A really small piece of Revit pi

This post was prompted by this from Darren Snook.

Firstly, let’s see actual pi to a decent level of precision:

Can Revit handle high precision pi calculations?

As a test, let’s use a circle with a diameter of 2000mm (radius of 1m).  Using the above precision, the area should be equal to pi in m².

Make a new project in Revit, no template, Metric.  Draw a Filled Region with radius of 1000mm.  The Properties Palette reports the area as:


Ok, obviously we need to increase the precision of Area in our Revit project.  Into:

  • Manage – Project Units – Area.  
  • Set Units to square millimetres, Rounding – Custom, Rounding increment:
    0.000000000001 (I couldn’t get Revit to accept any higher – it would just say ‘Invalid Input’, which I take to mean “what you’re asking for is a bit ridiculous”.)

Properties box for the filled region NOW reports:
3141592.854703690900 mm²
3141592.653589793238 (same amount of digits from the definition of pi)

The percentage of inaccuracy between the two?
0.0000000640165425247805 % (the Revit value is slightly larger)

This was a value difference of 0.201113897662 mm²

However, I am prepared to accept the above level of precision, at least in 99.999994% of my projects 🙂

The lesson?  If you are going to use Filled Regions for areas AND you want good precision, make sure you adjust your Project Units accordingly.

In response to:
Revit @ Waterman: Revit Needs to Go Back to School

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Yves Gravelin
11 years ago

Just don't forget that pi exist in Revit as a function : PI()

Darren Snook
11 years ago

And in 99.999994% of cases, I'd absolutely agree. In this case however, my inner pedant kicked in 😉

The filled region example in the post was just the easiest way to demonstrate the point. What I was actually trying to do was with volume calculations and schedules and was a bit more complex. Even bringing rounding into the equation wasn't taking out the error and giving me the answer I wanted. I guess I was just surprised that what to me is quite a simple calculation to me should be that inaccurate.