- Best Practices – Creating Custom Families
- Best Practices – Downloading Custom Families
- Best Practices – Saving Custom Created and Downloaded Families
If you are interested in creating, downloading, and saving custom Revit Families, read this article for recommendations on best practices.
If you plan on creating your own custom Families, consider the following recommendations:
- Use the OOTB (out of the box) Revit Family Templates that come with the shipping version of Revit. These templates are properly configured with the correct System Parameters and Family category.
- Review existing examples of OOTB Revit Families to understand the modeling and drafting configurations and use these principals for your Families. For example, Doors are designed to be inserted at the center of the door and not at the strike or hinge sides. The door panel is modeled as an extrusion in the closed position, but uses Symbolic Lines in the open position for the Plan and RCP views.
- Make the Family as lean as possible – avoid over-modeling, using arrays, and lots of complicated formulas.
- If you plan on sharing custom Families with people outside of your organization, be sure to package them up with all custom sub-components, such as custom textures and Type Catalogs.
If you plan on downloading custom Families, consider the following recommendations:
- Download Families from a reputable source, such as bimobject.com (Autodesk Seek redirects to this site). Use caution when downloading and using Families from sites that do not have a proper vetting process.
- Before loading any custom content into your Revit project, be sure to open the Family and verify its content, such as Parameters, Types, and Visibility settings. Remove any unwanted or unnecessary data, if applicable. Caution: Removing custom parameters may cause the Family to break and lose its parametric ability. After personally vetting downloaded Revit content, load the content into a test file first and verify its functionality, then load the family into your working file and company template, if required.
- If the Family was created in an older version of Revit, open the Family through the Revit interface and select the Audit option first. This will ensure a proper upgrade to the latest version.
After creating and/or downloading custom Families, consider the following recommendations for saving:
- Consider saving office-wide custom Families separate from the OOTB Revit Families. There are times in which the OOTB Families are enhanced with the release of a newer version of Revit, which could mean that you are not getting the latest updates to new and enhanced content. Mixing OOTB Families with custom Families may cause confusion to the end user.
- Always save your Revit content in a version specific folder. For example, if you are creating or downloading content for Revit 2018, then save the content in a folder designated for Revit 2018. Consider adding a suffix to the Family name that identifies the content as yours. For example, if your company is called “Design Company” and you created a custom door, you could name your door family “Passage-Single Flush_DC.rfa”, where DC represents the initials of your company. Be sure to keep the file names short, but as descriptive as possible.
- After creating and vetting Families, be sure to create a view that is designated as a Thumbnail preview. Turn off all dimensions, reference lines & planes, unwanted text, and zoom extents. Save the Family file with the preview as the primary view. This way the end user will see a clear picture of the family when attempting to load the family into their project.
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AEC Senior Application Specialist
Sash is a registered Architect and LEED Accredited Professional who holds a Master of Architecture from Montana State University. Sash’s experience includes project management, BIM management, and design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon. In addition to being a Bluebeam Certified Instructor, Sash is an Autodesk Certified Instructor who provides Revit Architecture training and solutions for AECO firms. Find Sash on Twitter.