Controlling Material of Nested Revit Families

Being able to control the displayed materials and finishes of nested families is an important part of creating complex Revit families.  As families are created to provide more options or be more efficient, additional families are created and placed into a Host family.  The use of Nested families has a couple of key advantages:

  1. When the same component is used multiple times in a family, it can be advantageous to make that component a Nested family.  An example of this is a wheel assembly family that is used four different times for a cart.
  2. When a family needs to have multiple options from which the user can choose.  An example of this is a door assembly that has various door panel family options, such as full glass, half glass, solid, etc.

Before I go any further, I want to clarify the difference between a Host family and a Nested family.  A Nested family is one that exists inside another family.  For instance, when family F1 is loaded into F2, F2 is the Host family and F1 is the Nested family.  Typically, F2 is then loaded into the Revit project file.

Anyway, as you create a family with Nested families, you want to be able to control the materials and finishes of those Nested families directly in the Host family Properties palette after it has been placed in the project file.  For instance, you may want to control the material/finish/color of a door panel that is actually a nested family in a door assembly.  If you don’t set the family up correctly, you will not be able to do this without opening the door panel family and changing it in the family editor.  You do NOT want to be required to do this.

Continue reading

Revit Keyboard Shortcut List

Autodesk has kindly provided a keyboard shortcut list for Revit users.  The list is broken down by each tab and contains a brief description of the command represented by the shortcut.  The whole document is 9 pages long with the actual shortcut list being 6 pages long, so this is not a one page document to hang next to your monitor.

Link to webpage for Revit Shortcut Key Guide

Get a printable PDF version of the Revit Shortcut Key Guide

Create a Sanitary to Vent System Transition in Revit – 2nd Method

Earlier this year, I posted about creating a sanitary to vent system since Revit does not have a default way of showing where the piping changes from sanitary system to a vent system.  (Read it here.)  There are times when this simplified process does not work, so this post shows a 2nd method to accomplish this task.  This 2nd method utilizes a newly created family to act as a transition between the two systems.  It is a simple pipe fitting family that can be inserted into a pipe to create the transition.

Continue reading

AutoCAD 2016 Start Tab

When I opened AutoCAD 2016 for the first time, I (like the rest of you) noticed the Start tab.    That was all well and good and I thought that it would go away when I opened a drawing, similar to previously releases.  But then I opened an existing drawing and noticed the Start tab was still there.  My thought was “Ok, I will close it so I don’t have an extra tab”.  The problem was that there was no “X” on the tab to close it like other tabs.

Startmode tab

Continue reading

Revit is for Residential Architecture Too

Not very long ago, I was talking with some Architects about Revit and they made the comment that Revit doesn’t work for residential design.  I was surprised at their comments, especially with Revit’s roots being in residential design.  After talking with them, I learned that they use AutoCAD now and they were just interested in producing 2D construction documents and didn’t care about any 3D features or any intelligence that might be inside Revit.  They all had used AutoCAD for many years and had their AutoCAD blocks created and systems in place to produce 2D documentation quickly.  They were very efficient at their system, didn’t see any reason to change, and only looked for excuses to not make any change.

I will state that Revit works fantastic for residential design and can produce construction documentation quickly.

Continue reading

Revit 2016 Electrical Improvements

Revit 2016 has been released and you can find various sources for information on the enhancements of the software.  There are lots of nice changes, but I want to focus on electrical enhancements. Some were part of the UR2 release of Revit 2015 available to subscription users, but are included in Revit 2016 for all users.

Continue reading

Canadian BIM Conference

Our neighbors in Canada are holding a conference that many will find beneficial.  The Canadian BIM Council (CanBIM) is hosting an event whose goal is to build awareness for standardization and create an atmosphere of understanding and sharing among users, technology and AEC companies, software and developers.  It will be held in Toronto on June 10-11 of 2015.

Continue reading