AEC Tech News (#273)

1 Jul, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

Editing Windows in Autodesk Revit

Revit Tutorial: Edit the window family to include the appropriate building features, and save a lot of modeling time.

By Dan Stine

Editor's Note: This is the first in a new series of Revit tutorials by Dan Stine, author of such textbooks as Residential Design Using Revit Architecture 2011.

The window family in Autodesk Revit can be edited to include building features such as trim, sills, and structural lintels. This can save a lot of modeling time, because placing one element instantly models the window and the other building features just mentioned. This tutorial will explain why various elements should sometimes be excluded from the window family, and describe a tricky sill condition.

Excluding elements from the window family. When working on a remodel project where windows are being replaced, utilizing Revit's phasing functionality, it is typically best to avoid placing the trim and sills in the window family. When a window family is set to be demolished, the entire family gets demolished, including the trim and sills. Often, the trim and sills do not get replaced, just the window — especially when the trim is stone. Read more »

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Dan Stine is a registered architect with nineteen years of experience in the architectural field. His textbooks are available from SDC Publications.

Circles and Lines Tutorial: Step Up the Power of Parametrics

What's better than a geometric constraint in AutoCAD? Multiple constraints applied instantly! That's the magic of AutoConstrain.

By Lynn Allen

My last column covered the basics of geometric constraints — aka, parametrics — a feature added in AutoCAD 2010 and available in AutoCAD 2011 as well. In this column, I'll dive even further into the magic of constraints and introduce you to another fabulous new feature, AutoConstrain, which offers much more than meets the eye. You're going to love how easy it makes your life.

Last time I showed how you can add geometric constraints one at a time as you create objects or modify existing geometry. These constraints preserve the integrity of the geometry in case you need to edit it later. But what if you already have a drawing that is geometrically correct and you'd like to apply geometric constraints throughout the drawing to keep it that way, in case you need to edit the geometry down the road? Adding multiple constraints one by one can be very time-consuming, not to mention incredibly tedious. That's where AutoConstrain comes into play.

Let's say I have a simple floor plan where I want to add parallel and perpendicular constraints, but I am much too lazy to add them individually. No problem: I just select the AutoConstrain tool from the Parametrics tab of the ribbon and window the floor plan. Voila! AutoCAD adds as many constraints as necessary to capture the existing geometry. Read more »

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Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen has written Cadalyst's "Circles and Lines" column for 16 years and is the voice behind Cadalyst's popular AutoCAD video tips.

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


Webinar: Dynamic Plotting
July 13, 2010
11 a.m. ET
This complimentary webinar is part of an ongoing series on collaboration that discusses Bentley Systems' efforts to integrate information, software, and processes with ProjectWise. Read more »

Intergraph 2010
August 30–September 2, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
Intergraph 2010, the international conference for users of the company's engineering and geospatial software, will feature nearly 200 sessions led by industry authorities and customers from around the world. Read more »

AVEVA World Summit — Americas
October 18–20, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
The AVEVA World Summits will incorporate the technical and business requirements of the plant and marine industries into a common forum offering collaboration opportunities for all attending delegates. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at


First Look Review: AutoCAD 2011
Autodesk's solid upgrade provides enough 2D productivity and 3D advancement to keep users in both camps happy. Read more »

Behind the Scenes at the Indy 500
As guests of HP and Gil de Ferran's Dragon Racing Team, two car-loving CAD journalists see first-hand the computer power behind the engine power — not to mention a few celebrities. Read more »

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Create a Searchable Solution History
Follow this documentation plan, and when problems reappear, you'll remember how to solve them. Read more »

CAD Management as Overhead
Not everyone agreed with the advice on how to bill CAD management duties during this economy. A project manager's backlash spurs clarification and further advice. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

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