Tired of maintaining a wall library file?
Tired of generating one off wall types for a specific project?
Tired of having to verify if your wall meets structural, STC or fire rating codes?
Tired of users not creating walls that conform to your firm or industry standards?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then you will find the tool I've been beta testing of extreme interest. The tool is being produced by a metal stud manufacturer, but the implications are huge. ClarkDietrich Building Systems has named the tool ClarkDietrich BIM Wall Creator. They have even taken the effort of posting a YouTube video showing the basic work flow of their tool.
In essence, you start with the Wall Type Creator and design your wall with a certain end result in mind, namely: design your wall by height, sound rating or fire rating.
For item (1), this is where you build out the desired parts of your wall assembly. In the image above, we are looking to design a wall assembly by height. By changing the different components in the assembly (Web, stud o/c, deflection, lateral load & wallboard type/layers) we will be shown the corresponding product by ClarkDietrich that will be applicable for the choices made.
Item (2) shows the 3 choices available based on our design criteria. Selecting one of the heights listed at the far right is the next to last step.
Item (3) is the button to click which will create your wall type. It's a simple copy/paste once it's built out for you.
You will see something like the following once the wall has been built in Revit:
Where things really start to get interesting is the type properties. They are filled out so extensively and well it serves to address a number of things that an as built model in Revit would need to include. Creating walls in this manner is so fast it's not even funny!
The only drawback I see to this, is you are now specifying manufacturer specific content. That's great if you are using ClarkDietrich studs on your project. Not so great if you aren't. I'm sure that's what they are hoping though, to get specified into a project via the use of this tool. Also, it won't create other types of walls such as CMU, Concrete, wood stud and other types. That being said, its making me want to give the API another look and see if I can't make my own, generic version of this tool that address all wall types. Then again, maybe this type of tool is something Autodesk should provide ootb for Revit!