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.

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