AutoCAD – How to create Walls from a Floorplan

Passive House Part 1

Objectives:

In this post I will show you how to create 3D walls from a floor plan in AutoCAD.

Notes before starting. I am using AutoCAD 2013. If you are using another version of AutoCAD, your toolbars might look differently, but essentially functions that I’m using should be the same. Download the floor plan file using the link:

AutoCAD – House Floorplan

AutoCAD drawing of a floorplan that I will be using as a starting point for Modelling a Passive House series.


When you open the file, you should see the ground floor and upper floor plans.
Floor Plan

Floor Plan

Next step is to turn off any unnecessary layers, leaving only those that we’ll need. For now, we only need walls to be visible. So from the Ribbon menu select Home > Layers > Layer Properties Manager layer_btn. Layer Properties Manageror simply type LAYER into the command line to open the Layer Properties Manager. In the Layer Properties Manager set the WALLS layer as your current layer by double clicking on it. Then select the rest of the layers and turn them off by clicking the light bulb icon. Layer Properties Manager

Before the next step, you’ll have to slightly edit the floor plan. We don’t want to have windows at this point. So select the Line tool (or type L and press ENTER) and extend the walls, where windows currently are. You should now have walls with spaces for doors. Do the same with the upper floor plan.

You’re almost ready to create 3D walls. One more thing to do – convert the lines into poly-lines. You can do this by typing PEDIT and then M (for multiple object selection). Select the first floor plan and press ENTER twice. You’ll now see a drop-down menu. Type J, press ENTER three times. You’ve just converted floor plan lines into poly-lines.

Now do the same with the upper floor plan.

PEDIT

Time for some 3D action now. Using the orbit tool (Shift + Press Mouse Wheel) set the viewing angle that you like. Select the PRESSPULL tool, or type PRESSPULL, then click inside the walls. When the command line prompts to enter height, enter 2.5 and press ENTER. Repeat with the rest of the walls.

PRESSPULL

It’s slowly starting to take shape. We’ll now cut out the windows. Go to the Layer Properties Manager (type LAYER), and turn on the WINDOWS layer. You should now see places where windows should go in on the drawing.

Let’s add some numbers to make things easier.

Windows Numbered

Make sure that WINDOWS layer is your current layer. Now select the RECTANGLE tool (RECTANG) and draw rectangles with these dimensions (Height : Width : HeightFromGround):

  1. 1.0 : 2.0 : 1.0 m
  2. 1.5 : 1.5 : 0.5 m
  3. 2.0 : 1.0 : 0.0 m
  4. 2.0 : 3.0 : 0.0 m
  5. 2.0 : 2.0 : 0.0 m
  6. 2.0 : 2.0 : 0.0 m
  7. 1.5 : 9.0 : 0.5 m
  8. 1.5 : 0.5 : 0.5 m

For upper floor, bigger windows are 1.3 : 1.75 : 0.8 m and the smaller one is 1.3 : 0.5 : 0.8 m.

Now, using the 3DROTATE tool, rotate all the windows so that they’re upward.

3D ROTATE

 When it’s done, place them on the appropriate walls using the MOVE command. Don’t forget to lift them off the ground.

3D MOVE

Now that everything’s in place, time to extrude windows using PRESSPULL again. Switch view to Shaded With Edges, to better see what you’re doing.

PRESSPULL - windows

Let’s finish door openings now. To do that we’ll again, use the PRESSPULL command. As with creating windows, you have to firstly create rectangles in places where you want to close the gap. Rectangles have to be 0.5m high and width will depend in the thickness of the wall.

When you have the rectangles ready, select the PRESSPULL tool again and close the door gap at the top.

PRESSPULL - door

Now, let’s create the angled wall on the upper floor. To do that, we’ll use the SLICE command firstly to separate the front wall from the rest. Then, use PRESSPULL to make this wall slightly higher, as it will be angled. Now, using the 3DROTATE command rotate the front wall by 9 degrees. Lastly, using the UNION command join the front wall with other walls, so that it’s one solid again.

WALL - angled

Finally, we’ll create the slab between the two floors, so that we can check that everything is where it has to be.

To create the slab, move the upper floor walls aside until you can see the initial floor plan. We’ll use it to extrude the slab. Don’t forget to change your current layer to WALLS before continuing. Also, turn off the WINDOWS layer, as it is not needed right now.

Pick the LINE tool and draw around places that we want to cut out. Then delete the rest of the lines, so that you’re left with the outline of the upper floor and three rectangular shapes. Now enter the PRESSPULL command and pull up the slab by 0.3m.

SLAB

Last step: check how everything fits. Using the MOVE command put everything together. If you did everything right, all the pieces should fit nicely. Now you can fly around your model using the ORBIT tool (Shift + Press Mouse Wheel) and check it out.

ASSEMBLE

Result:

By now you should have something like this:

Part 1 - Final

Part 1 – Final

Still looks more like a box with holes than a house. But don’t worry, in the next post I’ll be showing you how to create doors and windows for the model.

If you think this post was interesting, don’t hesitate to check out my other posts too. Thanks for reading and see you soon.

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