Custom Family Creation
Using out of the box (hereafter referred to as OOTB) Revit Family Templates that come with a newly opened version of Revit, are already configured with the required System Parameters and Family categories.
Existing examples of OOTB Revit Families. Review them to understand the configurations of modeling and drafting. Use these principles for every family type. Windows are designed to be inserted in the center of a wall instead of on the face.
Make the Family as simple as possible by avoiding arrays, over-modeling, and lots of complicated formulae. Then, consider packaging custom Families with custom sub-components such as textures and Type Catalogs if you plan on sharing them with people outside of your organization.
Downloading Custom Families
The following are recommendations if you plan on downloading custom Families:
• Download Families from a reputable source, such as bimobject.com (Autodesk Seek redirects to this site automatically). Use caution when downloading and using Families from sites that do not have a proper vetting process.
• Load any custom content into your Revit project only after verifying its content by opening the family first. Such content as Parameters, Types, and Visibility settings should be checked for errors or unwanted and unnecessary data if applicable. After personally vetting any downloaded Revit content, load it into a test file first and verify its functionality, then load the family into your working file and company template, if required.
Caution: Removing custom parameters may cause the Family to break and lose its parametric ability.
If the Family was created in an older version of Revit, open it through the Revit interface and select the Audit option first. This will ensure a proper upgrade to the latest version.
Saving Custom Created and Downloaded Families
After saving and/or downloading custom Families, consider the following recommendations for saving:
• Save office-wide custom Families separately from OOTB Revit Families. There are times in which the OOTB Families are enhanced with the release of a newer version of Revit, which could mean that you are not getting the latest updates to new and enhanced content. Mixing OOTB Families with custom Families may cause confusion to the end user.
• Save your Revit content in a version specific folder. For example if you are creating or downloading content for Revit 2018, then save the content in a folder designated for Revit 2018. You could add suffix to the Family name that identifies the content as yours. An example of this could be, if your company is called “Group Design Company” and you created a custom window, you could name your window family, “Window-Double-Hung-GDC.rfa”, where GDC represents the initials of your company. Be sure to keep the file names short, but as descriptive as possible.
• After creating and vetting Families, be sure to create a view that is designated as a thumbnail preview. Turn off all dimensions, reference lines & planes, unwanted text, and zoom extents. Save the Family file with the preview as the primary view. This way the end user will see a clear picture of the family when attempting to load the family into their project.
Thanks for reading!
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