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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.
Let's talk about linking Revit files to other Revit files. In this example, I have the Office Building Exercise File onscreen, and I'm going to go to the Site Plan view. I'll zoom out a little bit and get a better look at what we're going to have available to us, and I'm going to link in a Revit file for the Site Plan. So, I'm going to go to the Insert tab, click the Link Revit button, and I'll select this file right here: Building Site. Now, there are several positioning options, fewer options than we had when we were doing AutoCAD links, but the same positioning options.
You can of course, place it manually if you would like to. You can try to do Origin to Origin, if you're sure this files share the same origin point. The preferred method is actually By Shared Coordinates, and we're going to talk about that at the end of this movie. But for right now I'm going to choose Center to Center, because we haven't established the Shared Coordinates yet, and so, Shared Coordinates wouldn't yet be an option. So, we first do Center to Center, and then we will save a Shared Coordinates system after that's complete. Now, here's the file. You can see it's a simple site plan file with a couple of roads and a parking lot and a little property line.
What we're going to do next is move the file into position relative to the building. Now, we don't want to move the building relative to the file, because we might leave some geometry behind, or we might disrupt some relationships between some of our geometry, your walls and your roofs, and your grids. They're all kind of attached to one another, and we don't work at that funny angle anyhow. So, what we want to do is we actually want to take this file, and we want to move it and position it relative to our building file. So, I'm going to go to Move, and I'll pick a point right here at the end of this walkway, and I will move that into position, roughly where the entrance of the building needs to go.
Now, if you look carefully, you'll notice that the Site Plan has actually covered up the building, so it makes a little difficult to see what we're doing, and we're also zoomed out kind of far. So, let me go ahead and zoom in a little, and then as far as showing the building through, we're going to temporarily change this view to Wireframe, and we can do this down here on the View Control bar. The default behavior is Hidden Line, which is what you typically want in a Floor Plan view, but Wireframe will reveal the model through. It allows you to see through all the 3D geometry and allows us to get a better look at what we're doing. Now, I'm going to take this and actually move it slightly, so we can see there's actually a green line right here that we're going to use for lining things up.
So, the first thing I'll do is select on this, and I'd like to show you the Rotate tool. So, here's Rotate right here, on the Modify tab. You can type RO, which is the shortcut for Rotate, and what you'll see is this little rotation control appears onscreen. This is the center of your rotation. It kind of looks like a radar screen, if you spin it around here. Now, you can simply type in a rotation: 20 degrees, press Enter, and it would rotate the file, but of course, it rotates around that little rotation symbol, so that probably wasn't the best choice in this case.
So I'm going to undo that. What I want to do instead is select the file, click on Rotate again, and you can actually click on this little symbol and drag it. Now don't let go. If you let go, you're just moving it to wherever you let go. So you want to click and drag in all one motion, and then notice that we'll even object snap, so we're going to object snap to the end of the green line and then let go. So now I can type in a rotation, if I know exactly how much I want to rotate by, or I can use my Object Snap to indicate the starting angle of the rotation and then rotate my mouse, and you see how it will kind of snap to a horizontal here. See how the mouse wants to snap in there? I can click that, and that will actually rotate it horizontal, and then of course, I could move it into its final position there at the front door.
That's one option, and a good one, but I'm going to undo, and I want to show you another method that we can use to get the orientation correct, and that's the Align tool. So, it's really a 6 of one/half a dozen of the other proposition. If you prefer you to Rotate, feel free. If you prefer to use Align, feel free. But I do want to show you both methods. Now to show you Align, I'm actually going to zoom in a little bit closer still, and what I want to do is align this green line in the Site Plan.
It's green if it's not selected. I want to align to the front wall here of the building. So, I select the Site Plan file, and I click on the Align tool, and if you look down on your status bar, it says, Please select the line or point reference for alignment. So the point of reference is what you want to align to, and I could highlight and select this wall. Now, if I select this wall, it's going to actually align to the center of the wall, and I want the face of the wall. So, I'm going to press my Tab key until the face of the wall highlights, and then I'll click.
That gives me my alignment reference there on the front face of the wall, and then all I have to do is click on the green line, and that will simultaneously rotate and move the Site file to match the alignment of the edge that I selected. I'm going to select the Site Plan again, click on my Move tool, pick up the midpoint here and drag it over to snap to about the middle of the door there. Let me go ahead and type ZF for Zoom to Fit, zoom in a region a little bit closer, and you can see the result of the positioning here in Plan view, but we're not quite done yet.
Let's turn back on Hidden Line, and you'll notice we've still got our building hidden by the Site Plan. This tells me that the Site Plan is actually too high. And how can I verify that? I can go to the Elevation view and confirm that in fact my trees and site itself are floating up in the air, and they're completely burying the building, which is down in this region here. So what I want to do is zoom in just a little bit closer, and I'm going to use my Align tool again, and I'm going to use Level1 as the Reference, and that will stay highlighted. And then I'll come up here to the Level1 in the Link file, and if you highlight it and read the tooltip, you can see that's Level1 in the Linked file, and click it, and that will pull the Site Plan file down and match up the two Level1s. And finally, if we go to a 3D view, zoom in a little, you can see the end result.
Press Escape to get out of the Align tool. So, our building is now positioned properly relative to the site. The last thing I want to do is I want to save this positioning as a Shared Coordinate system, so that I can use that Shared Coordinate system to link other files within the site. So, I'm going to select my Site Plan once again, and over here on the Properties palette, it will tell me I have a Linked Revit model, and its Shared Site is currently Not Shared. Now to share it, all I have to do is click this button, and I get two choices when you set up Shared Coordinates: The first choice is to publish the coordinate system, and the second choice is to acquire the coordinate system.
Both methods work equally well; it's really a matter of choice. If we publish the Coordinate system, what we're doing is taking the positioning from the current file, and we're pushing it to the Site Plan file. If we do acquire, we're doing the opposite. We're taking the Coordinate system from the Site Plan file, and we're pulling it into the current file. In either case, we're going to have a reconciliation between the coordinates in one file with the coordinates in the other file, so it really doesn't matter. I usually go from biggest to smallest. So what I mean by that is the Site Plan is larger than the building, so I'm going to acquire from the Site Plan and apply it to the building.
If I were in the Site Plan file linking in the building, I would go the other way; I would publish to the building. I'm going to save this. You can see down here it says, Record selected instance as being at Position, Building Site: Internal. That's the default position, and I'm going to save it there. However, you might want to choose to rename that, or duplicate it in some other cases, and in a future movie we're going to actually look at that in a little more detail. So for now, I'm just going to go ahead and save it as Internal, click Reconcile and then to finalize all this, I need to save my project.
So I've clicked in the white space to deselect my model. I'm going to click on the Save icon here on the QAT, and that saves my project. So, I've got everything saved and ready to go, and what I want to do now is Close out of this project, go to Open and select the Building Site. Now, we're looking at the Building Site, and the building is not actually in this file. Because we've set up Shared Coordinates - I'm going to look at this in a 3D view - we go to Insert, we go to Link Revit, and we select the Office Building, this time I'm able to choose By Shared Coordinates, and the building should come in in exactly the right location.
So that's the beauty of setting up the Shared Coordinates. So once you've set them up, one time for each pair of files - in this case, the building and the site - that's all you need to do, and it will take care of itself from that point on.
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