Monday, February 27, 2006

Revit Blog Community

With special thanks to the Revit Blog hound dog,
Steve Stafford has sniffed out yet another, Revit Beginners.
Welcome to the community David.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Families vs. System tools

Building families is not always the only manner in which to assemble building components. In some cases one can achieve the same results using the tools provided.
Take the sunscreen for example (image). This could easily have been done using the structural tools, namely, Beams and Beam systems, once grouped, this whole element can then be copied all around the building.
So, I suppose, don’t always jump in head first, sit back and assess which method would be more efficient and less time consuming.
There are all sorts of factors that play a role in making such decisions. For quick design roll-out we just did these as beams and beam systems. For documentation purposes we rebuilt them as families as we needed to schedule the component as a whole.

We apply the same methodology to many other components such as windows. For quick designs, we use embedded curtain walls or just generic instance windows, that one can just pull to size. For construction documentation (CDs), we then rebuild them all into window families.
You might ask why do the work twice? Well it all has to do with time constraints in the design process, then scheduling and the ability to place these components as legend components in neat & tidy views in the CDs.

See this post for an example of legend views

Family Starter Kits

Before we get stuck into creating complex advanced families, there are a few tips and tricks I would like to start with.
The first example of such a tip/trick, I would term as “Family Starter Kits”.
A Family Starter Kit is a collection or library of common components, that you would end up using on a daily basis to construct families. As I hate to constantly do repetitive tasks, I adopted this methodology to eliminate such mundane time suckers.
For starters, elements such as profiles, can be loaded into a family and used with the Solid Sweep without having to create the profile every time. These Profiles are of course, parametric, which enables you to alter its state for the specific sweep required in the family.
Parallelograms and circular profiles are just some of the helpful profiles I have stored in my “family starter kit”

Family Starter Kits - cont 1

I then have some standard horizontal and vertical solid Bars” which make use of these standard profiles. The profiles are assigned parameters in the bars family types so with one change to the radius, (in the case of the parallelogram the sides length) updates the profile, which in turn updates the bar. Yes you can set this setup in the sketch, but it’s just easier and quicker this way.

Family Starter Kits - cont.

Unfortunately Revit doesn’t allow nesting the Profile in a label parameter which would allow you to change from the circle profile to a square profile. Hopefully this will come with time.
I can now simply load these families (I think of them as assembly parts), align them to reference planes, and presto I have a new Door Family very quickly.

Door Assembly

Complete Door

Now, by using this method one can drastically reduce the time required to build families. This following screen door is an example of that. Completed in less than 15 minutes.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

One Size Fits All

Over the next few weeks I will attempt to show you the ease in creating multiple types in one family.

I tend to build one family with many uses and types. With the great tools Revit provides in families, it’s easy to make many types from just one model. With the clever use of array formulas, visibility formulas, nested families and labels, on can create many types, even if they differ slightly, from each other, with ease

The images below are a simple example of these features and all exist in one family.