Revit: Family Curves and Formulas
Illustration by Richard Downs

Revit: Family Curves and Formulas

with Paul F. Aubin

Video: Using profile families

So far all of the families we've created
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 36s
    3. Using the exercise files
    4. Units of measurement used in this course
      1m 16s
  2. 42m 42s
    1. Creating seed families
      8m 22s
    2. Understanding automatic sketch dimensions
      7m 43s
    3. Creating circles
      7m 44s
    4. Creating ellipses
      5m 18s
    5. Constraining simple open curves
      9m 8s
    6. Using arc angles and radius
      4m 27s
  3. 25m 56s
    1. Controlling rotation
      7m 39s
    2. Creating a door swing
      5m 12s
    3. Adding geometry to work planes
      6m 32s
    4. Rotating a curve
      6m 33s
  4. 32m 6s
    1. Working with segmental arches
      9m 29s
    2. Creating Roman- and Moorish-style arches
      3m 26s
    3. Creating the framework for a Gothic-style arch
      3m 35s
    4. Making a Gothic arch
      7m 50s
    5. Making elliptical arches
      7m 46s
  5. 36m 35s
    1. Introducing formulas
      7m 16s
    2. Using profile families
      5m 53s
    3. Devising the strategy for ovolo curves
      4m 31s
    4. Building an ovolo profile
      11m 22s
    5. Using an ovolo profile to shape a sweep
      7m 33s
  6. 16m 34s
    1. Understanding cyma curves
      4m 58s
    2. Building profile references for a cyma curve
      5m 38s
    3. Building a cyma profile family
      5m 58s
  7. 38m 21s
    1. Using fixed proportion and scaling
      6m 19s
    2. Leveraging equality dimensions
      6m 51s
    3. Understanding splines and fixed proportions
      8m 49s
    4. Incorporating variable proportions
      8m 4s
    5. Combining scale and proportion
      8m 18s
  8. 33m 26s
    1. Creating a three-center arch
      5m 52s
    2. Using a profile to make a door opening
      6m 37s
    3. Creating a profile-based door panel
      4m 54s
    4. Configuring molding profiles
      6m 26s
    5. Creating door molding sweeps
      9m 37s
  9. 1m 6s
    1. Next steps
      1m 6s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Revit: Family Curves and Formulas
3h 51m Intermediate Mar 20, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Have you ever tried to control the shape of a curved form in the Family Editor? If so, you know that flexing them sometimes throws you a curve ball. In this course, Paul F. Aubin explores several techniques to tame your unruly parametric curves. This includes examples of circles, arcs, arches, splines, and even complex curves like cyma moldings. The real power comes in with formulas, profile families, and proportions, which allow you to mathematically control your curves. At the end of this course, we can't guarantee you'll never have misbehaving curves, but we'll give you several useful tools to help tame them.

Topics include:
  • Creating seed families
  • Creating circles, ellipses, and arcs
  • Controlling rotation
  • Working with segmental and elliptical arches
  • Using profile families
  • Working with cyma curves
  • Using fixed proportion and scaling
Revit Architecture Revit Structure Revit MEP
Paul F. Aubin

Using profile families

So far all of the families we've created in the course have used generic model templates. We either had our free standing generic model or our face based generic model. In this movie, I'd like to talk about profiles. Now a profile is actually not a 3D template. A profile is a two dimensional family. And the purpose of a profile is it allows you to define a 2D shape that you want to use to create 3D form. Now, I'm in a file here called Forms, and it's included with the exercise files, and it has one each of the five forms we can create in the Family Editor.

So if we look at the Create tab, we can create Extrusions, Blends, Revolves, Sweeps, and Swept Blends. And so right here I have an extrusion, a blend, a revolve, a sweep, and a swept blend. Now on purpose, I made this sweep look exactly like this extrusion, and I made this swept blend look exactly like this blend. And the reason I did that is to kind of make the point that even though we have the five shapes, it's possible that these two can really become replacements for these two.

And if you're even a little more clever, you can do a sweep that actually emulates a revolve as well. So in reality, even though we have the five forms, depending on the way you strategize your family that you're creating, you could actually get away with using nothing but sweeps and swept blends. Now the real question is, why would you want to do that? Well, if I select the extrusion and I edit it, the shape of my extrusion has to be sketched, it has to be sketched, that's the only option.

Let me cancel that. But if I select the sweep that looks like that extrusion instead and edit it, well of course, the path is, if I did sketch path is that vertical line right there, I'm going to cancel that. But notice that when I click Select Profile, I created this profile as a sketch, so if I did Edit Profile, it would give me the shape. It's just like the extrusion. However, if I cancel that, there is another option here to use a profile. And there's another option here to load a profile.

So if you don't already have a profile loaded into this project, then you can load one from the library. If I click Load Profile, the Load Family dialog appears and I get all the folders from the standard library that's loaded from Auto Desk. And, depending on your version, you may or may not have the same profiles that I have, so it's not really that important which one you choose for this example. But if I go into the Profiles folder, you can see there's lots of other sub folders, but there are many profiles that have been provided with the software. That's really the only point that I want you to see here.

So we're going to go ahead and choose one here. And again, it doesn't really matter which one. Now I'm going to go into Finish Carpentry, and I'll just start at the top. And look at the preview here and then just use the arrow key on my keyboard and kind of page through them and when you find one that looks interesting to you, you can go ahead and load that one in. And again your version of Revit might have different choices than mine does but you can choose which ever ones you like. So I'm going to bring in this brick mould as an example. So when I click open here, it will load that profile and now it will show up on this list.

And then I can chose it from the list here and, of course, the brick mould was a bit smaller than the rectangle that I had drawn but if I zoom in you can see what a profile family is. It's nothing more than a 2D shape that helps you define 3D form. So when I finish this, and zoom out a little, I now have a sweep that's essentially an extrusion because it's just going along a single segment path here, but it is using that pre-defined shape.

Now, if I zoom out, over here to the side, I've created this multi segment sweep here, and so if I click on that, and I edit the sweep, you can see that it's got a path right here, and if I sketch that path, you know there's the shape of that path. I'm not going to change that, but what I am going to do is click the Select Profile button. And then from this drop down here, there's my brick mould again, and I'll load that in. And you'll see it shifts from where I had it sketched before, but you can see the brick mould appears on this path and when I finish it, I now have a sweep that follows along that multi segment path.

So the point is, that by using a profile family you can create a shape that you want to reuse in multiple families and then you just simply load that profile into other families and use it to help you create sweeps or swept blends. Now unfortunately, it only works with those two objects, so if you were to go back to these original forms here, if I edit the swept blend, it's got two profile options, both of which would allow me to choose that brick mould.

So I can mold my swept blend with profiles. I can mold my sweep with profiles. But unfortunately, extrusions, blends, and revolves can not use profiles. You have to sketch those shapes directly. So now it just becomes a matter of strategy. If I can strategize in such a way that the form I'm creating can be built with the sweep instead of an extrusion or swept blend instead of a blend, then that starts to give me some more flexibility, in terms of being able or reuse these standard profile shapes.

So, in the next few movies, we're going to learn how to create some custom profile shapes for some standard moulding shapes that you might want to use. And we're basically going to be leveraging this concept, this idea that a profile family is a really easy and convenient way for us to create 3D form.

There are currently no FAQs about Revit: Family Curves and Formulas.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Revit: Family Curves and Formulas.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.