Monday, January 31, 2011

(Revit ®) Families 101: An Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from a paper I am writing (and will post in it's entirety when completed)... The subject is Creating Revit Content and the first step in creating Revit Content is to NOT create Revit Content, rather see if you can't find it!!! Now I know that some firms have a "No Download" policy but others do not and the reality of our digital age is such that (IMO) closing down any possibly valuable assets just because there may be others that are liabilities is antithetical to the progress and efficiency of BIM. Just like we don't believe everything we read or see or hear, etc. we should be wary of found data but not fear it...yet(?).

Many necessary Revit families already exist but unfortunately for many this existing content is oft overlooked or ignored. More and more content is available from a diversity of places (read as “The Web”), therefore if you first use the “I bet it already exists, since others have probably needed ‘it’ before” mantra you might just find that you do not need to build quite so much content after all. Though you may need to modify them and you surely need to test them before introducing to the project environment.

Dealing with found content
Assuming you find what appears to be appropriate content for your needs, “out there” it is advised to never (read as NEVER) bring content from outside sources directly into a live project environment. Test-drive it first.

The Test-Drive
Open a new, blank file and place the content in there; then test it by looking at it in all views it will show up in, change parameters (one by one), etc. Do this testing as fully as possible; to verify that both the aesthetics and functionality are correctly suited for your project or firm’s needs.

Once validated (purged out as well) then it should be safe for project use.

A few validation tests
• Do objects below get covered properly?
• Does it show up correctly in all views?
• Do all parameters flex correctly?
• Is it actually Revit Geometry or not?
• If it’s a Tag, does it pull the correct parameter?
• Is it too big (in MB)?
• Etc.

Well that should get your appetites whetted... See you soon...

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