Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding solid geometry, part of Revit 2018: Essential Training for Architecture (Imperial).
- [Voiceover] There's a lot of preliminary setup that gets done in creating a new piece of family content, but once you've got your reference planes and your parameters and some of your other form work established, it's time to start creating some solid geometry. So in this movie we're going to look at a few examples of adding solids to our family file. Now I've made a few changes to the underlying file that we started with in the previous movie. Here in the front view you can see that I've added two reference planes. One of them is set at two foot seven inches above the floor and I've locked that dimension. The other one is set three inches below that and I've locked it as well.
Now, the reason I locked both of those is because neither of those dimensions varies and so there's no need to make them into parameters. So when you're building your own family content, you don't have to make everything a parameter. If that dimension doesn't vary, just simply lock it and that's all you have to do. Now I'm going to click here in the floor plan view and create our first solid object. So I'm going to go to the Create panel and click Extrusion. An extrusion is just a simple shape that you sketch out in Sketch mode here and it will be given a thickness.
So, I'm going to go to rectangle and I'm going to snap to the reference planes here at the upper left-hand corner and then again at the lower right-hand corner. Four small padlocks will appear and I will close all four padlocks. That will lock that shape to the underlying reference planes which is important because when I finish, we're going to want to be able to flex our family and have this shape flex. Now, before we do that, let's address the height. Notice that we've got this nice thick slab and it's sitting on the floor.
Now I want to be able to see this in 3D view as well. So let's click over here in the 3D view and you've got the view cube over here in the corner. If you look really carefully, you should be able to get the top corner of that view cube and click it. That will zoom right in on it. Then over here, you can change the visual style to Shaded and then I'm going to deselect it. Finally, if you hold the Shift key down and drag with the wheel, you can spin that around. So now let's talk about how we're going to get that slab set at the correct height.
I'm going to do this in the front elevation. Now, in addition to creating these two reference planes, I actually named them. So this one I called Underside and this one I called Playing Surface. When you select this slab that you created, if you look at the properties palette, it has a work plane. All objects have a work plane and the work plane defaulted to the reference level down here at the floor which is why it's sitting on the floor. With the box selected, we can click Edit Work Plane.
All of the named work planes that are eligible to be a work plane for this object will show on the list, and let me choose Underside. When I click Ok, that box will jump up to the new location. Now it's still too thick, so what I'll do about that is simply use this small triangular shape handle at the top, drag it down until it snaps to the reference plane and then when it does, I will close this padlock to lock it. So now we've sandwiched that slab in between those two reference planes and it will stay fixed right there.
Now let's flex. So, I'm going to go back to Family Types. Let's move this dialogue out of the way so we can see the 3D view in the background. I'm going to choose the seven foot size, click Apply. You'll see the reference planes adjust. You'll see the box get smaller and then I'll go back to my eight foot size and click Ok and it will flex back to the eight foot size. So that's terrific, we've got our first solid and it's behaving exactly the way we want. So let's click back to the floor plan. I'm going to take this box that we just created and I'm going to temporarily hide it.
So using the Temporary Hide/Isolate icon here, I'll choose Hide Element. Now the reason for that is, we're going to draw our second shape and it's really important that you don't snap your new geometry to your existing geometry. You want to snap your geometry to the reference planes all the time if you can help it. There are exceptions, but the general rule of thumb is that we want to reference our geometry to reference planes, not other geometry. So in this case, the easiest way to ensure that is to just hide the box so that we can't accidentally select it.
Now I'm going to create another kind of shape. I'm going to create a sweep. This time, instead of building it on the floor and then moving it up, what we can actually do is go to the Create panel, click the Set Work Plane button here over at the right and all of our named reference planes will appear on this list. I can choose the Playing Surface work plane and click Ok. So now anything I sketch in plan view is going to be built at that correct height.
So let's go to the Sweep command next. The solid sweep creates an object that moves along a path. So you draw a 2D shape for the object you want to create and then you can push it along a path of any shape. So the first thing we're going to do is sketch the path. So right is a Sketch Path button, I'll click that. I'll choose the rectangle shape. I don't want to draw it right here. I want to draw it offset away from that. So there's an offset feature right here and I'm going to put in three inches.
Now I'll pick the first intersection here. Start moving towards the second intersection here. Now before I click the second point, I'm going to tap the space bar. Notice that will flip the offset to the inside. Tap it again, it flips it to the outside. We want it on the outside, but I wanted to show you that just in case yours is going in the reverse direction. So if it is, just tap your space bar and flip it to the outside before you click. I'll click the Modify tool to cancel.
I'm going to zoom in on this corner. Switch to a straight line, snap right here, and draw diagonally over here to kind of create a little chamfered corner. I'll go to my Trim and Extend to Corner, trim that up and trim that up. I'll zoom previous and repeat on the other three corners. and your path should look like that when you're done. Now, if you look over here in the 3D view, you'll see this dash green box with a cross in the middle of it.
That is the work plane of the object that we want to sketch. So let's click Finish right here to finish the path. The path will change color from the magenta color to the black color. That's how you know you're done with it and that little cross stays behind. That's our work plane for our sketch. So find a view that looks right at that work plane, like this one right here, the elevation right, and I'm going to zoom in on that general location. Now, you have two options here. You can do Edit Profile to go into Sketch mode and draw the shape you want to sweep, or if you've previously drawn the shape in a separate family, it's called a Profile Family, you can simply load that profile in here.
Now, I've done that for us and already created the profile that will represent the rail of the pool table. So right here, we can click Load Profile and in the Exercise folder, there is a rail family here. I'm going to open that up. Once it's loaded, it will show up on this list. You can choose Rail right there and you'll see that shape appear here in the elevation view. Now, you could actually move this thing. So, I can move it anywhere I want.
Let me undo that. Well, I want to move it closer to the pool table, but I want to do it a little bit more precisely. So I'll use my Align command, pick my reference plane here, and then this edge right there and that will move that profile over to its correct location. Now I'll click Finish and that will create the sweep. If we zoom in here on 3D, you can see that it's sweeping that shape all the way around the pool table and gives us a nice effect. So creating solid geometry is a matter of going into a Sketch mode, assigning a work plane, drawing the sketch you want and then when you complete it, it creates the solid form.
Each solid form is a little different from the others. The extrusion is the simplest. The sweep's a little bit more involved. I encourage you to look at some of the other optons as well, but the combination of the various solid forms is how you're going to build up the total form that you need for creating your family geometry. So it's often the case that you're going to need to create several different forms to create the overall object that you're trying to model.
First, get comfortable with the Revit environment, and learn to set up a project and add the grids, levels, and dimensions that will anchor your design. Then author Paul F. Aubin helps you dive into modeling: adding walls, doors, and windows; using joins and constraints; creating and mirroring groups; linking to external assets and DWG files; and modeling floors, roofs, and ceilings.
Paul also shows advanced techniques for modeling stairs and complex walls, adding rooms, and creating schedules. Finally, discover how to annotate your drawings so all the components are clearly understood, and learn how to output sheets to DWF, PDF, or AutoCAD.
- Understanding BIM and the Revit element hierarchy
- Navigating views
- Creating a new project from a template
- Adding walls, doors, and windows
- Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
- Linking AutoCAD DWG files
- Rotating and aligning Revit links
- Working with footprint and extrusion roofs
- Adding openings
- Adding railings and extensions to stairs
- Creating stacked and curtain walls
- Hiding and isolating objects
- Adding rooms
- Creating schedule views and tags
- Adding text and dimensions
- Creating new families
- Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
- Plotting and creating a PDF