As a Revit user or BIM Manager, you’ve probably had people ask you about “LOD” or “Level of Development”. When it comes to Revit content, this usually translates to asking which LOD your families are designed to meet – 100, 200, 300? You might also be asked about creating different LOD versions of the same families, in order to swap them in and out of models for different stages of deliverables.
In the past months, we’ve been working closely with consulting engineering firms to produce families that work with their shared parameters. The process has brought to the surface some issues that we think deserve closer attention for the way that they can impact the long-term utility of a firm’s shared parameters.
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.
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.
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.