Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints

From: Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

Video: Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints

In this movie, we are going to look at reference planes, parameters, and constraints. We're in a file called Pool Table V1, and this was created from the Furniture family template, and we're creating our own piece of custom family content here. If you've been following along and you want to continue in your own file, you can do that, or you can open the one I've provided here: Pool Table V1. Now I've got my four windows tiled onscreen and if you want to learn how I did that, you can look at the previous movie again. And I've got the Floor Plan: Reference Level active, and that's where I'm going to start.

Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints

In this movie, we are going to look at reference planes, parameters, and constraints. We're in a file called Pool Table V1, and this was created from the Furniture family template, and we're creating our own piece of custom family content here. If you've been following along and you want to continue in your own file, you can do that, or you can open the one I've provided here: Pool Table V1. Now I've got my four windows tiled onscreen and if you want to learn how I did that, you can look at the previous movie again. And I've got the Floor Plan: Reference Level active, and that's where I'm going to start.

Over here on the Create tab, on the Datum panel, we have a Reference Plane button. Now there's also Reference Line, so make sure you are choosing Reference Plane. The shortcut is R+P. And what I want to do here is lay out four reference planes in the plan view to kind of describe a rectangular shape. So the first one I'm going to do right about here, parallel, running horizontally. You'll see a dimension appear, and it's a somewhat random number, so what I usually like to do with that is click in that number and just make it some sort of a whole value.

So I'm going to go with 2 feet here. I am going to do a second one running vertically off to the side, and same thing; it gives me just sort of random number here, so I'm just going to make that a nice whole number like 4 feet. And then I'm going to cancel out of the command. You can draw the other two, if you want to, using the reference plane, but I usually find it faster to select it, go to Mirror, and mirror it around this axis, and then select this one and go to mirror, and mirror it around that axis. So it doesn't really matter if you draw them or mirror them, as long as you end up with four surrounding that center point.

Now the two reference planes that were here already were part of the template, and they mark the center point of the family. If you were to select them, you would see they also have a pushpin icon, and that prevents them from being accidentally moved. So if we are going to use those reference planes as the insertion point of our family, then it's kind of important that they don't move on us. Now the ones we just created are not push-pinned. Those can move freely. I'm going to undo that. What we're going to be doing is, using parameters and constraints, we're actually going to control the behavior of those movements.

We don't want them to be able to just move anywhere. Now, it all starts with dimensions. So these are the same dimensions we used in the project environment. Here is my Aligned Dimension tool, or we can do D+I. And I need a total of four dimensions here in my floor plan. I want one that goes from this left side to the center and continues to the right, and I'm going to put that up here somewhere, and I want to click the Equality Toggle for that. That's going to make those two maintain an equal-equal relationship.

Then I'm going to do a second one that goes just from left to right, bypasses the center, and I'll put that one above it. And I want to do the same thing in the other direction: top to middle, to bottom, pull it over here somewhere, make it equal, and then top to bottom, pull it over here. Now let me cancel out of the command. I'm going to use the Modify tool. It's a little tough to see what I've got here. So the scale down here is set it to half-inch. You can change that anything you want. It doesn't really affect the family in any way.

So I'm going to make it quarter inch equals a foot and zoom in a touch so that we can get a better look at what we've got. So we now have an equal-equal running both horizontally and vertically, and then we have a 4-foot and an 8-foot dimension. Now, with the equal-equal, that is a kind of constraint. So what I mean by that is if I were to select one of these outside reference planes and start to drag it, notice that the one on the opposite side will drag the equal and opposite amount. Notice that the overall dimension will change as well.

So let me undo that. Okay, so that's a constraint. The constraint in this case is saying, keep these reference planes centered, and we're doing that in both directions. What we want to be able to do is have this dimension and this dimension become what we call a parameter. I want my end user to be able to put in a numerical value there and have that adjust the size of the family, and here is how we do that. So I select the dimension and I go to the Label dropdown here on the options bar.

It currently says None. I'm going to choose Add parameter, and in this dialog here I'm going to name that Length. I'm going to accept all the defaults, click OK, and the word Length will appear in front of that dimension. That is now a labeled dimension, or another way to say that is, it's a parameter. Let's do it again for the 4 feet. I'm going to go to Label. I want to add a second parameter, call that Width, click OK, and so we now have Width and Length.

Now comes the part where we test it out. The Revit word for this is flexing the model, and that comes from the fact we're creating a flexible family, and so every so often we should flex it to make sure it's behaving properly. We do that with this button here on the ribbon. It's called Family Types. So we are going to click on that, and I'm going to move it out of the way slightly so that we can see the reference planes here in the floor plan and in the two Elevations, and the way you flex is to simply click in the Value field and try a different number.

So for example, I could put in 3 feet for the Width and 7 feet for the Length. When I come down here and click the Apply button, all of the reference planes should move and adjust. Now, what we are actually witnessing there is a combination of the parameter and the constraint. Because we've changed the length to 7 feet and we've said that it's got to stay equal-equal, it adjusted a little bit on both sides. So I'm going to reset this back to 8 feet by 4 feet, click Apply. Everything seems to be working.

Now there's a reason why this is called the Family Types dialog. You can actually speed up the flexing process a little bit by coming over here and clicking New, and what we're creating new is a family type. So if you remember when we get to our project environment, we'll have a family and then each family has one or more types. Those types are actually created right here in this dialog. And all the type is doing is flexing all the values for you. So another way to think of a type is, a type is just a saved and named variation of your family.

Now, because we're making a pool table, I'm going to call this first type 8 foot, and it's going to have a Width of 44 inches--and when I click out of that field, Revit will convert that to feet and inches, so if you want to type in 3' 8", you can do that too--by 88 inches, and I'm going to apply that. And you'll see it change ever so slightly. Then I'm going to click New again, call this one 7 Foot for a slightly smaller pool table, put in different values here, so I'm going to put in 39 inches by 78 inches, and again, it converts it to feet and inches for me, Apply.

Now if I want to flex between the two, I just open up the list here and go to 8 foot, click Apply, and it changes both values. Go back to 7 feet. It would change both values, OK. So that's the essential process of laying down the reference planes, applying some constraints, applying some parameters, and then the final step of flexing. We added the additional step of adding the family types just to make the flexing a little bit more convenient in the future. In the next movie, we'll begin taking this framework and building upon that to start creating the geometry for our family.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

96 video lessons · 12642 viewers

Paul F. Aubin
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      55s
  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. 54m 44s
    1. Understanding the different versions of Revit
      1m 19s
    2. Exploring the Recent Files window 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. Using the Project Browser
      5m 34s
    7. Navigating views: Zooming, panning, and rotating
      5m 57s
    8. The basics of selecting and modifying
      9m 49s
    9. Accessing Revit options
      6m 19s
  4. 47m 6s
    1. Creating a new project from a template
      7m 42s
    2. Accessing a multi-user project with worksharing
      4m 16s
    3. Configuring project settings
      6m 33s
    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. Exploring wall properties and types
      7m 37s
    4. Locating walls
      7m 27s
    5. Using the modify tools
      9m 32s
    6. Adding doors and windows
      7m 39s
    7. Using constraints
      8m 27s
    8. Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
      8m 39s
    9. Using Autodesk Seek
      4m 19s
    10. Using wall joins
      3m 0s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Linking AutoCAD DWG files
      10m 59s
    2. Creating topography from a DWG link
      7m 43s
    3. Understanding CAD inserts
      7m 56s
    4. Import tips
      6m 49s
    5. Creating a group
      7m 10s
    6. Mirroring groups to create a layout
      5m 3s
    7. Creating Revit links
      5m 16s
    8. Rotating and aligning a Revit link
      7m 6s
    9. Establishing shared coordinates
      6m 5s
    10. Managing links
      6m 0s
    11. Understanding file formats
      59s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Working with floors
      8m 57s
    2. Working with footprint roofs
      6m 22s
    3. Working with extrusion roofs
      4m 59s
    4. Attaching walls to roofs
      3m 17s
    5. Using the shape editing tools to create a flat roof
      6m 33s
    6. Working with slope arrows
      6m 0s
    7. Adding openings
      8m 33s
    8. Working with stairs
      8m 4s
    9. Adding railings to stairs
      3m 40s
    10. Working with ceilings
      9m 36s
    11. Adding extensions to railings
      7m 20s
  8. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a custom basic wall type
      10m 18s
    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
      6m 26s
    6. Exploring model lines
      4m 22s
  9. 47m 40s
    1. Using object styles
      4m 19s
    2. Working with visibility and graphic overrides
      7m 3s
    3. Using view templates
      6m 13s
    4. Hiding and isolating objects in a model
      6m 37s
    5. Understanding view range
      7m 7s
    6. Displaying objects above and below in plan views
      6m 35s
    7. Using the Linework tool
      5m 21s
    8. Using cutaway views
      4m 25s
  10. 21m 28s
    1. Adding rooms
      8m 15s
    2. Controlling room numbering
      6m 13s
    3. Understanding room bounding elements
      7m 0s
  11. 33m 13s
    1. Understanding tags
      9m 58s
    2. Adding schedule views
      7m 55s
    3. Modifying schedule views
      7m 12s
    4. Creating a key schedule
      8m 8s
  12. 58m 40s
    1. Adding text
      7m 29s
    2. Adding dimensions
      9m 6s
    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
  13. 41m 29s
    1. Understanding families
      2m 37s
    2. Creating a new family from a template
      6m 29s
    3. Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
      7m 52s
    4. Adding solid geometry
      8m 40s
    5. Cutting holes using void geometry
      5m 9s
    6. Adding blends
      6m 2s
    7. Completing the family
      4m 40s
  14. 38m 48s
    1. Adding sheets
      7m 44s
    2. Working with placeholder sheets
      5m 24s
    3. Aligning views with a guide grid
      5m 57s
    4. Outputting sheets to a DWF file
      6m 39s
    5. Exporting to AutoCAD
      5m 42s
    6. Plotting and creating a PDF
      7m 22s
  15. 2m 38s
    1. Next steps
      2m 38s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.