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ment Acknowledgem t state/territory] Elearni ing Innovatio ons project o output, developed by [ins sert RTO and d partners This is a [insert ational trainin ng system's e elearning st trategy, the A Australian Flexible Learning names], with seed funding from the na amework (Fr ramework). Fra

For more infor rmation For more infor rmation on A Architectural Technology y at Sydney Institute St G George Colle ege of TAFE: Lou Martini He ead Teacher Arc chitectural T Technology Phone: 02 9598 8 6358 Em mail: lou.mart [email protected] For more infor rmation on t the Australia an Flexible Le earning Fram mework: Phone: (07) 3307 4700 Fax x: (07) 3259 4371 Em mail: enquirie [email protected] au We ebsite: flexib blelearning.n GP PO Box 1326 Bri isbane QLD 4 4001

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This tutorial examines the process of creating a tensile structure using Revits sweep tools. Completion of the previous tutorials in this series is recommended to be familiar with creating elements necessary to complete the tensile structure. This tutorial was created using Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010.

We use the generic model since there is no specific template for tensile structures within Revit.

We begin by opening a new Revit family. Open Revit, select the `application menu', then select `new' and finally `family'. In the selection box choose `Metric generic model'

Figure 1 -- Selecting Metric Generic Model template.

We will first draw some reference planes as setout lines to begin constructing the tensile structure. Switch to the front elevation view and on the `Datum' tab select `Reference Plane'.

Figure 2 --Selecting Reference Plane `reference planes' contain 3D geometry as opposed to `reference lines' which will only show in the view they are drawn.

We will draw three Reference Planes, one for the bottom of the structure, and two for the top and bottom of the peaks. Draw your first reference plane 2100mm above the Ref. Level. Then draw two more reference planes at 3100mm and 4100mm respectively above the ref. level. These heights can be adjusted to suit the specific heights you may require.


Figure 3 -- Drawing reference planes.

Switch back to the Ref. Level view where we will draw some more setout lines, this time the length and width of the structure. We will use a 5m square structure for this tutorial but the following may be adapted to suit any specific size you may require.

Be sure to correctly locate the reference planes in the center since this is will affect the insertion point later on.

Draw four reference planes to create a square of 5m x 5m, your planes may cross at the edges so long as the intersection dimension measures 5m. Create the planes so that the square is centered around the existing reference planes.

Figure 4 -- Creating a square of reference planes. 4

Switch back to the Front Elevation view and you will notice the two reference planes that are perpendicular to the view are visible and 5m apart. Using the grip points at the ends of the planes, extend these planes vertically so they extend past the highest reference plane drawn earlier.

All the steps up until now are simply setting up a set of construction lines to be able to begin creating the tensile structure. Some foresight and planning of the shape you need to create is essential to plan it out in these early stages.

Figure 5 -- Adjusting the reference planes.

We will now use the sweeps tool to create the tensile structure. On the `forms' tab select `solid' and then navigate down to `sweep' . Then on the `Mode' tab select `Sketch Path'

Figure 6 -- Selecting solid sweep and sketch path.


Using the line tool draw an `arc' between the reference planes as seen in Figure 7.

Figure 7 -- Sketching the path.

Select `finish path' and then on the `edit' tab select `edit profile'

Figure 8 -- Selecting Finish Path and Edit Profile.

When prompted to choose an elevation view select `Elevation: Left'. Sketch another arc as seen in Figure 9. This arc will need to form a closed loop, so offset the arc 5mm (for the thickness of the tensile material) and close of the edges.


Figure 9 -- Sketching the Profile.

Figure 10 -- Offsetting the arc and closing the edges. Figure 11 demonstrates how the above process works, showing the `2d path' arc being extruded along the `Profile' arc. You must understand this concept to create different shaped objects.

Select `Finish Profile' and then `Finish Sweep' and then switch to a 3d view to observe the results. The tensile structure should look similar to Figure 11.

`2d path'


Figure 11 -- The tensile structure in 3d view.


Switch back to the Ref. Level view and you will notice that the tensile structure is not visible. You will need to adjust the view range since the structure is currently above the visible range of the Ref. Level view. In the `view properties' of the Ref. level select the `edit...' box next to `view range' to bring up the `view range' window. Adjust the `Top' and `cut plane' offsets to 5000 to ensure they are above the structure. Press `ok' to exit the windows.

Figure 12 -- Adjusting the view range.

With the element now visible in the view, we will again create some setout lines and then use a `void extrusion' to shape the structure. The following steps may be adapted to suit any particular shaping you may specifically require.

As an alternative, at this step you could `unpin' the existing planes and then extend them.

Using reference planes, trace the existing intersecting planes so that they extend beyond the structure (Planes 1 & 2 in Figure 13). Then draw another reference plane from the intersection point of the crossing planes and extend it outward an arbitrary amount at 135° (45°) crossing through the intersection of the tensile structure and the side reference planes drawn earlier (Plane 3 in Figure 13). See Figure 13 for reference.


Plane 1

Plane 3

Plane 2

Figure 13 -- extending existing reference planes and creating new ones.

On the `Create' tab on the `Forms' panel, select `Void' and then navigate down to `Extrusion'.

Figure 14 -- Selecting Void Extrusion.


It is crucial that you adjust the depth of the extrusion to ensure it is cutting through the structure. The 6000 figure is an arbitrary number large enough to meet this requirement.

On the `Draw' panel select `circle' and from the end of `Plane 3' draw a circle that intersects with `Planes 1 & 2' and the tensile structure as seen in Figure 15. Also adjust the `depth' of the extrusion to 6000. Select `Finish Extrusion'.

Figure 15 -- Sketching the Void Extrusion circle and adjusting the Depth. If you cannot see the circular voids to mirror, it means you have deselected the tensile structure. Simply select it again and the voids become visible to select.

Using the `Mirror' tool, mirror the circle horizontally to the right and then group select both circles and mirror them vertically above to create a total of four voids.

Figure 16 -- Mirroring the voids.


Deselect the tensile structure and you will see the shape you have created. Select the structure again and adjust the circular voids to fine tune your structure as needed. Switch to a 3d view to see the completed tensile structure. You may now create any support structures your specific needs require.

Figure 17 -- The completed tensile structure in plan view.

Figure 18 -- The completed tensile structure in 3D view.



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