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Free Revit Families for 2017: A Resource List of BIM Objects and Sites


Introduction




A Revit family is a group of elements with a common set of properties and a related graphical representation. It is a definition and compilation of all the elements that can be inserted into a Revit project, both in 2D and 3D. Revit families can be system families, such as walls, doors, and views, or loadable families, such as furniture, texts, and dimensions. Revit families are Building Information Modelling (BIM) templates and 3D models of various objects that can be downloaded from external sources or created in Revit. Revit families allow users to add both standard and custom elements to their building models and to control and manage their design changes more efficiently.




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Why use Revit families?




Revit families provide many benefits for building design, such as:


  • They enable parametric modeling, which means that you can create flexible and adaptable components that can change according to predefined rules or parameters.



  • They allow automation, which means that when you make a change in one part of the model, it is automatically updated in all other related parts.



  • They facilitate collaboration, which means that multiple users can work on the same model at the same time, using the same standards and best practices.



  • They improve accuracy, which means that you can create detailed models that reflect the real-world conditions and specifications of your building project.



  • They enhance productivity, which means that you can save time and resources by reusing existing components or creating new ones from scratch.



Types of Revit families




There are different types of Revit families, depending on how they are created and used. The main types are:


  • System families: These are built-in elements (e.g., walls, floors, roofs) that are created within the project environment. They cannot be loaded or modified outside the project.



  • Loadable families: These are user-created or pre-built elements (e.g., doors, windows, furniture) that are loaded into projects as needed. They can be created or modified in the Revit Family Editor.



  • In-Place families: These are custom, project-specific elements that are created within the project environment. They are similar to loadable families, but they cannot be reused in other projects.



  • Nested families: These are families within families for complex components. For example, a door family can contain a handle family as a nested component.



Grouped families: These are multiple elements combined into a reusable object. For example, a desk family can How to create a Revit family




To create a Revit family, you need to use the Revit Family Editor, which is a separate mode of the Revit software. The Family Editor allows you to create and modify the geometry, parameters, materials, and visibility settings of your Revit family. The process of creating a Revit family consists of five main steps:


Step 1: Choose a family template




The first step is to choose a family template that matches the type and category of the element you want to create. A family template is a file that contains predefined settings and information for your Revit family, such as units, dimensions, reference planes, parameters, and constraints. You can choose from a variety of built-in templates or create your own custom templates. To choose a family template, follow these steps:


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  • Open the Revit software and click on the File tab.



  • Select New > Family.



  • Browse through the folders and select the template that suits your needs. For example, if you want to create a door family, select the Door.rft template.



  • Click Open.



Step 2: Draw the geometry




The second step is to draw the geometry of your Revit family, which is the shape and size of the element you want to create. You can use various tools and commands in the Family Editor to sketch and model your geometry, such as lines, arcs, circles, rectangles, extrusions, blends, sweeps, and revolves. You can also import existing geometry from other sources or use nested families as components of your geometry. To draw the geometry of your Revit family, follow these steps:


  • In the Family Editor, click on the Create tab.



  • Select the tool or command that you want to use to draw your geometry. For example, if you want to create a rectangular door panel, select the Extrusion tool.



  • Specify the properties and options for your geometry in the Properties panel and the Options bar. For example, if you are using the Extrusion tool, you can set the material, work plane, start and end level, and visibility parameters for your extrusion.



  • Draw your geometry in the drawing area. You can use reference planes, dimensions, snaps, and alignment tools to help you draw accurately and precisely.



  • Click Finish Edit Mode when you are done with your geometry.



Step 3: Add parameters and constraints




The third step is to add parameters and constraints to your Revit family, which are the properties and behaviors that define how your element works and interacts with other elements in your project. Parameters are variables that store information about your element, such as dimensions, materials, names, and types. Constraints are rules that control how your element changes when you modify its parameters or when it is placed in a project. You can use various types of parameters and constraints in your Revit family, such as instance parameters, type parameters, label parameters, global parameters, equality constraints, dimensional constraints, and geometric constraints. To add parameters and constraints to your Revit family, follow these steps:


  • In the Family Editor, click on the Modify tab.



  • Select the element or elements that you want to add parameters or constraints to.



  • Click on the tool or command that you want to use to add parameters or constraints. For example, if you want to add a label parameter to a dimension, select the Label tool.



  • Specify the properties and options for your parameters or constraints in the Properties panel and the Options bar. For example, if you are using the Label tool, you can set the name, discipline, type, group, and formula for your label parameter.



  • Apply your parameters or constraints to your element or elements in the drawing area. You can use reference planes, dimensions, snaps, and alignment tools to help you apply them accurately and precisely.



Step 4: Add materials and visibility settings




The fourth step is to add materials and visibility settings to your Revit family, which are the attributes that affect how your element looks and behaves in different views and situations. Materials are properties that define the appearance and physical characteristics of your element, such as color, texture, transparency, reflectivity, and thermal conductivity. Visibility settings are properties that control when and how your element is displayed in different views and levels of detail, such as coarse, medium, and fine. You can use various tools and commands in the Family Editor to apply materials and visibility settings to your Revit family, such as the Material Browser, the Paint tool, the Visibility/Graphics dialog box, and the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog box. To add materials and visibility settings to your Revit family, follow these steps:


In the Family Editor, click on the Manage


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