Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating wall sweeps


Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training

with Paul F. Aubin

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Video: Creating wall sweeps

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.
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  1. 1m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 13m 38s
    1. Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
      3m 0s
    2. Working in one model with many views
      5m 44s
    3. Understanding Revit element hierarchy
      4m 54s
  3. 47m 31s
    1. Using the Recent Files screen and the Application menu
      3m 21s
    2. Using the Ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
      5m 3s
    3. Understanding context ribbons
      3m 0s
    4. Using the Project Browser and navigating views
      7m 37s
    5. Using the Properties palette
      10m 1s
    6. Selection and modification basics
      10m 27s
    7. Accessing Revit options
      8m 2s
  4. 42m 18s
    1. Creating a new project
      3m 26s
    2. Understanding the importance of template files
      5m 7s
    3. Understanding project settings
      6m 9s
    4. Opening and saving projects
      9m 9s
    5. Adding levels
      5m 0s
    6. Adding grids
      8m 41s
    7. Adding columns
      4m 46s
  5. 58m 21s
    1. Adding walls
      8m 39s
    2. Using snaps
      6m 39s
    3. Understanding wall properties and wall types
      7m 24s
    4. Locating walls
      7m 34s
    5. Using the modify tools
      7m 33s
    6. Adding doors and windows
      6m 37s
    7. Using constraints
      4m 47s
    8. Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
      4m 8s
    9. Using Autodesk Seek
      5m 0s
  6. 50m 52s
    1. Working with DWG files
      7m 51s
    2. Creating topography from a DWG link
      7m 45s
    3. Understanding CAD inserts
      6m 8s
    4. Using import tips
      4m 6s
    5. Creating a group
      9m 20s
    6. Working with Revit links
      9m 3s
    7. Managing links
      5m 51s
    8. Understanding file formats
  7. 1h 2m
    1. Working with floors
      8m 37s
    2. Working with footprint roofs
      7m 13s
    3. Working with extrusion roofs
      6m 0s
    4. Roof modifications and examples
      6m 27s
    5. Working with slope arrows
      6m 17s
    6. Adding openings
      8m 13s
    7. Working with stairs
      7m 41s
    8. Working with railings
      4m 29s
    9. Working with ceilings
      7m 36s
  8. 35m 52s
    1. Creating a custom basic wall type
      6m 10s
    2. Understanding stacked walls
      7m 31s
    3. Adding curtain walls
      6m 50s
    4. Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
      6m 44s
    5. Creating wall sweeps
      8m 37s
  9. 32m 43s
    1. Using object styles
      4m 45s
    2. Working with visibility/graphic overrides
      6m 52s
    3. Using Hide/Isolate
      7m 11s
    4. Understanding view range
      7m 40s
    5. Using the Linework tool
      4m 2s
    6. Using cutaway views
      2m 13s
  10. 21m 44s
    1. Adding rooms
      7m 4s
    2. Controlling room numbering
      8m 16s
    3. Understanding room bounding elements
      6m 24s
  11. 27m 2s
    1. Understanding tags
      7m 42s
    2. Adding schedules
      6m 50s
    3. Modifying schedules
      6m 8s
    4. Creating a key schedule
      6m 22s
  12. 48m 38s
    1. Adding text
      7m 21s
    2. Adding dimensions
      7m 26s
    3. Adding symbols
      3m 54s
    4. Adding legend views
      4m 42s
    5. Creating a detail callout
      6m 25s
    6. Using detail components
      9m 36s
    7. Adding filled and masking regions
      9m 14s
  13. 34m 39s
    1. Understanding families
      2m 37s
    2. Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
      10m 46s
    3. Adding solid geometry
      8m 40s
    4. Adding void geometry
      4m 49s
    5. Completing the family
      7m 47s
  14. 32m 6s
    1. Adding sheets
      7m 58s
    2. Working with placeholder sheets
      4m 16s
    3. Outputting sheets to a DWF file
      6m 5s
    4. Exporting to AutoCAD
      5m 50s
    5. Plotting and creating a PDF
      7m 57s
  15. 25s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training
8h 30m Beginner Jul 23, 2010

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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.

Topics include:
  • Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
  • Adding levels, grids, and columns to set up a project
  • Creating building layouts with walls, doors and windows
  • Modifying wall types and properties
  • Working with DWG files and CAD inserts
  • Adding rooms
  • Adding filled and masking regions and detailing
  • Generate schedules and reports
  • Understanding families
  • Using reference planes, parameters and constraints
  • Outputting files, including DWF and PDF files
Revit Architecture
Paul F. Aubin

Creating wall sweeps

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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