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Is there anyway to lock the family file ?

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    Is there anyway to lock the family file ?

    Hi, may i ask a silly question.

    Is there anyway to lock the family file (or set the password) so that other people cannot take it and use it ?

    I'm not willing to ask this question but my management is pressing me on this. :banghead:

    Thanks all.

    Short answer is no unfortunately.
    Philip Chan
    Practice Technology Manager | HKS


      If your family library is on a network drive, you could set permissions on that folder, allowing read-only. This will not make it impossible to "steal" your families, but make it a lot harder with a great number of individual files, as you would have to Open and Save-as every family - or load them into a project.
      Either way, one will not be able to copy/paste your entire family folder.


        A few times I have manged to somehow fill in an invalid value in a family and save it, which results in the error "Cannot edit family" when you try to open it in the editor. Its possible to fix this if you know what parameter it is and it can be changed in the project environment before opening the family, but if you were to put multiple invalid parameters in a family it would make it very difficult to edit.

        Personally I dont care too much about family copying.. if people want to use and distribute something I made thats kind of like free promotion of my work. I think people should just put thier name in thier families and have the courtesy to leave other peoples names in stuff that they copy/adapt. The developement of Revit would be much much slower if no one could look in other peoples families for ideas!
        "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." Albert Camus - "The innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may ​do well under the new." Nicolo Machiavelli -"Things that are too complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple." Mikhail Kalashnikov


          I do agree Joseph. I don't mind people copying my families too, but my management does. So .... :crazy:


            Just a Q: What did they do about acad blocks? They have the same problem, if you give someone your electronic files they have all your stuff inside it. If you only want to give someone a printable copy - DWF/PDF.

            If you really want all the intelligence of your families removed then export your model to IFC (note though that Revit's IFC export/import is not too great). I've used it before to work with a structural engineer using Tekla, but did notice some glitches.

            If your bosses want staff to not be able to duplicate / send your RFA files ... then that's a security and/or IT issue in-house (e.g. setup an outgoing mail filter which blocks RVT/RFA file attachments). The only way you can stop them from being able to do so would be to disallow them from even seeing a RFA file (or for that matter any RVT file with those RFA's loaded). But that would mean the staff would be incapable of actually using the RFA's in legitimate projects. Which rather makes the RFA a useless wasted effort, since no-one is going to be able to use it - thus not making work more efficient.


              Originally posted by ZoLaDo View Post
              ...I'm not willing to ask this question but my management is pressing me on this. :banghead:
              A couple of years ago, I saw a product at the exhibition hall of Autodesk University in Vegas. The product could do exactly what your boss is wanting to do. The price of the product, at that moment, was almost the same price of a new license of Revit.

              But models without families are useless, and models with families are needed for coordination, for construction, etc. At the end, families end up traveling around the world anyway.

              However, I understand the concerns of your boss. It is easy for someone who is not in his shoes to say that everything is supposed to be shared. But for the boss of an AEC firm who writes the checks to pay us, the content creators, that altruism is not so easy. It is easier for the manufacturers who commission families, because they are aware that every dollar they pay for the creation of the content is an investment, even though the content will be given away for free. But in that case there is another interest, which is providing the families as an additional service to their existing clients, attracting new clients, hopefully getting their products specified in projects, and getting a return for the investments, increasing their sales.
              Freelance BIM Provider at Autodesk Services Marketplace | Linkedin


                There also was an add-in on the Revit app exchange site that apparently protected your families against copyright infringers, set you back some $1000. If I recall correctly, can't find it now.

                There must be a better way...

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


                  Last i checked, the addins that did it only functioned if the addin was also present on the offenders computer. Which makes it pretty moot. (You pay the thousand bucks, and it only restricts people IN your office from manipulating the families, lol). Maybe that changed this year, but i hadnt heard that it had.

                  I honestly wish more managers would just get over it.
                  Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
                  @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email


                    This is still a heated up discussion in my office from time to time when we team up with some other firm (arch) for projects. Since pretty much most content in our library are custom made. Even some we downloaded from manufacturer will go thru a clean up process that matches our standard or rebuild it based on their parts. we invested a lot into building up these great resource for the office. The idea is to make sure it is efficient for our office to utilize the families to do what we do ... design.
                    I know that it is inevitable for anyone else to "steal" our custom families once it gets out our door. we do have a contract that said they (the team or consultant) can only use our families on this particular job and not anything. there is so little you can do if they violate this agreement.
                    Philip Chan
                    Practice Technology Manager | HKS


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