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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.
In the previous movie, "Creating a detail callout," we created this callout view from a stair section with the intention of embellishing this and turning it into a construction detail for the stairs. I'm in a file called Detail Components and in this movie we're going to begin bringing in detail components and adding them to this view. So currently all we're seeing is 3D geometry. We've cropped it down, and we've isolated the geometry we're interested in. But a big part of the detailing process in Revit is to now add two-dimensional embellishments on top of this 3D view to indicate the kind of things that again would not really be advantageous to model in 3D.
So, we're going to go over here to the Annotate tab and the Component tool, and we'll start with the Detail Component. Now the Component tool is a dropdown, and it will remember the last tool you had active. So if you had one of these other tools active the last time, you might see something different here. Just click the little dropdown, and you'll get to Detail Component. Now adding a detail component is pretty much exactly like adding a 3D component; you just choose something off the Type Selector and then click a point to place it in the view.
The difference is these components, detail components, are all two-dimensional and they sit on top of the model and actually cover up the underlying model geometry. The easiest way I can show you that is to use this very first component right here, this Break Line. This is actually kind of a finishing touch that you usually like to see in a detail, but we'll go ahead and add it first. Notice that we've got this little break line symbol right here, and I'm going to tap my Spacebar to rotate it. I'm actually going to tap twice more. Let me just go ahead and place it somewhere right here.
You can see that it integrates a white mask that's actually covering up part of the model, and that's the reason I tapped the Spacebar twice, because I knew the mask was going to be pointing the wrong way otherwise. But tap it again two more times to spin it around the other way. Now you'll see that it will work a little better on this side. Now if I select either of these they have shape handles on them, and we can sort of stretch those up so that this fully covers up.
The idea is that when we're done with this detail and we come down here and we turn off the crop region, that gives the illusion that it was drawn this way. So that's our first detail component. It's a simple two-dimensional masking object that covers up the underlying geometry. But we have lots of other detail components that we can use and so let's go ahead and choose the Detail Component tool again. The next one I want to use is not actually in the project so I'm going to go to the Load Family button, and there is a Detail Components folder in the installation that comes out of the box.
I will double-click in there. This folder is organized in CSI MasterSpec sections. You can see there are the various divisions and so on. So if you're familiar with CSI, you should be pretty comfortable with this organization. We'll double-click into the Metals folder and then in Metal Fabrications and then finally Metal Stairs. Now there are a few different components in here. I'm going to choose this one, Steel Pan-Section. Go ahead and click Open, and I'll just kind of place it right here for now so you can kind of see.
That looks a little dark, right. Well, if I just roll my wheel you'll see that there is actually a fill pattern in there, and when you zoomed out too far it just shows it as solid black. So just zoom in a little and that will take care of that. I can place it off to the side like I've done and then use my Move or Align or other tools to get it into position, but it turns out that if you actually place it near the component that you like, you see it will actually snap itself directly in place. So that's probably a little nicer. I'll go ahead and delete this one over here.
Now I'm going to move this exactly into position where I want it to be and I'm going to do that in two steps. So the first move, I'm just going to kind of eyeball it, like so. Then I'm going to zoom in a little closer, and the second move I want to be very precise. So I'm going to start right at that point and snap right to this point here. You can kind of see now that the width of this thing matches up pretty good with the underlying stair. I'll talk about the height in a few minutes.
The next thing that I'm going to do is show you how to create an array. An array is basically just a group of copies. It does them equally spaced, and this is a tool that is pretty handy. So I'm going to go ahead and select this object, click the Array button on the Modify tab, and let's take a look at the settings here in the Options bar. There are two kinds of arrays, Linear or Radial. This is really an important check box right here, Group And Associate.
When you do that, you can kind of see the dashed box surround it. It groups the item, but the Associate is the more important part. It actually keeps all of the settings that you have set here in the Options bar live and active. In other words, it makes a parametric array, meaning that you can go back and manipulate those parameters at any time and see the impact in real-time take place in the model. So that's going to be a pretty handy way to do this. So it looks like I've got three treads showing here. So I'll go ahead and put in a quantity of three and we have two options for how to set the distance.
If you choose 2nd, you're setting the space between each item. If you choose Last, you're setting the overall space of the total array and it will just fill them in between. In this case, because I'm dealing with stairs of known size, I'm going to go ahead and leave it with the 2nd option. Then my job is to indicate to Revit somehow that spacing that I want to use. The easiest way to do that in this case is going to be the object snap right here, and then object snap the corresponding point on the next tread. So right there.
What you'll see is, if I zoom out just a touch, the three items array in a stair- step fashion, and then this temporary dimension appears down at the bottom, and you can interact with this item. I could change the number and that's the parametric quality of the array. I could make it six and you can see that it will go offscreen there behind the crop region. I'm going to set it back to three, which was the correct number for us in this case. So there is our three items. I'll go ahead and click anywhere to deselect that.
We now have those arrayed stair treads here, but you can see that we still have a slight problem. They're slightly too tall. Now the reason for that is the family that we used here, the stair tread family, is actually set to a default height of 7 inches, and our stair is actually a little bit less than 7 inches. So what you want to do is select your stair first. Now remember, this is the live model stair in the background and scroll down here and identify what the actual tread is.
So the actual tread is 6 and 171/256". Now make sure you remember that. Next, I'm going to click on the Group/ Arrayed item and I'm going to choose Edit Group. Because when it arrayed it actually put it inside a group. Now I'm going to select the 2D family, the component family, and the riser height is actually part of the type properties of this family. So I'm going to choose Edit Type, and there's my 7 inches and did you all remember what the number was we wanted to put in here? You did remember, didn't you? It's 171/256, but don't forget to put inches, because if you just press Enter there you'll get 6 and 171/256 feet, which will be a very, very tall riser.
I'm going to go ahead and click Apply, and you'll see it change in the background. Click OK and when I click Finish, that change will apply across the entire array. So all the items are now matching up correctly with their underlying stairs. And let me just show you one other quick benefit here of the array. If I select one of these items and begin to move it, notice what's happening to the other items in the array. You see this is what we mean by creating a parametric array.
So we've kind of linked the relationship of all these items together, so later if the stairs should change, we have two steps to adjust our detail to match the stairs. We adjust the array, and that shifts the position of each item and then we go in like we just did to the family, edit its type and change the riser height and possibly the tread depth, and then we'll be all set. So I'm going to undo that with Ctrl+Z. One last thing before we move out of this movie, and notice how the break line is actually behind the group here.
All I've to do is select the break line and over here on the Ribbon I can say Bring to Front, and it will now restore the illusion and cover up the underlying item there. So detail components are these two- dimensional families that sit on top of the model. They actually cover up the underlying model geometry as you can see. We also looked at an array as a quick way to duplicate these items. In the next movie, we're going to add some filled regions and some other components and finish out this detail.
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