Monday, October 23, 2006

Improving Family Performance

There is a very simple method that can be employed to improve family performance when loaded in a project, the technique makes it much easier for Revit to "draw" views as it doesn't have to calculate anything with regards to cutting through the family's geometry. Using symbolic lines to represent what the family looks like in a specific view type (plan/RCP, elevation front/back, elevation left/right) with visibility settings set to turn off 3D geometry, allows Revit to automatically render the symbolic lines in the particular view, and ignore the 3D geometry. Revit doesn't have to calculate what the family might look like if it is cut by the view plane, or even if the family is being cut by the view plane, it simply displays the symbolic geometry. However there is one slight hitch, if you're working in any type of 3D family, and draw symbolic lines, when you place the family into a project you'll "see" right through the family! See the image to the right.

To fix this problem you need to create a detail component and nest into your 3D family. Detail components (2D geometry only) allow the use of filled regions (which thankfully can block patterns!). If you create a parametric detail component with a filled region, you can then nest it, and attach its parameters to the parameters of the 3D family. Once this is taken care of you can succesfully load the family into a project and get the results of the table on the left.

I highly reccomend creating a rectangular detail component with a filled region, with the lines set to "invisible", you can then use this component in a variety of situations. If you do not want the filled region to have a pattern or color, make sure to set the type properties of the filled region to "no pattern" and not a solid fill color. If however you want a material pattern you can choose whatever you like. You may also want some filled region detail components for other common shapes like circle, L, etc...

Setting the parameters to instance based will give you shape handles when the component is loaded that can be quickly grabbed & locked. These filled region detail components can be handy for detailing in project views too, rather than having to always create filled regions every time you need one. Instance parameters will make it so that you don't need multiple types.

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