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Save an In-Place Family as an RFA. Bad idea?

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    Save an In-Place Family as an RFA. Bad idea?

    What Revit Wants: Save an In-Place Family as an RFA for use in another project

    Other than putting users on the wrong foot in dealing with some strange behaviour from the resulting families, does anyone know of any adverse impact on models?

    I got a hint in this direction by a client who had heard it from a 3rd party, don't know who. Can't seem to find any info on the subject.

    Would appreciate some input.
    There must be a better way...

    Ekko Nap
    Professional nitpicker, architect, revit consultant, etc.

    #2
    Sounds very hacky - I'd steer clear.

    Comment


      #3
      Its a piece of **** process. Its not like its going to be a well built family, done that way. Youll have to edit any piece of geometry in it to give it any type of constraint or parameter anyway, so might as well not bother. Plus, any naughty bits of CAD garbage in the project WILL come in through that family, unless you are meticulous at cleaning up that family. But if youre meticulous enough to clean up that family, you wouldnt be making the family that way anyway.
      Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
      @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ekkonap View Post
        What Revit Wants: Save an In-Place Family as an RFA for use in another project

        Other than putting users on the wrong foot in dealing with some strange behaviour from the resulting families, does anyone know of any adverse impact on models?

        I got a hint in this direction by a client who had heard it from a 3rd party, don't know who. Can't seem to find any info on the subject.

        Would appreciate some input.
        It's not uncommon at all for us to start with an in-place Family for a custom-designed piece, and then turn it into a 'real' Family later on for further detailed modeling or to re-use in the future.

        We don't do this method. Instead, you first go into Edit mode on the in-place Family in the project. Then you open up a new blank Revit Family of the appropriate Template. Go back to your project, select everything in the in-place Family, hit CTRL-C. Then go back to your blank Revit Family, go to a plan view, and hit CTRL-V. Locate the pasted elements to the proper origin, and finish the paste. And there you go! Now you've got a 'real' Revit Family from your in-place family.

        Some upsides are that it will be in the proper category, in the proper template, and now you can setup more parameters / metadata if you'd like. Also because you're selecting all the elements WITHIN the in-place Family while in edit mode, you're much less likely to grab something you didn't mean to.

        The downsides (as others have noted) is that you're losing out on some of the built-in parametrics you'd have if you started out with a proper Family in the first place. A door made this way won't be pretty! To solve for that, if we know that we'll want it to be parametric, but we need to start from some sort of in-place references, we'll make an in-place family that's nothing more than Model Lines or really simple extrusions, cut-and-paste that into a Proper Family, and then use it as just a reference of where to place our Ref Planes and such to make the 'real' family.
        Jeffrey McGrew
        Architect & Founder
        Because We Can, a Design-Build Studio
        Check out our new sister company Model No. making sustainable 3D printed furniture!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
          Its a piece of **** process.
          True. But if done meticulously, will it harm a project?

          The reason I'm asking is that this is the only way to create a component in certain system categories, like walls or roofs.

          Let me reiterate that I am aware of the potential drawbacks, like What Revit Wants: You can break Revit by making Room families. This is one case where it reliably will harm a project.
          There must be a better way...

          Ekko Nap
          Professional nitpicker, architect, revit consultant, etc.

          Comment


            #6
            Yes. Doing it for categories that aren't suppose to have categories made (walls) will absolutely do harm to a project. Instability, crashing, erratic family behavior, disappearing objects. All documented from using that approach.
            Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
            @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
              Yes. Doing it for categories that aren't suppose to have categories made (walls) will absolutely do harm to a project. Instability, crashing, erratic family behavior, disappearing objects. All documented from using that approach.
              Interesting! I've been hesitant to go full scale on this approach, but I've worked with companies that use this technique exstensively. Do you happen to know where I can find said documentation, or would you mind sharing yours?
              There must be a better way...

              Ekko Nap
              Professional nitpicker, architect, revit consultant, etc.

              Comment


                #8
                I just finished a project where we used the save in-place as family, for countertops which had very specific shapes/sizes, for a laboratory.

                No problems reported--assigned materials and parameters to them as needed. As this was a very basic use, I did not see any reason not to use the technique.
                The counters were created in-place in the early stages of the design. As we moved into DD/CD, we converted them to families so they could be edited outside the project.

                I'm not sure I would favor or steer away from this practice--I think it can be done successfully, but can also lead to problems as mentioned in the other posts.
                Cliff B. Collins
                Registered Architect
                The Lamar Johnson Collaborative Architects, St. Louis, MO
                Autodesk Expert Elite

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ekkonap View Post
                  Interesting! I've been hesitant to go full scale on this approach, but I've worked with companies that use this technique exstensively. Do you happen to know where I can find said documentation, or would you mind sharing yours?
                  Here is my documentation:

                  1. Make a family for a category that doesnt allow loadable *families* like: Walls, Floors, Ceilings, Roofs.
                  2. Then, load that family in to a project.
                  3. Do something that makes Revit "think" about what family catagory it is (host stuff to it, etc)
                  4. Edit the family.
                  5. Reload the family.
                  6. Check your project REALLY carefully. =)
                  Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
                  @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Aaron. Managed to find one application that I now see will be untainable in its current form. Needless to say I alerted my old firm, they'll start testing as well.

                    Samll scale test result:

                    Instability - not yet
                    crashing - not yet
                    erratic family behavior - yes, definitely
                    disappearing objects - yes, but with warning. more like deleted objects

                    On a small scale test from a clean template I failed to find something other then a lousy user experience. Created a wall family, made 2 wall hosted families with a void cutting the host and an extrusion locked to it's front and back side. Replacing the extrusion in the wall family forced the wall based families to delete, not surprisingly, and making it workplane based ungrouped all groups containing them. Wall sweeps or reveals don't recognize it as a host. One major issue I did notice was that after the editing of the wall family I could no longer host a new wall based family to it, or move or copy the wall based families I placed previously. Even the 'pick new host' button was inactive. I could still swap families, but one ended up on the inside of the wall family where I made it to extrude from the wall face.

                    Does bound rooms, and auto-joins with other instances. Accepts view filters just fine. Schedules fine. Appears in the PB where I expect it to.

                    Not so for face based families though. They don't care whose face they're sitting on, apparently. And the wall family itself shows no signs of stress. No crashes, audit turned up clean. Attached the RVT in case someone manages to find something I missed. Open at your own risk!

                    As I said, lousy user experience, some unique capabilities. One idea I had for it is a writeoff, others might still fly. Even if its use is restricted to non-hosting (and by that I mean making it impossible to host to) applications, I can still put it to good work just by reporting stuff in a wall category. Not that I really need that anymore, now that I have Dynamo, but it might make a good backup.

                    I'll try testing it on a larger scale. Any pointers on what else to look for or how to test for it? Aaron, were all your issues possibly related to hosting stuff?
                    Attached Files
                    ekkonap
                    Senior Member
                    Last edited by ekkonap; June 17, 2015, 09:56 PM.
                    There must be a better way...

                    Ekko Nap
                    Professional nitpicker, architect, revit consultant, etc.

                    Comment

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