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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.
So I'm here in the Constraints file from the Chapter 4/Exercise Files, and I'm going to add a little bit more smarts to the position of some of the objects in the model. Let's start with this closet right over here. So I'm going to zoom in on this area, and you'll notice that that closet door is not quite centered very well. If the builder built it that way, we'd all be a little bit upset, right? So, I'm going to go to the Annotate Tab, and I'm going to add a Permanent Dimension. Now so far, we've seen Temporary Dimensions, but what a Permanent Dimension is is a dimension that actually stays onscreen even after we deselect all the objects.
So let me go ahead and add this one. I'm going to use Tab Key to highlight the inside face of the wall. Then I'm going to move over here and highlight the door, and you'll see how it will actually find the center the door, and then I'll click that, and then I'm going to Tab again to find the inside face of the wall, click one more time, and then just pull the dimension out here somewhere, and click one last time to place the dimension. So you click on each of the items you want a dimension, and then your final click is where you want that dimension to go. Now you can see, those dimensions are at very strange fractional numbers, and so we want to take care of that.
If I were to deselect everything, that dimension stays onscreen, so this is why we refer to this as a Permanent Dimension. When I click on it, you'll see that there is this little control over here, EQ with a slash through it. This is the Toggle Dimension Equality Setting. And if I click that, it'll actually change the dimension to an Equal dimension, and it will move the door to actually be centered between the two walls that I started with. Now what's really powerful about this is it's not just a one-time modification. This is an ongoing constraint that Revit now has applied to that condition.
So if I were to come in here and select this wall and move it, you'll notice that the Equality dimension stays applied, and the door adjust just stays centered within the closet. That's pretty handy. So anytime we go in here and make a change, it will keep that change live. So let's look at another example. Suppose I wanted to simply control the position of this door off of the position of this wall. I can do the same basic process. I'll Tab into the inside face of the wall.
This time, I'll highlight the face of the door, rather than the center the door, and I'm going to place the dimension over here. So I'm only going to place one dimension this time. I'm not going to dimension multiple objects. Now right below the dimension, you'll see this little icon. It looks like an open padlock, and if I click that, it closes the padlock, and I've now applied a lock constraint to the door's position. And the way that one works is if this wall were to move, it will take the door along for the ride. I'm going to ahead and undo that because I don't really want to actually make that modification, but now we've built that constraint into the model.
I'll type ZF here to zoom in my window to fit. What's really handy about the constraints is if you have a certain design condition that you're trying to maintain and you want to make sure that that relationship gets maintained, you can build that design intent into the model by applying these constraints. Now I would be remiss here if I didn't caution you just a little bit: Don't go crazy and add constraints everywhere just because you can. Just because you see a little lock icon, doesn't mean you have to click it. You want to reserve these modifications for the places where they really have meaning and value, and when they really add something to your project.
I have one more example to show you, and I'm going to do that in a file here called Equality Toggle in the Exercise Files folder. So we did it here with a few doors. Constraints work equally well on any kind of geometry. So in this case, I have these four offices over here on the side of the plan, and they're all over the place, the dimensions are all random. So what I'm going to do is go to the Annotate Tab one more time, click on my Align dimension tool, and I'm going to pick this wall, then this wall, then this one, this one, and I will end up over here.
I'm going to pull the dimension out here, and if you look at those numbers, you can see that not a single one of those numbers is the same. Now, here is my EQ Toggle. I'll just simply click on that and watch the offices when I do. You see how they all instantly snap to equal sizes, and an extra little benefit that you can do here is if you select the dimension and right-click it, you can actually toggle off the Display of EQ. That's just the default. Now that doesn't turn off the constraint. So in this case, each office is a little larger than 11 and five inches.
They are still equally spaced. So again, if this wall were to move, it will move all of the walls with it and keep them equally spaced. So once again, I'm going to undo that change, but you can see the power of these various constraints that we can toggle on.
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