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
- [Instructor] In this video I want to talk a little bit about curtain wall mullions and particularly how we can customize them with custom profiles. So what I have here on screen is just an out-of-the box curtain wall store front. This is included in the default template. If I select that and go to edit type it's using the default glazed system panel. It's got a layout of five by eight that's predefined by the type. And then down here for the mullions we're using two and a half by five inch rectangular mullions for all six conditions, the two borders on either side and the internal ones in each direction.
The profile of those mullions is just a simple rectangle. So if we zoom in a little bit here you can kind of see that it's just that rectangular shape. And in many cases that actually is perfectly fine to represent most curtain wall designs. However, if you like you can customize the shape of those mullions and put in a more detailed profile shape. So I'm going to scroll down a little bit here on the browser. And the items that you can customize for the curtain walls, of course the panels that you're using, that's one option, but we're going to focus on the mullions themselves here.
So here's my rectangular mullion, and these three sizes are built in. They're just different sizes configured on that default rectangular shape, and if I take that two and a half by five inch one and I right click and go to type properties, the five comes from here, the thickness property, and the width is defined with actually two numbers, width on side one and side two, which by default are equal, so that the mullion stays centered. Now to show you all of that I've got a detailed view here.
So if we go to our level one floor plan you can kind of see the curtain wall there and I've got this call out that looks at just the end two mullions, and that's this mullion detail right here. And so you can see those settings that I just showed you. Here's the width on side one, width on side two, and you can see that keeps the mullion centered on its grid line, and then in this direction we have a total of a five inch depth, and you can see that that's actually centered on the curtain wall itself. So two and a half here and two and a half here. Now I've also got this grid here just for reference that's six inches away, so as we start to change this thing you're going to see how things shift relative to the curtain wall itself.
So what exactly are we going to change? Well, if I scroll down a little further on the browser, here under profiles, you'll see that there are several profiles currently loaded in this project, but most of them are not for curtain walls. They're for other types of geometry. So what I'm going to do here is go to the insert tab, load family, and then in the out-of-the-box library, there is the US Imperial here. There is a profiles folder. And inside profiles there's a curtain wall folder.
And in here there are three different profile shapes that you can use to get started. And when you look at the preview over here you can see that what's different about them is they have this little notch taken out of them to receive the glass. So if you want to create a mullion shape that is a little bit more articulated, then this is one way that you can do that. So I'm going to use my shift key to select all three of those and load them in and then over here in our profiles branch you're going to see them appear right here, here, and here. Now each of these has three types within it that determines three different sizes.
Now in this file I've already created a copy of our existing mullion, two and a half by five inch rectangular, and I created one called center, one called left and one called right, that I'm now going to assign those profiles to. So I'm going to right click the first one, two and a half by six inch center, go to type properties and what you'll see is it's just a direct copy of the original one, the two and a half by five, so these settings are still the same as they were a moment ago. However, as soon as I come over here to this list, notice that I now have all those choices that I just loaded in.
So this is my center one. So I'm going to make sure that I'm choosing my center profile, two and a half by six inch, and notice that that grays out all of these distances now. So those distances are being determined by the profile instead. I'll click OK and then I'll repeat that for the other two mullions. So we'll assign the left one and then we'll assign the right one. So now that I've assigned those now what I want to do is take this curtain wall, this store front, and actually make a copy of it and assign those mullions to it.
So I'm going to select this curtain wall, go to edit type, duplicate, and you can give it any name you like. I'm going to say with custom mullions. Now I'm going to leave all these settings alone. Just come right down here to the mullion settings and vertically my first mullion is here. So this was the first point I clicked on the curtain wall and I drew to the right. So border type one is my first point, border type two is my second point. So I'm going to put the left mullion on the first point, border one, and the right mullion on the second point, border two.
For the internal type I'm just going to use the centered one, which has a throat on both sides. And I'll do the same thing horizontally. Center, left, and right. And I'll click OK. Now you're going to see some shifting take place and you're also going to see those profile shapes get defined, and there's that little throat there to receive the glazing. Now if your throat is pointing the wrong way, just edit type again and switch left with right.
But in my case, I look pretty good here. I've got the left on the correct side. Notice this distance is still six inches from the curtain wall to the grid line. So what actually shifted were the mullions themselves not the curtain wall. So the default rectangular mullions are centered. But these ones based on the profiles are not. So to understand that, what I'm going to do is take you down here to the profiles branch again. And you can open up any one of these. So let's focus on this left one right here.
I'm going to right click it and choose edit to open this profile family. Now there's a couple things going on here, and we're going to talk about this object in a few moments. So for right now I'm going to select that and hide that element. This is the profile. So I'm just doing a chain selection there to select all those lines, but that's what's determining the shape of the mullion geometry. Now this is actually a fully parametric family, but it looks like it's just random line work.
Well the reason for that is if you go to the visibility graphics command, VG, on the annotation categories tab, they've hidden all the annotation categories. So if we unhide those categories then you can see the reference planes and the dimensions and the constraints and so on. Now why do they do that? The reason is when you go to insert load family, they want this preview to look nice and clean. And it doesn't look so nice when all those dimensions are on there and so forth. So they usually hide all that stuff right before they save the file.
Okay, so what we can see here now very clearly is this is the insertion point of this profile and you can see that everything is shifted relative to that. And that's why everything shifted when we loaded these into the curtain wall in the project. The throat is being determined here by this set of geometry and these reference planes and the reason that the glazing responds to that is because of the way the profile family is defined.
So if I go to file new family, scroll down here and locate a profile mullion template and open that up, you can understand a little bit better what's going on here by just reading the notes that are in here. They've deleted the notes in that other one, but here's your interior side, exterior, here's your center, your center, but this note right here tells us what's going on. When you draw a line that intersects this reference plane, that's where the glass will stop. The glass will come in and stop right at the intersection of this line and this reference plane, and that is what this note is telling us.
So I'm going to close this, not save it. This one is behaving the same way. There's the line, there's the reference plane. That's where the glass is going to stop. So let's switch back to our project then. So let me just do control tab to take us back here, and we can't really tell what's going on with the glass too well because at the moment it's shifted away from the curtain wall. Well because all the mullions shifted, now our glass ended up in the wrong place. Now you may be tempted to just simply select it and go to edit type and adjust its offset.
But if you do that you're going to affect other curtain walls in this project. So it's better instead to take this curtain wall and assign it to a different panel type. Now I've already created one here for that purpose. Up here I just duplicated the glazed and called it glazed centered, and that's the one where I changed the offset. So if we select this curtain wall, edit the type, and change glazed to glazed centered and click OK now you're going to see that glass shift and it now comes in and stops right there where we saw in the profile family.
So the last thing that I want you to see about this profile family is, we're currently looking at it in medium level of detail. If you look at it in coarse or in medium you'll just see the outline of the profile. But if you go to fine you now see a much greater amount of detail get displayed. Now this is conditional on a few things. It only displays this detail when you slice through the mullion either in plan or in section. And it only shows it in fine level of detail.
Now the question is, did somebody build all that 3D geometry, into these mullions? Well, no, of course not. First of all a profile family is a 2D family. But what we're seeing here is a special feature of the profile template that allows us to add 2D detail that will display in section cuts. And that's what I hid at the start of this. So if I go back and reset the temporary hide isolate, this is a detail item family that looks like you fully modeled it, but in fact, it's just 2D line work, and when we look at its visibility settings, it's designed to display in fine level only.
So when you load this profile in and use it in a mullion family we were witnessing that right here when we go to fine level of detail. And you'll see that all of those profiles are designed that way. So it allows you to create a situation where the 3D geometry is still fairly simple. If we zoom in here you can see that it does have the notch, but it doesn't display any of that other information. But yet, when we look at it in section cuts and in plan views we can display these details that show much more detail.
So those are some nice features and benefits that are available to using profile families within your mullions. So whenever you're creating a curtain wall design and you need to customize not only the shape of your mullion but you want to also customize the way it looks in detail views you could do both of those things with a custom nested profile family.
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.