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In Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training, author Paul F. Aubin shows how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Revit. This course covers the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from design concept to publishing. It 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 adding 3D geometry. Exercise files are included with the course.
A sweep is a material that you add to a wall. It can be added to either the type or the instance of the wall. When applied at the type level, it applies to all instances of that wall. If you apply it to individual walls, it only applies to the walls you actually select. You use sweeps to represent things like moldings or trims or other kinds of details along the wall. The file I've opened is called Wall Sweeps, in the Chapter07 Exercise Files, and let's start with adding a wall sweep to the Exterior Wall type. I'm going to add one that will represent a brick soldier course going around the building.
So I'm going to select one of my walls. Because this is a type level modification, I don't need to select multiple walls. Simply applying it to one at the type level will apply it automatically to all the walls. Over here on the Properties palette, I'll choose Edit Type, and when the Type Properties dialog appears, I'm going to make a little bit of room and down here at the bottom I'm going to click the Preview button. I'm going to click the Edit button next to Structure. This gives me access to the structure of the wall type. And down here at the bottom you can see Modify Vertical Structure and it says, "Section Preview only.
And all the buttons are grayed out." So what they mean by that is right here in this little dropdown for the View, you need to change to Section. That will give you a section cut preview of the wall that you're working on, and then all these buttons will become available. Now, there are several options here. In this movie, we're just going to look at Sweeps. We click on Sweeps and the dialog is currently empty. You can add one or more sweeps to the wall. In this case, I'll add a simple soldier course to this brick wall. So I'm going to click Add and an item will appear and all the default settings occur, which are basically a square, and it doesn't have any material assigned, and it's set at 0 and so forth.
So we have a lot of work to do here to make this a little bit more interesting. The first thing we're going to do is choose a profile. Now, what a profile is is a really simple two-dimensional family that's drawn in the shape of a closed loop. You can open up and create your own profile families. You would open up a profile family template and you would just literally draw any shape you like, as long as it's a closed two-dimensional shape, much like what we've done in Sketch mode, that could be used as a wall sweep. In our case, this template that we started the project with includes several existing profile families already loaded in.
So we're going to choose from one of the existing ones that's already here. You can see that there's some Vinyl Base. There are Parapet Caps, which we saw in the stacked walls movie. There is Precast Sills, Stair Nosing. Obviously, we wouldn't want to put that on a wall, and we have three options for brick soldier courses. So I'm going to choose this one here at the bottom, the Brick Soldier Course with 3 bricks, and we'll go ahead and select that. Next, I'm going to click over here in the Material column and it's currently set to By Category, which means it will just match whatever the category for walls tells it to do.
I want it to actually look like soldier bricks. So I'm going to click the small little Browse button right here in the Materials. That opens up my Materials list, and if we scroll through and look for our Masonry materials, there is a Brick Soldier Course material here, which uses a vertical line pattern that represents the soldier course bricks. We'll go ahead and click OK on that. I'm going to skip over Distance for a minute. The next thing that I want to do is the From setting has two choices, From Base or From Top.
So I'm going to go ahead and leave it set to Base. So in other words, if you look at the section preview, we're going to measure where the location of the soldier course is from the base of the wall. If we chose Top, we would be measuring it up here from the top of the wall. And you can do either one; it's entirely up to you. The Side, I'm going to also leave alone, because it's set to Exterior. That will put it on the outside of the wall, which makes sense here. We'll talk about Offset in a minute, Flip and other things. Before we know what we have to change here, let's go ahead and click Apply.
Now, when I do, down here in the Preview, you'll actually see it selected there in blue, and it's way down at the bottom of the wall. So obviously we still have a little bit of work to do. So I'm going to change the Distance now, and this will determine how high off the floor this soldier course is going to occur. So I'm going to go ahead and try like 6 feet and click Apply. So that moves it up the length of the wall and again that's because we're measuring it from base. Next, I'm going to put in an offset here, and I don't want it to hang off the wall so much.
I want to kind of shift it in and merge it into the wall a little bit. Most bricks are two and two-thirds inches, so I should be able to put in-- Let's try 2.5 inches here and let's apply that. Now, oops, that's going the wrong way. So all I've to do is click negative right here and that will shift it the other way. Now, this check box here says Cuts Wall, and that's why it's actually cutting into the wall, which I think is a pretty good thing. We can also make it cuttable, and what that means is if the Soldier Course happens to interrupt a window or a door, the window or a door will actually cut through it, which is also a good thing.
We don't want the soldier bricks to just run right through the window. And that should pretty much do the trick. Let's go ahead and click OK. So you can see where the preview is absolutely critical to making this work. I'm going to click OK again, and one more time, and you should see that for the most part that's exactly what we want. Obviously, I don't want it up here, so I probably have to choose a different wall type up here. The reason we're seeing it up there is that that's a new wall starting at the second floor. So now the soldier is measured 6 feet from the second floor.
So I'll leave that to you to remedy. You just swap in a different wall type up there, but you can see right here that the soldier course wraps all the way around the building, and that's the result of doing it as a type level setting. You can also see that because we've made it cuttable, the windows and doors are cutting through it. Now, the other way that you can do a sweep is on the Home tab, on the dropdown button for a Wall, you can actually just choose Wall Sweep. This is not a type level modification.
This is an instance level modification. In other words, you're going to be making this modification wall by wall. And so I'm just going to go with the default trim board here, and if I wanted to add this trim board, you can see that I can just sort of click on the walls where I want the trim to occur. Now, up here I can say Restart and then I can add another trim board at a different height. So once you set the first one, you can add multiple segments and keep going. If you want to restart at a different height, you have to reset it.
With the manual sweep, you can also make it go vertically. So you can't do that at the type level, but if you wanted this trim board to run vertically, you could do that as well. Now, I should mention that we also have reveals, and that is an option. A reveal will actually carve away the geometry, where a sweep added to the geometry. Unless the reveal is actually substantial, like the preview tooltip is showing us here, that's a pretty substantial reveal. I'd be okay with that. But if you're using reveals for something like a control joint in brick, I would not recommend that approach.
What I would recommend instead is to simply use a model line, and a model line is literally a 2D line you can draw on any surface. Now, to determine the surface you want to draw it on, we saw this in the Roof by Extrusion movie. We can go to this button right here, Set Work Plane, click the Pick a plane option, click OK, and we can pick right on the surface of the wall. When I go to model line, I could then come in and draw a line and I'm going to kind of go right through the windows right now.
I am being a little sloppy. But the point is is that when you look at this in Elevation, let's look at the South Elevation. That's going to be convincing enough to represent a control joint. You can dimension those. It's going to show in each view. It does the job. To actually carve away a little half- inch reveal to try and represent that, first of all, it's going to print way too bold, because you're going to have two thin lines right next to each other, which are going to look like a thick line. So that's not going to look so well. It's going to be tough to control, and it's just going to make your model heavier and make it perform less optimally than it would otherwise.
So my recommendation for really simple reveals, like control joints and stuff like that, use a model line. If the Reveal is actually substantial and really is modifying the shape of the wall, then you can go ahead and use reveal, and the process would be exactly the same as what I just showed you for sweeps.
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