Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Custom wall openings, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- [Instructor] In this video, I want to talk about creating custom openings for your wall hosted content. So, I have here a door on screen. And it's doing a typical straight cut right through the wall. And in one of the previous tips in this series, we talked about using the wall closure setting within the door family to determine where the wrapping layers would terminate and as you can see here, the drywall is terminating right at the face of the doorframe. Now, that's an acceptable way to represent that for overall large scale views and certainly works well for your model but if you wanted to show that a little bit more accurately, you might want to see the drywall actually come and wrap in and butt into the doorframe rather than sit next to it.
Now I should say that you could easily do that with a 2D detail. So don't feel like you have to edit your model to achieve that level of detail and in some cases it's actually not desirable to do that. But I'm going to use that as a really simple example to show what I really want to show you which is that you can create custom openings within your wall hosted content. So let's take this door and I'll click Edit Family to get started. Now, I'll go to the Ref Level floor plan and zoom in a little bit here and the first thing that I want to do is talk about this temporary wall that's in the wall hosted content.
Anytime you're working in wall hosted content, you'll have a temporary wall there. That's not the actual wall. It's just sort of there for your reference so you can build your content accordingly. Now, you'll notice that this wall is very thin and it's not even thick enough for the frame that's sitting in it. Well, you can actually select this wall, edit its type, edit the structure, and change the thickness and make it any thickness you want that suits the editing task that you have in mind. So I think for this example, it'll be easier if we set that to a thickness of one foot two, which more closely matches the size of that brick wall that we're using back in the project.
Now again that step is optional, but I think it will help here. Now, if you move your mouse near the inside face of the wall you'll see an object that looks like a line highlight and if you look down in the status bar you'll see that's actually something called an opening cut. An opening cut is what's actually cutting the hole in the wall. Now the rules with opening cuts are, and here's the tool for it, it's right there. Okay, so you can create one of these yourself. The rules for these is that they are a simple extruded element. You draw it on the face of the wall and it will automatically cut all the way through the wall.
You have no control over the depth and you can only have one of these in the family. So if you want to do any kind of a custom shaped opening in your family, then the opening cut isn't going to give it to you. So what we're going to do is select that and delete it. Now if I were to load this into the project right now, my door would be superimposed in the wall and there'd be no opening at all. Okay, so clearly we need to keep going here. Now the next thing I want to do is take this reference plane on the left, okay it's called left, and I want to copy it next to itself, a half inch away.
I'm using a half inch because that's the size of the drywall in my wall family. I'll do the same thing with the right reference plane. Copy it a half inch away. And then I'm just going to dimension from left to the new reference plane and lock it, and from right to the new reference plan and lock it. Now if you prefer to set these as a parameter instead of locking them, you certainly can do that. Call it drywall thickness. But in this example I'm going to keep it simple and just lock those. Now, we're ready to create a custom opening.
We don't use the opening tool for this. We're going to want to create one or more voids. And really this is the crux of why this is such a powerful technique. Because you can use a void element instead. The void element can be any shape you want and you can have more than one of them. So unlike the opening, we're not limited to just one. Now, here's the thing though that's going to seem a little strange. Don't do a void. Start with a solid. And the reason is quite simple. When you create a void, it will immediately try and cut everything that it intersects.
The door, the doorframe, the mullions, the trim, all of that will get cut by this void. And that's probably not what you want. We only want to cut the wall. So if you start with a solid, you can build the shape, get it correct, and then change it to a void. Now, you could sketch this using any of the sketch tools. Here's the easiest way to ensure that it's going to be aligned and locked to the correct stuff. Use the pick lines. I'm going to pick the left reference plane, way out here, and lock it. I'm going to pick that half inch offset, lock that.
I'll repeat on the other side. Right, and half inch offset and lock both of those. For the front and back edge, there are also reference planes that superimposed over the wall faces. Do not click the wall face here. Press your tab key until the reference plane highlights, look down in your status bar and verify that it says interior. That's when you want to click and lock. Do the same thing on this side. When it says exterior, click and lock.
Now, we're almost there but we also need this edge right here. Now there's a reference plane that marks where the face of the frame is. That's the reference plane that I want to use. I'll click it and lock that too. Now, I need to use this twice. So I'm going to stretch it across over to here and then I'm going to use my split tool to split it in half. So that'll be the easiest way to be able to use that shape twice. So we're almost there, now we have to cleanup. So to cleanup, I'm going to use my trim and extend to a corner, take my left edge and trim that to the exterior side, do the same thing on the right edge.
I'm going to take the half inch inset, trim that to the interior side, repeat over here on the left side as well. Now I'm going to zoom in nice and close here, take the left edge, trim it to this line where the frame is, and then do that. And that gives me that little jog there. But notice that over here, the line is still there because we split it first. So repeat on this side to clean this up like so.
Now the last step is I want to make sure that those two little short lines are both attached to this reference plane. You can do that with your align command. When you split, only one of them will stay locked. The other one, the new one, will not. And that new one is here on the left side for me, and I'll lock it. If you want to verify, if you look over here on the right side, notice that it won't highlight that edge, little counterintuitive, but that means it's already locked. So there's nothing to do there.
Alright, let's finish this and that creates the extrusion. Now, to see what you've got, probably easier to do that in a 3D view. So I'll go to the 3D view, hold my shift key down, orbit it around, and you can see I've got this little box that has the little jog, but it's too short. And of course, it's superimposed over all the other geometry. So a couple final steps here. Let's look at this in an elevation view. You can do interior or exterior, doesn't matter. That box should still be selected.
Use the top grip, start dragging that up until it snaps to this top reference plane, right here. Let go and lock it. Back to 3D. You now have a full height element that will become our void. To make it a void, keep it selected, go over here to properties, scroll down, Solid Void parameter. You just change that from a solid to a void. You now have an unattached void that's in the location that we need.
Go to your cut command as a final step, pick the wall, and then move over here to the void, and click again, and you've now cut the wall with your custom shaped void. Test it out, load it back into the project. Overwrite the existing. What what happens here and here when you do. And notice that the shape of the void will change and the two layered pieces of drywall will move in. They didn't really move in, they're just reacting to the new shape of the opening. And now it looks a little bit more correct.
But I do again want to stress that to do that might have been more efficient with a 2D detail. So let's look over here at a 3D view called Window Cutaway, and show you an example that might be more appropriate for this custom void idea. Here I've built a window family where I created a custom void with the sort of flared sides to it, cutting into this concrete wall. Now if we select this window and edit family and you're welcome to play around with this as much as you like, and let me look at this in plan view here.
Notice that right here, if I tab in, there is a void blend. That void blend is what's giving us those flared sides. And then right behind it, there's a second void element there which is the straight extrusion part. Now you may be wondering why I didn't just draw an extrusion that kind of followed this shape. Well if I did that, it would work great in plan, but it wouldn't have the flared top as well. So that's why I chose a blend. But again the real point here to keep in mind is that when you're using an opening, you can only have one, but when you're using voids, you can have as many as you need.
So this allows you to customize the shape of the opening, not only with custom shapes, voids and blends and revolves and so forth, but also having more than one of them. And that gives you a great deal more control over exactly the kind of opening that you want to cut into that wall.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.