You can tell a lot about people by watching what happens on an escalator. Some of us stand calmly in place, waiting for the escalator to do its job. Others march up or down, feeling the satisfaction of saving extra seconds. There are those who seek the comfort of the handrail, and there are those who will never touch it for one reason or another – rock solid balance, possible germs, feeling that tiny bit more alive. Of course there’s one of humanity’s major dividing lines – those who stand to the side so others can pass, and those who stand across the steps, oblivious to the needs of their fellow travelers (you know who you are).
Now that the holidays are over and we’re back at work, it’s time to capitalize on that last drop of holiday spirit and get cracking on our New Year’s resolutions! For those of us at Andekan, making New Year’s resolutions means thinking about how we can make better Revit families, make our customers’ lives easier, make our own lives easier, and keep helping the industry to move forward.
Meet the latest version of our human Revit family
Back when Andekan first started, we built a Revit person family that we called Andy. Andy was a chance to show off our Revit family-fu, while offering something that anyone working in projects would find useful.
While it’s only August, so far it would be safe to say that 2017 has been our hottest year on record for VRF Revit content. VRF stands for Variable Refrigerant Flow, and it’s a type of HVAC system that can do modulated and mixed heating and cooling. We’ve had multiple projects from multiple manufacturers and created a wide range of VRF components throughout 2017. This made me curious to learn more about where VRF products fit in the industry and why the sudden increase in interest.
Some quick background before we begin
When we started Andekan nearly a decade ago, the vast majority of our customers were architects and engineers who needed Revit content for specific projects. Things have changed quite a bit since then, and today most of our customers are manufacturers who want Revit families of their products to distribute to those same architects, engineers and contractors.
System connectors and their limitations have been a recurring theme in a slew of MEP content projects that we’ve been working on recently. When it comes to creating Revit families for MEP systems (HVAC, piping, plumbing, electrical, etc.), connectors are an essential feature of any usable piece of content. Anyone doing system coordination and calculations in Revit projects will know about the importance of having families with the right kinds of connectors, and of having those connectors correctly configured for the particular system (and for those that don’t, you can check out this Autodesk primer on Revit connectors).
After my last post on building manufacturer Revit content that can easily flex to accomodate new dimensions and specs, we received a customer request that offers up a perfect study in contrasts. The customer in question is a manufacturer with existing Revit families that had been made by some other provider (unknown to us) and later published on Seek. The manufacturer now wanted to add a few new types to those families, each of which had only minor changes to dimensions and electrical specifications. Sounds simple enough, right?
We were hired recently to create a few chiller Revit families for use by a major engineering firm. The firm requested the families to be based on specific manufacturer models that they needed for a particular project, but they also wanted to get Revit families that they could readily adapt to future needs. The project was a good chance to demonstrate how Revit families can be built to match a specific manufacturer product while still being flexible enough to serve as the basis for a range of similar products from the manufacturer.