Components for AutoCAD Details

As a consultant and trainer, I work with many people that are currently working with AutoCAD or transitioning to Revit.  I am constantly amazed at the number of architectural users of AutoCAD that are not aware of detail components within AutoCAD Architecture.  These components can be an important part of drafting the many details that are part of an architectural design office.  Over the years, I have spent many hours drafting details for construction documents and I think of the advantages of having pre-made components available to me for detailing.

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Instance Length Parameter with Grips

I was recently asked about instance parameter grips for a Revit family that was placed in a Revit project file.  The family had an instance parameter in it for a dimension and the user was expecting to see grip arrows so that they could manually adjust the size by dragging the grips.  The arrow grips did not exist and the user was curious why that was the case.

The answer to the user’s question is actually very simple.  When creating a dimension that will be referencing an instance parameter, it is important to dimension between two Reference Planes for the grip arrows to appear.

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Flexible 3-Point Arc in Revit Family

Occasionally, you need to create an arc in a Revit family and you know 3 points of the arc, but not necessarily the radius, and you need it to be flexible.  It is common for windows with a radius top to have this situation.  You know the chord length (width of the window) and the distance from the top of the straight sides to the top of the window arc, but not the radius of the arc.  Revit requires you to specify the radius and center point of the arc to allow it to be flexible, so it is important to determine that information.

3pt Arc-Finish1

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Passing Revit Parameters to Nested Profile Family

Anyone using Revit realizes that families are a key component to effectively using the software.  Creating quality families are very important to a good quality Revit project, and an important part of a family are the parameters.  Parameters within the family can control information and flexibility of not only the family, but also “nested” families.  A nested family is another family that is inserted into the primary family in which you are working.  It is common in some families, such as door families, to utilize a nested “profile” family to control a sweep for something like a door frame.  Passing parameter values to a nested profile family is different than other nested families, so this article specifically addresses passing parameter values to a nested profile family.

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Characteristics of Revit Reference Lines

Autodesk Revit contains both Reference Planes and Reference Lines, but it seems that most people do not understand or utilize Reference Lines.  While Reference Lines are used as control lines for information within a family similar to Reference Planes, they are not a type of Reference Plane.  It is its own type of object designed for a separate purpose.  Basically, you should use Reference Lines instead of Reference Planes when you need defined endpoints for a work plane.   A prime example of an important Reference Line usage is for allowing for the rotation of objects within a family.  A general rule is that if you want something to rotate, use a Reference Line to control it.

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Residential Door Tag in Revit

Specifying information concerning doors on architectural plans is an important aspect of conveying information to the contractor working in the field.  Residential designers and commercial designers tend to have different approaches to this situation as commercial projects generally utilize a door schedule referencing a number tag at the door and residential projects generally have the door size shown directly on the floor plan.  While it seems like a door size tag for residential projects would be a basic feature in Revit, there are no default tags to display the door size in typical methods.  In this article, we will take a look at a process to create a typical residential door tag.  This process can then be modified slightly to create other variations of the door size tag and also window size tags. Residential Door Tag Multiple in Doors

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Inexpensive Architectural Design Software

Architectural design software is renowned for being expensive for the major products that are on the market, especially the packages considered as Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. Many designers are looking for something less expensive. That may be due to limited financial resources to spend on software, or to the lack of a need for something more expensive and powerful. This article is devoted to mentioning some architectural design software packages available for less than $2500.

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