Monday, December 10, 2007

A Window Wall System - Scratching the Surface

Recently I came across an implementation task to provide a process to build a Window Wall System is Revit, once again I'm sure many of your will benefit from this post so read ahead. What I have to start off is an elevation of two bays that are 20'-00" in span. So let's beginning breaking this down.

What I am showing you in this elevation is the complete system in addition to two very important datums objects; reference planes. To successfully assemble this system we will create two reference planes at predetermined heights based on our system design which we will use to anchor the bottom of our beam and windows too.

So to start I'm going to assume that we have columns evenly spaces every 20'-00" and that we have the first run of window already installed on the bottom level. So on elevation if our modules are 7'-6" high, I am going to create two reference planes. One of them will sit right on top of the already in place windows (7'-6") and will make sure that I name it so that I can use it as a drawing plane in the future. To do so, I will select the reference plane, pull up its Element Properties and insert a distinctive name (in this case MID BEAM - WWS) into the instance parameter Name.

Once the plane in named it should like this when selected. Keep in mind the name will once show when the Ref. Plane is selected. Let's repeat the process now for a second Ref. Plane, We will use this plane to draw our second row of windows resting on the beam, therefore I will create this Ref. Plane 10" from the previous one which is the height of my beam. I will call this Ref. Plane TOB - WWS.

One this is all in place we can now go to a floor plan, I chose Level 1. Since we already have the bottom window section and the default view range has a cut plane of 4'-00", we will now move the cut place so that we can see above the beam we are about place and the windows for the upper windows. To do this we will pull up the view property window and click on VIEW RANGE.

Since we want to move the cut plane up and in a way eliminate what is bellow us we will make the following changes to the Primary Range: I have changed the Cut plane from 4' to 8' (remember the the bottom of the beam is at 7'-6") - I also mentioned I was not interested in seeing the objects close the ground so I change the Bottom Offset to 6' from its default of 0'-00" This means you have a view of Level 1 between 6' and 8'.

This more or less how your view should look:

At this point we need to select the first Ref. Plane we created to that we can lay our beam on top of it. In order to to that we need to click the Plane button located on the upper tool bar, this button will then bring up a context dialog for us to choose the Ref. Plane.

Make sure you select the Name option and from the pull down you select MID BEAM - WWS which is the name of our first Ref. Plane. From this point on any object inserted into the view will be aligned on top of this Ref. Plane. From the Structural tool panel we are going to plane a Beam between the columns, what is most important about this part of the exercise is to set the beam properties for Z Direction Justification to Bottom. You can do this before or after you place the beam. Other parameters to look at include Start and End Justification, set these to zero.

Now that we have the beam in place as show above, we can select the second Ref. Place by clicking on the Plane button on the top most tool bar and going through the same procedure. However this time when you extend the drop down menu make sure you select the Ref. Plane TOB - WWS and use this plane to insert the second row of windows.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Keeping File Size to a Minimum !!

I wanted to share something I recently learned. Revit files automatically get compressed when the SAVE AS option is used to save your project rather than just the conventional SAVE. This is how is works, take for intance the following file ROOF FRAMING_MODEL.rvt its normal size is 5,080 K. However if I use the SAVE AS function and give this file a new name such as ROOF FRAMING_MODEL_SAVE AS.rvt you will notice that the file size decreased to 4,440K. This is almost 15% smaller. At this point you can then delete you original file and replace it with the new one.

Original File:

Save As File:

Friday, December 7, 2007

What is a Drafting View?

I recently received an e-mail in which a user wanted to know what was the usage for a Revit drafting View. So make things easy I have clipped my reply bellow..

A Drafting View:

"...It is a view that can be used for any purpose such as detailing. It does NOT have any relationship to a specific portion of the model, unless you link using a CALLOUT.In this view you can draw 2D objects, insert detailing components which are 2D;Basically anything that is found under the DRAFTING toolbar. You can also use a drafting view to import an existing AUTOCAD drawings such as DOOR JAMB detail for example, and make it part of your Revit document..."

By the way, the Drafting View Command is found under the VIEW tab.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Autocad Architecture Resources

Today I watched a webcast by Amy Fietkau on Autocad Architecture 2008. I must say that it was very informative. She mentioned a link which i wanted to share with you.

This is the link to an autodesk resource page, great resource I must add for Autocad Architecture 2008 users. So if you are an Autocad Architecture user, take advantage of this resource!

Monday, September 10, 2007

How do I change the riser height and thread depth?

Hello again,

The stair object in the default revit template "default.rtf" has typical measurements for risers and threads of 7" - 11" respectively. Today I received a very common request to go over how to make changes to those default settings.

The way we are going to change the stair dimensions is by going into its type settings dialog. These are the steps to get to it. First we are going to select the stair type and bring up the object properties by clicking on the property button on the Revit options bar.

This will bring the object properties dialog; we need to get into the "Type" properties. For this we will click "edit/new". At this point we "Duplicate" the existing type or "Rename" and proceed with the changes we want to make. I have highlighted the areas of interest.

I hope this helps you !

Monday, August 27, 2007

Revit Architecture Version Update - SP2 !

Hey guys I wanted to mention that there is a new build of Revit Architecture as well as other Revit products. Be sure to update your installs.

To save time during installation make sure to uncheck "install content" once you run the downloaded executable. If you have any questions drop me a line.

Revit Architecture:
Update SP2 Build (20070810_1700)

Link to white pape:
Web Update Enhancement List

Keep your partitions organized ;)

So you know that walls have a "Location Line" parameter that we use to set its aligment in plan. you also know that for the most part while building exterior walls we should set this paramenter to "Finish Face Exterior". But, what option should you choose for interior walls? and how do you decided where the inteir or exterior side should be?

Well I am going to share my method:

First I beging by enclosing large spaces from bottom to top... taking into consideration lage walls that span from left to right. For instance in the image bellow notice how ROOM 18 is completly enclosed.

Then after i tackle large walls that run horizontally I being to subdivide the space with vertical walls. This is where things get a little tricky. What you need to do is make sure that all your walls go in the same direction. If you already know that the exterior side of a wall is always to the left side of your mouse stroke (this is something I mention in my training sessions), then you can see that my spaces should be enclosed in a clock-wise fassion to keep my walls in the same direction. So in this particular case, I being to draw my vertical walls from top to bottom. One thing you will notice is that some spaces will be "properly enclosed" in terms of interior and exterior faces, and some will have a combination of both for exmaple ROOM 22. This is not wrong per say, as long as you keep all your walls organized is terms of the direction they were drawn. Most important thing to keep in mind is that you stick to the decision you made on where and how to enlose your spaces; from left to right and then bottom to top? or visaversa.

Well I hope this helps clear a little bit of confussion - until next time !

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Keep those patterns in check !

Hi again,

Well I hope you had a great weekend ! I wanted to start this week with something I though would be very useful during the creation of a template or the production of Construction documentsin regards to graphics. Before release 9.0 we were unable to control the direction or "alignment" of hatch pattens within a wall object, If the pattern looked good on a vertical wall in plan, then it did not look well in a horizontal wall; it just did not align to the boundaries of the wall.

Well to alleviate this, the great development team incorporated a new dialog box to the pattern properties that allow you to specify the method of alignment. Your choices are "Orient to view" - which is the Revit default which does not produce acceptable graphics; "Keep readable" - Which depending on the pattern you will want to use to force the pattern to stay aligned with the horizontal plane of your screen; and last "Align with element" - this option will produce the desired graphical condition for a pattern that is being used within a wall. - Oh I almost forgot, to access this dialog you must go into Settings>Fill Patterns then select the pattern you want to modify form the dialog box and click on the "settings" button on the upper right side. If you did everything correctly you will see the Modify Pattern Properties panel bellow. - Have a great week !

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Revit Boom !

So you thought you were alone? read this short article from Cadalyst and see where we are heading. Autodesk reported 100% increase in Revit seats based on numbers from last year. This is very exciting news !

Friday, July 6, 2007

Hand Railings Explained ! - Finally

Hello again !

Well we all know that usually the railings that are in the default template are not always the ones we need, nor they look the way we want them to look. So I've put together a short explanation to help you around the cumbersome task of modifiying a railing type.

In order to change a railing type we need to access its type parameters, we can either do this while we are in sketch mode drawing our railing (under "railing propeties") or we can select the object properties once the railing has been created and go from there.

Once I acces the element properties and the go into the "Type Properties", you will notice that there are two buttons that will call separate dialog boxes for "Rail Structure" and "Baluster Placement". The Railing Structure Dialog blox allows you to specify a profile family to be extruted along the horizontal length of the railing. What is neat about this dialog is that it allows you to insert as many "railing" components as you need using different profiles and different elevations.

So once you have the horizontal members the way you want them, then you can exit this dialog box and go onto the next one which is the "Baluster Placement". In the Baluster Placement dialog, you will find a similar aproach to describe the vertical members, begining and ending post. However, rather than using extruded profiles, this dialog actually uses 3D geometry famlies categorized as "baluster" (these are built or modeled using the Baluster.rtf family template.) Therefore keep in mind that you need to load the appropriate familes you need for your railing before you enter this dialog box (oops!)

On the upper portion under the heading of "Main Pattern" you can load many different common balusters that will appear within a period of repetition and space them accordingly. The bottom part labeled "Posts" Allows you to select different post for Starting, Corner, and Ending conditions. This gives you great flexibily to use different post for corners and ends.

By using different starting and ending posts you can also recreate stair railing used for ADA with different extensions at the start and end. :) Until next time.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

We are almost up ! - Why, When, How?

So here I am!

I want to take this brief moment to thank you for coming to my blog. In case you are wondering what this is all about, let me tell you. I have created this blog to share tips and tricks I have learned or picked up along as well as to show you certain hidden functions of Revit Architecture and thus helping you make the most out of your Reviting !

I plan to keep this blog alive by updating it once a month at least with formal tips, links and resources you can use to better your workflow! In return however I would appreciate you feedback on my postings and of course know that as always you can contact me via e-mail or at my office Digital Drafting Systems. I hope to hear from you.

Your Revit-geek friend,