Workflow - Step by Step

We want to make it as simple as possible for you to try out our Post & Beam Framing solution on your own. In this article, I’ll go through the basic steps to follow so that your use of the software is as hassle-free as possible.

Since these instructions are meant to simplify testing of Post & Beam Framing, 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. That goes for all - Framing, Connections, Numbering, Shop Drawing configurations, etc

I’ll be referring to these functions throughout this article:

Windows and functions of Post & Beam Framing

In the ribbon, there are eight top-level windows: Frame, Truss, Elements, Finishing, Document, Link Type, Configurations, and Settings. Here is what each of those is for:

Frame

Functionality needed for modeling Heavy Timber / Post & Beam structures

Truss

Functionality needed for creating Trusses

Elements

Functionality needed for creating connections common for Heavy Timber structures

Finishing

Functionality needed for creating additional finishing layers, like Secondary Frames, Nailers etc.

Document

Functionality needed for numbering elements and creating shop drawings

Link Type

Use this to create links for walls, floors, and roofs

Configs

Enter, create and modify all needed rules for modeling, numbering, dimensioning, etc.

Settings

Load all needed families for Heavy Timber / Post & Beam Structures automatically, browse configuration files’ locations, and transfer element types and standards.

So, let's find out how to start creating Heavy Timber Frame in Revit from scratch.

SETUP

After starting a new Revit project, make sure you save it.

STEP 1: Load Families

Choose the sample families to be loaded into the current project. Post & Beam Framing provides sample Metric and Imperial families for creating frames with connections common for Heavy Timber structures, tag families, and sample schedules.

If you’ll be designing only the Heavy Timber / Post & Beam structure, then loading families and schedules from only the Post & Beam Catalogs is enough.

Post & Beam Catalogs Framing & Connection Families – sample families for creating frames with connections common for Heavy Timber structures Schedules – sample schedules Tag Families – sample tag families Optional sample family & schedule catalogs: Floor, Roof, and 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 (supporting structure) with studs/joists Finish Families – sample families for creating floor/roof/wall finish layers, like flooring, roofing, or siding

Do not use any other Structural Framing families! You can use other families only in special cases. Contact us.

After loading, you can find the families by going to Project Browser → Families under Structural Framing, Structural Connections, Annotation Symbols, and Generic Models categories.

Have in mind, that all these sample families can be modified to each user's needs and standards.

STEP 2: Transfer Standards (optional)

Template Project is a Revit file with sample Wall, Floor and Roof types, standards, and annotations. Template Project feature allows users to transfer all needed information from Template Project, eliminating the need to create Wall/Floor/Roof types and other needed elements or standards in every new project from scratch.

So, before working with the software, we recommend to use these features (from 2 to 6 in the image above).

  1. Template Project Location – the path to your template project. Here, you can map your own Revit project that has all needed Wall, Floor and Roof Types, as well as annotations. Post & Beam Framing comes together with a sample Template Project which is mapped here automatically.

When starting out or just testing the software, you can use the sample Post & Beam Framing project that is available in the e-help pages and map it here. Later on, of course, you can create/use your own.

  1. Transfer Wall Types – transfer wall types from the projects which is defined in 'Template Project Location' to the current project.

  2. Transfer Floor Types – transfer floor types from the projects which is defined in 'Template Project Location' to the current project.

  3. Transfer Roof Types – transfer roof types from the projects which is defined in 'Template Project Location' to the current project.

  4. 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 so Current Project.

At least 6 options must be selected: Text Types View Reference Types View Templates Viewport Types Dimension Styles Filters

You can select more options if needed.

  1. Transfer Annotations – loads and overwrites Tags, Callout Heads, Section Heads, Section View Types, Title Blocks and copies Legend Views, Schedules from the projects that is defined in the 'Template Project Location' to the current project.

MODELING

Assuming you already have:

  • Needed sample families loaded using 'Load Families' (Step 1)

  • All types and standards transferred to new/current project (Step 2 - optional)

We can start by creating the architectural model that we'll later frame automatically.

STEP 3: CREATING BASIC REVIT WALLS, FLOORS AND ROOFS

In this example, I modeled a few walls, a floor and a roof using the types that were transferred from the sample Post & Beam framing project:

After the model is created, we can start using the sample configurations to create the Frames.

The walls/floors/roofs can have needed number of layers in order to create your structure with optional additional layers, like battens, sidings, etc. In this example, well focus on the most important settings for the main Frame layer.

This example is with the 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 Post & Beam Framing 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.

I demonstrated the whole process from STEP 5 during this webinar:

STEP 5: CREATE FRAME

First, let's run the “Number Types” command, which will number all host elements: walls, floors, and roofs, by your own custom rules:

Read more about: Numbering

That's it! Now, you can select all of the walls, floors, and roofs you wish to frame and use 'Create Frame'. In this example, selected Wall, Floor, and Roof frames by chosen sample configurations were generated:

Please note, that these sample configurations can be modified to each user's needs and standards. That goes for all - Framing, Connections, Numbering, Shop Drawing configurations, etc.

Read more about the features from the Frame window: Wall Wood Framing Floor Wood Framing Roof Wood Framing

STEP 6: MODIFY/UPDATE (optional)

The software is very flexible when it comes to modifying the frames after they’ve been generated by the settings in your configurations. You can modify the frames using features from the “Frame” window if you need to. There are many possible ways and workflows, so these are just a few examples. In this example, additional elements were added automatically:

In this example, the frame was updated based on the changes made in the architectural model (the wall and floor became larger and an opening was added):

In this example, the instance of the framing configuration was modified to change the post layout. Instead of distributing the posts from the start of the wall, we changed it to have the spacing in the middle of the wall:

STEP 6: ADD BRACES

After the frames are generated, we can add braces. First, let's use “Add Top Corner Braces” (1) and select one of the horizontal elements that should be supported (2). Then, you can choose vertical framing members that should intersect with the supported horizontal elements (3) and click OK (4):

Then, you can continue selecting all horizontal elements that should be supported and braces will be added automatically:

If you wish to add braces between framing elements that do not belong to the same frame (for example, connected walls or wall posts and floor joists, etc.), you can use the “Add Braces to Adjacent Frames” command and select elements between which the brace should be added one by one:

Read more about: Add/Modify Bracing

STEP 7: INSERT TRUSSES

In this example, we’ll insert a truss by a model line and then, we’ll copy/array it throughout the whole roof. Before inserting the truss, you need to draw a model line that will act as a bottom chord boundary line:

Pay attention to the ends of the model line – that’s where the location line of the vertical web on the edge of the truss will be. In this example, the Truss vertical web will be the same size as the wall beams, so I drew the model line from the center of one wall beam, to the center of the other wall beam, as you can see in this plan view:

Then, we can select the Model Line (1), use “Insert Truss by Model Line” (2), select a sample truss family (3) and click OK (4):

Please note, that the sample Truss family can be modified to each user's needs and standards, and you can create new Truss families.

As a result, a Truss was inserted automatically. The Model Line acted as a boundary line for the bottom chord and the roof acted as a boundary line for the top chords. The slopes were red from the modeled roof as well:

Now, we can select the inserted Truss (1), use “Copy/Array/AutoArray Truss” (2), choose the method of distribution as well as values for the spacing and the total amount of trusses for our roof (3), and finally, click OK (4):

As a result, Trusses were arrayed automatically:

Now, we can address the overlaps between the top, bottom chords and webs:

First, we can automatically select certain elements that should cut intersecting elements, and then create proper cuts. To do this, use “Select Webs and Chords” (1), then start by selecting “Vertical Webs” (2), click “OK” (3), and use “Cut Members with Solid” (4):

Then, repeat these steps a few more times by selecting different element types in trusses. On the second time, choose “Top Chords” in step (2), and on the third time, choose “Bottom Chords” in step (2).

As a result, all elements in trusses will have proper cuts:

Finally, before moving on to connections, we’ll Calculate Truss Volume (1), Sort the Trusses (2), and number truss members by chosen rule (3). Then, Structural Connection elements (which will be distributed later) will have their host parameter values transferred:

Read more about the features from the Truss window: Truss Wood Framing

STEP 8: INSERT CONNECTIONS COMMON FOR HEAVY TIMBER STRUCTURES

When we have all walls, floors and roofs framed, we can continue by creating connections common for heavy timber/post & beam structures. Using features from the “Elements” window, you can insert hundreds of elements into your project with just a few clicks. Time-saving features ensure fast, accurate modeling of highly detailed projects. You can easily follow project changes & quickly modify & update joints as needed (like mortise & tenon joints, lap joints, dovetails, etc.). Before inserting connections, let’s use the “Number Members” command. As a result, all Structural Framing elements in your project will be automatically numbered by your own custom rules, and later inserted Structural Connections will inherit the parameter values of their hosts (numbered Structural Framing elements):

As you can see in the image above, the selected post’s parameter values (like “Mark”, and “FM Sort Mark”) were filled in automatically, as for all Structural Framing elements in your project. Also, Structural Framing elements inherited their host's (Wall’s) “Mark” parameter value which was filled in the “FM HostMemberSortMark”, because we used the “Number Types” command previously.

Now, we select the needed Structural Framing elements and insert Structural Connection elements between certain element connections (for example, between a post and a beam) or positions (for example, on the post’s base) predefined in your “Elements Configurations”.

Please note, that all these sample rules can be modified to each user's needs and standards and you can also use your own Structural Connection families.

First, we can select needed elements manually or automatically using the “Select Elements” and “Select Webs and Chords” commands (1) and then use one of the commands for inserting Structural Connection elements (2):

As you can see in the image above, some of the commands for inserting Structural Connection elements are grouped based on the element intersections or positions, as well as other elements, like decorations. Each of these commands will open a window with a specific configuration group:

Here’s what each is for:

ExampleFunctionalityDescription

Post - Beam

To insert elements on post and beam intersections, you’ll select the posts and then choose the “Post–Beam” command

Post - Brace

To insert elements on post and brace intersections, you’ll select the posts and then choose the “Post–Brace” command

Post Base

To insert elements on the base of the posts, you’ll select the posts and then choose the “Post Base” command

Post Top

To insert elements on the top of the posts, you’ll select the posts and then choose the “Post Top” command

Beam - Post

To insert elements on beam and post intersections, you’ll select the beams and then choose the “Beam – Post” command

Beam - Beam

To insert elements on beam and beam intersections (for example, floor beams), you’ll select the beams and then choose the “Beam – Beam” command

Beam - Brace

To insert elements on beam and brace intersections, you’ll select the beams and then choose the “Beam – Brace” command

Beam Split

To insert elements on split beams, you’ll select the split beams and then choose the “Beam Split” command

Top Chord

To insert elements on the truss top chords and intersecting elements (for example, webs), you’ll select top chords and choose the “Top Chord” command

Bottom Chord

To insert elements on the truss bottom chords and intersecting elements (for example, top chords and webs), you’ll select bottom chords and choose the “Bottom Chord” command

Vertical Web

To insert elements on the truss vertical webs and intersecting elements or decor (for example, diagonal webs or arch cuts), you’ll select vertical webs and choose the “Vertical Web” command

Diagonal Web

To insert elements on the truss diagonal webs and intersecting elements or decor (for example, webs or arch cuts), you’ll select diagonal webs and choose the “Diagonal Web” command

Decor

To insert various decoration elements, for example, arch cuts for braces or end cuts for beams, you’ll select needed elements and choose the “Decor” command

Also, you can insert Elements by using “Any Element” or “Auto Insert” commands:

Any Element To insert elements from any group & any configuration from a selected group: 1) Select one category of Host elements (Walls, Structural Framing, Parts, etc.) 2) Click Any Element 3) Select Elements Configuration Group 4) Select Elements Configuration 5) Run Insert Details

Auto Insert When you start using Post & Beam Framing, the tool adds “Smart Details Configuration” shared parameter to the project. This parameter is added as a Type parameter for all Categories compatible with Smart Connections - Walls, Floors, Roofs, Parts, Columns, Structural Framing, Pipes, etc.

To use Auto Insert, you have to fill that parameter with the name of the Configuration that you want to use. After executing the "Auto Insert" command, the tool will not ask you to pick a configuration; instead, it will read the name of the Configuration from the “Smart Details Configuration” parameter and start inserting elements.

As an example, let’s insert Elements between posts and intersecting beams. First, we’ll need to select the posts (1) and then, choose “Post - Beam” (2) command:

“Insert Details” window will be opened, with “Post – Beam” configuration group (1), and you’ll be able to select a configuration (2) from that group. After that, you’ll click on “Insert Details” (3):

As a result, Structural Connection elements will be distributed automatically on post and beam intersection, based on the selected configuration:

And this is the result with all needed Structural Connection Elements distributed:

Now, we can take a look at a few close-ups.

In this example, you can see elements inserted by “Post Top” (1), “Beam – Brace” (2) and “Post – Brace” (3) commands, using sample configurations:

In this example, you can see elements inserted by “Beam – Post” (1), “Post – Brace” (2), “Beam – Brace” (3), and “Decor” (4) (the end cut for the beam and arch cut for the brace) commands, using sample configurations:

In this example, you can see elements inserted by “Beam – Beam” (1) and “Beam Split” (2) commands, using sample configurations:

In this example, you can see elements inserted by “Top Chord”, “Bottom Chord”, “Vertical Web” and “Diagonal Web” commands, using sample configurations: