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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.
Walls are perhaps the most basic component of any building project. Certainly they are one of the first objects that you'll want to master when you're learning Revit. Walls have many settings that we can interact with, and in this movie we'll take a look at the basic features of the Wall command and get started by just creating some simple walls. So on the Architecture tab we have our Wall command and it's right here. It also has a keyboard shortcut WA, so if you like you can just type the letters WA. If you click the dropdown make sure you're choosing Wall Architectural. Okay, so any of those methods will do the trick, and when I run the command that takes me to the Modify Place Wall tab.
Now this is a context tab and we talked about this in a previous movie. The left-hand side of the Modify tab is this standard consistent set of commands, and the right-hand side, in this case, has a Draw panel with several shapes and let's start by looking at some of those shapes. Now the first one, the default, is just the Line shape. If you look at the very bottom left- hand corner of the screen, there's a prompt on the Status bar that says Click to enter wall star point, so all we have to do is click somewhere on screen to place the first point of the wall.
Now if you don't move the mouse at all, it will immediately go to a new prompt that will say Enter wall end point. If you start moving the mouse you might get a different prompt, something like Horizontal, in this case because I'm snapping horizontal or perhaps Vertical. If you're at an angle that isn't one of the preset angles, then it'll say the standard prompt, so sometimes it just takes moving the mouse around and reading through the different prompts, and then you can decide where you actually want that second point to go, and I can click right there. Now at this point, if I only wanted a single wall, I could cancel out of the command.
There's two ways that I could do that, I can use my Escape key or I can click on the Modify tool. Now the Modify tool cancels all the way out of the command, you see how the Wall command is no longer active. If I use the Escape key method, then a single Escape will cancel the current Draw mode, but it will stay in the command, notice how it still says Place Wall. If I press Escape a second time, then it cancels all the way out. Now what that's really doing is, if I draw one more straight line wall, is it's taking advantage of this chain feature right here.
The default behavior of the Wall command when you're in the Line Draw mode is to be chain. So this simply means that you can draw more than one wall connected end-to-end with the previous wall. If I press Escape one time, it's simply breaking the chain so that I can start drawing a new chain of walls, and that's really all that it means. Now we can also change shape so we don't have to draw just simple straight lines, we can draw rectangles or polygons. Rectangle is pretty straightforward, it just requires two opposite corners, so we can simply click any two points, and that will give us a rectangle.
With polygons we can do inscribed or circumscribed, that just means, do you want to draw it at the vertex or the face. When you click it, it will list the number of sides here on the Options Bar, so the default is this hexagon shape or I could change the number of sides to anything I want, if I want to draw a square I can draw a square or a pentagon or really any shape. We can draw a circle. Now if you draw a circle, I'm going to Escape out of here a couple times, cancel all the way out of the command; notice that the circle is actually in two pieces.
So really what a circle does is it just draws two arcs that are connected to one another. Let me go back to the Wall command or type WA, and we have a variety of arcs, I'm not going to look at everyone, but I am going to look at this one really quickly because this is actually a Start-End-Radius Arc, and in many draw programs there is a similar type of arc command like a three point arc and often you draw along the curve. But here in Revit if we follow the prompts, it says Click to enter wall start point, I'll do that, and then it says Enter arc wall end point, so we actually want to draw the opposite end of the arc, and then as you can see, we're drawing the radius of the arc next.
Okay, so just pay really close attention to that, it takes a little practice at first. And then notice that chain works here as well, so we can do kind of neat stuff like this. If I move you see how it actually snaps to the tangent, and I can make these nice smooth curves drawing several continuous arcs if I like. So let me Escape out of there, and I want to kind of clean things up a little bit here so I'm going to Escape all the way out of the command, zoom out just a touch, select all of these walls that I've drawn.
But be careful because if you look at my ribbon right now it says Modify Multi-Select, so this tells me that I've actually got more than walls selected, I have several objects selected. So I'm going to go to my Filter button, and in fact, I also have Elevations and Views selected, and I don't want those selected. So I'm going to uncheck both of those, make sure it's only walls that I have selected, click OK, and then I'll press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete those walls. I'm going to return to the Wall command, click the button or type WA. And let's take a look at the properties next.
Now I'm going to talk about location in a future movie, let's take a look at the Level constraints here. There is a Base Constraint and this establishes the lower edge of the wall. Now it defaults to Level 1, because as you can see down here on the Project Browser, we are currently in the Level 1 Floor Plan, so that's pretty logical that that's where the wall would start drawing from. Now we also have Levels 2, 3 and Roof. So over here under Top Constraint we can actually attach the top edge of the wall to any one of those Levels, so I'm going to attach it to the Level 2 and I'll just draw a small wall right there.
I'm going to press Escape one time, change this to up to Level 3, draw a second wall, Escape again, and then one more time up to Level Roof. Now if I Escape all the way out of that command, scroll down on the Project Browser and double-click the South Elevation, let me just zoom in just a little here so that we can read the levels over here, you can see my levels indicated here, this is not a one-time operation that we just did there, what we've actually assigned is a constraint.
So the top edge of this wall is constrained to this level, the top edge of this wall is constrained to this level. If one of these levels were to move and I'm just going to take Level three here and just drag it manually with the mouse, you can see that the top edge of that wall follows along with that. So this is a really powerful feature in the software that as your design changes over time, you can make sure that all of the walls that are associated with a particular level move accordingly. That can be a very powerful way to work and can be quite a time saver.
All right, so let me return to Level 1 and let's look at one last setting here for the walls. Go back to the Architecture tab, click on the Wall tool again and at the top of the Properties palette we have our Type Selector. I'm going to open that up and I'm going to scroll to the top of the list. Now here it says Basic Wall Generic 8 inch. Basic Wall is in this gray bar here, that's the name of the family and then Generic 8 inch is a little further down in the list, right here Generic 8 inch, that's the type name.
You could see here that the Basic Wall has lots of types. We have a whole variety here, we have Brick and CMU Walls, we have Generic Walls; we have Stud Walls. So what would happen if I chose one of these other types of walls? Like maybe this Brick on CMU, and I'm going to draw that. Let me roll my wheel here and zoom in just a touch. All we really see is that that wall is a little bit thicker. So that tells us that something is different, but what I actually want to see is the makeup of that wall, the construction; the internal components. If you look down here at the bottom of the screen, this is our view control bar down here; there is several little icons, the scale and several other things.
There is this little white square here and if I click on it, it says Coarse, Medium and Fine. If I go to either Medium or Fine Level of detail, it will show me the internal structure of that wall, so Course Only shows the outlines, but the Medium and Fine, let's zoom in just a little bit more, that starts to show me how that wall is constructed. So now if we choose some of these other wall types and draw them you can see that they vary from one another in their composition and what they're made of. So there is a lot of different settings that we can interact with as we're drawing walls.
We have our shapes up on the Modify tab and we have a variety of settings to control the height and the composition of the wall on both the Type Selector and the Properties palette. So I encourage you to spend a little bit more time in this file playing around and getting comfortable with how walls work, because as we said at the start of the movie, walls are really the most basic component of any Revit project.
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