Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a custom basic wall type, part of Revit 2017: Essential Training for Architecture (Metric).
- [Voiceover] In this movie, we're going to create our own custom wall type. Now, before we get into the details of doing that, let's talk briefly about types and families in particular. Would you be surprised to find out that every wall that we've created so far in all of the movies in this course have been the same family? That familiy is the basic wall family. Now, that might surprise you a little bit, because we've used brick walls, we've used stud walls, we've used concrete walls, and they don't at all seem like they're the same. Well, when we talk about those variations between brick and stud and concrete, we're not actually talking about a variation in family.
What we're really talking about is a variation in type. So what family are all of those walls? Well, they're all a wall family that Revit calls the basic wall family. And the basic wall family furthermore is a kind of family that Revit refers to as a system family. Now, a system family is a family that's built into the system and that you and I cannot change or modify in any way. Walls are system families. Floors, roofs, stairs, these are all system families.
Now again, that might surprise you, because you might be saying, "Wait a minute, we've customized walls. "We were editing floors and roofs. "What are you talking about?" Well, in all those cases, when we were making changes to those items, what we were actually changing were the types, not the families. So what it means to be wall, what it means to be a roof or a stair, that's built into Revit and part of a system family. So when it comes time for us to customize, we're actually creating and modifying types. So to do that, we're going to come over here and I'm going to zoom in on this toilet room area.
And in this movie we're going to focus on a basic wall type. Then in the subsequent movies in this chapter, we'll look at the other two wall families, which are the curtain wall family and the stacked wall family. So why don't we take a look at this wall right here, between the plumbing fixtures in the two toilet rooms. Right now, it's a little bit thin to be a plumbing wall. So what I want to do is create a new custom type for that wall. Now, the way you do that, is you come over here to Properties and you click Edit Type. Now, don't get too anxious and jump right into Edit Structure and start making changes.
Like, for example, suppose I took Layer 3 here and made it 200 millimeters and click OK. Notice the impact of that change is not applied to just the wall that I had selected, but it actually applies throughout the model, because we had several instances of that type. Now, I know we've discussed that before, but it's worth repeating. So I'm going to undo that, and what we want to do is always remember that when we select the object, if our intention is to create a new type, then the first thing we should do is Duplicate.
So I'm going to duplicate that type and give it a name. Now, you can follow your office standard naming convention if you like. I've just called mine Plumbing Wall. The name isn't terribly important as long as it's descriptive and it makes sense. Now I'm going to click Edit Structure. What I want to do in this dialog is make a few adjustments. The first thing is, let's widen the dialog so that we can actually read what's in each of these columns. The next thing I want to do is click this little Preview button over here, so that we can actually see a little illustration of what the wall structure looks like.
Now, this is a basic stud wall, so it's a pretty simple structure. In the core, there is a structural layer set to a material called Metal Stud, and it's 90 millimeters. And then, on either side of that, we have two finish layers that are assigned to Gypsum Wall Board. Now, we've talked about the difference between core and finish in a previous movie, and you may recall that every wall has to have a core and it has to have at least one layer in that core, but it can have more than that. You also may recall that we're not required to have finishes; we could actually delete those finish layers if we wanted to, but we certainly can have one or more finish layers.
Now, what I want to do, all the changes I want to make to this wall, I want to do within the core. So I actually want to increase the size of the core, add another stud, and then add an air gap between those two studs. So I'm going to come down here and click this Insert button twice. Now, initially, you won't see any change in the preview, because over you can see that the thicknesses are still set to 0. Now, let's talk about each of the columns in this dialog. The Function column accesses a pre-built list of six pre-defined functions.
Now, if I click in one of those fields, a small dropdown appears. And if I expand that dropdown, I will see those six functions. The first five are numbered, from 1 to 5, in square brackets. Structure has the highest priority, Finish 2 has the lowest priority. So the lower the number, the higher the priority. What this means is, when this wall intersects another wall, the Structure layers will try to join up with one another, and they will pass through any non-Structure layers.
And the Finish layers will be passed through by all the other layers, as they try to join up with other Finish layers. Now, in addition to the Function, the Material also comes into play when we're establishing wall joints. When two walls join together, the functions determine how the layers cross through one another, but if you want a nice clean joint with no seams, both the Function and the Material have to be the same. So we'll see that when we're finished here, back in the Drawing window.
So what I'm going to do here is, I'm going to make this Layer 3 that I have now, this new Layer 3, I'm going to leave that set to Structure. The Function for Layer 4, I'm going to change to Thermal Air Layer, because that's just going to be the gap within my wall for the plumbing. Now, over here in the Material column, I want Layer 3 to essentially be a copy of Layer 5. So what I can do is select the name of the Material, next to Layer 5, do Ctrl+C on my keyboard to copy it, come up here and select the word By Category and do Ctrl+V on my clipboard to paste it.
Now, that's just a shortcut way to use the same material over again. I can do the same thing in the Thickness column. Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V. Now, when I click elsewhere, it will actually adjust the preview to reflect the fact that I now have these two stud layers. Now, my Thermal Air Layer, Layer 4, is currently a 0 thickness, so we need to adjust that and give it some more thickness. And we also need to assign it to a Material. Now we can do this in either order.
Let's click right here where it says By Category, and notice that a small browse button becomes available. I'm going to click that browse button, and that's going to load up my Material browser. Now in this case, the material I want is right at the top of the list, so I could just simply click OK, and it would assign that Air material directly to that layer. But let's take a minute or two to talk about what we see here in this Material browser before doing that. All of the materials in this list are items that are part of this current file that we can choose from.
Now, if I look at a material here, say this Brick Common, and you look over on the Graphics tab, you're going to see the properties of that material. If you look at this material in a shaded view, it will assign this reddish color to it. If you look at it in elevation or beyond in section, in other words, not cut through it, it will apply this brick pattern to the surface. If you cut through this brick in floorplan or in section, it will use this crosshatch.
So all of these properties are assigned in elevations, sections, floorplans, and 3D views. If you do a rendering of this material, then it will use the settings here on the Appearance tab, which include a little photograph of bricks. If you want to calculate any load-carrying capabilities of this brick, you can input physical properties. Now, there aren't really any physical properties in this particular brick material, but there could be if it was a load-carrying material such as something like concrete.
So if I wanted to see if I had any load-carrying materials like concrete, I could come over here to the search field at the top and start typing the word concrete. That will shorten the list to just the materials that contain that keyword, and perhaps if I select this Concrete Cast In Situ here, you can see that this does have some basic physical properties. And you can expand each of these and start to see the properties that might be pertinent for your structural engineer.
Finally, on the Thermal tab are properties that determine what the thermal properties of this material are and help determine the r-value of the walls assembly. So I'm going to go back to the Graphics tab. I'm going to click this X here to clear the search, and then I'm simply going to select the Air material. Now, the Air material doesn't have many of those settings. It doesn't have any patterns, it doesn't have a color, there's no render material, it doesn't have physical properties, but it does have some thermal properties. Back to the Graphics tab, select Air, and I'm going to click OK.
And that assigns that Air material to our new layer. All that remains for me to do now is to give that layer a thickness. So I want it to be at least as thick as the stud, so maybe I'll go a little thicker than that and put in 100 millimeters. And notice that the preview window will adjust to reflect that change. At the far right-hand column you can see that there's a Structural Material checkbox. Now, you can only check one layer at a time here, so whatever layer you check, that's the layer that will be considered structural by your structural engineer.
Now, if you look up here at the top of the window, notice that there's a Resistance value and a Thermal Mass that have been calculated. That's a consequence of the materials that have been assigned to those layers in conjunction with the thicknesses. So Revit looks at the Thermal settings that I just showed you in the Material browser, compares those with the thicknesses, does the calculation, and then comes up with these Resistance and Thermal Mass values. So that can be really handy when you're doing, say, green building analysis or thermal load calculations or other analysis in your Revit project.
So I'm going to click OK here. I'm going to click OK again. And then we're going to see that wall there, between the plumbing, grow in thickness, and notice that it only affected that wall this time, because we did duplicate. Now, we're not seeing any of those layers at the moment. Well, we've talked about this in a previous movie. Let's zoom in right here, and in order to see those internal layers, I just need to come over here and set the level of detail to either Medium or Fine. And this is where we can see the result of having both the same Function and Material.
Notice that this stud layer is cleaning up with this stud layer as is this one, and we're getting a seam here at the air gap. So it's displaying pretty much exactly the way that we would want it to display, and all those layers are joining up correctly. So creating your own custom basic wall type is just a simple matter of starting with a wall type that's close to the one that you want to create, duplicating it, and then modifying the layer structure to suit the structure of the wall you're trying to create.
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