Revit Families: Nesting other Window Elements

From TOI-Pedia


Example of a window detail

Besides the Window Frame there are other elements that add detail to a window. For example a sill ('dorpel' in Dutch), a lintel ('latei' in Dutch), etc.. In this tutorial you'll create a simple Revit Window Sill Family and nest this into a Revit Wall Opening Family. The tutorial has two parts:

  • Preparing the Wall Opening Family within Revit
  • Creating the basic Window Sill within Revit

Sketching the opening

There is already an opening in the Simple Wall Opening Family that is linked to the width and height properties, but it creates a straight cut into the wall. For our family we want an opening that is a little more detailed, so we can accommodate a Sill ('dorpel' in Dutch).

At the left below you see the default opening as is in the Family Template, at the right the opening we want with the space for the sill.

SimpleWindowFamily Defaultopening.pngSimpleWindowFamily Customopening.png

We're going to remove the default opening cut:

  • Go to the Plan view (Ref. Level)
  • Move your mouse to the interior side of the wall where the opening is and select the Opening Cut
    SimpleWindowFamily Select Opening cut.png
  • Press Delete. The opening is removed; the cross hatch from the wall will appear.

To create the new opening, we're creating a Void Sweep. By drawing a cross-section and the path (rail) along which this profile will be swept, you can create more intricate openings. Let's see how that works:

  • First we make sure our Reference Plane is set properly. On the Create tab, in the Work Plane panel, click Revit Set work plane button.png (Set Work Plane). Select 'reference Plane : Exterior'.
  • Revit may prompt you to go to another View. Select 'Elevation: Exterior'.
  • In the Create tab, Forms Panel, click Revit VoidForms.png (Void Forms), choose Revit VoidSweep.png (Void Sweep).
  • In the Sweep Panel, click Revit-Sketch Path.png (Sketch Path)
  • Draw the path along which the sweep will be created. In this case a single straight line along the lower horizontal reference line (green dashed line). Click Modify twice or press Esc twice to end drawing lines.
    SimpleWindowFamily Draw opening sweep path.png

This path is suited for the current width of the window. But what would happen if we changed the width? Our path would be too long or too short. To fix this, we'll constrain the path to the Left and Right reference planes (dashed green lines).

  • In the Modify panel, click Revit 2011 Align Tool.png (Align)
  • Click the Right reference plane
  • Click the end point on the line of the path you sketched; a blue dot appears at the end when you're close.
  • An open lock icon appears, indicating this alignment is unconstrained. Click the lock icon, so it closes and becomes a constraint:
    SimpleWindowFamily Align lock open.pngSimpleWindowFamily Align lock closed.png
  • Repeat for the other side.
  • We also want to constrain it to the lower horizontal reference plane. Click the lower horizontal reference plane, then click the line of our path and click the lock icon constrain the alignment.
  • When you select the line, it should look like this:
    SimpleWindowFamily Opening sweep path constraints.png
  • Click Revit 2011 Finish.png (Finish Edit Mode)

That is part one: Revit now knows along which line the profile (cross section) should be swept and this path is constrained to the proper reference planes. Next you need to draw the profile. When you Finish drawing the path, the Profile Option Menu appears (in Revit 2018 you have to select Edit Profile in the Modify/Sweep Menu):

Revit Profile option menu.png

Example of a profile (cross-section) for our opening Void Sweep
  • Click Edit in the Profile Option Menu.
  • Revit will ask you to change view to be able to draw the profile (which is perpendicular to the path). Choose Elevation: Left.
  • From the Draw panel, make sure the Revit 2011 Line icon.png (Line) tool is selected.
  • Draw the cross section for the opening. Use the image at the right as a reference. Make sure the line is neatly closed. For now extend the opening at the exterior side (which accommodates the Sill) 70 mm beyond the reference line.

Just as we did with the path, we need to constrain our profile as well:

  • Align and lock the top line to the top horizontal reference plane,
  • ...the left line to the exterior reference plane,
  • ...the right line to the interior reference plane,
  • ...the bottom line at the height of the lower horizontal reference plane to that plane.
  • To constrain the line that is below the lower reference plane, we need to create a dimension. Go to the Annotation tab. In the Dimension panel, click Revit 2011 Aligned Dimension.png (Aligned Dimension)
  • Click the lower horizontal reference plane, then click the lower line of our profile (that sits 70mm below the reference plane). Position the dimension at the left side and lock it:
    SimpleWindowFamily Opening sweep path dimension constraint.png

  • In the Edit Profile tab, click Revit 2011 Finish.png (Finish Edit Mode)

Our Profile is now ready. Finish the Void Sweep and make sure it creates an opening.

Our finished opening in 3D
  • In the Modify | Sweep tab, click Revit 2011 Finish.png (Finish Edit Mode)
  • Go to the Plan view (Ref. Level)
  • In the Geometry panel (Sketch Tab), click Revit Cut Geometry.png (Cut Geometry)
  • First click the Wall
  • Then click the Void Sweep
  • The wall is now cut and has a neat opening. Go to a 3D view to confirm.

Save your Family.

Creating the Sill

The window sill is a new Family. Just like the Window Frame Family we will create a Generic Model Family. Later on we will nest this Family into the Wall Opening Family. We need to pay attention to the placement of the window sill to make sure the Parameters are forwarded correctly so the size of the window sill changes with the size of the wall opening.

  • Click the Application Button, New, Family
  • The 'New Family - Select Template File' Windows opens
  • Find and select the Metric Generic Model file (In C:\Program Data\Autodesk\RVT 2018\Family Templates\English)
  • Click Open.

The Floor Plan of the Generic Model Family shows two Reference Planes that mark the center of the model. The Back and Front Elevation also show a Reference Level. These will help as guides for the placement of the frame in the Wall Opening Family. To control the size of the frame, we add few more Reference Planes.

  • Go to the Front Elevation. If no Reference Lines are visible in Front Elevation View, press ZE (Zoom Extents) on your keyboard.
  • On the Create tab, Datum panel, click Revit Reference Plane.png (Reference Plane)
  • Create a vertical Reference Plane on both sides of the center plane.
  • Create an Aligned Dimension (Annotate Tab). First click on the left plane, then on the center plane and finally on the right plane. Position the Dimension.
  • Look for the Revit 2011 Dimension EQ.png (Equality (EQ)) icon shown next to the dimension and click it. This will constrain the outer Reference Planes to be placed at equal distance from the center.
  • Create another Aligned Dimension by first clicking on the left Reference Plane and then the right Reference Plane. Place the dimension. Create a new Parameter for this dimension and name it width and set it as Instance. The actual width doesn't really matter, but to be able to judge the Frame visually, it's good practice to give the Parameters a sensible value.
  • Create a horizontal Reference Plane above the Reference Level as well. One for the bottom of the frame and one for the top of the frame.
  • Create an Aligned Dimension from the Reference Level to the lower Reference Plane. Give it a Parameter named sill height and set it as Instance.

Now we are ready to start creating our window sill. This can be done by creating an extrusion or a sweep. In this case we will use Sweep.

End result when the path is selected after the steps in this section
  • Go to 'Elevation: Front'.
  • In the Create tab, Forms Panel, click Revit Sweep.png (Sweep)
  • In the Sweep Panel, click Revit-Sketch Path.png (Sketch Path)
  • Draw the path along which the sweep will be created. Start at the lower left end. Click Modify twice or press Esc twice to end drawing lines.
  • In the Modify panel click Revit 2011 Align Tool.png (Align). First select the horizontal Reference Plane, then the line segment and finally lock the line segment to the corresponding reference plane.
  • To be sure the line is always as long as the width of the window we have to lock the ends of the line. Click Revit 2011 Align Tool.png (Align) and select the left vertical Reference Plane and then the left endpoint of the line and lock it. To the same with the other side.
  • The end result, when you select the path, should look something like the example at the right.
  • Click Revit 2011 Finish.png (Finish Edit Mode)

To create the profile for the sweep, we can either draw this directly in the Window Sill Family or create a new Profile Family and load this in the Window Sill Family.

Nest the Window Sill Family in the Window Opening Family the same way as we nested the Window Frame Family.

Personal tools