How to start creating frames with CLT panels in Revit automatically [WORKFLOW]
As you may already know, the user interface of our Wood Framing CLT add-on for Revit was recently enhanced to make the workflow more intuitive and the UI overall easier to use.
What you may not know is that we are now making Wood Framing CLT available to trial for free!
That being the case, we want to make it as simple as possible for you to try out our CLT solution on your own. In this blog post, I’ll go through the basic steps to follow so that your use of the software is as hassle-free as possible.
Note: Since these instructions are meant to simplify testing of Wood Framing CLT, I have used our sample configurations and families throughout.
Just keep in mind that all these sample rules can be modified to your own needs and standards.
Because the reconfigured UI is intended to make the workflow more intuitive, here is a quick recap of the simplified ribbon. I’ll be referring to these functions throughout this article. (For more details on the new UI, read our post on that.)
Tools and functions of Wood Framing CLT
In the ribbon, there are six top-level functions:
Functionality needed for modeling frames with CLT panels
Functionality needed for creating connections common for CLT structures
Functionality needed for numbering elements and creating shop drawings
Use this to create links for walls, floors, and roofs.
Enter, create and modify all needed rules for modeling, numbering, dimensioning, etc.
Load all needed families for CLT Structures automatically, browse configuration files’ locations, and transfer element types and standards.
Without further ado, let’s start creating frames with CLT panels in Revit from scratch!
Example workflow for CLT project creation in Revit
After starting a new Revit project, make sure you save it.
By the way, the 9 STEPS outlined below can be seen in this tutorial video.
STEP 1: Load families
Choose the sample families to be loaded into the current project. Wood Framing CLT provides sample Metric and Imperial families for creating frames with connections common for CLT structures, tag families, and sample schedules.
If you’ll be designing only the CLT structure,
loading families from CLT Catalogs is sufficient:
CLT Families – sample families for creating frames with connections common for CLT structures
CLT Schedules – sample schedules for CLT panels
Tag Families – sample tag families
Optional sample family catalogs:
Floor, Roof & Wall Catalogs
Additional Families – sample families for creating additional floor/roof/wall layers, like timber secondary frames, horizontal or vertical nailers, battens, etc. or main timber frames with studs/joists
Additional Schedules – sample schedules for floor/roof/wall additional layers
Finish Families – sample families for creating floor/roof/wall finish layers, like flooring, roofing, siding
After loading, you can find the families in Project Browser → Families under Structural Framing, Structural Connections, Division Profiles, Annotation Symbols and Generic Models categories.
STEP 2: Transfer standards
‘Template Project’ is a Revit file with sample Wall, Floor and Roof types, standards, and annotations. The ‘Template Project’ feature allows users to transfer all needed information from a template project, eliminating the need to create Wall/Floor/Roof types and other needed elements or standards from scratch for every new project.
So, before working with the software, we recommend using these features (numbers 2-6 in the image above).
- Template Project Location – the path to your template project. Wood Framing CLT comes with a sample Template Project, which is mapped here automatically.
When starting out, we recommend using the sample template project that comes with the software and is automatically mapped already. Later on, of course, you can create and use your own:
2. Transfer Wall Types – transfer wall types from the projects which is defined in ‘Template Project Location’ to the current project.
3. Transfer Floor Types – transfer floor types from the projects which is defined in ‘Template Project Location’ to the current project.
4. Transfer Roof Types – transfer roof types from the projects which is defined in ‘Template Project Location’ to the current project.
For steps 2-4 (above), you can transfer only the types containing ‘CLT’ in their name.
An example using the metric sample template project and ‘Transfer Wall Types’:
5. Transfer Standards – Opens Revit’s ‘Transfer Project Standards’ dialog window. You then need to manually select various styles, types, and settings, which need to be transferred from the Template Project File to the Current Project.
For a smooth workflow, we recommend that you select at least these 6 options:
View Reference Types
You can select more options if needed.
6. Transfer Annotations – loads and overwrites Tags, Callout Heads, Section Heads, Section View Types, and Title Blocks and copies Legend Views and Schedules from the projects that is defined in the ‘Template Project Location’ to the current project.
Modeling CLT panel system in Revit
Now, assuming you already have…
- the necessary sample families loaded using ‘Load Families’ (Step 1)
- all types and standards transferred to new/current project (Step 2)
…then you can move on to creating the architectural model to be auto-framed with CLT panels.
STEP 3: Creating basic Revit walls, floors, and roofs
In this example, I modeled a few walls and a floor using the types that were transferred from the template project. I also used a ‘3D CLT’ View Template for the 3D View:
After the model is created, we can start using the sample configurations to create CLT panels.
STEP 4: Link type
The sample walls/floors/roofs have only one layer for the CLT structure, and this is how we should set up the link:
Note: This example is with a wall, but the logic is the same for floors and roofs.
1. Selected wall/floor/roof type
2. ‘Frame’ should be selected in the ‘Framing Layer’
3. ‘Framing Configuration’ – select a framing configuration with the definition of all framing parameters. A sample configuration that comes with the CLT software was used here, but you can also create your own later on.
4. ‘Frame’ – choose whether layers should be framed during the framing process.
5. ‘Split Parts’ and ‘Split by’ options should be selected, as CLT panels are created as Parts category in Revit and also, they’re split by the Configuration defined in the ‘Framing Configuration’.
6. ‘Paneling Configuration’ – select a paneling configuration with the definition of how CLT panels should be split. A sample configuration that comes with the CLT software was used here, but you can also create your own later on.
7. ‘Exclude Parts’ – select the parts that need to be excluded from the wall/floor/roof. CLT panels are created as parts, so this tick mark should be unticked for the CLT Layer.
STEP 5: Create frame
First, let’s run the ‘Number Types‘ command, which will number all host elements, namely, walls, floors, and roofs:
That’s it! Now select all of the walls, floors, and roofs, and use ‘Create Frame‘.
In this example, CLT panels with half-lap connections were generated:
Make sure you select elements from the wall, floor, or roof category — not parts!
Note: I demonstrate the process from STEP 5: Create Frame in the webinar embedded below. Various ways of modifying the frames after they have been created are also shown. Start viewing from about 10:45.
STEP 6: Insert connections common for CLT structures
Now, let’s insert half-lap connections for L and T connections in our wall panels.
Select all wall Parts, and then use ‘Auto-Insert‘:
As a result, half-lap connections were created for L-joins and also, cuts for T-joins:
STEP 7: Number elements
Some of the parameter values that are common for CLT structures can be entered manually, before numbering the panels based on predefined rules.
For example, I can enter:
Visual quality for interior and exterior sides of the panel:
Grain direction (ON – horizontal, OFF – vertical):
Unit number – it can represent separate buildings in the project or something else of that nature:
In the image below, in the Numbering Rules window (1), you can choose all needed rules for various categories (like Walls, Parts, Structural Framing, Structural Connections, etc.) and their parameters, which should be filled in, in a single configuration.
Also, you’ll be able to assign configurations that should be used with ‘Number Types‘ and ‘Number Elements‘ commands (2):
Now, when we’ll run the ‘Number Elements‘ command, all elements will be numbered by the sample configurations assigned in the ‘Numberign Rules’. As you can see, ‘FM_CLT_Part Level‘ was calculated and filled in. Also ‘Mark’ parameter value, and so on:
STEP 8: Insert tags
After numbering the elements, we can select all needed parts and use ‘Insert Tags’. After that, 3D Tags will be inserted, where you’ll see previously entered Visual Quality parameter values for the interior and exterior sides of the panel:
These 3D Tags are Structural Framing category elements that are being used as Tags.
Note: If you don’t want to see these tags in the 3D View, you can hide them, but you should still insert them, as we’ll be using these 3D Tags to tag panels when creating shop drawings in the following step.
If you do not insert them, then the panels will not have tags in the shop drawings!
Of course, these are only sample configurations and can be adjusted to your needs later.
STEP 9: Create shop drawings
Finally, you can select all numbered and tagged parts and use ‘Create Assembly’. In this example, I’m creating an assembly of a wall panel, so I’ll choose the ‘CLT Wall Panel’ sample configuration:
You’ll find all generated views and schedules in the Project Browser under Assemblies. All views will have dimensions, and tags added automatically:
We chose horizontal grain direction for this panel in STEP 7, so now, in the Elevation Front view, we have the automatically added tag showing us the horizontal direction, as well as the Mark (U1_142) of this part and the visual quality (V-ext (V-int)):
All sample configurations used in this explanation can be found and modified under ‘Configs’, here:
We invite you to download a free trial of Wood Framing CLT and test out Wood Framing CLT for yourself! Also, let us know if you’d like to have a personal online demonstration or if you have any questions.
For your free trial, don’t forget to download the sample project that matches your Revit version on our CLT e-help page. And then, just make sure you follow the workflow outlined above.
One of our BIM application engineers would be glad to give you a personal demonstration of Wood Framing CLT. Then you can start your trial period with a better idea of how to use the software and already have answers to your preliminary questions.
To start a free trial of Wood Framing CLT, first download our TOOLS4BIM Dock for your Revit version.