Tag Archive | revit families

Controlling the visbility of voids with an on / off parameter in Revit

Ever wanted to be able to turn a void on and off in a Revit project? My colleague Johnny Furlong has come up with this awesome work around:

Create a new HOSTED family, e.g. face, wall, ceiling based – depending on where your family will be based. I will be using a Metric face based generic model.

Create a void through the solid geometry – make sure that the voids cuts all the way through 2 faces of the geometry. You can choose which shape you want the void to be and as usual it can be controlled by reference planes etc. Save this family as *name*_uncut.

Now you have your uncut void family saved, you will want to create and save another instance of the same family as a CUT family. Select the void, click the cut geometry button and cut the void from the geometry. Save this family as *name*_cut.

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You will now want to create a new family to embed these 2 families you have just created into. New family > Generic model – Create some solid geometry with an extrusion, depending on what shape / purpose you will be using it for. Load both your *name*_uncut & *name*_cut you have just created into your new family.

Place your *name*_cut family onto the solid extrusion you have just created in your unsaved generic model family. (you can repeat this step for as many voids as you need in your extrusion).

You will need to create 4 parameters. Decide at this point whether you want them to be instance or type parameters. Click on the ‘Family Types’ button on your Ribbon. The first parameter you will want to add is the control / On Off switch. Name the parameter ‘OnOff’ and make it a Yes/No parameter.

You will need to create 3 additional ‘<Family Type…>’ parameters – You will want to choose the same family type that you used to create your cut and uncut families; in this case all 3 will be ‘Generic model’ types.

Create an On <Generic Model> parameter and in the value field pick your *name*_cut family & Create an Off <Generic Model> parameter and in the value field pick your *name*_uncut family. Finally you will want to make an Switch <Generic Model> parameter – you can pick either the uncut or cut family for the value at this point. Once all 3 of these have been created, in the formula field for the Switch parameter enter the following; ‘if(OnOff, On, Off)’ – The On and Off values in the formula is in relation to the name of your families.

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Click ‘OK’ and select the cut / void family which is embedded in your extrusion in the ‘Label’ field choose the Switch parameter.

While the void is still selected, go to your properties and UNTICK the ‘Visible’ checkbox – This will ensure that the orange void box will not appear when you insert the family into a project. You can also check that the Label parameter is set to ‘Switch’.

Load your family into your project – and there you go! Tick / Untick the ‘OnOff’ parameter checkbox to turn your void on and off.

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I hope this helps – If you are having trouble following the instructions, leave a comment below and I will make a short video running through the whole process.

If you want to download the sample families I have used in this walkthrough you can download them here

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Creating a type catalog for new families in Revit

When creating large Revit families which have a number of types / variations (e.g. size) of the same model, it may be useful to create a ‘type catalog’ to accompany the family in your project. In short, a type catalogue will reduce the amount of data going into your model when you import a new component / family. Rather than loading all 6+ types of the same family into the project, it will allow you to pick from a list (your type catalog) which size or modification of your family that you need loaded in this particular instance. This is particularly useful in families where you have 6 or more different types which could significantly slow your project down.

If you are using a family from the default library, you are able to export the families attributes as a type catalog, by simply exporting the family types as a .txt file as shown in the image below. As you will see, all of the work is done for you and every new family type you add will automatically update in the .txt file, proividing you re-export every time you make a change.

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If you want to create your own custom type catalog rather than just exporting from Revit, then you will have to create your own .txt file which you will use as your type catalog. To get an overview of what information goes into this .txt file it could be a good idea to export some type catalogs from the families stored in the default Revit libraries and explore for yourself how different attirbutes are stored and named. Here are a few key points to consider when creating your Type catalog.

  • Give your family a simple name, using no spaces or unusual characters. Use _ to connect words and – between a range of numbers.
  • Ensure your Family and .txt file have the SAME NAME excluding the extension.
  • Place your Family and the .txt file in the same folder on your computer.
  • Be consitent and list parameters in the same way everytime you create a new catalog.
  • Only create type catalogs for families with over 5 variations.
  • TEST your family and type catalogs before sharing with others.
  • If you are having problems defining parameters, check an existing family that is working correctly for tips.

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Once you have your family created and all editable attributes added as parameters, it is time to start creating your type catalog. For every defining parameter you have, you will need to add this in the type catalog. Most parameters are names specifically, e.g. Length, but for the more obscure you would use the parameter ‘OTHER’.

Open up a notepad or your personal preference of .txt editor. The first line of your code, depending on your parameters should look something like this:  ,Keynote##OTHER##,AssemblyCode##OTHER##,Depth##LENGTH##MILLIMETERS,Material##OTHER##,
Height##LENGTH##MILLIMETERS,Width##LENGTH##MILLIMETERS.

This is storing Keynotes, Assembly Codes, Length, Width, Depth, Material and the units. Parameters in Revit are usually listed in the following way:

Parameter Name(Length) ##Parameter Value(100) ##Unit (millimeters) – Although it may look confusing to start with, once you understand the way they are formulated, it is easy to add and edit existing values using the above method. Use the ‘,’ parenthesis when seperating different parameters.

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Once you have created your family and type catalog and try and load it into Revit, you may receive an error similar to the one listed above. This particular error is informing us that 7 values or parameters were expected, yet only 6 of them were found, or defined in the type catalog. If you receive a similar message, go back and review your family to check you haven’t missed out one or more of the types created in the catalog. Once your family has been created succesfully you  will see a dialogue box appear similar to the one shown below when you load your family into your project, this is what you want to see!

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Once again load your family into your project and check that each of the variations are working as you would expect. Once you have tested all variations, you are ready to share your family with the rest of your team. If you have any problems or more questions about type catalogs, feel free to get in touch and I will see if I can help. Hope that this will be useful for someone who is having problems with creating type catalogs.

Revit Adaptive families – an introduction

Adaptive points are a tool which has been available in Revit since the 2011 release. They are an adaption of the pattern based curtain panel. Adaptive families, unlike a standard parametric family, which can be resized by flexing and changing values are able to adapt to different situations and scenarios in a building, controlled by the points you setup. They are often used for panels and curtain panels which are similar in appearance and function but different sizes. Adaptive families are able to ‘adapt’ to their surrondings by settings points as markers or connectors. e.g. A square panel will have 4 adaptive points which you will add on each of the 4 corners of the structural framing.

Like all tools in Revit, there are a number of different complexities to adaptive families, they can be used for simple geometry for instance piping or beams all the way up to advanced modeling techniques, such as rotating panels requiring an excellent work station to be able to handle the detail and repetition on a large scale. In this post I will be trying to explain the basics in a simple and understandable way.

Before jumping in to creating an adaptive family, it is worth taking some time out to plan how your family is going to function. With normal generic families, we lay out reference planes to constrain our geometry, with adaptive panels I like to use reference planes in a grid format and repeat the same grid in the Revit project when adding the family. This consistency will reduce the chances of errors etc when you are loading your family. 

A few things to consider before starting your adaptive family:

  • Add your ‘Point Elements’ in the same order that you want to insert your geometry into your project.
  • Remember to set out grids if you are working on more than one level.
  • Adaptive points have their own X and Y reference planes attached, when working with solid forms, use these planes to constrain the points to the geometry.
  • Be sure to use ‘Reference Lines’ rather than ‘Model Lines’ when referencing your point to the form.
  • Be patient, and test your points are acting and reacting the way you expect, in the same way you’d flex a standard Revit family.
  • There’s nothing worse than rushing through and finding out you have to start all over due to a simple mistake.

The first thing you need to do is open up a new “Adaptive Genric Model Family” this will give you a blank template with and X and Y reference plane. Hold down Ctrl + Shift and with your mouse left click and drag the current reference planes to make copies of them, set out your planes similar to how I have in the image below. Keep a consistency with the spacing between planes, this is important when bringing the family into your project. Add some points and arrange them as you need: 

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Use the view cube to lay out your points, you may notice that your points aren’t snapping to the reference planes unless you are in a ‘top’, ‘left’ or ‘right’ view. As mentioned above, make sure to enter your points in the same sequence you will add them into your project. Once you are happy with the location of your points, highlight them all and click the ‘Make Adaptive’ icon on the ‘Adaptive Component’ tab. In this instance, I am going to create a random form, just to illustrate how adaptive points work. 

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Use the ‘Set’ tool in the work plane tab, and go through each adaptive point one by one and select the horizontral face as shown on point 5 above. Once we are working on the correct plane, we can begin to create the starting point for our geometry. When creating these circles as shown above make sure to use ‘Reference Lines’ rather than model lines. Solid forms and masses can be constrained and controlled by reference lines but not model lines. We now want to add some parameters to our reference circles. To do this, simply highlight the reference circle, and click the ‘Make this temporary dimension permanent’ icon as shown below.

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Once we have made all of our reference lines into permanent dimensions, we are able to add a parameter to control the size of the circles. Simply add a type parameter in the way you would with a normal family. Select the dimension, click on the ‘Add label’ dropdown in the actions bar and a parameter name related to the object. I will use ‘Bottom Width’ for point 5 and ‘Top Width’ for points 1-4 as they will all be the same size. You will now see these parameters appear in the ‘Family Types’ dialogue where you will be able to control the dimensions and add formulas etc. Set your reference lines to the correct sizes and we are almost ready to start adding some geometry. It is a good idea to test your new parameters and move your adaptive points around to check that everything is behaving correctly. 

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We now want to add some solid geometry to our adaptive points. There are of course a number of different ways to do this depending on the desired result. Here I will be selecting point 1-5, 2-5, 3-5, 4-5. Select reference line 1 and while holding down control, tab through your elements until you are selecting reference line with adaptive point 5 in. Select both of these and then hit ‘Create Form’ in the ‘Form’ tab on the ribbon. Repeat this step until you have 4 ‘spokes’ coming out of the wider base. If you have followed the same instructions that I have given, your adaptive family will look like the image below.  

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Again you should now move around your adaptive points and test your parameters to check that they are performing the way they should be. Once you have completed this you are ready to save your family and add it in to a revit project. Test it out by connecting it to a Mass. It is a simple procedure and only requires you to add the points in the same way that you have added them in your family. I sometimes find it easier to recreate the grids in a mass environment in the Revit project. You can also switch nodes on to your grid lines to make the placing of points simpler. 

If you have any problems or questions, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Trick or Treat – For charity

To get into the festive spirit, BIM Object, a Swedish BIM component portal have released a Halloween style pumpkin which can be download as a Revit family amongst other formats. They will be donating €1 for every unique download. (I’m not trying to bankrupt BIM Object) but if we all downloaded and shared this with our friends, a fairly susbstantial amount could be raised for a fantastic charity.

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“Today BIMobject® launches its charity campaign! A Halloween pumpkin has been created as a 3D object which is available as a free download from the highly successful portal: bimobject.com. For every unique download of the Halloween Pumpkin, between October 26 and November 5, BIMobject® will donate 1 euro to “Världens Barn” – a Swedish fundraising campaign with a global reach.”

”Världens Barn”, meaning “Children of the World”, is organised by the Swedish Radiohjälpen Foundation with the focus for this year being: “Health, education and a future with dignity”.

You will need to sign up and register on BIMObject.com if you haven’t already. It will definitely be worth your time checking out some of the other manuacturer and community uploaded content while your there. This is a great idea to raise awareness and at the same time giving to a very worthy cause. View the BIMObject release notes here – and be sure to pass the information on to others!

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Download the Halloween Pumpkin here.

Opening / Closing door – Revit Family Tutorial

In this post I will be showing you how to create a door family in Revit 2013 which can open and close as well as being fully parametric. If you are new to family creation you may wish to check out the tutorials section of my website and follow the family series from the beginning. Click here to view previous tutorials. 

The first thing you need to do is open a new family. Open up your Revit > New Family > Load a Generic model wall based. The first view we will be working in is the “Placement side elevation” navigate to this view, and set out reference planes with dimension parameters exactly as I have in the image below. Use type parameters for the ‘Width’ and ‘Height’ dimensions. 

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The next thing we need to do is create an opening where our door is going to be located. We have already set out our reference planes for the opening above so all we need to do is click the ‘Opening’ icon in our ‘Create’ tab. Use the rectangle line creation tool to draw an opening over the reference planes we have just created. Be sure to lock the opening to the reference plane at the bottom and not the reference level as you see in the image below.

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You should now see an opening in the wall if you look in a 3D view. Navigate to the reference level view. We now need to draw a reference line which will be used as a reference for our door swing angle. Draw a reference line from the right corner of our wall out at an angle. (It doesn’t matter what angle for now as this will be editable after we give it a dimension and parameter. Your reference line should be drawn as shown in the image below.

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Now that we have a reference line where we want it to be, we need to align and constrain it to the outside of our wall. We will do this by clicking on ‘Align’ in the ‘Modify’ tab on your ribbon. Once we have activated the command we need to align the bottom corner of the reference line to the right reference plane which is controlling our door opening as shown in the image below. It is crucial you find the bottom point of the reference line – cycle through your selection options with the tab key until you see the little point on the bottom of the reference line as shown below.

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Once we are sure that our reference line is locked to the reference plane we can create a new dimension and parameter for the door swing angle. Go to the ‘Annotate’ tab and click on ‘Angular’ dimension. Click the reference line and then the reference plane as shown in the image below. Give this dimension another parameter as we have done on the previous dimensions. I have called this ‘Door Swing Angle’.

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We must now create the extrusion for our door, but before this we will need to set out new references for the geometry. Set your ‘Door Swing Angle’ to 90* so that it is fully opened (this will allow us to use the reference line it was created on as our workplane.) You should now head to your ‘Left elevation’ view. We now need to set the reference line we have just draw as our work plane. Click on ‘Set’ on the ‘Create’ tab. You should now select the ‘Pick plane’ option and click ok. If you select the wrong reference line Revit will force you to open another view, if you get this message you have selected the wrong reference. Cycle through with tab until you find the correct line. Click on ‘Show’ to show the reference plane and check you are working on the correct plane as shown below.

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Once you are sure you are working on the correct reference line we need to create some more reference planes to constrain the geometry for our door which we will be drawing in the next step. Draw 3 new reference planes as shown in the image below. Be sure that your right reference plane is on the placement side of your wall. (highlighted in the image below) 

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Once we have our new reference planes set out, you need to create an extrusion as shown in the image below. Be sure to lock your geometry to your reference planes! I have also set ‘Extrusion Start’ to 40 to give the door a 4cm thickness, I have also at this point assigned a material instance parameter so it will be possible to edit the door material once it is in a project environment. 

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We now need to dimension and give parameters to the extrusion we have just drawn. As we have already set up parameters for the height and width of our door opening, we will use the same ones to define the dimensions of the door extrusion. Be sure to dimension from reference plane to reference plane rather than using the actual geometry – Remeber we’ve locked the geometry to the reference planes. Once you’ve created the new dimensions just click the dimension value and change the parameters to ‘Width’ and ‘Height’ accordingly. You should see the dimensions of the door change automatically when you apply the parameters. 

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Your family parametric opening door is now complete! Look in the 3D view and try and flex your family. Make sure that the ‘Door Angle’ and the other dimension parameters are working correctly before you save your file. Once you are happy that your family is flexing correctly you can save your family and load it in to your project. You will now have a 3D door which you can open and close – This will also show up in plan view as a door with a user defined opening rotation.

If you have any questions or feedback then please leave a comment below! 

Tools4Revit – Smart family browser

Smart browser – Free family browser byTools4Revit is a useful tool which can be used to organise and sort your Revit families into categories. If you are anything like me and store all your families in the same folder in a rather organised way, then this tool is definitely something which you should look into. Over the course of about 5 years I have built up a huge catalogue of over 1000 families.. You can imagine how hard it can be to find what you want, especially if you weren’t so careful naming it in a way it could be easily recognised. The Smart browser will arrange your families into the following categories: Generic models, Furniture, Windows, Curtain panels, Detail items, Mass, Specialty.

Step 1 – Go to the Tools4Revit site and download the free family browser. & Install 

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Step 2 – Open Revit – SB available for 2011, 2012 & 2013 – You will notice a new tab in your Revit ribbon called ‘T4R: Create/Modify’ Click on this tab and then click on ‘Smart browser’ you will now have to register your trial and then activate your product. You will receive an email with an activation code once your registration has been accepted and activated. 

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Step 3 – Once you have installed and activated the add-in you will now be able to start adding your Revit families into the browser. Click on ‘Smart browser’ and then ‘Browser options’ a dialogue box will now appear. Head to the ‘Add new family folders from your computer or network’ field and click on ‘Browse’ you should now navigate through your computer and find the folder where all your Revit families are stored. If you have them stored in many different folders you will have to add each one seperately, so consider copying and pasting all your families into 1 folder.

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Step 4 – Once you have found your files, click the start button. Consider whether you want to create 3D .dwf files and click / untick the box as appropriate. You will now see the process of the families being added. It will take some time depending on how many families you have and also the speed of your computer. The first time I added my families it took around 30 minutes as there were so many. This time would be dramatically decreased on a fast computer. Once the process is complete you will see the following dialogue box appear. (I’ve only added 53 this time just to use as an example) 

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Step 5 – Now all your families have been added. Open the family browser by clicking on ‘Smart browser > Family browser’ you will now see a catalogue type window which pops up with all the individual categories and families added. Notice that the top section are the families which you have just added filed into categories, and underneath that are some sample families provided by CGTrader. 

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You can now load any of your families in to your project simply by clicking on them, and then click ‘Load family’ there are also some other useful options in the family browser application, such as being able to view all the parameters and information about the specific familes as shown in the image below. It is also possible to ‘Edit family’ and ‘Load type’

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You will also notice the red ‘Sell’ button. This will open up a window to a CGTrader portal type environment where you can buy and sell your Revit families with other users. I have not tried this and am not interested in selling my families to public users, but it might be useful for somebody. In conclusion, I feel T4R Smart browser is a very simple and useful program for anyone with a large amount of Revit families, it quickly sorts and categorises making it much easier to view and edit your families. 

 

Extrusion with curved edges on all 4 sides

Recently when creating families in Revit, I came across a problem. When creating a square extrusion, lets use for this example a table top. If you want to have curved edges on the front and back edge of the table, it is possible to draw your extrusion in an elevation view e.g. Elevation left, as shown below. What you will achieve is, as you would expect a rectangle extrusion with rounded edges as you have drawn the profile in the elevation.

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But what happens, if you want to turn the other 2 flattened off edges on either side in to a rounded edge? I thought this would be easily achieved by going to the front elevation view as you see below and editing the extrusion and then modifying the profiles of the edges on both sides in the same way I have done when I created the original extrusion. Unfortunately, this is for some reason not possible and Revit gives you a dialogue box where you are forced to change view if you want to edit the extrusion. It is therefore only possible to edit the extrusion in a Left or Right Elevation view as shown below. This will not help us as it is the same view in which the original element was created.

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I therefore tried various workarounds, and achieved a solution through the use of void extrusions. Open up the front elevation view where you want to add the profile and draw a square exrusion in the corner of extrusion you are editing baring in mind the dimensions of your model. After this, use a tangent arc to join the edges and create a curved profile as you see below. Draw the extrusion exactly as you see it and make sure that it is formed in a closed loop.

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Once you have created the Void Extrusion, you will see that it is a small block in the centre of your original extrusion. You now need to apply the rounded edge over the whole edge of the table top. You can do this by navigating to your left elevation view where you can stretch your new void extrusion so it is covering the corners of your table top surface. This will now create a neat joined surface with curved edges on all sides.

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As shown below, this is a valid work around, and can still be locked to work planes to create a parametric surface. Although it gives the result I was looking for, I am sure there must be a better method to achieve the same results. I tried it with all the modelling tools and this was the best outcome that I could come up with.

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If anyone knows of a better method to do this, please let me know as I would love to know an easier way to achieve this fairly common type of finish for furniture etc. Leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.

 

Creating Revit families – Basic 3D modeling tools explained

To round up the beginners family series, before I move on to some more advanced geometry and adaptive components, I will explain all of the 3D modeling tools available in the Revit Family environment and display some of the different uses for each tool along with an image as an example of each method / tool available in Revit. (Sorry about the Marble finish I have set as my generic model material ;))
 

uploaded imageThe Extrusion tool is most likely the first 3D modeling tool you played around with in Revit. It is used to create simple forms such as the cube shown to the right. It is possible to give the geometry a 2D profile which will then extrude with a thickness depending on what options you have set in the ‘extrusion start’ and ‘extrusion end’ properties. It is possible to drive the dimension either with parameters or by locking and flexing the grid.

 

uploaded imageThe Blend tool is another of the common tools used in the family environment. It is created, simply by specifying a base and a top profile. Revit will then join the geometry between these 2 profiles, with a specific extrusion depth. It is also possible to change and control these forms with parameters and reference planes. Useful for creating cone / funnel shaped forms but also any form thats width varies throughout the length of the geometry.

 

uploaded imageThe revolve tool creates a solid form revolving around a user defined axis line. A 2D profile is drawn to represent the form of the geometry. Due to the fact the an axis line is used, we only need to draw half of the desired geometry and the axis / revolve line will act as a mirror. You can then set the revolve radius, by default it’s set to 360* which will give a full revolve, in the image I have created a 320* revolve radius which then leaves an opening.

 

uploaded imageThe Sweep tool is very useful for creating swept geometry which follows a defined path, for example a pipe or structural beam could be drawn using this method. Other uses are for example drawing a door frame which follows a path with exactly the same profile all the way around. Firstly you have to draw your path (often on an elevation view) and then draw your profile (on a plan view). Sweeps can also be made parametric for editing dimensions.

 

uploaded image The Swept Blend tool is as the name suggests, a mix between a sweep and a blend. This tool is used for creating a sweep with a different start and end profile. It therefore creates a sweep driven by the path sketch, and then defined by the start and end profile of the blend. To the right is a very simple example of a swept blend but they can be used to create much more detailed and abstract geometry for example a lamp post or a curved wall mass.

 

uploaded imageThe Void Extrusion tool is a part of the void modelng forms toolset in Revit. For each instance of modeling tool, there is also a void tool which can either be used alongside or independtly to the extruding 3D tools.. It is an essential tool for 3D modeling, and again, as the name suggests, it creates a void in an extrusion as shown in the image to the left. This tool can be used to hollow out or create openings in solid extrusions.

 

uploaded image The Void Revolve tool is the final 3D modeling tool I will be discussing, as it is clear what all the void tools are used for and what can be achieved by using them. As you can see to the right, this tool can create some interesting shapes and forms. When used in conjunction with the revolve tool it can create hollowed out shapes. It is also possible to use these void forms. It is created in exactly the same way as the revolve tool, and you could say, has the exact opposite effect. Removing rather than adding geometry.

 

Creating simple parametric families in Revit – Part 4 – Coffee Cup

In the fourth part of my ‘Creating Revit families’ series I will be demonstrating how to design and model a 3D coffee/tea cup in Revit. If you are new to creating families and wish to learn some more of the basics, you may want to check out Part 1 – Parametric cubePart 2 – Parametric tablePart 3 – Parametric window If you are already familiar with creating basic families, and you want to learn about some of the more advanced features of creating families used in the Coffee cup family (revolves, sweeps, blends etc.) then continue on to the following instructions:

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As with all new families, the first thing we will need to do is open up a template. In this case, we will use the “Metric Generic Model face based” – This will allow us to host the family to a face / surface for instance a table top. Always consider where you family is most likely to be hosted before deciding which template to use.

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The first thing you are going to need to do is set out some reference planes to use as markers / constraints. Head to your “Front elevation” view. At this point, bare in mind that most of the templates are designed for large objects, such as roofs panels / building objects. Due to this reason, the generic reference planes will be a lot larger than we need, you will therefore need to resize the reference planes and change the scale to 1:1. Once you have done this, you should set out your reference planes exactly as you see in the image above, unless you want a slight variation to my design.

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Now our reference planes are set up, we want to make the overall ‘form’ of the cup. To do this there are various methods, but the method I prefer is to use a solid revolve. Therefore pick the revolve tool under the ‘Create’ or ‘Architecture’ menu (depending on which version of Revit you are using). Sketch your revolve profile as shown in the image above, take note you only have to draw half of the object as the Axis line acts as mirror, or line of revolution for cylinder like forms. Follow the steps below before you finish your Revolve.

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Assuming you don’t want a square edged coffee cup, we will need to create profiles on the edges of the revolves in order to give a nice rounded finish to the rim and bottom of the cup. First of all, just draw the corners as rectangles as illustrated above. Once you have done this, you want to use the  ‘Fillet arc’ tool to create the corners. As shown above select the tool and make sure the ‘Radius’ box is ticked in the actions bar, you can play around with the radius dimension to find your desired curve, I have used a 1mm radius in this instance. Make sure as always to lock your geometry in position with the reference planes.

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If you look in your 3D view you will now see something that is beginning to look like a coffee cup. The next step is to create a handle for the cup. I am working now on the ‘Right Elevation’ view. You should set up as before, reference planes in your ‘Right elevation’ to constrain the handle as shown above. We are now going to use the ‘Solid Sweep’. A solid sweep is created in 2 steps. Firstly, as shown above, we are going to create the line or the ‘Path’ that the desired geometry will follow. Once we have set the path, we will need to create the profile, this is how the path will be extruded as a 3D object rather than a 2D path line. Go to Home > Sweep > Sketch path and follow the instructions above to create a handle shape. Click the tick to finish your path.

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Be sure to only click the tick once, as we are yet to make the 3D profile. Click the ‘Select Profile’ button on the ribbon followed by the ‘Edit profile’ you will now be asked to choose which view you want to sketch it in, select the ‘Elevation Right’ You should now see a head on view with a cross with a point in the middle. The point is representing the middle of the path you have just drawn. (Imagine we are just stretching this point to create the desired thickness.) We now want to set up reference plans and sketch the profile for the cups handle, I have used an almost circular shaped geometry but feel free to play around with the profile shape. Once you have done this, click the green tick twice to complete your Sweep.

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In your 3D view you should now see an empty coffee cup with your new handle attached correctly. Now we need to fill it with some coffee!! To do this, we will again use the solid ‘Revolve’ tool. Use a dimension line to constrain the level of your coffee, you may also want to set an instance parameter for the level of your coffee if it is important to you how much coffee is in the cup ;) Follow the image above if you wish to create an almost full cup, pay attention to the bottom corner of your revolve as you do not want it to be protruding your actual cup geometry!

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The final step we need to take in the family environment is to set some parameters for materials, so whoever will use the coffee cup family will be able to set custom materials for the cup. Assuming you want the handle to be the same material as the cup itself, create two new parameters, one for cup and handle material, and the other for the coffee liquid material. Follow the steps in the image above if you are unsure of how to do this. Finally save your family with an easily recognisable name and load it in to a project to test out.

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You can now add custom colours and materials to your coffee cup as shown above, unfortunately I didn’t have a liquid coffee texture, so had to settle with ‘Murky water’ – I wouldn’t drink it, but the cup is doing it’s job! Hope this helps anyone who is having problems with some of the more advanced tools in the Revit family creation environment. With the basic understanding of the tools we have discussed today, it is easy to start designing your own objects, try for yourself and see how you get on! Next time I will be discussing adaptive points in the family environment.