Posts tagged Revit

Never again…

When it comes to Revit, theories on workflow and implementation change on what seems to be a weekly and sometimes daily basis depending how deep into the rabbit hole you are. One such implementation strategy that I’ve long held to is teach the people how to detail first. This covers all flavors of sin in Revit including the use of Lineworks Tool, Cut Profile and Masking Regions… let’s start with that one: Masking Regions.

I swear I will never, EVER, tach someone to use Masking Region tool ever again! I’m just so tired of spending hours modeling a portion of a building, only to have an elevation or detail of that model “fixed” at the last minute with a Masking Region instead of just coordinating and saying “hey we need it this way now.” I have officially worked on too many projects where this happens and we end up with a different model than detail.

Who cares about the model right? Wake up people! AIA contract wording is changing! The model is a viable deliverable method these days. If you want to generate those RFIs, go right ahead and keep doing it this way. If you want your details to read differently than the Model of the Building that contains all the Information, then I suggest you consider a program called MS Paint; it has line tools and and text. On the other hand, if you think that the view you are using to document the model should actually reflect what the model has to say about your project, and you’re still using Masking Regions (or heavens forbid an Opaque White Filled Region) to modify your views, I would highly suggest you seriously look at the Revit User’s Manual in regards to detail tools and sit down and really figure out how to get the model to look that way (some TotDs will be coming up on this, hopefully sooner than later!)

Till then,

Revit Interface Class outline

So I’m teaching a quick class on the Revit Interface in my office and I thought I would post the class outline in case anyone wanted a reference guide or something to use as a start for a similar training class at their office. Enjoy and feel free to comment! If you use it, please do the nice thing and at least give me credit 🙂

LnL Series_Interface01_11.2.2011

New Product(s)! – Family Request and Jelly Jar Light!

A goody for you today, although I feel like I’m going to busy in the near future because of this one. I have 2 great new products for you to look at.

The first is a fun little light component. The Jelly Jar Light is a fun ceiling hosted light.

The second has me only slightly concerned. A Family Request product which allows you to submit your family requests.

I also want to take a second to invite anyone who has purchased a product in the past to please send me an email. I was just informed today that some purchases have not been going through as I had hoped. If you had an issue downloading a product after purchase, please send me a copy of your receipt and we can get it straightened out. Sorry for the inconvenience and I hope to get it straightened out soon!


Revit TotD – 11.12.2010 | Divide and Conquer

Wasn’t that a nice break?!  Now back to what we were talking about… what were we talking about?  Oh yea, CDE!  So we’ve had a quick run down of creating masses in CDE and also of cutting holes in them.  You know how to adjust the forms using reference lines and points.  You can join, cut, add and subtract… been practicing?  Good.  So now that we have some point, edges and surfaces, let’s focus on the surfaces.

So today i’m just going to go through some things you can do with surfaces, namely dividing a surface.

  1. Select a mass or a surface (tab through to select just a surface).
  2. Use the Divide Surface tool.

You should really not think of this as a curtain wall system, but more as converting this to a useful surface.  As we explore later in the series, there are a lot of things you can do with this surface, much more than just make it a curtain wall (besides you can do that in the project, why would you do that here?).  Now that we have a divided surface, let’s take a closer look.

If you select the divided surface, you’ll see we have a grid.

This is not to be confused with a curtain wall grid.  This is the surface’s U/V grid… if you don’t know look it up, cause the explanation is beyond this post, long story short, it’s X/Y grid for this surface, but unrelated tot he project’s X/Y.  You can turn this grid off and on…

… you can change the pattern with pre-defined patterns…

… and turn those on and off!

The last neat trick you will learn today is the ability to fill these grids with components.

There you go…. 🙂  Just enough to make you come back next time, right?!  Well, we’ll spend the next few posts going over each of these options and then launch into what we can do with these components!  Thanks again for stopping by and I hope to see you for the next Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 11.5.2010 | MOAR VOIDS!!!

I can’t believe that last video took the entire 5 minutes to show you how to cut a solid!  It’s so much easier with a gas powered chainsaw… >_>  Anyhow, let’s continue our study of voids.  This is a new little tool available in 2011 that allows you to cut holes in solids using *gasp* other solids!  So now that we’ve seen method one of subtractive addition, we’ll take a look at the new solid-solid cutting method.

This is a fairly straight forward tool.

  1. Select Cut
  2. Select the Solid that will be cut
  3. Select the Solid that will do the cutting

The intersection of the solids results in a “void” created int he solid that is being cut in the shade of the solid that is doing the cutting.  The biggest difference is that you keep both of the forms.  Nothing disappears or is eaten!  Yay!

So now you know masses and voids.  Time to play around with them.  You have all weekend to think about it before the next TotD!  Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again for the next Revit TotD!


Rudolph’s Cannon Chapel Sketch

Beginning work on revitizing some old school projects.  This is a quick sketch massing of the Cannon Chapel I used for precedence on a church charette I did along with some plans and elevations drawn prior to the charette for a separate project.

Here is the precedence study on the site of the charette:

Revit TotD – 11.1.2010 | Provide References

So now that you have a little taste of how to create those basic modeling forms let’s look a little bit deeper into how those forms are made and can be manipulated.  Here we’ll look at the difference between model lines and reference lines in CDE and why you want to use one over the other.

There are 2 important difference between model lines and reference lines in CDE.

A model line behaves much like a model line in a Revit project: you can use it to draw lines on a surface that will continue to project in 3d spaces.

However, in CDE you can also use model lines to create your profiles for your forms.

Note that when you create a form using model lines you no longer have your original lines.  Yes, you may have edges on the form that you’ve created, but nothing that really represents the original profiles used.  In order to modify forms made from you are using edges that are a result of the created form.

A reference line, like a model line can also be used to create profiles for your model forms in CDE.  Reference lines, just like in a project, generate their own reference planes.  We’ll look at how these planes are useful in another session, but for now it’s important just to know that reference lines generate their own planes at end points and along the lines themselves.  Experiment with different lines types to see how each generates its own planes.

Most importantly, when you use reference lines to create planes allows you to keep the lines when you create the form.  The forms do not eat reference lines like they do model lines allowing you to modify your forms from the original source of the forms without dissolving them.

Along with lines there is another tool that we’re given, points. Reference points can be used extremely useful.  Not only do they align themselves along the normal of the path they are placed on, but they also generate their own reference planes…

…and to make things even more convenient they can specifically be placed along a path at a parametric value.

So there we are, delving a little deeper into the forms of the CDE and how we can maintain the manipulation references of the forms we create.  Next time we’ll get in to a few more of the tools we can use and how to create some masses.  Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you again for another Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 10.29.2010 | Studio Project and Revit

For quite some time I’ve been discussing with a friend and fellow designer (Gerry Hogsed) the possibility of starting a series specifically for College students (maybe even some High School students that want to do more than troll the RevitCity chat room).  With the number of questions being asked on the forum and in the chat room from students wanting to learn the technology, I feel that it’s a good time to start… so where do you start?  Here’s what we’ve come up with so far, and will continue to be developed.

The scope of a studio project extends well beyond what the tools of Revit allow us to cover, but I think it’ll be safe to say that most of you want to know about modeling the mass, the form of your building, into Revit.  So that is where I will begin: how do you create forms in Revit?

Let’s begin with a term that will make you look cool in the Revit scene.  Conceptual Design Environment, aka: CDE  The CDE, despite being displayed in a similar canvas to a project, is actually significantly different from a typical project in revit.  It allows us to model outside of the constraints of the wall, floor and roof assemblies that you find in the Revit templates.  The forms you make in CDE are really only limited to your ability to figure out a way to create the shape.  Before we get to that point though, we have to learn how to walk.  So let’s go over some basic forms and how to make them in CDE.

In the project templates, you have 5 basic forms: Extrusion, Sweep, Revolve, Blend and Swept Blend in both solid and void forms.  They also give you nice neat buttons to easily start those forms.  This is not the case in CDE.  Despite having these buttons removed, massing in the CDE is much more intuitive to a modeling program, closer to something like Sketchup.  We use profiles and paths to define the shapes and the allow the program to interpret what we are trying to do.  So an extrusion is simply made up of a closed loop.  Select the loop, click Create Form, and there’s your extrusion.  Here is a rundown of the various forms in CDE and how we go about creating them.


  1. Create closed loop or open edges.
  2. Select the loop/edges
  3. Create Form


  1. Create closed loop.
  2. Crete Form


  1. Create path.
  2. Place reference point on path for profile plane.
  3. Set plane.
  4. Create closed profile loop.
  5. Select Profile and Path
  6. Create Form


  1. Create profile (open or closed).
  2. Create Line of rotation.
  3. Select Axis and Profile.
  4. Create Form


  1. Create 2 closed profiles on 2 different planes.
  2. Select profiles.
  3. Create Form

Swept Blend

  1. Create path.
  2. Place points on path for each profile for work planes.
  3. Create closed profiles on the work plane provided by each point.
  4. Select path and profiles.
  5. Create Form

Loft (Basically a blend with more than 2 profiles)

  1. Create multiple profiles (open or closed) on multiple workplanes.
  2. Select profiles.
  3. Create Form.

So there you have the basic forms of CDE design.  Practice practice.  Take some objects from the Architectural Products catalogue and model them in CDE or some objects around your studio.  The real advantage of modeling in the massing mode of CDE as opposed to modeling modes of projects or Family Editor in Revit is the freedom to manipulate your mass.  We’ll get into that in future parts of this series.  Until then, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you again later for another Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 10.27.2010 | View Cube + Zoom Extents

Here’s a quick one to throw up at the end of the day. A quick way to navigate around 3d views if you like using the View Cube.

By clicking on the View Cube, we get a nice little animation with a built in zoom extents that orients the view to the corresponding side of the model that was clicked ont he View Cube (ie: click Front, zoom extents to the front, Left, zoom extents left, etc, etc).

However, the real tip here is that the View Cube click, by default… we’ll get to this later, also acts like the selection group orbit anchor that happens when you have objects selected in other views. So if you select an object or group of objects before clicking on the View Cube then the view will snap to the extents of the selection group. Pretty neat huh?

What’s that? You don’t like this feature? Well, the factory knew there would be a few of you. You can easily turn this zoom extents off along with a few other View Cube features by right clicking the View Cube and going into the Options dialog.

Well, that was a nice easy way to finish the day off. Hope you found it useful and I look forward to seeing you next time for another Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 10.15.2010 | How you make them funny leaning walls?

Keeping in the spirit of answering frequently asked questions in the chat, I figured I’d field this one since it has only been asked… about a dozen times this week!  It’s apparent that the direction of design is just begging people to know how to make those funny leaning walls!  So here we are, learnin’ sumtin new!

So I’ve actually had quite a few versions of this video across the years as people have asked this, but tonight, you get to see and hear it in it’s most recent grandeur.  Creating a wall that is out of plumb is actually more of a massing issue than it is a wall issue and involves a few different steps.  This is how I would recommend you create such a wall in a project beyond conceptual phase.  The same method applies to conceptual masses that are brought in to projects from a conceptual mass done in the Conceptual Design Environment.  This also requires you have some understanding of massing, which is not covered in this TotD. 🙁

(NOTE: I messed up the pictures for this one, I apologize, I’ll get these up as soon as I can in the morning, but I gotta get some sleep X_X)

Part One:

  1. Begin an In-Place Mass.  If you are using the standard Revit template, you will be asked to enable masses in the project.

  2. Name it whatever you want that is descriptive of its purpose: “OutofPlumbWall1” works fine.
  3. Create a mass with one face that is at the angle of the wall you want to create.  You are not massing the actual wall (while that is possible, it’s not ideal, you’ll see why later), just a mass with a face that is at that angle.  I usually  make my mass in a 3D view and choose a wall face to use as my workplane.
  4. Adjust and Finish the mass.

With Part one complete, you should have a nice ugly out of plumb looking mass in your project.  If it’s ugly at this point, congrats, you’re on track!  on to part two!

Part Two:

  1. Select the Wall tool in the Model from Face panel of the massing & site ribbon.
  2. Pick the angled face of the mass.
  3. Tada!  Insta out of plumb wall!

Now you can also use the Curtain System tool here as well to create a Curtain Wall-like system on that face.  You’ll notice that you can not use the Curtain Wal types that are defined in the project with the Wall tool that we just used in this process.  You will have to define these Curtain Sytems in a different manner (perhaps a different TotD?  We’ll see!)

Thanks again for stopping by for a Revit TotD!  I hope you learned something new and look forward to having you again for the next Revit TotD!


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