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Combining Revit (.RFA Files) families as one family?

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    Combining Revit (.RFA Files) families as one family?

    Hi, as my name depicts, I'm fairly new to Revit.

    Recently I have hit a wall and cannot get around nor over it.

    My question is, How do I combine 2 separate family models into one family?

    I have two individual models (families) that are separate from each other. Both have been .STEP imported into Inventor then shrink-wrapped and BIM Content into Building Components for .RFA files.

    The buildup... (and backup solution)
    From the .RFA files I can import them as Revit families individually or in the same instance, (using the Generic family template) however this method, from what I understand is a matter of instance visibility parameters and the yes/no graphic tick box. I have considered this but it will mean that the file sizes will be large, since there are more than 15 models variants of the same type (sizes, and since they are not made in Revit, I cannot assign dimension parameters to them for a model family.)

    The wall...
    I would like to combine them into one selection family, without them being in the same family instance (confusing) so, it would be more like, accessing the file from location and have them so I can select each model from the Dropdown box.

    Yet again, please bare with me, I have limited knowledge, so this might not be even possible and the *put all on one family and use visibility* method, is the best option I have.

    > Combine separate .RFA models into one family that doesn't require them nested. (If possible, but all solutions are welcome)
    > Have the different family models accessible via Dropdown box. (please see attachment)
    > Limited knowledge and no Idea on how to create formulas.

    Please can someone help me and enlighten this Revit noob, I would greatly appreciate it, thank you.

    (If there is any request for additional attachments, I would be happy to, but please walk me through on how to do it.)
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    This gallery has 1 photos.

    Hey there, welcome to the forum.

    Im going to back WAY up to the top, and suggest this:

    Instead of telling us what action you are trying to perform in Revit, tell us what it is you are trying to do. It sounds like you want to make a Revit component that has two types, with different geometry visible. Is that correct?

    As an aside, building families in this way results in 100% trash. I would never let anyone use a family that was created from .STEP in this fashion. Thats just one persons opinion, mind you. But none of our clients would even get it a second look, if its not NATIVE geometry from Revit.
    Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
    @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email


      Thank you for the feedback, "Revit component that has two types, with different geometry visible. Is that correct?" yes that is correct. The models are just needed for a quality view of an overall scale model for said client.

      I was wondering if it was possible to combine Revit models that are created from .STEP into .RFA , other than using the visibility parameters?

      By 100% trash, do you mean useless due to the lack of parameters? Or the lack of identification data such as materials?

      thank you in advance.


        You can create two family and insert into the new family. Have the visibility turn ON/OFF both those family. Also if you import model not made natively from Revit, you will get unexpected result in your project. Sometimes the model will crash, give you errors or take long time to load. Often most experience Revit user will want to built everything native to avoid these issue.


          Thank you for the feedback, they seem to work fine, aside from the occasional face missing, as if the mesh normals on the surface vertices are inverted. (A space where I can see through the whole model.) I can fix this in inventor by removing them and creating a similar looking face.

          Through from you're reply, it sounds like visibility parameters and having the .RFA models in one instance (family) is the way to go. I was hoping for an alternative way instead of having large memory families. (now that I look at it, wouldn't it be the same if I did them individually?)

          well looks like I cannot do it the way I wanted, unless there is a script for this function. (would be nice and efficient)

          I'll leave this post open for anyone who can provide any solutions. (and because I don't know how to close the post)

          Again, thank you for all the help, looks like I got a lot of work cut out for me. (788 models to family)


            From my experience building simple family by itself actually speedup the model. If you build complex model with lots of unique parts, it will increase the family file size. If you add lots of parameter, it will take mins to process the family. I would keep it simple so you can go back and change those easily. If you have complex family, you will lose track what parts goes into what family.


              Thank you for the feedback, I agree I would 100% want to make these from scratch (plus I enjoy doing that) but I was tasked with using the .Step files for quality (100% exact replication of the model)

              The simple models are done separately and they are very quick to make (+ parameter) as it is a rough example.

              If I was looking to recreate 788 quality models from scratch, for just viewing purpose it would talk a long time. (Time I don't have)

              What I'll have to do in the future is either make or get someone to make a script for .RFA file location finding and then have access to the data in the file for the dropdown. (Just an idea through)

              I'll just stick to visibility parameters. Thank you for your insight.

              I forgot to mention, (I'm not hurting anyone's knowledge here) the .STEP files that I convert into shrink-wrap and then into .RFA file are one complete mesh (body), also no additional models are attached, this results not only the inability to add dimension parameters, but also the inability to change the model. I can nest the families but they have only pipe connector parameters. and visibility connectors. (through this is not what I'm looking for, it is the only alternative to what I want.


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