Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a new family from a template, part of Revit 2018: Essential Training for Architecture (Imperial).
- [Voiceover] So, let's get started creating our first piece of Revit family content. So, as I said, we're going to make a model family in this exercise, and I'm looking at recent file screen, and I don't have any files open, and there is two places you can go to create a new family. There's the Families area, directly on the recent file screen, and you can use the links there to open existing families or to create a new one, and the alternative to using a new family in the Families area, is the Application menu. So, if you open up your Application menu, and highlight New, you can choose Family.
So whether you do it here, or do it here, is not really that important. In both cases, you'll get to the same place which is the New Family - Select Template File dialog. Here in the template file dialog is perhaps one of the most important decisions you'll make when creating your new piece of family content. So, it's kind of unfortunate that the first decision you make is also one of the most important. But, let's go ahead and talk through why I'm making that statement. I'm going to select the first item in the list here, and I want you to look over at the Preview window on the right, and as I page down through these you can see there's quite a bit of variation between each of these various templates.
Now, in some cases, it just includes different reference planes. In other cases, it includes a wall host. In some cases, it includes starting geometry. So, there's a lot of different possibilities that might be included in the various templates. But the two most important things that your choice of template are doing is setting the category, and setting the hosting behavior. Now, the category, you can see in the name. So, these are Baluster families. These are Casework families. This is a Column family. So, that first part of the name, is simply telling you what category it is, and that category is honestly determining a lot of what you see over here in the preview in terms of some of the more subtle behaviors.
If I scroll down and find an item that has more than one, like maybe this Electrical Fixture item. There's an Electrical Fixture. There's an Electrical Fixture wall based, and an Electrical Fixture ceiling based. This is what I call a free standing family. Meaning, you can place it anywhere you want. It doesn't require a host. But these two, wall based and ceiling based, do require a host. Naturally, this one requires a wall host, and this one requires a ceiling host. So, that's the part that I'm talking about that is really important to make a correct decision on when you select your family template.
Because, that's the thing you can't change later. So, it's actually possible to change the category later, although it's advisable to choose the category as early as possible. But, the hosting behavior, you cannot change your mind on. So, if you create a wall based family, you can't later decide that you just want to pull it off the wall. However, if you create a free standing family, you can position it next to a wall. So, when in doubt, if you're not sure that you want the hosting behavior, it's always safer to just choose the free standing version.
Now, we kind of avoid the issue in our case a little bit because the template that we're going to choose is Furniture, and if you look carefully you'll notice there's only one Furniture template anyway, and it's free standing. So, Revit doesn't provide a hosted Furniture template. So, when we choose the Furniture template, and click Open, we're going to get a free standing piece of furniture. Now, when you first get into the Family Editor, you see the interface is very similar to what we saw in the project environment but there naturally are some differences.
Firstly, we no longer have the Architecture and Structure tabs; we now have a Create tab. On the Create tab, we now have form buttons, instead of the standard architectural tools. So, instead of Wall, Door, and Window we have Extrusion, Blend, and Revolve, and so on. We still have the project browser but notice that it's simpler. There's fewer views available on the project browser, and there's going to be some other subtle differences as well, like on the far right of the ribbon, you'll have a Family Editor panel that shows you Load into Project, and Load into Project and Close buttons, and that will appear regardless of which tab you're on.
So, notice that Family Editor panel stays regardless as I move through the tabs. So, I'm going to go back to the Create tab. Now, up on the Quick Access toolbar, on the Switch Windows dropdown, what you'll see is we actually have four windows open right now. So, when you started with the Furniture template, it created four different views. So, let's actually tile those views. I'm going to use the keyboard shortcut of W+T, to do that, and I'm going to zoom them all. I'm going to type Z+A, which is zoom all windows to fit, and in the top left hand corner I have a floor plan.
I have two elevations down at the bottom, and over in the upper right hand corner I have a 3D view, and what's nice about working this way is as you make changes in one of those views, you'll be able to see the changes immediately in the other views. So, it's not required that you work with tiled views, but I think when you're working on a piece of model content, it's really helpful. So, the last thing I want to do here in the way of setup is save this file and give it a name. Now, you can just simply type, Control+S, if you want to you could do the keyboard shortcut, or I can go to the big R and choose Save. I'm going to click the Desktop link here, put it on my Desktop, and instead of Family1, I'm going to call this Pool Table, but I'm going to add V1 to the name.
When I'm working on a new piece of content, I like to add a version number at the end. This is not required, but it's helpful if you decide you want to try a variation and then maybe you go down that variation for a little while and realize you want to go back to the original. It's just an easy way to get back to that original. Now, in the Save as dialog, down at the bottom here, we have an Options button, and, again, these are optional, but I do like to configure a few things here. Revit will store backups with family files the same way it does with project files.
However, they can accumulate awfully quickly. So, I usually drop the number of backups down to one. Once again, if you want to keep a higher number of backups, it's entirely your preference. But, I'm going to set mine to one, and then the thumbnail preview is generated from one of your views, and that's the thumbnail that we see when we're browsing in Open and Save dialogs. So, you can actually choose one of the views you want to use for that thumbnail. So, I think the 3D view is a nice choice, and so I'm going to select that, click OK, and then I will click Save.
So, when you first create a new family item, you need to choose a template, and even though it's the first thing you're doing in the family editor, it's actually one of the most important things you're doing. Because as we discussed, choosing your template not only sets the category, which is important in itself, but it sets the hosting behavior of the family. So, you want to choose that hosting behavior carefully, because even though it's possible to change the category later, it's not possible to change the hosting behavior.
First, get comfortable with the Revit environment, and learn to set up a project and add the grids, levels, and dimensions that will anchor your design. Then author Paul F. Aubin helps you dive into modeling: adding walls, doors, and windows; using joins and constraints; creating and mirroring groups; linking to external assets and DWG files; and modeling floors, roofs, and ceilings.
Paul also shows advanced techniques for modeling stairs and complex walls, adding rooms, and creating schedules. Finally, discover how to annotate your drawings so all the components are clearly understood, and learn how to output sheets to DWF, PDF, or AutoCAD.
- Understanding BIM and the Revit element hierarchy
- Navigating views
- Creating a new project from a template
- Adding walls, doors, and windows
- Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
- Linking AutoCAD DWG files
- Rotating and aligning Revit links
- Working with footprint and extrusion roofs
- Adding openings
- Adding railings and extensions to stairs
- Creating stacked and curtain walls
- Hiding and isolating objects
- Adding rooms
- Creating schedule views and tags
- Adding text and dimensions
- Creating new families
- Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
- Plotting and creating a PDF