Monday, April 02, 2012

The Missing Door

There are two situations that trip up new users when it comes to doors. I wrote about about one of these Reviteristics in April 2010. That post is about Openings and this one is about curtain wall panel doors.

When people first make a curtain wall that is supposed to get a door they quite naturally assume the door tool is the right place to start. Wrong. Curtain walls are special and they are made up of curtain grids, panels and mullions. A curtain wall door is really a curtain wall panel. They are a panel because Revit needs to keep their width and height flexible, to accommodate any changes we might make. A regular door family can vary in size but it can't respond to curtain grids being moved. We can't even put a regular door in a curtain wall. That's not entirely true but I'd have to get into yet another Reviteristic, using other wall types as curtain wall panels.

We need to understand that a door in a curtain wall isn't a "door", at least not to the Door tool. To make matters a bit more confusing Revit treats this curtain wall panel, pretending to be a door, as a door in schedules and in Visibility/Graphics.

    It would be better if we could click on the Door tool and have the option to place a "regular" door or a "curtain panel" door. At least this way it would become immediately apparent that there is a difference!

Curtain wall panel doors are found in the Doors folder within the content library. That seems slightly logical, in the same way that Opening families are found there (Edit: Openings have their own folder beginning with version 2012). When we want to load a curtain wall door family, browse to the door library (stock content location).

Placing a curtain wall door is a bit different than a regular door in a wall. We don't use the Door tool. We have to swap out the panel that should be a door with the curtain wall door family that you loaded. To do this we need to use the TAB key to select the panel and then use the Type Selector to choose the curtain wall door family instead.

Once you do this you'll have to make sure that the curtain grids and mullions are adjusted to report the desired size. If you set the grids and mullions before the door is in place you'll find that the size is not quite the clean numbers you probably wanted. You can resolve this with mullions that use different offset values or just re-position the curtain grids until you get a cleaner door size.

I captured another video in the "Five Minutes with..." theme.

If you want to create a new curtain wall door family you ought to examine and/or reverse engineer the stock one first. You can start from scratch with the family template (Door - Curtain Wall.rft)


Anonymous said...

I actually was able to Nest my "super door" into a CW Panel Family & constrain it properly to not break when flexing. It took about an hour to figure it out since the Nested Super Door had 2 more levels of nesting. I would explain, but it matters how your door families are built. Now I don't have to create so many individual CW Panel Door Types. No need to "re-engineer" ;)

Steve said...

Sounds good, not the sort of adventure a new user would be ready for though. :) Revit could make these Reviteristics easier to navigate though eh?

Pablo said...

Hey Steve, I don't know how old this post is. But I'm starting out with Revit and suffered quite a lot to finally be able to insert a door in a CW panel... and that thanx to your article. I agree CW doors should be listed as a sub-category in DOORS and the program should highlight the CW panels when you hover over them.

Steve said...

Each post has a date just above the title, that's when it was posted. This one was in April 2012.

Curtain Wall door families are listed among Doors in the Families branch of the Project Browser, at least they are now, current versions.

They just don't show up when you start the door tool and scroll through the list of doors in the Type Selector.

Revit will highlight (see) panels more easily if you use the Select Elements by Face selection option. Curtain walls and their related sub-elements are TAB key nirvana...