Autodesk University 2007

Custom Stairs and Railings in Revit Architecture

EricWing- IMAGINiTTechnologies

AB400-1 In this session, students will learn how to create families for posts,

balusters, panels, railings, and stair nosing. Focusing on design for high-end commercial and residential projects, this class will dive directly into the use of the family Editor to physically build the components needed. Once the families are established, the class will move to Assembly in the project to expose the difficulties designers face. The commercial portion of the class will cover extruded steel with glass panels; the residential portion will cover custom handrails and raised panels. You'll also learn how to design winding and spiral staircases, as well as to create custom materials with wood hatching that you can apply to the stair components to give the stairs and railings your personal touch.

About the Speaker:

Eric Wing is an Autodesk Revit / MEP ICE Applications Engineer for IMAGINiT Technologies. He has a degree in Architectural Engineering and his own architectural millworking consulting business. He has seventeen years industry experience working as a foreman for construction companies and as a CAD manager / designer for architectural millworking and structural engineering firms. He has been teaching Autodesk products for the past 8 years, having no less than 15 students in his sold-out classes. Eric is a knowledgeable, lively, and popular presenter; a columnist with a loyal reader base for AUGIWorid Magazine and AUGI's HotNews; and the Director of the AUGI Training Program (ATP), along with being the AUGI survey facilitator.

Please feel free to email Ericatewing@rand.com

Autodesk University 2007

Autodesk University 2007

Custom Stairs and Railings in Revit Architecture 2008

Custom Stair Layout Design Challenge:

A tight existing space where the typical Revit method of laying out stairs is not going to help.

Let's think about how we would

do this in ... Ok, I'll say it. .. AutoCAD.

We would draft it right? In plan we VVUIJ!.U-~ Simply draw lines arcs and circles

to figure out our geometry. So, why does that have to be different in Revit? We have drafting tools.

An entire tab on the design toolbar if I'm not mistaken. Use it.

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Custom Stair Creation Design Challenge:

Most stairs aren't grey. Most stairs have bull-nosing and overhang the stringers. Some don't even HAVE stringers. OK, you get the picture ...

The first thing we need to think about is how a staircase is actually constructed. How would you actually build a staircase out in the field? (Not in A field ... THE field).

Piece by piece: Right? Well, Revit's the same way. If we want a custom staircase, we need custom parts. It would be nice if we could simply plug Revit into our brain and let it guess exactly how we want a set of stairs to look, but that technology is at least 5 years out. Thank God.

Let's start with a tread. We want a bull nose on the face of the tread with a cove below. This is a very

common profile. We need to make a family. I

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~ Go to File> New> Family ... ~. Open Profile-Stair Nosing.rft ~ I like this template because it

tells you EXACTLY where to draw the profile.

~ Delete all of the visible text

~ Draw the profile shown to the right. ~ Or your OWN profile .. .it's up to

you.

~. Save it to your companies library.

--;j .1i Load into Projects >;;t

Load it into the project. ;::::

Fi1P Go to the Stringers group.

~ Make the left and the right open. I. _A-" • ·1/4"

~ Go to the Treads group. ~

~. Apply the settings illustrated below. The most important part is the profile we have loaded.

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Landings Design Challenge:

Any "custom" staircase needs a landing.

Not a bottom step with round ends, but a landing. There is really nothing built into the Revit stair modeling tool to address this. Therefore, a family needs to

be developed. Once it is developed you have full control over its functionality independent of the actual stairs.

~. In Revit, go to File> New> Family. ~ Select Generic Model.rft

~. In the Ref. Level plan, select .0 Ref plOine

~ Offset one above the center ref. plane 1 '-0" ~ Offset one below the center ref. plane 6" ~. Dimension both of them independently.

What we need to do is this: We need to create a landing that Will be flexible enough to accommodate any size tread depth we need, as well as have enough bearing surface to work with.

- - - - - - - - -- - -- - ~ - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Autodesk University 2007

Custom Handrails

Design Challenge: Non-traditional handrails.

What? The (4) canned default Revit handrails don't cut it? I have to actually make my own? Shame on you Revit!

Also, I should point out that most of the examples in this class will be residential based. Commercial railings are going to follow the same basic procedures, but are just to darn easy!

~ Go to File> New> Family ...

~ Open the file: Profile-Rail.rft

~ Notice this type of family template makes it obvious where to start adding our ref planes.

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~ Click the Ref Plane button a Ref plane

-

~ Offset a reference plane down 3"

~ Offset two reference planes to the right and left of the vertical plane.

~ Dimension the horizontal plane

~ Equally dimension the vertical planes ~ Add "l overall vfrtical dimension.

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~ Select the 2" dimension.

-

~ Add a parameter to it.

The parameters will all be type parameters and will all be grouped under dimensions. See below.

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~ Call it rail width.

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width 0' - 2"

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~ Select the 3" dimension. ~ Add a parameter to it.

~ Call it height. (See directly below)

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.~ Start the Ref Plane command again .: 0" Ref Plane

~ Offset it down 1.5"

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~ Add a parameter to it.

~ Call it radius point.

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~ Group it under constraints.

~ Click the Family Types ... button

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~ Add a formula to "radius point". = width /2

Value

Formula

nn_Jo' 1"

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~[ OK

~ Draw an arc as shown below. Be SURE to snap it to the intersections of the ref planes. This arc is controlled by these constraints. You do not need to lock anything if you JUST SNAP TO THE REF PLANE INTERSECTIONS!

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.~ Go to the Family Types dialog.@ Family Types .. , ~ Change the width to 3" ~ Verify that the arc is positioned correctly.

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~ Add 1" arcs to the sides.

~ SNAP TO THE REF PLANE INTERSECTION

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. Draw a line across the bottom. \) ...

~ Go to the Family Types dia~_ ® Family Types... and flex the model.

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Autodesk University 2007

Custom Spindles (Balusters)

Design Challenge: Non-traditional spindles. To be used in a stair family, and as a stand alone family.

I have seen the default Revit spindles. I have never seen spindles that look anything like that before in my life. We obviously need

some control over the creation of our own spindles. Again, I would like you to keep in mind that I am using my own live example for this class

and it is residential based. Your situation may be entirely different, but the mindset and procedures are the same.

~ In Revit, go to File> New> Family ... ~ Open Baluster.rft

~ Notice that many of the tricky reference planes are already established. Feel lucky here, because we will not be so fortunate when we try to add a post to the ends of the railings. There will be much sadness.

~ Go to the Ref. Level under Floor Plans.

-

.~ Click on Ref. Plane 0 Ref plane

~ Add the ref planes as shown below and dimension them accordingly. Note: Spindles are inherently much smaller in scale than we are used to in Revit. I have changed my scale to 1:1.

~ Also, add a parameter called thickness to both of the overall dimensions.

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~ Go back to the Left elevation. I

~ Add additional ref planes above the top, and below the bottom. ~ Dimension them

~ Add a parameter called cut extension. ~ Group it under constraints.

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~ Go to Solid Form> Solid Revolve [G::J Solid Form 1>

~ If it comes up, specify Center (Left/Right) for the Work Plane.

@ Solid Extrusion ®- Solid Blend

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. .f.,d~:~~ a new Work Plane ,"",

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s . £ick a plane

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»o . PiCk a line and me the work plane ·it was sketched in

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~ Draw a profile. Mine may be different from yours. Remember that the profile needs to form a closed loop.

If you have multiple flutes and arcs, remember that it is a good idea to lock them to the ref planes,' I.

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~ .,... Axis ,"'atl nn

~ Select the Axis button. eI!" I .-

~ Pick the center ref Plane.r4 -,

~ -~ -

~ Finish Sketch -I- Finish Sketch

.~ Go to Family Types and flex the thickness. ~ Flex the height.

-

~ Go to the Ref. Level Floor Plan.

~ Select the Reference plane to the left of the spindle. ~ Click the Properties buttonJ~1

~ Call it Left.

construction

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~ Go back to the Left elevation.

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Autodesk University 2007

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~ Select the Left Reference Plane .

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~ Using the pick lines fIi" Outline the angle and the other reference planes. ~ Click on the Extrusion Properties button.&Extru<;ion Propertie!;

~ For the extrusion end, click on the small button at the right of the row.J

Parameter

Value'

Extrusion End

Extrusion Start :0 0

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5f;xi:!:ting family parameters of compatible t:IJpe:

Autodesk University 2007

Rail Panels

Design Challenge: If there is a need for panels.

No, not that glass panel that Revit gives us, but panels man! Raised panels? Mission style panels? These are families.

Let's start making some nutty families shall we?

We will create similar to what is shown here, but we will make the rails slant.

I am so excited.

~ In Revit, go to File> New> Family ...

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~ Open: Baluster-Panel.rft

~ Go to the Ref. Level plan view.

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~ Click Ref. Plane O'Rf<f plane

~ Offset the center ref plane 3;4" (19)

~ Dimension and constrain equally as shown below.

01 - 1 1/2"

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Autodesk University 2007

~ Select the 1-1/2" dimension and add a parameter. ~ Call it thickness. Make it a type parameter, and Categorize it under dimensions.

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thickness 01 .. 1 1/2"

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~ Select the left ref plane.

~ Click the Element Properties [ ~ I ~ Give it a name of left.

~ Repeat the process for the right plane. ~ Go back to the left elevation

~ Offset each of the existing ref planes in 1-1/2" (38) ~ For the center ref plane, offset it %" (19)

thickness'D' - 1 1/2"

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~ EO the dimensions

~ Add a 1-1/2" (38) dimension.

~ Select the 1-1/2" (38) dimensions.

~ Add a parameter called: stile-rail width

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~ Start the Ref Plane command. ,[7 Ref plane

.~ Offset the top angled ref plane down 1 '-0" (305) ~ Dimension it

~ Add a parameter to it called second rail distance ~ Flex the model

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~ Start the Ref Plane command. ,[7 Ref plane

~ Offset the second rail distance ref plane %" (19) to either side. ~ Dimension it

~ Equally constrain the dimensions.

~ Add the stile rail width parameter to the 1-1/2" (38) dimension.

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- -

~ 5 I"d F 5 I"d E "G:I Solid Form»

. 0 I orm > 0 I xtruston - -

~ Pick Reference Plane: left as the work plane.

P:V-solid Ex~rusion ~ Solid Blend

~ Solid Re ..... olve

_ tAl Solid Sweep

~ Using the pick option, pick the ref planes that comprise the outline of the mission style panel. Be sure to have no gaps or overlapping lines. Revit will become angry. And we all know what happens when Revit becomes angry!

~ Click Extrusion Properties ~ Extrusion properties

~ For the Extrusion end, select the little button to the right of the row. J ~ Select thickness

-

.~ The row will now be grayed out with a 1-1/2" increment

in there. This means that the thickness parameter will control the extrusion depth.

~ On the materials and Finishes group, there is a Material row. You will notice the same little button to the right of the dialog.J Pick it.

~ We have not created a material parameter yet, so this next dialog will be empty. There is, however,

an Add Parameter ... button which will allow us to create the parameter "on the flY"_[ A_gd parameter... ]

~ Call it material

-

~ Group the parameter under: Materials and Finishes

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Autodesk University 2007

Custom Posts and drops

Design Challenge: Building a library of typical gooseneck, rise and drop conditions. These families can be modified to accommodate each new project.

~. File> New> Family ... ~ Baluster Post.rfa

-Jfa. Get some coffee or whatever drug you like ... this is going to be a doozie.

-Jfa. What we are going to do is this: We are going ,~ -'---_

create a base, then a cap, then a gooseneck. All in one big happy family.

-Jfa. Go to the Ref. Level Floor Plan. &k. Click on Ref Plane a Ref plane

-g., Offset the center ref planes 1 %" (38) creating a--------.--

square.

J;k Equally dimension them.

~ Add overall dimensions (see below).

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-g, Select the 3" (72) dimensions and add a parameter to them ~ Call it base size

-~ Make it a type parameter ~. Group it under dimensions ~ Go to the Left elevation ~. R f PI a Ref plane

e. ane :

~. Offset the ref level plane 12" (305) -~ Dimension it.

Ai Add a parameter called base height. This is grouped under dimensions, and is a type parameter.

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~ Dimension the top two ref planes.

~. Add a parameter called rail height. -~ Click Family Types ... @ F;;i~s".

-~ Make the rail height 3" (72)

Time for a rant:

These reference planes need to be labeled. It is a mindset...and should be standard Procedure when you are modeling a family. Get in the habit.

~ Label the newest ref plane top of base. ~. Dimension the ref plane

~ Add a parameter to it called base height. ~. Go to the Ref. Level floor plan.

~ Solid Form> Solid Extrusion.G::!S.;!id-Form»

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- Solid Extrusion Solid Blend

.!b Solid Revolve ~ Solid Sweep

~ Draw a rectangle IlJ based on the ref planes defining the base. If you wish, you can add radial

corners.

-~ Click Extrusion Properties ~ Extrusion Properties

~ The extrusion end needs to be set to the base height parameter.

~. Go to the Left elevation. _

~. Solid Form> Solid Revolve III Solid Form» You can approach this in two different ways.

I have found that if I use multiple revolved solids, I can then lock them to the next.

@ Solid Extrusion ® Solid Blend 110~501id Revolve ~ Solid Sweep

This helps to control the constraints when the height is flexed.

For this example I am going to create each revolved solid as its own entity. It takes a little longer, but the results are going to be more predictable.

~ When prompted for a reference plane, this time you need to select the left I right plane. ~. Draw a "flute" as shown to the right.

~. Select the ~,AXiS button.

~ Pick the center ref plane t:s-'

-g, Open the railing family we did last week (or any railing that you want to use).

- cap width O' - 6"

g, Select the left half of the lines and copy them to the clipboard.

- / /

.B! Go back to the post family.

~. Past them at the top of the post.

~. Change the Rail Height parameter to be the same as the profile. -g, Add two new ref planes.

~ Equally dimension them.

~. Add an overall dimension.

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~ Finish Sketch .1- Finish sketch ~. Flex the model.

-g, Draw another revolved solid. -

This time, be sure to dimension and .~

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0' - 0 1/4"

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lock the dimensions. ~

_~ Flex the model. -= 0 ~

~ Repeat the same thing at the top .. _ I

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~ Flex the model

j! Add the connecting revolved solid to the shaft.

&k. Once the lines are drawn in, dimension and lock them. &k Flex the model

~ Add a parameter to it called cap width

~ Trim and adjust the profile as shown to the right.

-g, Solid Form> Solid Revolve. ill Solid Form» ~ Make sure the reference plane is correct. -~ Trace the pasted profile.

~. Finish Sketch .T.Fini~h sketch

~. Go to the left elevation.

~. Start the Reference Plane command. D RefPlane ~. Offset from the center ref plane 6" (152).

-0. D. . H Dimension

JI¥Il Imenslon =>. . . .

Ai Add a parameter to the dimension called gooseneck drop offset ~. Group the parameter under Construction

@ Solid Extrusion ® Solid Blend

I ~501id Re"volve @ Solid Sweep

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University 2007

~ Make it an instance parameter.

~. Change the Baluster height to 3'-0" (914) - ~ Ref Plane a Ref Plane

-~ Offset the ref level up 2'-0" (610)

§i Dimension it H Dimension

~. Give it a parameter called stair rail height

~ This is also grouped under construction and is an instance parameter. ~ Ref Plane a Ref plane

-~ Offset this reference plane 3" (76) from the gooseneck drop offset line. §! Dimension it t:f Dimension

~. Add an instance parameter called gooseneck extension into stair ~. Reference lines II.... Reference Lines

~ Draw an angled reference line from the gooseneck extension into stair to gooseneck drop offset. -~ See the illustration which takes up the next page. I have check marked the new reference planes as well. Be sure you have the same.

-~ Align ~ITg-;:;- and lock EJ the end points of the angled reference line.

~. Add an angular ~ dimension t1 Dimension to the reference line.

Jik Add a parameter to it called stair angle

~. Go to Family Types ... '$ Family Types ...

-~ Change the stair angle to 32 degrees.

-~ Flex anything you can think of. At this point you really need to try to see if you can break this thing.

1\. R f L· Ie R;Ference Lines

___ e erence mes ... _~

~. Draw reference lines tracing over the ref planes we have set up which define the gooseneck.