Modeling walls using CAD reference

Make sure that you have completed the Tutorial Import a CAD drawing and Modelling Basic Walls, before moving on with this tutorial.

Tutorial Objective:

In Modelling Basic Walls chapter, we learnt about modelling basic walls, Trim/Extend Tools and using dimensions for modeling purposes. Please make sure that you are familiar with these tools as well as how to Import/Link a CAD drawing, before starting with this tutorial.

In this tutorial, you will learn,

Sample Problem:

  • Add walls for the Ground Floor of the sample project as shown below. Use the  linked/imported CAD drawing “Ground Floor Layout_For Import.dwg” as reference. (as imported in previous chapter Import a CAD drawing).
M2 Import wall Tutorial.JPG

Fig 1. Walls in the Ground Floor Layout of the Sample project

Sample Files required for this tutorial:

If you do not have the following files, please download them from here.

  1. “TutorialWallsCAD_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt”
  2. “Ground Floor Layout_For Import.dwg”

Solution:

  1. Open ‘TutorialWallsCAD_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt’ in Revit. This project file already contains “Ground Floor Layout_For Import.dwg” imported into the floor plan view of  “00 Ground Level”. It also contains the basic wall types required for the project.
  2. Navigate to the floor plan of  “00 Ground Level”. Notice the Imported CAD drawing in the view.
  3. Now, before modelling walls, let’s hide the layers of the CAD drawing which are not necessary for us at the moment.
  4. To hide layers of the CAD file:

    • Go to View tab -> Graphics panel -> Visibility Graphics -> Visibility Graphics Override dialog box will appear.
      • Alternatively, use “VG” as a keyboard shortcut.
    • Go to Imported Categories tab.
    • Expand the row with the name of the CAD file:  Ground Floor Layout_For Import.dwg
    • The list of all layers available are present.
    • Turn off the checkbox for layers you do not need. For example, furniture layer with the name “FUR”. M2 Import wall 8
    • Say OK.
    • You will notice that the elements present in the FUR layer (Furniture) is turned off in the drawing area.
  5. If you do not know which elements are in which layer, you can also use Query tool to identify and hide the layers.
  6. To query a CAD file:

    • Select the CAD file in the drawing area.
    • Under Modify tab-> Import Instance panel -> select Query
    • Select the part of the CAD file for which you would like information. For example, select the text in the Grid bubble of the CAD file as shown below. M2 Import wall 9
    • Import Instance Query dialog box will appear showing the information of the selected element.
    • Choose “Hide in View” to hide the shown layer from the drawing area.
    • Continue to make further queries, if you like.
    • After completing, Click Esc to end the Query tool.
  7. Using Steps 4 and 6, turn off all layers except layer “wall”(for walls) and “dw”(for doors and windows). M2 Import wall 10
  8. Now, let’s create the walls of the kitchen room between Grid C-2 and G-4.
  9. First, we will have to know the wall thickness/wall type required.
  10. Use dimension tool to know the wall thickness.
  11. To place a dimension:

    • Go to Annotate tab -> Dimension panel -> Aligned
      • Alternatively, use “DI”as a keyboard shortcut.
    • Click the line (of the CAD file) at the face of the wall.
    • Click on the other face of the wall for which dimension is needed.
    • Click in an empty space to place the dimension.
    • In this case as shown below, the wall thickness is 230mm/0.23m M2 Import wall 11
  12. Now, there are two ways to model walls. One is to sketch the wall in a rectangular/striaght line shape snapping on the CAD lines. The other is to use ‘Pick line’ tool. Let’s learn both.
  13. At this point, ignore the openings for Doors and Windows. When Doors and windows are modeled, openings will be made automatically by Revit in the walls.
  14. To sketch walls by snapping on the CAD lines:

    • Click Architecture tab -> Build panel -> Wall drop-down -> Wall: Architectural
      • Alternatively, use keyboard shortcut ‘WA’.
    • From the Type Selector, select ‘230mm Brick Masonry’ wall type.
    • From the Draw panel, select Rectangle as shape.
    • On the options bar, select Location Line as the Core Face Exterior as we want to match the exterior brick face of the wall to the outer rectangle in CAD. (Learn more about Location Line here).
    • On the options bar, Set the Height constraint to “01 First Floor Level”.
    • Enter the start and end point of the rectangle by snapping on the CAD lines as shown below.M2 Import wall 12
    • The rectangular wall has been created.
  15. Let’s model walls between Grid B-5 to E-9 using ‘Pick Lines’ tool.
  16. To model walls using Pick Lines tool:

    • Click Architecture tab -> Build panel -> Wall drop-down -> Wall: Architectural
      • Alternatively, use keyboard shortcut ‘WA’.
    • From the Type Selector, select ‘230mm Brick Masonry’ wall type.
    • On the options bar, select Location Line as the Core Face Exterior as we want to match the exterior brick face of the wall to the outer rectangle in CAD. (Learn more about Location Line here).
    • On the options bar, Set the Height constraint to “01 First Floor Level”.
    • From the Draw panel, select ‘Pick Lines’ tool.
    • In the drawing area, select the edge/line of the CAD file as shown below where you would like to place a wall. A blue dotted reference line will be shown while you try to select the line – to show in which direction the wall will be placed. Keep your cursor towards the direction where you want to place the wall and then when the dotted reference is showing correctly, click to place the wall. M2 Import wall 14
    • The wall has been placed of the length equal to the line selected.
    • Similarly, select lines/edges in all four directions of the room – as shown below.
      • TIP: . In CAD, lines that you pick may not represent the actual length of the wall. Instead of picking multiple lines and create more instances of the walls along the length of the wall, use Trim/Extend tools to reduce the number of Instances.M2 Import wall 15
    • Using Trim/Extend to Corner tool connect all four walls in a rectangular shape.
      • Go to Modify Tab -> Modify Panel -> select Trim/Extend to Corner
        • Alternatively, use keyboard shortcut ‘TR’.
      • Click on the two walls between which a L Corner is needed to be created.
    • A rectangular wall between Grid B-5 to E-9 has been created.M2 Import wall 16
  17. Now, let’s create more walls between Grid G-2 and K-4.
  18. Using Pick Lines tool (as shown in step 16), create walls of 230mm wall type on vertical Grid I and K as shown below.M2 Import wall 17
  19. Using Trim/Extend to Corner tool connect the wall on Grid 2 with Grid K.
    • Note on Best Practice: Now, instead of creating an additional horizontal instance on Grid 2, it is better to use Trim/Extend to Corner tool to extend the length of the wall to connect with the vertical walls added in the previous step 18.
  20. Using Pick Lines tool (as shown in step 16), create walls of 230mm wall type on horizontal Grid 3 and 110mm wall type on the partition wall located slightly above Grid 3 as shown below.M2 Import wall 18
  21. Using Trim/Extend Multiple Element, extend these walls towards the vertical wall on Grid I.
  22. To Trim/Extend Multiple Element:

    • Go to Modify Tab -> Modify Panel -> select Trim/Extend Multiple Element
    • Click on the vertical wall on Grid I to define the border for extension.
    • Click on the horizontal walls around Grid 3 that needs to be extended.
    • A Tee-Junction has been created between these walls.
    • Click Esc to end the tool.M2 Import wall 19.JPG
  23. To draw other walls on the Ground Floor layout as shown below, use either the sketch walls (as shown in step 14) or Pick Lines tool (as shown in step 16). Reduce the number of instances by using Trim/Extend tools. M2 Import wall 20.JPG
    • TIP: Switch to “Shaded” visual style to clearly see where the walls have been already modeled.
      • Go to View Control Bar -> Visual Style -> Graphic Display Options -> ShadedM2 Import wall 21.jpg
  24. After completing modeling all walls, you may choose to hide the imported CAD file to see the Revit model clearly.
  25. To hide the imported CAD file,

    • Go to Visibility Graphics (“VG”as a keyboard shortcut).
    • Go to Imported Categories tab -> Select the Imported CAD file and turn off the checkbox beside the name of the CAD file.M2 Import wall 22.JPG
    • Say OK.
  26. The CAD file is now hidden from the view. If you want, you can repeat the step 25 and turn on the checkbox in the visibility graphics to unhide the imported CAD file.
  27. After all the walls are created and if you do not need the imported CAD file, you may select and delete it from the project.
    • TIP: If you have linked your CAD file, then you may unload the link by going to Insert -> Manage Links -> CAD Formats -> Unload. When you need the file again, you can Reload it in the project. If you are sure that you do not need the linked file again, then you can also remove it instead of unloading it.
  28. Navigate to a 3D view to see all the walls in 3D. M2 Import wall 23.JPG
  29. After completing all the steps above, Save As your project as “TutorialWallsCAD_Output_LearningRevitOnline.rvt”.

More References:

Modeling Basic Walls

About Walls

Unlike CAD tools, Revit elements are information rich and have behavioral patterns as if in a real construction site. For example, a Wall would understand that it must have a height that is connected to a particular level. It understands that it has a thickness, material and a function. All of this information can be given at the time of modeling in Revit or can later be changed once the information is available to you in the project. Windows and Doors, for example, can only be fixed in a wall and cannot be placed anywhere in the project. This is similar to a construction site.

This tutorial is about creating basic walls with single structural layer. If you would like to learn about creating walls with multi-layers (adding layers for finishes, structure, membranes, insulation, etc.), please go to the tutorial Compound Structures.

Tutorial Objective:

In this tutorial, you will learn,

Sample Problem:

Add basic walls in the sample tutorial project as shown below:

M2 wall tutorial

Fig 1. Walls in the Basement Floor level of the Sample Tutorial Project

  • Wall Base Constraint: -01 Basement Floor Level
  • Wall Top Constraint: 00 Ground Level
  • Wall Thickness: 360mm, 230mm and 110mm as indicated in Fig 1.

Sample File required for this tutorial: “TutorialWalls_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt” (If you do not have this file, please download it from here.)

Solution:

  1. Open TutorialWalls_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt in Revit. This project file already contains Grid lines.
  2. Navigate to the floor plan of “-01 Basement Floor Level”
  3. Click Architecture tab -> Build panel -> Wall drop-down -> Wall: Architectural
    • Alternatively, use keyboard shortcut ‘WA’.
  4. As described in Tutorial objective, the project required three types of brick walls with thickness of 360mm, 230mm and 110mm. These types are not available in the project. Thus, let’s create them.
  5. Create a New Wall Type:

    • From the Type Selector, select a “Basic Wall – Generic – 200mm” Type.
    • Go to Edit Type-> Type properties dialog box – > Duplicate -> Give a name ” 230mm Brick Masonry”  M2 Wall 4
    • Click Ok.
    • In the Type Properties dialog box, Go to Structure parameter -> Click  “Edit”.
    • Edit Assembly dialog box will appear.
    • Go to Row 2 which displays ‘Structure’ layer. Under thickness, add value 230mm / 0.23m
    • Under Material, click on the button with “…”sign and it will open the material browser. M2 Wall 6
    • Select the material “Brick” from the material browser.M2 Wall 5
    • Click OK to Material Browser.
    • Click OK to Edit Assembly dialog box.
    • Click OK to Type Properties dialog box.
    • Now, a new wall type “230mm Brick Masonry” has been listed under Type selector list.
  6. To create the wall types – “360mm Brick Masonry” and “110mm Brick Masonry”, begin by selecting a “230mm Brick Masonry” Type from the Type Selector. Repeat the process as shown in Step 5 and assign the specified thickness in the Edit Assembly dialog box. M2 wall 1
  7. Now, you have three wall types in the project as required. Let’s begin to model them.
  8. Place a Wall in a Rectangular shape:

    • Make sure “-01 Basement Floor Level” view is active currently and you see the Grid lines.
    • Let’s begin by drawing 360mm thick outer walls as shown in Fig 1.
    • Click Architecture tab -> Build panel -> Wall drop-down -> Wall: Architectural
      • Alternatively, use keyboard shortcut ‘WA’.
    • From the Type Selector, select ‘360mm Brick Masonry’ wall type.
    • From the Draw panel, select Rectangle as shape.
    • As the Basement level view is active currently, by default, the base of the wall is taken as the basement level. From the options bar, set the height of the wall by selecting the top constraint as the “00 Ground Level”.
      • TIP: If the base level/top level are different or has an offset in height, you can set these values from the Instance parameters in the Properties palette.
    • Set the Location Line of the wall as “Wall Center line” as in this case, we want the wall center to align with our Grid lines.
    • Now, click on the Grid intersection E-4 to set the starting point of the rectangle.
    • Next, click on the Grid intersection I-9 to set the end point of the rectangle.M2 wall 3
    • A rectangular wall is created. Click Esc twice to end the Wall tool.
  9. Place a Wall in a Straight Line shape:

    • Now, from Architecture tab -> Build panel -> Wall drop-down -> Wall: Architectural -> select Straight Line tool.
    • From the options bar, make sure Chain option is checked.
      • Note that the height of the wall is now automatically taken as Ground Level as Revit continues to use the previous setting.
    • Click the starting point of the wall as the Grid intersection G-4
    • Move your mouse upwards towards the Grid G and enter on your keyboard the exact length of the wall which is 4.46m M2 wall 4
    • As the chain option was checked, Revit will allow you to draw more walls without ending the Wall tool.
    • Click the next point of the wall horizontally till it meets Grid H.
    • Move your cursor downwards vertically and click the next point for the wall at Grid intersection H-2.
    • Click the next point for the wall at the Grid intersection I-2.M2 wall 5
    • Click Esc twice to end the wall tool.
  10.  Now, we want to connect the vertical gap between Grid I-2 and I-4. One approach would be to draw another vertical wall. But more efficient approach would be to use Trim/Extend tool to close this gap. Use this tool when you want to create L-shaped corners.
  11. Trim/Extend to Corner Tool: 

    • Go to Modify Tab -> Modify Panel -> select Trim/Extend to Corner
      • Alternatively, use keyboard shortcut ‘TR’.M2 wall 16
    • First click on the horizontal wall and then on the vertical wall as shown below to form a L-shaped corner at the Grid intersection I-2.M2 wall 6
    • Note that vertical wall has been extended and the horizontal wall has been trimmed to create a clean L-shaped corner joint.
    • Click Esc to end the Trim/Extend to Corner tool.
  12. Repeat step 11, to create a L-shaped corner at Grid intersection G-4 as shown below.M2 wall 7
  13. Now, as per Fig 1, the three walls between Grid G-I are of 230mm thickness. However, in our project, it is currently of 360mm thickness. To change a wall type after it is modeled, do the following.
  14. Change the Wall Type after Modeling walls: 

    • Select the walls as shown below.
      • TIP: Select one of the walls. Press Ctrl while you select other walls. This will add other walls to the selection group. Press Shift and click on a wall, if you wish to deselect it from the selection group.
    • Go to the Type selector and click on the Wall type “230mm Brick Masonry”. M2 wall 8
    • Click Esc to deselect the walls. Note that the selected walls have been converted from “360mm Brick Masonry” wall type to “230mm Brick Masonry” wall type.
  15. Now, let’s model some walls surrounding the staircase area as shown in Fig 1.
  16. Go to Architecture tab -> Build panel -> Wall drop-down -> Wall: Architectural -> select Straight Line tool.
  17. From the Type Selector, select the wall type “230mm Brick Masonry”.
  18. Using the process shown in step 9, draw walls between Grid intersection F-9 to F-6 and from F-6 to I-6. See image below. M2 wall 9
  19. Click Esc to end wall tool.
  20. Let’s create the middle vertical line of the staircase area as shown in Fig 1. To draw this wall as per its exact length, we will need some construction/reference lines. This can best be done in Revit using Reference Planes as described below.
  21. Using Reference Planes as Construction Lines:

    • Go to Architecture tab -> Work Plane panel -> Ref Plane
      • Alternatively, use keyboard shortcut ‘RP’.
    • Draw a horizontal plane as shown below. There is no need to be accurate about exact position/dimension of the plane. Draw it like you would draw a line.M2 wall 10
    • Click Esc twice to end the Ref Plane tool.
    • Select the reference plane you just created.
    • A temporary dimension will appear between the reference plane and the inner face of the parallel horizontal wall below.
      • TIP: Click on the blue dot on the temporary dimension to switch the witness line reference from the inner face of the wall to its center or outer face.
    • Click on the dimension value and change it to 1.23m between the reference plane and the inner face of the wall. Press Enter.M2 wall 11
    • Click Esc to deselect the reference plane.
  22. Now place a vertical wall in a straight line (the process as shown in step 9), starting from the mid point of the wall on Grid 6 and ending at the reference plane as shown below. M2 wall 12
  23. You can now select and delete (use Delete key on your keyboard) the reference plane as we do not need it further in our project.
  24. As per Fig 1, we need a horizontal wall that is 1.07m away and parallel to the wall on Grid 6. One approach to do this would be to offset the wall at required distance as shown in the steps below.
  25. Offset a Wall:

    • Go to Modify Tab -> Modify Panel -> select Offset
      • Alternatively, use keyboard shortcut ‘OF’.
    • On the options bar, select Numerical. Give the Offset value as 1.07m.
    • On the options bar, keep the Copy option checked. This will ensure that a new instance of the wall is created at the offset distance from the wall you pick.M2 wall 13
    • Hover your cursor on the wall at Grid 6 pointing in a direction you want offset to be created. Revit will show you a blue dotted line indicating where the wall will be placed. If this is correct, click where your cursor is. If not, move your cursor in the direction of your offset and click when the blue line displayed is at a correct location.
    • A copy of the wall picked (having the same type 230mm Brick Masonry and same length) is created at an offset distance of 1.07 m.M2 wall 14.JPG
    • Click Esc to end the Offset tool.
  26. Using Trim/Extend to Corner Tool (the process as shown in step 11), make L-shape corners as shown in the image below:M2 wall 15
  27. To create L-corners, the Trim/Extend to Corner tool is the most efficient modify tools available. However, we cannot use it to create T-junctions as we would like to to do for the vertical wall in the middle. Thus, to do this, use Trim/Extend Single Element tool as shown in the steps below:
  28. Trim/Extend Single Element:

    • Go to Modify Tab -> Modify Panel -> select Trim/Extend Single ElementM2 wall 17
    • Click the face of the the middle vertical wall as the boundary for trimming.
    • Click on any point on the part of the horizontal wall that you would like to KEEP (not trim) – in this case, left of the vertical wall. M2 wall 18
    • You will note that the horizontal wall has been trimmed and a T-junction has been created. M2 wall 19
    • Click Esc to end the Trim/Extend Single Element tool.
  29. Using the Trim/Extend Single Element tool as shown in the above step, create a T-Junction at the Grid intersection G-2 as shown in the image below:M2 wall 20
  30. As shown in Fig 1, a partition wall of 110mm thickness shall be created to enclose the toilet area.
    • One approach would be to offset a horizontal wall on Grid 2 at the specific distance (as shown in step 25) and then changing the wall type (as shown in step 14) of the offset wall from 230mm to 110mm as required.
    • Another approach would be to draw the wall and then use dimensions to place it at the exact location as shown in the steps below.
  31. Use Dimensions to position the wall:

    • Go to Architecture tab -> Build panel -> Wall drop-down -> Wall: Architectural -> select Straight Line tool.
    • Select wall type “110mm Brick Masonry” from the Type Selector.
    • Draw a horizontal wall as shown below. Do not worry about exact position of the wall at the moment. Draw it at an approximate position.M2 wall 21
    • We need to position the wall at 2.36m from inner face of the upper wall (at Grid 2) to the inner face of the 110mm wall we have created.
    • Go to Annotate tab -> Dimension panel -> select Aligned Dimension
      • Alternatively, use keyboard shortcut “DI”
    • On the Options bar, select Wall faces and Pick option as Individual References.
    • In the drawing area, click on the inner face of the 110mm partition wall. Next, click on the inner face of the wall at Grid 2. Lastly, click where you want to place the dimension in the drawing ( Try to click somewhere in the middle of the dimension instead on its end as you might do in a CAD tool.)M2 wall 23
    • Click Esc twice to finish Dimension tool.
    • Click on the 110mm partition wall.
    • The dimension text will be highlighted as blue indicating that it is now editable.
      • Note: You cannot change the value of the dimension without selecting the element it refers to. Revit must know which element it should move if the dimension value changes. And thus, it activates the dimension only when the element is selected.
    • Click on the text of the dimension and change its value to 2.36m
    • The partition wall will move as per the dimension specified.M2 wall 24
    • Click Esc to deselect the wall.
    • You may select the dimension and delete it if you do not need it further.
  32. All the walls as per Fig 1 has been created.
  33. Navigate to a 3D view from your project browser to view your model in 3D. M2 wall 25
  34. After completing all of the above steps, Save As your project as TutorialWalls_Output_LearningRevitOnline.rvt”.

TIPS

  • Learn more about Wall Location Lines here.
  • TIP: TAB to select multiple walls: To place/select walls simultaneously on an entire chain of lines, move the cursor over a line segment, press Tab to highlight them all, and then click.
  • TIP: Edit Profile of the Wall: When you place a straight wall, it has a rectangular profile when viewed in elevations. If your design requires a different shape/profile, or for openings in the wall, you can edit the wall’s elevation profile in a section view or an elevation view. Learn more about this method here: How to edit a wall profile?

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