REVIT has a system family of "Cable Trays".

The "Cable Trays" system family in Autodesk REVIT

Help: Autodesk REVIT Families

All Revit elements belong to the Family. The two most common types of Family in Revit are System Families (System Family) and Component (Downloadable) Families (Component (Loadable) Family).

System families contain standard sizes by which basic building elements such as walls, floors, ceilings and stairs are created in building models. System families also include project parameters and system parameters that affect the project environment and include standard sizes for levels, grids, sheets, and viewports.

Since system families are pre-defined in Revit, they do not need to be downloaded from external files to be saved in templates and projects. System families cannot be copied, modified, or deleted, however, in system families, you can copy and modify standard sizes by creating custom standard sizes based on system families.

System families cannot be loaded into templates and projects, but standard sizes from system families can be transferred or moved by copying/pasting from one project or template to another.

It seems logical to include both trays and cable channels in this system family. But it has a limitation – The width of the tray must be at least 25 cm, and the width of the cable channels is 7 cm.

Electrical system settings in Autodesk REVIT

Therefore, a family of cable channels had to be created in the section Electrical Equipment and Connecting parts of boxes.

Boxes and electrical equipment in Autodesk REVIT

Another feature of the REVIT “Cable Trays” system family is that, by definition, it does NOT store dimensions inside itself, namely the width, height and length of the tray, so each time you have to set these dimensions before drawing a cable tray, guided by the dimensions from the name.

Database of cable trays and cables in Autodesk REVIT
  • Connecting parts are attached to each cable tray:
  • Horizontal angles (bending in the horizontal plane)
  • Vertical external angles (vertical external bend)
  • Vertical internal angles (vertical internal bend)
  • Tee
  • Intersection (Crosspiece)
  • Width adapter
  • Connecting the trays
  • Cable tray with connecting parts in Autodesk REVIT

Unfortunately, it is not possible to set two horizontal rotations to one tray, for example, by 90 and 45 degrees. Therefore, during the design, some turns must either be inserted manually or go into the properties of the tray and reconnect the connecting parts.

Unlike metal cable-carrying systems for cable channels, it is NOT necessary to set the dimensions when drawing each time, since all cable channels are made OUTSIDE the system family and the dimensions are set directly in the properties of the cable channel.

Cable Channel Sizes in Autodesk REVIT

But on the other hand, there is also a disadvantage – in the "Electrical Equipment" family, it is impossible to set the connecting parts (turns and adapters) so that they are inserted into the track automatically during drawing.