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Thread: Countertop family design

  1. #1
    Junior Member Zuefeldt Design's Avatar
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    Countertop family design

    Hi guys,

    I was hoping for some feedback on building a counter-top family:

    I do a lot of work with high-end residential kitchen designs where I provide VR walk-throughs of the kitchens and shop drawings for casework. With this in mind, I have been trying to develop a more robust counter-top family that nests a variety of counter edge profiles (Eased, half bullnose, etc.) and also allows for corners to be radiused. It has not been productive thus far...

    I started with the idea of nesting profile families of the edges and attaching a family type parameter to a sweep profile. Discovered you can't do that.

    I followed that with creating a series of generic model extrusions of the profiles and nesting them and organizing with the family type parameter. This method has issues with clean up of the joining conditions and pretty much prevents me from doing the radiused corners as parametric entities for the counter-top.

    Back to sweep profiles. My current approach has been to cut void sweeps of the edge profiles out of face-based families and nest them into the counter-top face. This works to an extent, but the family breaks when the edge profile void cuts intersect each other. This has been the closest to functional of any approach so far...

    Perhaps I am being overly ambitious in this approach to a counter-top family, but I'd love to hear any feedback or tips the community here might have in making it possibly work. I attached the family in case anyone wants to take a look at it (Rvt2017). Thanks for your time!
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Youll be better off just making redundant sweeps with the loaded profiles, and toggling them on and off with visibility parameters. You'll end up with a LOT of vis parameters, especially if you are toggling on/off the radii, side faces, and so on. But there isnt a graceful way to do it, otherwise.

    Of course, in all honesty: Countertops are simple enough families (even with all those parameters built in) that you might consider just having different families for the different edge conditions. Swapping the family one for one doesnt have much downside, if they are all made with the same parameters and constraints. I dont see much added benefit in cramming all of it in to one family, honestly.
    iru69 and cganiere like this.

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    Moderator cellophane's Avatar
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    Is the edge condition that noticeable in the VR environment? i.e. Can you tell the difference between a radius, eased edge & flat edge in the VR?

    You could also consider making your counter as a sweep, which would let you have a family (or type) for each edge condition and eliminate all the hassle related to using voids.

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    Of course, in all honesty: Countertops are simple enough families (even with all those parameters built in) that you might consider just having different families for the different edge conditions. Swapping the family one for one doesnt have much downside, if they are all made with the same parameters and constraints. I dont see much added benefit in cramming all of it in to one family, honestly.
    One challenge I've noticed with swapping families, not just family types, is that you lose dimensions to non-named referece planes (for clarity, named = center left-right, left, right, top, bottom, center elevation, etc.) If you do stay all in the same family, dimensions to other non-named reference planes stay put. Of course, dimensions to geometry (boo) are contingent on geometry but it's, arguably, better than a guaranteed loss of dimensions.

    Or, should we -- ideally -- be dimensioning only to named reference planes?

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    I mean, if the choice is 'name the reference planes before doing the save as to make the different options,' or 'Build in 25 extra vis parameters, with is/and/or formulas, and end up having to do the mysterious "raise and lower geometry formulaic-ally to move it in and out of voids to make it look correct at mitered corners,' all in the name of different profiles.... I think id just name the reference planes?

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    To be clear, when I say named reference planes, I'm referring to the Is Reference parameter -- dimensions to Weak and Strong reference planes are lost when switching families -- only dimensions to the named Is Reference planes stick.

    It would be great if we could change the Name parameter of the ref plane to achieve the same result. Maybe a form of Shared Parameter so Revit knows which ref planes between families are the same.

    Just making sure people are aware of the issue. I didn't look at the original family and it might very well be that multiple families make more sense here than a single family... but, for me, that's not always, or even typically, the case.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Oh, gotcha. I didnt realize thats what you meant. My bad. Even still: if i had to choose between occasionally losing a dimension here and there, or having all that extra stuff shoved in to one family, im pretty sure id go with the lost dimension, personally.

    I have a countertop component that is: Radiused in Plan, has angled options for the Side Splashes, and has on/off options for the side splashes and back splashes. Those few options alone create a LOT of vis parameters, and voids, and moving parts. I dont dream of doing it with different shapes. Not at all. Totally not worth it.

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    LOL - you should see my cabinet family! Talk about complex! It does a lot and its dead-easy to make new types but it's big and just a touch slow (frowny face)

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    Junior Member Zuefeldt Design's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the comments and feedback, thank you!

    Cellophane: I wouldn't say the visual impact of the counter-top profile is particularly noticeable in VR unless specifically pointed out to the client, but as a subtle detail I think it helps the scenes feel more finished out.

    When I find more time, I'll continue experimenting with my countertop family. It sounds like it may be more trouble than it's worth, but I can't resist the allure of dropping hours into exploring the limits of Revit haha.

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    If you wanna see real minutia take a look at the Revitwork's 'Casewerk' families. Also, the CTC Casework families are set up with 2 sets of shared nested components with one of them having 2 sets of nested components.

    That brings me to my question bout Casework families: Line Based (LB) or Component Based (CB). I recall having issues with LB in Groups when doing Multi-Family/High-Rise (repeating Units/Groups on multi-level) so I would only model them on the Enlarged Unit Plan & used a CB Countertop family to be in all of them, but thought if you have the LB set to "Place on Work Plane" it behaves better, or was it to "Place on Face"; or it really doesn't matter now because it Will get jacked up?

    What I do like bout LB CSWK is how you can split it & how they keep their relationships (being tied at the hip per se) & you can move one split-piece in either direction & everything stays in lock step. I'd just draw my references with lines or ref-planes (to be in factors of 3") then align into place & the only type parameters are the Depth/Height (to reduce types for either LB/CB).

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