Wouldn’t it be nice if your manufacturer-specific fittings would highlight themselves if they are set outside of the product’s catalog specs? Wouldn’t it be even nicer if they were highlighted without stopping your workflow as you lay your pipe runs? Then your manufacturer-specific fittings could even be used as generic or custom fittings as well.
Well I’m happy to report that you can have your cake and eat it too. The above image shows a pipe fitting family (an elbow in this example) that, when used in a project, will get highlighted in red if the angle of the elbow is different than either 45 or 90 (the two angles provided by the manufacturer). Not only that, it will also show you a non-modal dialog warning as you draw. But wait, it gets better! There is no plugin, hack or workaround. This is a built-in feature in Revit. The below video shows this feature in action.
You can achieve this seamless highlighting by means of the IsCustom built-in parameter on the Pipe Fittings Revit family category. When in a project, changing this Yes/No parameter will display a modeless dialog warning like the one shown below. The parameter can be controlled via a formula that draws information from within the project. You can add the colored highlighting by means of additional geometry associated to the IsCustom parameter.
One of our customers has been enjoying a set of fittings created this way and his feedback couldn’t be better. Long pipe runs, where a mistake of a couple degrees on a fitting can end up causing coordination issues, are now easily reviewed and fixed. And if a custom fitting is actually needed, then this can be highlighted and reported.
We are working on a manufacturer-specific set of fittings that all have this feature built in. I’ll write more about it when we release these families and write a follow-up post with step by step instructions on how to create such a family. If you don’t want to wait for the follow-up post, I’ll be at Autodesk University this coming week and would welcome the opportunity to talk with anyone who is interested in implementing this feature in their Revit families.