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).
Sometimes you want to have a Revit parameter that returns a text string depending on a number of options. For example, you might want to have a parameter show a product SKU code based on other parameter values for dimensions, color and material.
Whether you call them clearance zones, clearance areas, access areas, obstruction clearances, overhead clearances…whether you like to see them in red, blue, or patterned…whether you need to make sure that there’s enough room for something to be accessed, opened, ventilate properly, fit properly…modeling the required space around an object is a routine part of using Revit and working with Revit families.
Back in 2010 I was asked to create a face-based lighting fixture that, when placed on a wall, would display a symbol in plan view. “No problem,” I thought, and happily set out to work on it. Little did I know that it couldn’t be done. Had I “known,” I might not have even tried. But as it turns out, it was possible after all.
When a family with connectors is nested into another family, the connectors get ‘lost’ in the host family. They have to be recreated in the host to appear in a project. This is the case even if you are nesting a shared family. This behaviour is akin to a project being linked into another one, where the connectors from the linked project won’t be available to the host project.
Since both Gary and I are here in Las Vegas at Autodesk University, I thought a post with a little bit of “now you see it, now you don’t” magic would be appropriate.
This is an update to the two previous eponymous posts that adds a small but elegant improvement. The idea comes entirely from Bryan Caudill, Electrical CAD / Revit Leader at Cannon Design.
Revit adoption keeps on growing. There is no denying the benefits of having an integrated project model that holds all related information. But as more and more companies move from using Revit solely for coordination to using it as a project tool encompassing all disciplines, the level of information management required from the application continues to grow as well.