Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!


Head over to Buildz now and see the result from this year's pumpkin's carving!
I will have a follow-up post to show my pumpkin's entry this year.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Profiling - Part 2 (Void Cut Visibility)

Continue from the last post, I will talk about another unique way of using Profile family in family creation. Like the last tip I showed, you can only use nested profile family on Sweep and Swept Blend form creation.

Let's try to use sweep for something different this time. I am going to create two different options for cabinet door. This concept could apply to other things though. Don't limit your imagination!

To begin, I will start by making a profile family and simply draw a circle and set the "radius" as a parameter.

I have made a simple version for the cabinet panel. In this case, I want to use a void sweep to create a recess door panel for the cabinet; at the same time, I want to have an option to maintain this as a flush panel.

First, make a solid sweep using the nested profile family of the circle.

Once this is done, go to the properties of the sweep, under Solid/Void and set it "Void". I always start off as a solid sweep in this step instead of void because doing so it will be easier for me to set up other parameters in the following steps. If I had made it as void in the first place, it would automatically cut out the panel adjacent to it.

Go back to the sweep properties, you will notice there is a parameter called "Horizontal Profile Offset". By setting this parameter with a positive value, it will offset/lift the sweep, thus move away from the panel. Not only that, you can use this value and assign it as a parameter.

So, here is what I do:
When horizontal profile offset is at 0", it will cut the panel; when offset value is at 6", it will move away.
What I need is to associate this parameter (Sweep Offset) to the family first.

Next, use "cut geometry" to have the sweep cut the panel. Go to family type, change the value again from 0" to 6", notice the void sweep now has moved away, so the panel appears to remain flush again

Using this idea, you can now set up a yes/no parameter to drive the void sweep (visibility). I name it (Show Recess Panel). Next, go to parameter Sweep Offset, under the formula field, type a condition statement like this:

if(Show Recess Panel, 0",6")

By doing so, you can now use the check box (yes/no parameter) to drive the void sweep location, which is like you have a switch to control the visibility of the void form.

Nest the panel to the cabinet (host) and associate the "Show Recess Panel" parameter, you have now created 2 different styles for the panels within the same cabinet.

You can also apply this concept on many other things.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Profiling - Part 1

A profile in Revit means many different things. Many model elements are created based on a profile such as wall sweep, curtain wall mullion or stair railing.
Understanding the use of the profile family is essential to family creation. Today I will talk about how to use profile family as an alternative way (set as a rig) for setting rotation in family. One thing I'd like to mention is that this is nothing new at all, I have known and used this trick since Revit 2009.

In the family environment, there are 2 different solid/void creations that can accept nested profile family. They are Sweep and Swept Blend. This little gem will only work when creating Sweep or Swept Blend with nested profile family

Let's start by making a profile family first. Go to New family -> choose Profile (Generic) template
Draw a simple box and set up parameter based off the origin.

Start another family (Generic in this case) and nest the profile family into it. Create a Sweep by defining a path first.

Once you finish the path, you need to "Select Profile" either by drawing a sketch or choose one from a "Profile family". Choose the nested profile loaded earlier. Go ahead and finish the sweep.

You now created a slat/board geometry.
Here's the key:
Select the sweep object and look under properties, there is a parameter "Angle", click that little box on the right to associate family parameter and add parameter "Rotation" to the family.

Go ahead and nest this slat to another (Generic) family and use "Array" to create a series of slat/board.

Next, go to the project browser and under family, locate the nested family "Slat" and expand it. Double-click on the type and it will open the properties of the Slat. Here you are able to associate the Rotation and other parameter again in this family.

Load it the project (or you can keep nesting it to another family), you have now created a series of slat that can rotate. One of the nice things about using this trick for rotation is that you can set the rotation from 0 to 360 degree and it will not break!
Try it with different degree for the rotation...

Use the same trick to make a swept blend this time, you can use the same profile or have 2 different profiles on each end to create the Swept Blend.  You have now created a twisted geometry that rotates.

Do the same and create an "Array" group by nesting this family. You will be able to create something interesting...

You will find this trick to create rotation in families much easier to behave and control. I have used this to create many things from louver family to curtain panel screen that rotates.
Profile family will come in handy to use it as nested family for other family creations. Stay tune for my future post and I will show you another trick using profile family in Revit.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

10,000 hit!!!

Today I am just excited to see that the site has over 10,000 pageviews since the blog launched in August this year. Thank you all for taking the time to visit my blog in this past 3 months and hope this site has offered some useful tips and insights. I will continue to do my best to keep up with my post and look forward to hearing from your comments as well.

Thank you!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Creating Roof Family for Folding Roof Planes

Not exactly. This is not a new family category in Revit where you can create a component family for the roof. However, one can actually create a mass family and use "Roof by Face" to achieve though.

I have a project where the design team came up with the roof design where two roof planes fold upward. Normally, I can use "roof by footprint" to create the roof. It is possible to do it but it can be tedious sometimes especially for those two end piece of the roof that folds upward. Since we are still studying the shape and want to explore with different roof pitch to get the best form. Trying to model the roof planes work together could be a time sink.

The team wanted to know if there is another way to do this more efficiently; so I thought I could make a mass family of the roof shape, set up a couple of parameters and we are in business!

Start making a mass family, I first lay out some reference points where I need to connect with model lines later. Once the points are set, create dimensions and set up parameters associated with those points.

Next, I use spline through points to create linear model lines (I later convert them into reference lines in the properties)  and get all the points connected.

I then select the reference lines and click "Create Form"; the forms are just surfaces that I need to use it to generate the roof once the mass family is loaded into the project.

Flex the family a few times to make sure the form follows with the parameters. One last thing I did before I loaded to the project was to add the formula to tie the "Height" parameter with the parameter "Roof Pitch". All that is done, it is good to go.

Load it to the project, offset it above the walls; I can use create "Roof by Face" to make these folding planes as a roof.

Since I made the mass family parametric, both the width and length are instance parameters, I can freely adjust the overall size of the roof form by pulling the shape handle. The nice thing about using mass family is that once the shape of the mass is changed, I can use "Update to Face" option to get the roof shape follows the new form as if I have a parametric roof family.

I can use the same mass family to generate the roof for multiple buildings in this project.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Splitting Families

I thought I'd share this nifty tip about using split tool. I use split tool a lot in many occasions in Revit.
You can find "Split" tool under "Modify" tab.

Common use with "Split" tool

"Split" tool can apply to wall or when sketching a floor/ceiling/roof/stair during sketch mode. Also, you can use split in family editor environment while creating the geometry during sketch (e.g. extrusion).
What many people don't know is you can use split on wall in vertical plane like in 3D view or elevation.

How about families? I use "Split" on beam (structural framing) family quite often, too.

In addition, you can split a Line-Based family with this tool.

As for detail items, you can use "split" tool on Line-based detail items as well as repeating details, too!
Hope you will find this little trick useful.

Happy splitting!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Printing Sheets with Guide Grid

I have a user reported the other day about the a printing issue. There were a number of sheets that the titleblock shifted unwillingly.

Normally, this could cause by many factors, one of the common issues are there are things (e.g. lines, filled region, annotation or the extended crop region from the view) outside the titleblock. Revit would include the elements in the printing process which results the entire sheet shifted in the prints or the pdf files.

Once I started looking into the issue, it turns out all the "issued" sheets have something in common. "Guide Grid" was used to help organize the views.

All those sheets have the Guide Grid stretched beyond the sheet...

By default, Guide Grid is a non-printable element in Revit; however, in this case, Revit will treat it as a visible element. Therefore, it was included as part of the view in the sheet. 

The solution is easy, all you need to do is to go to the properties of the sheet, set the "Guide Grid" back to <None>. That's it!

Now the prints will come out in the right position.