Revit Structure 2014 Tutorial – Modelling piled wall systems

Link to YouTube Video:

I thought it was about time to produce a post and tutorial on piled wall such as sheet piling, contiguous and secant piled systems. On a recent customer project we had to model some sheet piling and in previous projects I had used curtain systems to produce the layout with mixed results. I have found that the best current system for the modelling of sheet piling is to use adaptive components and then apply this to a divided path.

Revit Piled Wall

The first stage is to model your pile family. The Pile family is modelled within a column family template. I downloaded a profile of a sheet pile and then used this to create a simple extrusion with a parameter to control the pile depth. Make sure that you set the pile to always be vertical within the Family Categories & Parameters otherwise you may find that you have horizontal piling!

You then create a Metric Generic Model Adaptive.rfa family and insert the pile family into this. Place a normal Revit point and make this adaptive as shown below.

Revit Adaptive Component

Start a new Metric Generic Model Adaptive.rft family and then draw your intended path for the pile component. It’s worth remembering that you can of course import a CAD file or an image into his family to help with the layout.

Metric Generic Model Adaptive CAD import

Start a new Metric Generic Model Adaptive.rft family and then draw your intended path for the pile component. It’s worth remembering that you can of course import a CAD file or an image into his family to help with the layout.

Divide Path Icon

You can then configure the divided path within the Properties Palette. Note that I have set the layout to Fixed Distance and the Measurement Type to Chord Length. In this example the width of the sheet pile is 900.

Revit Divided Path

Next you load in your adaptive pile family. On the Create Ribbon use the component tool and insert your pile at the end of your path making sure that you snap it on one of the points. Select the pile and then choose the Repeat command as shown below.

Revit Pattern along a path

You will now see your piling layout. You can now load this back into your project. The piles can be scheduled if you have set the family to use the Shared property.

Pile Layout

Here is another example where the path is travelling through 3D space. Very useful for infrastructure projects. Form more information see my YouTube Video:

Revit 2014 Sheet Piling


Hope this helps,



About lawrenceh

I am employed by Excitech, one of the largest Autodesk resellers in the UK, to provide training and other services such as implementation and project support to our clients. The main products I get involved with are Autodesk Revit Structure, Dynamo & Autodesk Inventor. My personal interests include aviation, engineering and walking.
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10 Responses to Revit Structure 2014 Tutorial – Modelling piled wall systems

  1. Thomas says:

    great work, thank you for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Revit Structure 2014 Tutorial – Modelling piled wall systems | Ceļuprojekts

  3. Anthony Oxford says:

    Hi Lawrence, hope you’re well. I’ve just been testing this very method and came across a problem, and then came across your blog. The problem I have is that when I try to place the adaptive pile, it’s always perpendicular to the path. I’ve checked and re-checked that everything’s correct, but can’t find the reason Any ideas?

  4. lawrenceh says:

    Hi Anthony, All good but very busy for the 2016 launch! You need to make sure that the original pile family has the setting ‘always vertical’ as this will make the pile normal to the path rather than vertical.

    • Anthony Oxford says:

      I’ve checked that, all ok. I’ve had to rotate the pile in the structural foundation family so it’s in line with the left/right ref plane, rather than front/back. I’m sure this shouldn’t be necessary though…

  5. lawrenceh says:

    ok, what about the adaptive Point, is this set to ‘Orients to’ Global z, then host (xy) as this will also cause a problem if not correctly set.

  6. lawrenceh says:

    Yes it was. Sounds strange. The only thing I can suggest is to watch the video again and follow the steps which should work fine. If not I could send you a sample model.

  7. Kasper says:

    Hi Anthony!
    Great work!
    But I did have a problem with hosting my Adaptive Family to my path. It’s hosting horizontally.
    I made a Column family where I checked the ‘Always vertical’ and choose Structural Foundation. Then loaded this into a Adaptive Family where I placed a Adaptive Point.
    When it was loaded into a new Adaptive family, but when I tried to host my family to the path, it was hosting horizontally? Do you know where I went wrong? Or what could have went wrong?

    Keep up the good work!

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