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Named ref planes: where do you stop?

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    Named ref planes: where do you stop?

    I suspect we all start out with the best of ref plane naming intentions, but once I have 10 or 15 ref planes in a family it really starts getting annoying. And given the family I am working on now, a door and sidelite with a complex series of intermediate mullions both vertically and horizontally, I can't see much reason to even name the centerlines of the mullions, say nothing of the rabbets and soffits on both sides, multiplied by multiple mullions. Gah!
    So just wondering if anyone has codified their naming rules for comparison. Mine, in rough form, are...
    1: Any ref plane that defines insertion.
    2: Any ref plane that defines the overall extent of the object.
    3: Any ref plane that modeled geometry will be assigned to.
    Tempted to try to really stick with this and see where it goes.

    Gordon
    Pragmatic Praxis

    #2
    that sort of sums it up for me too...
    (if, by insertion, you mean insertion of the family in the project). Otherwise, I have a 4. Any refplane that defines insertion / aligning axis in the project.
    Martijn de Riet
    Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
    MdR Advies
    Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

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      #3
      Pretty much the same here - although (sometimes) I'll name closely-bunched reference planes simply to make identifying them (by-tabbing) during modelling a little less painful.

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        #4
        It's my preference that, like "commenting your code", if a reference plane is really necessary it ought to have some sort of name. To avoid creating too many reference planes I find that I can constrain some solid/voids inside a sketch instead of using reference planes. If we acknowledge that Revit does this itself with Automatic Sketch Dimensions, it doesn't seem so illogical or inappropriate. Generally it isn't a good idea to constrain something inside AND outside the sketch. If we can do all the constraining inside then you don't need reference planes. This approach also "hides" some complexity from the end user that might want to poke around the family, not hide to be secretive just "simpler" upon first glance.
        Last edited by Steve_Stafford; December 15, 2011, 07:26 PM.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Steve_Stafford View Post
          This approach also "hides" some complexity from the end user that might want to poke around the family, not hide to be secretive just "simpler" upon first glance.
          I used to subscribe to that method, and certainly in terms of a maintaining a "cleaner" looking family-modelling environment it "worked", but the lack of transparency in how the forms in the family were put (and constrained) together soon became an issue when editors (other than the original author) needed to do a lot poking around to uncover "the truth".

          I now advocate all our reference lines/planes & dimensions are all done out-of-sketch mode, and simply have the view scales cranked up high (or is that low?) to avoid the visual clutter of umpteen bajillion parametric dimensions.

          Thankfully the more and more we use nesting to piece together our families, the "cleaner" our families now look at first glance.

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            #6
            Originally posted by snowyweston
            ...I now advocate all our reference lines/planes & dimensions are all done out-of-sketch mode, and simply have the view scales cranked up high (or is that low?) to avoid the visual clutter of umpteen bajillion parametric dimensions.

            Thankfully the more and more we use nesting to piece together our families, the "cleaner" our families now look at first glance.
            I hear you. Nesting constraints (inside a sketch) or nesting a family isn't all that different, though a nested family will result in a bit bigger family file sizes, perhaps unnecessarily. I've seen more than a few people open a "messy" all reference planes visible family and bail out to make their own. Messy business this family editing thing is

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              #7
              So Steve,
              in the case of a complex HM frame with, say 2 horizontal mullions (one acting as a transom bar, one midpoint of the sidelite) and three more vertical mullions in the sidelite (and thus 25 extra ref planes!:crazy, would you use ref planes only for the centerlines of all mullions and then dimension/label inside the sketch to get the face, stops, rabbets and soffit dimensions? And would you do the same for the jamb, head and sill, or manage those externally with ref planes?
              I certainly like the cleanliness of the approach, and the idea that the ref plans define location and those dimensions are "external" while the other dimensions that define the profile are "internal" to the profile. I am trying to figure out how I might handle the stop depth, as it is really dimensioned back to the rabbet which is then dimensioned back to the centerline of the mullion. I guess there is nothing wrong inside the sketch with dimensioning a sketch line to a sketch line, as long as one is located back to the ref plane? Or does one then need a new parameter to locate the soffit at Face @ Mullion/2 + Stop Depth? Hmm, gonna have to play with this...

              Gordon
              Pragmatic Praxis

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                #8
                Short answer...yes

                Then again a nested frame that has all the messiness as "snowy..." was suggesting would be neater too. Some people favor sweeps for this reason, the profile has all the subtlety. I guess it depends on how much the profile(s) has to be parametric. Essentially hiding the bulk of the constraints inside the sketch of your extrusion is what I was getting at. This leaves far fewer reference planes that are obviously controlling location/placement. As for communicating the secrets, some text in the plan view as a note to editor can help other downstream users.

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