Create Type Catalog from Existing Revit Family

There are times that a Revit user will come across a family where the family creator added many types to the family.  I recently talked to someone that had a family with over 100 types defined within the family.  This has the following ramifications:

  • It increases the size of the family.
  • It creates many family types in the project that are not needed.
  • It displays a long list of types in the Type Selector for the family making it confusing finding the desired type.

Fortunately, Autodesk Revit has provided us with an easy way to create a Type Catalog that contains all of the types contained within the family.  This eliminates the need to have a family with a huge list of types within it.  We can create the Type Catalog directly from the family, so we do not need to recreate the data contained in each family type.

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Starting View Using Parameters

It is pretty typical for organizations to utilize the Starting View function within Revit and use that view to show project information.  That information often includes project name, project number, project address, and other important data.  Ideally, some of that information would be displayed using the same project parameters as used in title blocks to maintain consistency.  It can.

I believe that using a starting view is “good BIM” and good utilization of the starting view is very important.  It can help the model load more quickly and give the user important information about the project since it will be the first view seen when opening the project file.

Many organizations use a drafting view as their starting view.  When using a drafting view, project parameters cannot be used since labels are not allowed in a drafting view.  A “Label” is needed in order to use a parameter and are used in families.  If a drafting view is used, regular text needs to be used for the information.

A good method to use project parameters in your starting view is to utilize a sheet with a custom title block for the starting view.

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Personal Section View in Revit

Creating sections in a Revit model is key to creating a quality 3D model, and that includes creating sections that are simply used for design verification.  Construction documents typically include sections, but users also use a lot of temporary sections for coordination and verification.  A problem with temporary sections is that you don’t know who created the section and the purpose for the section.  As a result they tend to stay in the model because no one really knows if they can delete the section.

I previously wrote a blog article about creating Working Sections which helps with this situation.  However, the working section can be further enhanced.  This article will address 2 key features for improving the working section:

  1. Who created the working section.
  2. Apply a user’s specific settings for the working section.

Note that this article will build upon that previous blog article.  You can find the article here.

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Year End BIM Evaluation

It is now the end of another year, with all the experiences of life that comes with that year.  As such, we tend to evaluate the past year and look forward to the challenges and experiences of the new year.  That includes all different aspects of our lives, including the personal and professional sides.  However, in additional to individuals doing this, organizations need to do the same thing.

Since this is an building industry oriented blog, I am going to touch on what I believe to be an important component of AEC firms in the technological age in which we now live.  That is the evaluation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) within your firm.  While there are still many AEC firms that have not moved into the world of BIM, it is becoming more common and more important in the industry.

It is extremely important to evaluate BIM within a firm.  There are costs associated with moving toward BIM integration and it is important to understand whether your firm is getting a return on that investment and how it can be improved.

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Stop Revit Double-Click For Family Editor

When using Revit, do you ever get irritated with a family opening up in the family editor when you accidently double-click on the family while working in a project?  I do (when on a different computer than my own).  Revit added this great feature a few releases ago to enable easier access to modify families so that you don’t have to select the family and then choose the Edit Family command.  However, I have found this feature to be more annoying than helpful when in production mode.

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Revit Electrical Panel Information

If you are utilizing Revit for electrical engineering design, then you are using electrical panels and likely electrical panel schedules.  While the process of inserting electrical panels and connecting basic circuits to them is pretty straightforward, there are some items that are good to know to help you better utilize panels and their associated schedules.

First off, a requirement in this process is to make sure that after you place an electrical panel in the Revit model, you set the Distribution System for it.  Otherwise, you will not be able to connect any electrical device or other electrical equipment to the panel.  The Distribution System is shown in both the panel’s Properties palette, and on the Options Bar on the ribbon.

Panel Schedules in Revit are a report of the information that is contained in the electrical panel, and schedules cannot be created without having a panel family placed in the project file.  They are not like a spreadsheet where the numerical values are entered into the spreadsheet.  The values shown in the panel and on the panel schedule are a result of connected loads to the panel and are only as good as the information in the items connected to the panel.

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