Revit 2020 Family Offset Parameter

With each release of software, there seems to be little things that change, but are either not documented as a change or the documentation on being a change is buried and difficult to locate.  In Revit 2020, there are some changes in the built-in parameters for families when they are placed in a project file.  These changes can come into play when using automation, such as Dynamo.  While they may or may not have much impact on your particular usage of Revit, it is important information of which to be aware.

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Opening with Varying Widths Throughout Revit Wall

It is common to have openings in walls that are not of a consistent width all the way through the wall.  An example of this is when a door is recessed into a brick wall and the brick opening is wider than the stud/masonry wall opening or the door.  The following illustration shows a door opening in a stud and brick wall with the brick opening wider to allow brickmould casing around the door.

Revit doors and windows, by default, have an opening that goes straight through the wall with a completely rectangular opening.  If you just use the default Door.rft or Window.rft with the default opening to create your doors and window families, you will not see the above jogged offset opening.

The secret to getting the walls to cut as you desire is to NOT use the Opening Cut that is in the family template, but use Voids instead.

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Component Elevation Changes with Wall Base Offset

When placing components on the face of a wall in Revit, the same component may move differently when the wall base offset changes.  This can cause frustration to the user by not understanding why it is happening.  No one wants to see their component change elevation when they don’t expect it.

Walls can have the bottom offset either up (positive dimension) or down (negative dimension) to raise or lower the base of the wall.  While the majority of the time the wall will be at the floor level, there are many times when the wall needs to be above the floor.  A couple of examples are a wall that sets on a concrete curb, or a wall which serves as a soffit.  The Base Offset parameter for the wall is modified in the Properties palette when the wall is highlighted. Continue reading

Revit Section Bubble Placed In Text

I get asked about how to place a detail bubble or a section bubble amongst text notes where the actual leader for the bubble is not desired.  The user still wants to have the information within the bubble to auto-update, so the bubble needs to be an actual callout. This is a very common situation,   The following image is an example of a typical situation.

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Control Visibility of Plumbing Fitting Tick Marks in Revit

Single line drawings in Revit plumbing plans (Coarse and Medium displays) show the tick marks for fittings by default.  Some design firms prefer to not show tick marks for the elbows, tees, and other fittings.  Revit has a setting that allows users to adjust the printed size of the tick marks, but this affects all tick marks for all fittings.  I see situations where the designer wants to see tick marks for reducers and couplers, but not some other fittings.

Pipe fitting families can have a parameter added that controls the visibility of the tick marks.  This allows the user to specify which fittings should show the tick marks and also allows tick mark visibility to be different for different projects.

Each Pipe Fitting family will need to be modified, but we will take a look at one family here.

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Automatic Updating Electrical Symbol Legend in Revit

Electrical symbol legends are a critical part of electrical design documents and everyone wants to have a Symbols List which automatically updates to show the actual electrical symbols that are placed in a project.  That way, the only symbols that are on the list are ones that are actually placed in the model and the list does not include many unused symbols.  It is actually possible to do this.  When an electrical item gets added to the model, the symbol gets added to the symbol list.

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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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