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Using arrays to duplicate objects parametrically

From: Revit Architecture 2015 Essential Training

Video: Using arrays to duplicate objects parametrically

In this movie, I'd like to look at the array feature. And here you'll see the height, or the rise, is seven inches.

Using arrays to duplicate objects parametrically

In this movie, I'd like to look at the array feature. The array feature is a powerful copy command. What makes it special is, it's actually a parametric array. Now, what we mean by parametric, typically, is anything where the original parameters that were used to create the object remain available for us to manipulate in the future. And so, if we have a parametric array, then what we're saying is, all the parameters we established in the array, the multiple copy basically, those parameters will remain available, and we'll be able to adjust them afterwards, if the design dictates.

So, in this case, I'm going to use the array feature here in this file called array. And I'm working on my stair detail and I'm going to array this item right there. This is a detail component item that represents a single stair tread. And I actually have three treads here. So, I want to create an array of those. So, I got it selected, I'll click the Array button. And let's kind of look at the options here that we have on the options bar. Now, the first thing you'll notice is a little dash box goes around the item that I had selected.

That looks a lot like the group item that we saw in a previous movie, well in fact it is a group item because right here you can see that the default behavior of the array command is to group it and associate it. So, the grouping part, we'll look at in a few moments, but the associate part, that's the parametric part, so the two kind of work together. Now, next to that we have linear and radial, so it actually is possible to array along a curve, but in this case we are going to array along a straight line, so I'm going to leave that set to Linear. For the number, I am going to click in here and put in three, and then over here, I want to make sure that I'm using the second option.

Now there's two options here, move to second, and move to last. Second, is what you choose if you know how far apart you want each of your arrayed items to be. And last, is what you use if you know the overall total distance that you want your array to fit into. So, in this case, because I'm working with stair treads, I know how big each tread is. So, I want the second option. The last setting here is constrain. I want to make sure that I don't check that in this case. Because that would limit me either to a horizontal or a vertical direction.

But we actually want to array along a diagonal. Now, I want to be careful here when I'm clicking my points on screen. Because you want to make sure the focus is in the drawing window. And if you click, it's going to activate the first point. So, what I'm going to do here is, roll my wheel, that's a good way to tell whether the view window is active before you start to click. If it's not, it might still be active in this text field right here. What you can do is just click this little radio button right here. That will kind of shift the focus away from the number field.

And allow you to roll over here and verify that you are, in fact, in the drawing window. What I'm going to do is use the underlying model to pick my reference points, so I'm going to snap right here, at the end point of my first tread and then move diagonally down to the corresponding point on the next one. And click again. And when I zoom back out a little bit, what you'll see is this gray temporary dimension here with the number three. That's the quantity of the arrayed items.

Now, that's interactive, that's the associate part. So if I put in number two here and press Enter. Notice that I only get two arrayed items. If I click it again and I try six. Now I've got six items, but, of course, they go off the screen because they're underneath that crop region. So, I'm going to click on six and I'm going to set that back to three. But that's the associate part of the array. So, later we can come back and change the quantity of items if we like. Now I'm going to deselect everything. Zoom in a little. Here's the other part of associate.

If I select one of these items and start to move it, you're going to see all three items move accordingly. In other words, when we talk about associate, it's not just the quantity. It's also the distances between them. So, that second or last, you can actually modify after the fact by using the Move command. Now I just did it by eye here and I'm going to undo that. But I wanted you to see what we mean by associate. So, let's go ahead and Undo.

That's the parametric quality of this array. Now, you may notice here, a small gap, right there. The depth of this item is pretty good, but the height isn't quite right. And that's because the family that we're using for the stair tread came in at a default size of a seven inch tread. But if you come over here and click your stair in the background, remember this is still a live model view. So I can actually select that stair there in the background.

It's a live object here. And if we scroll down. The actual riser height is six and 171, 256th's of an inch. Now, remember that number because it's going to be important in the next step. So, that's the actual riser height. Now here's what I want to do. I'm going to select one of my arrayed items. It doesn't matter which one, because they're grouped. So, as we saw in the groups movie, we can edit any one of the group members, and it will apply to all of them. I'm going to choose Edit Group, over here on the ribbon.

In Edit Group, I can now select the individual family. I'm going to choose Edit Type on this stair steel pan family. And here you'll see the height, or the rise, is seven inches. Now, did you remember that number that we looked at a moment ago? It was six and a 171256 inches. Make sure you use inches so that you don't end up with feet here. And when I click OK, that will shorten the size of the riser here so that it matches our underlying stair, and when I click Finish it will apply that change to all instances of the group.

So, we're actually benefiting in two ways from the array. We benefit in the associated part where we can change the quantity and the spacing and we benefit also in the group part like we've just seen. So, let's look at one more example of that. If I select this item instead. Now, it's important this time that I select this item. Because when I Edit Group here, what I actually want to do is take this angle here in the background that we placed in the previous movie, and I want to add that to the group. So, here I've got an Add button, I'm going to click that.

I'm going to touch this detailed item right here and then click Finish and notice that, that gets added to the other two instances of the group. So, very useful to have this grouped and associated array here, because it gives me a lot of really nice benefits. Now, you may be noticing that it looks a little odd over here. Detailed components have stacking order, so this guy was created last; so it sits on top. And we created this break line much earlier, all I have to do is select the break line element, and over here on the ribbon I can choose Bring to Front.

And now it will cover up that other item there. So, the array feature is a powerful multiple copy tool that has built-in parametric and grouping properties. This allows us to take advantage of both the features of groups and the parametric features of the association feature and interact with that series of copies in a live way as the design changes. So, later, if the design changes, I can manipulate the array and I don't have to start all over again.

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This video is part of

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Revit Architecture 2015 Essential Training

102 video lessons · 4094 viewers

Paul F. Aubin

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 14m 43s
    1. Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
      3m 0s
    2. Working in one model with many views
      4m 48s
    3. Understanding Revit element hierarchy
      6m 55s
  3. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding the different versions of Revit
      2m 52s
    2. The Recent Files Screen and the application menu
      5m 20s
    3. Using the Ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
      7m 12s
    4. Understanding context ribbons
      4m 43s
    5. Using the Properties palette
      8m 31s
    6. Stacking properties and project palettes
      2m 49s
    7. Using the Project Browser
      5m 30s
    8. Navigating views (Zoom, Pan, and Rotate)
      5m 57s
    9. Selection and modifying basics
      9m 48s
    10. Understanding selection toggles
      3m 29s
    11. Accessing Revit options
      8m 19s
    12. Understanding view extents and crop regions
      6m 32s
  4. 47m 0s
    1. Creating a new project from a template
      7m 42s
    2. Accessing a multiuser projects using a workshare
      4m 16s
    3. Configuring project settings
      6m 27s
    4. Adding levels
      7m 40s
    5. Adding grids
      6m 23s
    6. Refining a layout with temporary dimensions
      6m 58s
    7. Adding columns
      7m 34s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Adding walls
      8m 48s
    2. Using snaps
      6m 24s
    3. Wall properties and types
      7m 27s
    4. Locating walls
      7m 27s
    5. Using the modify tools
      9m 32s
    6. Adding doors and windows
      7m 39s
    7. Using constraints
      8m 24s
    8. Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
      8m 39s
    9. Using Autodesk Seek
      4m 19s
    10. Wall joins
      3m 0s
  6. 1h 10m
    1. Linking AutoCAD DWG files
      10m 16s
    2. Creating topography from a DWG link
      7m 43s
    3. Understanding CAD inserts
      7m 56s
    4. Import tips
      6m 31s
    5. Create a group
      7m 10s
    6. Mirroring groups to create a layout
      5m 3s
    7. Creating Revit links
      5m 23s
    8. Rotating and aligning a Revit link
      7m 6s
    9. Establishing shared coordinates
      6m 5s
    10. Managing links
      5m 10s
    11. Understanding file formats
      1m 42s
  7. 54m 17s
    1. Working with floors
      8m 57s
    2. Working with footprint roofs
      6m 22s
    3. Working with ceilings
      9m 36s
    4. Working with extrusion roofs
      4m 59s
    5. Attaching walls to roofs
      3m 17s
    6. Using the shape editing tools to create a flat roof
      6m 33s
    7. Working with slope arrows
      6m 0s
    8. Adding openings
      8m 33s
  8. 28m 51s
    1. Working with stairs
      7m 55s
    2. Adding railings to stairs
      3m 40s
    3. Working with component-based stairs
      9m 58s
    4. Adding extensions to railings
      7m 18s
  9. 49m 21s
    1. Creating a custom basic wall type
      10m 17s
    2. Understanding stacked walls
      8m 12s
    3. Adding curtain walls
      8m 17s
    4. Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
      10m 59s
    5. Creating wall sweeps and reveals
      7m 14s
    6. Model lines
      4m 22s
  10. 55m 2s
    1. Using object styles
      4m 19s
    2. Working with visibility and graphic overrides
      7m 3s
    3. Using view templates
      8m 16s
    4. Hiding and isolating objects in a model
      6m 37s
    5. Understanding view range
      7m 5s
    6. Displaying objects above and below in plan views
      6m 35s
    7. Using the Linework tool
      6m 27s
    8. Using cutaway views
      4m 25s
    9. Using sketchy lines
      4m 15s
  11. 22m 20s
    1. Adding rooms
      8m 15s
    2. Controlling room numbering
      6m 13s
    3. Understanding room bounding elements
      7m 52s
  12. 36m 37s
    1. Understanding tags
      9m 58s
    2. Adding schedule views
      7m 43s
    3. Modifying schedule views
      7m 12s
    4. Creating a key schedule
      7m 21s
    5. Using images in schedules
      4m 23s
  13. 58m 36s
    1. Adding text
      7m 29s
    2. Adding dimensions
      9m 2s
    3. Adding symbols
      4m 42s
    4. Adding legend views
      4m 51s
    5. Creating a detail callout
      8m 31s
    6. Adding detail components
      8m 52s
    7. Using arrays to duplicate objects parametrically
      7m 43s
    8. Adding filled and masking regions
      7m 26s
  14. 42m 49s
    1. Understanding families
      2m 37s
    2. Creating a new family from a template
      6m 29s
    3. Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
      8m 29s
    4. Adding solid geometry
      8m 40s
    5. Cutting holes using void geometry
      5m 9s
    6. Adding blends
      6m 2s
    7. Completing the family
      5m 23s
  15. 37m 22s
    1. Adding sheets
      7m 44s
    2. Working with placeholder sheets
      4m 3s
    3. Aligning views with a guide grid
      5m 57s
    4. Outputting sheets to a DWF file
      6m 34s
    5. Exporting to AutoCAD
      5m 42s
    6. Plotting and creating a PDF
      7m 22s
  16. 2m 38s
    1. Next steps
      2m 38s

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