Opening / Closing door – Revit Family Tutorial

In this post I will be showing you how to create a door family in Revit 2013 which can open and close as well as being fully parametric. If you are new to family creation you may wish to check out the tutorials section of my website and follow the family series from the beginning. Click here to view previous tutorials. 

The first thing you need to do is open a new family. Open up your Revit > New Family > Load a Generic model wall based. The first view we will be working in is the “Placement side elevation” navigate to this view, and set out reference planes with dimension parameters exactly as I have in the image below. Use type parameters for the ‘Width’ and ‘Height’ dimensions. 

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The next thing we need to do is create an opening where our door is going to be located. We have already set out our reference planes for the opening above so all we need to do is click the ‘Opening’ icon in our ‘Create’ tab. Use the rectangle line creation tool to draw an opening over the reference planes we have just created. Be sure to lock the opening to the reference plane at the bottom and not the reference level as you see in the image below.

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You should now see an opening in the wall if you look in a 3D view. Navigate to the reference level view. We now need to draw a reference line which will be used as a reference for our door swing angle. Draw a reference line from the right corner of our wall out at an angle. (It doesn’t matter what angle for now as this will be editable after we give it a dimension and parameter. Your reference line should be drawn as shown in the image below.

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Now that we have a reference line where we want it to be, we need to align and constrain it to the outside of our wall. We will do this by clicking on ‘Align’ in the ‘Modify’ tab on your ribbon. Once we have activated the command we need to align the bottom corner of the reference line to the right reference plane which is controlling our door opening as shown in the image below. It is crucial you find the bottom point of the reference line – cycle through your selection options with the tab key until you see the little point on the bottom of the reference line as shown below.

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Once we are sure that our reference line is locked to the reference plane we can create a new dimension and parameter for the door swing angle. Go to the ‘Annotate’ tab and click on ‘Angular’ dimension. Click the reference line and then the reference plane as shown in the image below. Give this dimension another parameter as we have done on the previous dimensions. I have called this ‘Door Swing Angle’.

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We must now create the extrusion for our door, but before this we will need to set out new references for the geometry. Set your ‘Door Swing Angle’ to 90* so that it is fully opened (this will allow us to use the reference line it was created on as our workplane.) You should now head to your ‘Left elevation’ view. We now need to set the reference line we have just draw as our work plane. Click on ‘Set’ on the ‘Create’ tab. You should now select the ‘Pick plane’ option and click ok. If you select the wrong reference line Revit will force you to open another view, if you get this message you have selected the wrong reference. Cycle through with tab until you find the correct line. Click on ‘Show’ to show the reference plane and check you are working on the correct plane as shown below.

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Once you are sure you are working on the correct reference line we need to create some more reference planes to constrain the geometry for our door which we will be drawing in the next step. Draw 3 new reference planes as shown in the image below. Be sure that your right reference plane is on the placement side of your wall. (highlighted in the image below) 

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Once we have our new reference planes set out, you need to create an extrusion as shown in the image below. Be sure to lock your geometry to your reference planes! I have also set ‘Extrusion Start’ to 40 to give the door a 4cm thickness, I have also at this point assigned a material instance parameter so it will be possible to edit the door material once it is in a project environment. 

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We now need to dimension and give parameters to the extrusion we have just drawn. As we have already set up parameters for the height and width of our door opening, we will use the same ones to define the dimensions of the door extrusion. Be sure to dimension from reference plane to reference plane rather than using the actual geometry – Remeber we’ve locked the geometry to the reference planes. Once you’ve created the new dimensions just click the dimension value and change the parameters to ‘Width’ and ‘Height’ accordingly. You should see the dimensions of the door change automatically when you apply the parameters. 

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Your family parametric opening door is now complete! Look in the 3D view and try and flex your family. Make sure that the ‘Door Angle’ and the other dimension parameters are working correctly before you save your file. Once you are happy that your family is flexing correctly you can save your family and load it in to your project. You will now have a 3D door which you can open and close – This will also show up in plan view as a door with a user defined opening rotation.

If you have any questions or feedback then please leave a comment below! 


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About Ben Malone

Information Manager for BIM.Technologies in London

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