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Find out how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Autodesk Revit software. In this course, author Paul F. Aubin demonstrates the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from creating the design model to publishing a completed project. The course also covers navigating the Revit interface; modeling basic building features such as walls, doors, and windows; working with sketch-based components such as roofs and stairs; annotating designs with dimensions and callouts; and plotting and exporting your drawings.
In this movie we are going to look at manually created curtain walls. In the previous movie we looked at the curtain wall object and we saw how it was the series of grids and mullions in a pattern, and those were driven by the type. Here we are going to look at how we can layout the grid pattern manually so that we can have a little bit more freedom and flexibility with the design. So I am in a file called Grids and Mullions, and I'm going to zoom in here on the front entry, and you can see I just have a blank wall here. So I am going to go to my Wall tool, open up my Type Selector, and make sure that I'm choosing the Curtain Wall type from the Curtain Wall family, so they both say Curtain Wall.
And this is the most generic curtain wall; it doesn't have any mullions or grids in it whatsoever. Now like we did in the previous movie, I am going to highlight the exterior wall here and click my first point. Now I am about one foot off the corner, and it's kind of important that you back up off the corner a little bit here because if you get too close to the corner Revit will try and snap to the corner, so if that happens, just undo and try again. So I'm about one foot off the corner, and I'm going to go down here to about 15 feet, and when it snaps to 15 feet, I'm going to click. And I'll get an error message.
And the reason I'm getting this error message is if I do Edit Type, you'll remember in the previous movie we talked about this Automatically Embed, well here, this particular curtain wall, that feature is turned off. You'll also see that everything is set to None here, so we're seeing that borne out here in the curtain wall that there are no grids or mullions, and that's what we are going to be addressing here shortly. So let's take care of the error message first. It tells me here I can use the Cut Geometry command to fix the problem. So that's right here on the Modify tab. I choose Cut Geometry. And then the first click is the wall that I want to cut, and then the second click is what I want to do the cutting with, and that's going to be my Curtain Wall, and now it will embed itself in the wall.
So you can always manually embed two walls in one another, even if that Automatically Embed feature is not turned on. All right, so let's make sure that we cancel out of there. The next step is to start laying out the grids, and the easiest place to do that is going to be in an elevation view. So I'm going to scroll down here on my Project Browser and open up the South Elevation and zoom in on the front of the building. And you'll see our curtain wall right there, and I might have to tab if I wanted to actually select it. There it is right there, and it's just a big empty plain glass.
On the Architecture tab, we have a Curtain Grid tool. I am going to start with that. And the way this works is if you highlight the edges of the curtain wall you can create either vertical or horizontal grids. So I am going to create some vertical and horizontal grids that are close to the edges. Notice that I'm not really paying too much attention to where I am placing them. I am just sort of placing them wherever. And we've done this before in other places in Revit. Now I'm also going to add three more vertically running down the middle, and then I'll cancel out of the command.
So everything is kind of randomly placed. Now as we've seen in other places in Revit, I can easily select a grid, highlight the temporary dimension, type in a number like 2 feet that I want to use there, and it will make that modification. We could certainly do it that way--I could repeat it up here, make this one 2 feet--but I want to show you an alternative way that I like to do that I think is sometimes a little bit preferable, and that is to use a permanent dimension. So up here on the Quick Access toolbar, I am going to go to my Aligned Dimension command, click that. So I am going to select my gridlines, and I actually want to include the outside edge here and the outside edge here as well.
Sometimes if you start with the outside edge, it doesn't let you pick the grid, so do the internal grids first and then go to the outside edges, and it should work pretty well. I'm going to pan slightly, just to give myself some room up here at the top, and click to place the dimension. Remember to place the dimension, you have to click in the empty whitespace. I am going to cancel out of that command. Now, the reason I did it that way is because if you select one of these grids now, notice that even though that's a permanent dimension, the two numbers that apply to this particular grid activate as temporary dimensions and I can put in a value like one and a half feet.
I can select the next grid over, and you could see both of these activate, and I can put in my value. And then I just keep working my way from left to right or right to left. So it doesn't really matter which way you start, but just keep going in the same direction. Remember to select the object that you want to move. If I had this one selected and I change it to 3 feet then I come over here and I change this one to 3 feet, it's just going to keep moving the same grid back and forth. So remember that you move one and then you change selection to the next one and then you move it and when you're done, you should have 1' 6 at both ends and you should have 3 for all the middle base.
So that's my basic layout and even a layout as simple as that we could not achieve in the Type dialog, because in the Type dialog we get one set of spacings vertically and another set horizontally. That's it. So to do even a simple custom spacing like this, you need to manually layout the grids like we've done. Now I want to put a doorway here. Obviously, I've got some grids in the way. So the way that we deal with that situation is you select the gridline, and up here on the Ribbon we have this feature that allows us to add and remove segments of the grid line.
So I am going to click on that, and then you just simply touch the part of the gridline that you want to remove. And I can do that there, and there and when I deselect you'll see that I'm left with just this part of the grid line. Now you see the rest of it is still there. It's just invisible. So let's do it again. Let's select this one, Add/Remove Segments, and I'll take out this middle segment here. I am going to deselect that. Now what I've got is, if I put my mouse near the grid, it highlights the curtain grid. If I press the Tab key, it will go out and it will highlight the whole curtain wall.
If I tab one more time, what you'll see is it will then highlight the panel. Now at the moment this says its Curtain Panel System panel Glazed. So it's just a piece of glass like everything else. I am going to select that piece of glass, and over here on the Properties palette I can change that to something else. Now, doors and curtain walls are a little bit special. You can't just place a door and pick a curtain wall; it doesn't work. So what you have to have instead is a specially created curtain wall door, and that curtain wall door is actually a curtain panel.
And so if I scroll up here, you can see I have one such door loaded in this project. This one comes with the software, so you should have it available to you with your Revit for other projects, but it's already loaded here in this project. And if I click it here, Storefront Double Door--and then let's deselect it so we can see it better-- you can see that it loads a door in there for me. Again, it's a little bizarre because I can't just place a door, so I have to have these specially formulated curtain panel doors. Now I am going to put my mouse over here, tab a few times until I get the lower panel.
Right-click this time instead of left-click. The reason is under Select panels on the right- click menu, I can select Multiple panels at the same time so I could either do on the vertical grid, the horizontal, or the entire curtain wall. I am going to do it along the horizontal grid, and you'll see it'll go cross and highlight all of these. Now naturally I've already got the door the way I wanted, so I don't want that one to be selected. Hold down the Shift key, and I'm going to remove that, like so. With the remaining panel selected, I'll come up here to the dropdown. It's currently a System Panel Glazed, and I am going to change that to a System Panel Solid.
Now if I deselect, it doesn't look any different in this view, and that's because we are in Hidden-Line display right now. Down at the bottom of the screen on the View Control Bar, I am going to click the Visual Style pop-up and change to Shaded. Now, the blue is awfully bright, but that represents glass. And then you could see these gray panels here. That's our spandrel glass. That's our solid panels now. So you can see clearly there is a different material there. Now it might be easier to see this if we went to 3D, so let me go to my default 3D view/ And I'll use my Shift key and my Wheel and spin this around a little bit so I can get a better look there, and then zoom in, like so. And what you'll see is even in hidden line in 3D, the glass is transparent, and then of course if you want to switch to shading you'll see that the blue is a little bit less overpowering in this view.
So you can continue to work right here in 3D if you want. You can work in shading or hidden line, and all that remains for us to do is to add some mullions. Now, I am going to click the Mullion tool here on the Architecture tab, and I am just going to work with the default mullions that are here on the list. You can actually create your own, but the 2.5" x 5" Rectangular Mullion is what I am going to use. And over here under Placement we have a few different options. So we can place on the entire grid line, and I'll do that for some of the verticals here. We can place on an individual Grid Line Segment and I'll do that for this one here above the door, and for these guys down here. And you could even do the entire grid.
That'll do everything that's left, but that'll place them in places where I don't want, so I am going to go back to the grid line feature for that and just add them in the locations where I need them. Cancel out of there. If we zoom in slightly, you can kind of tell that the mullions have a preferred direction. You can see that the vertical takes precedence over the horizontal. We can control that. So if I select this mullion right here for example, you could see these small little grips there. Now it might be easier to see if I go back to hidden line. You could see I am right there, OK. And if I click that, that toggles that join condition there.
So we can do that on additional ones if we wanted to, but there is actually a faster way. I am going to highlight one of these mullions, right-click again, and just like we had select options for the panels, we have similar ones for the mullions. And I can say in this case On Gridline, and that will highlight them all the way across. You can right-click a second time to get to this next command, but it's also right here on the Ribbon. We could say make that continuous. So I'll choose that and you see it does it all the way across. Feel free to continue to fine-tune it some more if you like and make additional adjustments, but as you can see, by manually laying out a series of grids and mullions and swapping in and out different kinds of panels, you can make a more custom curtain wall design than you would be able to achieve using the type-driven curtain wall.
So both curtain walls give us interesting possibilities and help us to create more complexity in our design, but we've really only scratched the surface here. In the Advanced modeling course here at lynda.com I've covered many other curtain wall techniques, including sloped glazing and curtain systems and the conceptual modeling environment with patterned surfaces, so when you're done with essentials I encourage you to take a look at that course and see some additional techniques over there.
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