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Thread: Optimizing for computational power

  1. #1
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    Optimizing for computational power

    Hello everyone

    I'm looking for a source for good family design practices (a list of dos and don'ts, where parameters should be contained, an explanation of what processes/setups are more computationally intensive, or something along those lines).


    I made a complex family that represents shoring equipment (structural column family template) that consists of:
    1. top = a combined family with several family types (nested families for each type)

    • This reduced the number of parameters in the structural column family.
    • This combined family may be used in other applications besides this structural column. I'm trying to prevent recreating this same set of parameters in the future.

    2. middle = an aluminum extrusion

    • Several discrete sizes are options, but they are loose/individual families.


    3. bottom = an adjustable jack
    When the clear height of the structural column family changes the extrusion (middle family) changes which family size is shown and the jack extension adjusts accordingly. I tested (400) instances of the family, adjusted the clear height, and recorded the time it took Revit to update (~2.3min max). I did a similar test with an incomplete version of the same family but which had two differences: (1) the top family wasn't combined, but several individual families and (2) more complex geometry for course/medium/fine detail level. This time it only took ~12sec max to update. This won't be a big deal for a single level since we'll adjust one and then copy it around, but copying between levels will take time and I want to improve it to make the user's experience as smooth as possible.

    This is a significant different in update time. I'm assuming the culprit is the top family as a nested version, which has it's own set of parameters to control what was shown. The incomplete version instead had that set of parameters contained in the structural column family. Which is the better design practice? I'd like to confirm that computation (going into the nested family to determine which family type to show) had to be repeated for each and every instance in the 400 which caused the slow down. In which case it would be better to keep all the parameters in the structural column family.

    I'm also curious if the course/medium/fine detail level would affect this update time. From my test I'm under the impression it won't. However, it should make orbiting or walking through the 3D view/drawing smoother. Is that correct?


    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Forum Co-Founder Alfredo Medina's Avatar
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    This document by Autodesk talks about model performance, and it gives some guidelines about families in regards to performance. Maybe this is the kind of information that you are looking for.

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