Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding walls, part of Revit 2017: Essential Training for Architecture (Metric).
- [Voiceover] Walls are perhaps the most basic building component in any project. Certainly they'll be one of the first objects that you need to master when learning Revit. Walls have many settings that you can configure while you're drawing them and even after they've been created. So in this movie, we're going to look at some of the basic settings of walls and get comfortable with their use. Now I have an empty file open here and it has a few levels in here. We're going to start off in this first floor Level 1 plan and just draw a few basic walls and kind of get comfortable with the command. So on the Architecture tab we have the Wall command right here and I can click it with the icon or I can type WA which is the keyboard shortcut.
Now, sometimes you'll see tool tips that appear on screen, like the one that I see right now says Click to enter the start point. After a while, that tool tip will go away, but if you look at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen on the status bar, the tip will remain down there. So those little prompts are going to help you knowing what Revit expects you to do. So naturally when we draw walls, we're going to need to click a few points on screen and usually it's just two points like drawing a line. So if I click the first point and then I start to move the mouse, the tip might change depending on what I'm doing next.
Now, it favors directional behavior first. So you can see that if I'm moving in a horizontal direction, the prompt actually says that I'm moving horizontally. If I move in a vertical direction, it says that I'm moving vertically, but if I kind of go off angle then I get a different prompt that tells me to enter the wall's endpoint. Now, that's actually what it's looking for. So whether you go horizontal, vertical, or at some angle, it's a second click that we need to do to place that second point. So I can just simply click a point like so to draw the first wall.
Now you'll notice that it's continuing in the Wall command and the wall that I'm drawing now is connected back to the endpoint of the first wall. That's called Chain in Revit and you can see that there's a check box right here that controls that chain behavior. So as long as that's checked on, you're going to be drawing walls as a chain, in other words, walls that are connected endpoint to endpoint. Now, to get out of the Wall command, you can do it one of two ways. You can press the Escape key two times or can click the Modify tool.
If I click the Modify tool over here on the ribbon, it cancels all the way out of the command in a single step. If I go back into the Wall command, draw a few walls and I press Escape instead, the first time I press Escape, it remains in the Wall command, but it simply breaks the chain that I noted to you a moment ago. So that would allow me to stay in the command and create a new chain of walls. If I press Escape two times, then it cancels all the way out of the command. So, those are a couple different ways that you can both get into the command and out of the command.
Now let's look at some of the settings that we can configure when we're in the Wall command. So I'm going to go back to the Wall command, or type WA again and let's focus on the ribbon now. On the Modify ribbon, it says Modify Place Wall. On the far right-hand side we have the Draw panel and you can see that there are several shapes that we can draw with the Wall command. Now all the ones we've drawn so far were just the default shape which is just a simple straight line, but you can draw rectangles, which would allow you to pick two opposite corners and create a rectangular shape. You can do Inscribe or Circumscribe Polygons, which just determine whether you're drawing to the midpoint of the side or whether you're drawing to a vertex.
When you choose one of the polygon options, look at the Options bar because the Options bar will have a property here to set how many sides the polygon is going to be. So it defaults to a six-sided polygon, but you could change the number of sides to any quantity you like and draw a pentagon or a square or a hexagon just by simply changing the number of sides. That would work for both types of polygons. When you draw a circle, you're going from the center point to the radius. If I cancel out of this command, I'll do the Modify tool for that, what you're going to notice is that actually draws two separate walls.
So really what a circle does with the Wall command is it actually creates two arcs that are touching one another. Let's go back in and you can also see that there are several types of arcs that we can draw. Now this first one right here the start end radius arc and I always like to show this because it works a little differently than some of the other CAD programs out there, particularly AutoCAD which is very popular. In AutoCAD you would draw along the curve, but in Revit you actually draw the start point and then the endpoint and then notice that you're actually creating the radius of this arc.
So if you're used to using another CAD program, then you really want to pay attention to the prompts that appear when you're doing this the first time and practice it a little bit. Right now I've got the chain turned on, so I'm starting right here. You can draw arcs in chain, just like you can draw straight lines in chain. So again, it's the endpoint that I want to create next and if you look at the status bar, it says enter arc wall end point. So we can see that very clearly. That's what it's asking for. Then when I click that, if I kind of move away so that it's not trying to snap to anything, you can kind of see that it's drawing the radius.
Now watch what happens here when I get it to be tangent, right. So it's always looking for relationships that make sense. So by snapping tangent right here, we can actually draw some nice smooth curves that are joined with one another and flow together. I'm going to go ahead and cancel out of there. Now, I want to take all these doodles that I've drawn and get rid of them. So I'm just going to do a crossing selection here and make sure that I've only selected walls. Now, I can see that very clearly right here because it says walls and in my case, I have 27 walls.
If you make a bigger selection, something like this, it's going to say Common here and it's going to say Multi-Select here. That tells you that you have more that walls selected. So in that case, you'd want to click the Filter command. You'd want to uncheck anything that's not a wall. So in this case, views and elevations, click Ok, and then we're going to press the Delete key. That kind of resets us to where we began. Now what I'm going to do is draw a few new walls, but I'm going to focus on some of the properties on the properties palette this time. So I'm going to stick with the straight line and I'm just going to draw a small segment of wall right here.
I'm going to press Escape one time to break the chain. Now, if you look over at the properties palette you can see that there's a base constraint and a top constraint. That wall that I just created had a base constraint of Level 1 and a top constraint unconnected. Now what unconnected means is that you can actually put in the height numerically for the wall. So you can see here that my unconnected height is currently 8,000 millimeters, but if I wanted it to be 7,000 millimeters, I could put that in and I could draw a new segment.
Press Escape again. Now there's another way you can set the height of the wall. What we could do is we could actually set a top constraint. Now in this file, I actually have Levels 1 - 4. So the first wall I'm going to draw, I'm going to go from Level 1 to Level 2. I'll press Escape once. Then I'm going to do another one from Level 1 to Level 3. I'll press Escape once. Then finally the last one, from Level 1 to Level 4. Then I'll double Escape this time to cancel all the way out.
So I now have five segments of wall here and I want to look right at those walls. Now, you could double click this small triangle here which is the south elevation, or if you prefer, you can just double click it here on the project browser to open that up. Now you can see the levels are indicated here and they're each 3,000 millimeters apart. Let me zoom in slightly so you can see those numbers. These are the walls that were unconnected that we drew first. So is unconnected at 8,000. This one's unconnected at 7,000.
They have no relationship to the levels, but these you can see are attached to the levels, these three here, the corresponding levels. Now, when you do it attached to a level, it's not a one-time operation. It's actually an ongoing constraint. So what that means is if I take this level and I were to move it, it's going to continue to change the height of the wall that's attached to it. Notice that the two unconnected walls were unchanged. So you do have both options. You can set your walls at an unconnected fixed height that doesn't change, or you can associate them with the levels.
Associating with the levels can be pretty powerful in a lot of cases because if the design changes and you need to change the heights of the levels, then it will adjust those walls. So there's lots more that we can do with walls, but that gives you the basics of both drawing the walls in plan views and then setting some of the height parameters and you can see those in elevation. Now I should point out that you can't actually draw walls in elevation. If you try and click the command, nothing will happen. So you have to draw walls in either a floor plan or in a 3D view. Now I encourage you to go ahead and experiment a little bit more in this file before continuing, but those are some of the basics of working with the Wall command.
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; creating and mirroring groups; linking to external assets and DWG files; and working with floors, roofs, and ceilings.
Paul also shows advanced techniques for modeling stairs, complex walls, and partially obscured building elements, as well as adding rooms and solid geometry. 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