Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding walls, part of Revit 2017: Essential Training for Architecture (Imperial).
- [Voiceover] Walls are perhaps the most basic component of any building model. So it makes sense that you would want to master the wall element first when you're learning Revit. So to do that, it's a pretty good idea to just kinda click the wall tool and play around and kind of understand some of the settings. And so, what better way to do that than just a nice blank, empty file. So the file that I have here is designed exactly for that purpose. So, let's start with the wall command which we can find on the architecture tab. Now, you can click the button right here or you can type W-A as the keyboard shortcut.
Now, when you're typing keyboard shortcuts in Revit, remember to just type W and A, do not press enter. And that will run the shortcut. Now, a small tip will appear on screen, but notice it disappears after a moment. If you look down at the status bar in the lower left hand corner of the screen, that same message is still appearing there and it says "Click to enter wall start point." And so, that means just click anywhere on screen. Then it says, "Enter wall end point," and as you move your mouse, you'll get potentially other prompts. But then you go and find the location where you want the wall to go and you click to place that end point.
So, the simplest way to add a wall is to just simply click two points. Now, that was accepting all of the default settings. So when you run the wall command, there's actually several options that appear on screen and are available to us. So let's look at that a little more carefully. I'm gonna come up here and click the modify tool to cancel all the way out of the command. So let's start again. I'll click the wall tool again and notice what happens on the screen. Before you click the wall tool, you're on the architecture tab and nothing is active on screen.
But as soon as you click the wall tool, the ribbon tints to a greenish color, it jumps over to the modify tab, it says the word "Place wall next to modify," the options bar fills with a variety of options, and the properties pallet also fills with a variety of options. So let's start with the draw toolbox that you see right below the modify command. It defaults to a straight line. Now, when you draw a straight line, you can do a single segment. And then if I press escape one time, it stays in the command, but it just disconnects from that wall.
Now, if you didn't press escape, what would happens is; you'd be drawing what we call a chain of walls. And that's controlled by this check box right here. Now typically chain is turned on and you want to leave it turned on because at any time if you wanna break the chain, you just simply press the escape key. Just be sure to press it only once. If you press it a second time, it'll cancel all the way out of the command. So the two ways you can get out of a command when you're in it is to either click the modify tool, cancels all the way out in a single click; or double escape and that would get you all the way out.
Or if you're in the middle of a command but you want to stay in that command, such as drawing a chain of walls, press escape once and that will keep you in the command. Okay, so that's the straight line option, but what about some of these others? Well, most of them are self explanatory. The second one over here draws a rectangle. And these over here draw polygons. So here's an eight-sided polygon. And here's a six-sided polygon. And if you switch between inscribe or circumscribe, it'll change whether or not you're drawing to the vertex of the polygon or the face of the polygon.
So in this case, I'm drawing to the midpoint of the face. We can draw a circle. Now, if I cancel out of the command, I'm gonna double escape for that. Notice that the circle is actually two arcs touching end to end. Now we can also draw arcs and you can see there's several tools for doing that. You can draw an arc from a center point, and a radius, and then sweep out the arc. Or you can draw an arc by start point, end point, and then radius. So I could do start point, end point, and then indicate the radius or how much curvature you want it to have.
Now notice that when you draw even the arcs, the chain option is still active. So I could do a second arc and then as I move my radius, if I get to a point where it becomes tangent to the first arc, it will actually snap to that and make a really nice smooth curve. So, play around with each of the shapes until you get comfortable with how they operate and what kind of behaviors each of them has. Now I'm gonna go ahead and cancel out of there and let me clean up a little bit before we continue.
So I want to click over here to the left and make a box selection, a window selection around everything that I've drawn; and I wanna delete all that stuff, but don't press delete yet because I've got all of the elevations selected as well and I only wanna have the walls selected. Now, when you make a multiselection, you'll get a few clues on screen that you've done that. On the modify tab, it'ill say "Modify multi select." On the properties pallet, the drop down here, the filter drop down will say "Common" with the quantity of selected elements.
So I have 45 elements selected, but they're different kinds of elements. That's why it says common. So what you want to do is click the filter button here and deselect elevations and views so that you're only selecting the walls, click ok, and then you can press delete. If you don't do that, you'll actually get a warning that you're deleting all of your elevations on the project browser and that's not what we want. We want to keep our elevations. Okay, let's draw the next couple walls a little bit more rationally. So, back to the wall command.
I'm going to accept the straight line drawing method, but this time, what I wanna do is consider the height. Now, here on the options bar you can choose between height or depth. When you draw by height, it goes from the current level up. When you draw by depth, it goes from the current level down. I want to go up. Up to where? You can go up to unconnected, and when you do, you can set the height of the wall arbitrarily here using any number you want. Or, I could say, well let's go up to the next level. So I'm gonna choose level two here, and draw a straight segment of wall.
Doesn't matter how long. Stay in the wall command, press escape once to break the chain, and then I'm gonna go up to level three next. And I'll draw a second wall, stay in the wall command, press escape to break the chain, and then I'll go up to roof and draw a final wall. And this time, I'll escape twice to cancel all the way out. Now what did we just do? Well, we've drawn three walls, but the only thing that varies about them is their heights. The only way you're gonna see that is to go to an elevation view.
So I'll go to the south elevation cause it's looking right at them, and notice that I've got these four levels here; one through roof. Well, what we just did wasn't just setting the wall to that height one time. It's actually an ongoing live constraint. And what I mean by that is, if the height of level three should change, and I'll just drag it a little bit to show you that, notice that the height of the wall remains attached to level three and changes as well. Now that's a very useful way to set the heights of your walls.
Because you could have dozens, if not hundreds of walls in a floor plan that are all associated with the level above. If you change the floor to floor heights, all the walls will update automatically and that's going to save you a lot of time. So it's definitely something to consider when you're setting up your walls. But it is optional, you can certainly take walls and instead of making the top constraint go up to one of the levels, you can set them unconnected and indicate any height you want. And if I did that, and let's say I've made them 10 feet; well now if I go back to the south elevation, notice that all of those walls drop down.
Or let's make them 12 feet so we can see it better. Notice that it doesn't pay attention to this level at all. And if this level moves, notice that those walls don't move with it. So that's what we mean by unconnected. Okay, so let's do one last thing here. I'm going to delete all of these walls. Now I wanna talk about some of the properties on the properties pallet. So, back to wall, and I'll draw one segment again and escape out. Now what did I just create? Well, at the top of the properties pallet, is the type selector.
If you open the type selector at the very top, it tells you the name of the family. "Basic wall" in this case. And then beneath that, you can see several different type options and the one that we've been drawing with is generic eight inch. Well, if I go back to architecture and draw a second wall, but this time change it to some other type, maybe brick on metal stud. And I'll just draw it right there. Now what did that do? Well it might be easier to see if we just zoom in a little, I'm gonna roll the wheel to do that, notice that it's a little bit thicker.
Now, that's not the only thing that's different about it. But we can't really tell in the current display mode. So, Revit views have three levels of detail that you can display. Coarse, medium, and fine. And when it's set to course, you only see the outlines of the walls. So if you look down at the bottom of the screen, there's a view control bar. The second item over from the left is a little popup menu that lets you choose between coarse, medium, and fine. If you choose either medium or fine, it will show you the internal composition of that wall.
And so you can see now that this one is very different than our generic wall. And if you draw some additional walls, like a brick on CMU, or possibly an interior partition, you can see that each of these looks quite different from one another. They have varying thicknesses and they have different compositions of materials that make up that wall structure. So I encourage you to continue experimenting with walls here in this file, draw some different walls and play around with the properties on both the options bar and the properties pallet, until you feel comfortable with how the wall objects behave.
Now there's plenty more for us to do with them going forward, but this is a good place to start in your explorations on learning how walls behave in the Revit 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.
- Touring the Revit 2017 interface
- Selecting objects
- Creating new Revit projects
- Adding levels and grids
- Modeling walls, doors, and windows
- Using joins and constraints
- Linking AutoCAD DWG files
- Creating groups
- Working with Revit links
- Modeling floors, ceilings, and roofs
- Adding stairs to a drawing
- Creating complex walls such as curtain walls
- Using view templates and custom views
- Adding rooms
- Creating schedules and schedule views
- Annotating drawings
- Creating new Revit families
- Working with sheets
- Plotting drawings