Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the shape editing tools to create a flat roof, part of Revit 2018: Essential Training for Architecture (Imperial).
- [Voiceover] In this movie, I'm gonna look at creating flat roofs. Like the typical roof you'd have in a commercial building. Now, even a flat roof has some sort of slope to allow for positive drainage, and there's a couple ways that we can model that. We could certainly try and model it using the opposite of what I've got right here. This is a simple hip roof that if we were to edit the footprint is using slope-defining edges to create slope on the four edges. I'm gonna cancel out of there. Notice that Edit Footprint is the only button when I have that roof selected.
This roof, right here, is also a footprint roof, and if I Edit Footprint, notice that none of the edges have Defines Slope. So I'm gonna cancel out of there. Notice that when none of the edges have Defines Slope, in other words, when the roof is totally flat in addition to Edit Footprint, you also see a Shape Editing panel here, with a variety of shape editing tools. It's the Shape Editing Tools that I want to talk about right now, and so that's the first thing that you need to know about them is you have to start with a totally flat slab, so no slope at all, and then you can use your Shape Editing tools.
Now, what would you use the Shape Editing tools for? Well, there's three buttons here: Add Point, Add Split Line, Pick Supports. And using any of those or a combination of those, you can actually place points on the surface of the roof, move those points in the vertical direction, and therefore, create a sloping roof from those points. So let me just demonstrate really quickly. I'm gonna click Add Point, and I'm gonna click a point randomly here and then another one right here. Notice that the outline of the roof comes in at a dashed green line.
Anything that is automatically derived from the shape of the roof by Revit, is gonna be in that green color. Anything that you add using one of these three buttons, is gonna come in in this blue color. So you can tell the stuff you've created versus the stuff that Revit interpreted based on those two different colors. This Modify Sub Elements tool allows you to modify any of the elements in the shape-edited roof. So I'm gonna click that, and click on that blue point that I just placed. And now it'll get a temporary dimension and I'll change that to six inches.
I'm gonna click on this other one and change that to negative six inches. So it moved this point down, it moved this point up, and you can sort of see, when I go to Modify to cancel the command, you can sort of see what it looks like here in 3D, but you can probably see it a little bit better if you open up a section. So I have this Section 1 right here. I'm gonna open that up, and I'm gonna zoom in, so that you can see what happened. So notice that the high point is up here somewhere, the low point is over here somewhere, positive six, negative six, and the rest of the roof just sorta sculpts and warps and conforms to that shape.
Sot that's the basic concept behind the Shape Editing tools. You start with a flat roof and then you add points to that roof and manipulate those in the Z direction. Now let's reset this and do something a little more rational. So I can select the roof and click this Reset button, and it will remove all the customization. Now, I'm gonna go back to the 3D view here, and I'm gonna zoom in a little bit on this, and let me do something a little bit simpler. I'm gonna select the roof, go right to Modify Sub Elements.
That takes me into that editing mode. There's the dashed green lines again. You can actually manipulate the dashed green lines just as easily as the blue ones that you added. And the same is true for the green points. So all I'm gonna do here is edit this temporary dimension, and move that green line up four inches. I'll click my Modify tool to cancel, I'll go back to Section 1, and now you can see that because all I've done is raise that one edge, we've got a nice continuous taper here.
Notice the bottom edge of the roof is following the same shape. So that might not be desirable. Maybe this is a commercial roof, where I've got rigid insulation sitting on the top surface of the roof, and the rigid insulation is actually tapered to give me the positive drainage. Well, if you want to represent your roof that way, you can do this as well, but it requires an additional step. So the additional step is to select the roof itself. Edit the roof type. Now I've applied a type here called Insulation on Metal Deck-EPDM.
This just comes with the template that I've used here. If I edit the structure, and let's make this a little bit wider so we can see. Notice that this is a stack of layers. It's got Metal Deck as the bottom layer, then there's a Thermal Insulation, rigid insulation layer, that comes next that's five inches thick, and then a Thin Membrane layer on top of that for the final roofing. You can take any of the layers in this structure and make them variable. Now you can't make more than one variable. So if you check one, it unchecks the other.
So in this case, I want the Thermal Insulation layer to be variable. Five inches will represent the minimum thickness, and when we OK, that's what we've got over here. And over here, it's actually going to be five inches plus whatever I pulled that edge up to be, and you can now see that I've got tapered ridged insulation sitting on top of that flat structure right here. Okay, so that's one way that I could do a very simple representation of this flat commercial roof with positive roof drainage.
Now I'm gonna slide over here in the section, and show you another example. In this example, the roof itself is continuous thickness, but the whole thing is sloping, because the structure actually follows a slope. So let me show you how that was achieved. I'm gonna select this roof and reset the shape, and you see how it flattens out. Well, then I'm gonna select this roof, and use the Pick Supports option. With the Pick Supports option, it takes me into that same edit mode and I can say, let's pick this beam, and let's pick this beam, and notice that it creates these blue points that match the heights of those beams.
Now, I'm gonna go back to the 3D view to show you this. So if I select this roof again, and go to the Modify Sub Elements, it created this blue line and this blue line here. Now, as you can see in the section, it left the other edge right here, so if I select it, go to Modify, I'm gonna do a window selection here, so that I capture that line going all the way along, and then I want to change the elevation of that selection, and I can do that right here in the Options bar, and I'll put that at five inches.
And the net result of this, is it kinda looks like I've given myself a little cant strip all the way around the roof, and when I look at this back in 3D, you can see the final result there. So when you want to create a flat roof, but you want it to have some sort of slope so that you can calculate the actual heights of the roof at different points, it's advantageous to go ahead and slope that roof, but using the Shape Editing tools gives you an alternative way to do that versus other methods that you might use.
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.
- 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