How to Create Standardized Assets with Revit Architecture: Family Editor
Revit Architecture is a powerful software that allows architects to design and document buildings in 3D. One of the key features of Revit is the Family Editor, which enables users to create customized assets such as windows, doors, furniture, fixtures, and more. These assets can have smart data embedded in them, such as dimensions, materials, visibility parameters, and constraints. This way, architects can have more control and flexibility over their designs and ensure consistency and accuracy throughout their projects.
In this article, we will introduce you to the Family Editor and show you how to use it to create standardized assets for both imperial and metric units. We will also provide some tips and best practices for working with families in Revit.
What is a Family in Revit
A family is a collection of elements that share a common set of properties and behaviors. Families can be categorized into three types: system families, loadable families, and in-place families.
System families are predefined elements that are built into Revit, such as walls, floors, roofs, ceilings, stairs, etc. You cannot create or edit system families in the Family Editor.
Loadable families are custom elements that you can create or modify in the Family Editor and load into your project. Examples of loadable families are windows, doors, furniture, fixtures, etc.
In-place families are similar to loadable families, but they are created directly in your project and cannot be reused in other projects. Examples of in-place families are columns, beams, railings, etc.
In this article, we will focus on loadable families, which are the most common and versatile type of families in Revit.
How to Access the Family Editor
To access the Family Editor, you need to either open an existing family file (.rfa) or create a new one. You can open an existing family file from your computer or from the Revit library. To create a new family file, you need to select a family template (.rft) that matches the type of element you want to create.
To open an existing family file:
Go to File > Open > Family.
Browse to the location of the family file and select it.
To create a new family file:
Go to File > New > Family.
Browse to the location of the family template and select it.
The Family Editor interface consists of several panels and tools that allow you to create and modify your family geometry and parameters. Some of the main components are:
The ribbon: contains various tabs and commands for creating and editing your family.
The drawing area: displays your family geometry in different views.
The Project Browser: lists all the views, types, parameters, dimensions, constraints, materials, etc. related to your family.
The Properties palette: shows the properties and parameters of the selected element or view.
The Options Bar: shows additional options for the active tool or command.
How to Create a Simple Loadable Family
To demonstrate how to create a simple loadable family in Revit, we will use an example of a door family. We will follow these steps:
Create a new family file using the Door.rft template.
Create reference planes and dimensions to define the overall size and shape of the door.
Create an extrusion for the door panel using sketch lines and constraints.
Create symbolic lines for the door swing using arcs and angles.
Create parameters for the door width, height, thickness, swing angle, etc. using labels and formulas.
Create types for different variations of the door using type properties and values.
Load the door family into a project and test its functionality and appearance.