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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.
So I am going to add a little bit more smarts to some of the dimensions here in my files. So Revit offers us a few different kinds of constraints that we can work with and I'd like to show you a few of those here. So I'm in a file called Constraints and this is just a version of our two bedroom condo, and I'm going to start in this area down here, just zoom in a Region on this closet here. And you can see two small problems, one is that I don't have a whole lot of room for the doorway right there, so I might want to reduce the size of this closet slightly, and two, this door in the closet is not centered.
Now perhaps I am going to consider a few different positions for this door, so what I can do is build a relationship between the door and the closet. And it's going to start with a permanent dimension. Now up until now we've done everything with temporary dimensions, but up here on my Quick Access Toolbar is the Aligned Dimension tool, the shortcut is D I. Permanent Dimensions are just as their name implies they remain a permanent part of your drawing file, they don't go away in other words when the objects are deselected like temporaries do.
Now you could see here that it's defaulting to highlighting the centerline of the wall and there's two ways I can change that, I can use this dropdown over here on the Options Bar, or I can press the Tab key on my keyboard to shift to one of the other faces. Now in this case I move my mouse slightly to the exterior face and I am able to tab between center and exterior, if I move my mouse slightly to the interior face I can tab between those two choices. And I want to go to the exterior face and that's going to be my first witness line location of this dimension.
Then if I move around on the door you'll see there's lots of choices inside the door that I can use, and I am going to locate this centerline of the door right here, and then finally use my Tab key again to get the inside face of this closet, and the final click is to place where I want to dimension to go. So I've got the three witness lines and then I'll just place the dimension out here somewhere. Now you could see the numbers are completely random. There is a few little controls floating next to the dimensions, I'm going to talk about the locks in just a few moments, we are going to look at this one right now, Toggle Dimension Equality.
If I just simply click that, that will actually move the position of the door and center it between the two witness lines that I asked for. I am going to click my Modify tool to cancel out of here, and now I am going to select this wall, and this is where we start to benefit from this constraint. The Equality constraint is not a one time operation, in other words, it didn't just move the door and that's it. It's an ongoing live constraint or what I'm calling smarts here. So I'm going to select this wall, click on this dimension and I am going to make that number 4 feet.
And notice that when this wall moves, that Equality Constraint is maintained and the position of the door shifts as well. So you could move this wall to several locations and you'll see it will continue to modify and update, I am just going to use my dimension here and set it back to 4 feet. Now let's look at another example of some smarts. We'll look at that Lock constraint next, I'm going to zoom over here, I just use my wheel to drag over and zoom, and I'm going to come up and choose my Align Dimension again or DI, highlight the wall, press my Tab key to get the inside face, and this time I can actually choose the face of the door and set a dimension here.
And let's say that this dimension is important enough to me that I want to make sure that gets maintained even if the closet shifts around. All I have to do is click this small little Lock icon right here, that will lock that dimension and now if this wall were to move it will maintain that relationship with the door. The door has to stay in that location, it doesn't matter whether I move it left or right. I am going to go ahead and undo that. Okay, but I am going to leave the Lock. Now let's look at one more example. Loaded here in the background I have another file called Equality, it's also included with the exercise files, let's open that up.
I am going to Zoom in Region here on these four offices. We'll be working more with this file later in the course, but for right now I've got the file provided and you could see that these four offices are all different sizes. So using my dimension one more time, Align Dimension, and highlighting each of these walls, and I am just doing the center lines right now and I'll place the dimension out here. So just like we saw a moment ago I can click the little Equality Toggle and it will respace all of those walls and make all of these offices equally sized.
It's a live constraint just like the others so if I move one of the walls you'll see it re-spaces all of the walls accordingly. Now I am getting an error here because that was kind of a sloppy change because now all these walls are intersecting these doors, and Revit saying just so you know you've got walls right in the middle of your doors there, so you might want do something about that. So what I'm going to do about that is just simply undo, but you see that the offices are now all equally spaced. Now as the last thing that I want to show you here in this movie, the Equal, Equal what we're seeing here on the dimension string we can actually customize, okay.
So this is a permanent dimension, as you can see when nothing is selected the dimension remains on screen, and what Revit defaults to is showing the little EQ symbol on each of those dimensions. So it doesn't actually tell us what those values are, but you can change that if you want to. I am going to select the dimension and over here on the Properties palette you have actually three choices, the Equality Text is what we're seeing, the EQ. We can also choose the Value and if I apply that you'll see it actually shows the numerical value and they're all the same. Or new in 2013, we have this feature here Equality Formula.
Now if I choose that and I apply it the formula that it's defaulting to is not a very useful formula, because if I keep the dimensions selected and edit its type, now you may recall we talked about the difference between Instance and Type Properties in an earlier movie, we were talking about walls at that time, but annotation objects like dimensions also have Instance and Type properties, and so if I edit the type of the dimension string and scroll down, the formula is controlled down here.
So the Equality Text is EQ, that's where we could change that. So if you wanted to write out the word Equal, remember earlier we were seeing EQ repeated, we could change it there. The Formula here is just set to Total Length, which is why I am seeing just the total length of the dimension, which is probably not very useful. So I'm going to click this button, and in this dialog I am going to select Total Length and I am going to remove that, and then over here I have different things that I can include.
So what I'm going to say is Number of Segments and I'm going to add that, and then the Length of the Segment and I am going to add that, and then as a suffix to Number of Segments I'm just going to put in the @ symbol, just like you would use in email, and I am going to click OK, and OK again, and now I'll get something that I think is a little bit more useful. It's telling me I have 4@ and then the distance of one of those segments. And of course you could do any variation you want. So I encourage you to go to Edit Type and play with some other combinations until you arrive at the one that matches your office standards.
So you can see that using either Lock Constraints or Equality Constraints adds an additional level of smarts to our models and they're not only one time modifications that give us value but they are ongoing constraints that remain applied until we choose to come back and remove them and help maintain design intent in an ongoing fashion.
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