Revit family library is an amazing part of the Revit based BIM infrastructure that includes several predefined families to speed up the design and modeling operations. Families consist of ready-made components and objects that improve accuracy, design quality and efficiency of a Revit team. In the modern demanding modeling ecosystem, Revit families and libraries cater to the growing need for faster and robust BIM models.
What are Revit Families?
A Revit family is a group of components used for building a functional model. Components are enriched by common attributes, parameters, properties, and pictorial representations. They can be walls, windows, doors, bathrooms, walls, showers or any other fixture that can be used for building a model.
Families can be customized and any changes made to particular family components are updated throughout the entire project. The concept is known as being parametrically-aligned. For example, if the height of a window in a family is changed once, heights of all the windows of the same type throughout the project get automatically updated.
Components of Revit Family Library: Types of Revit Families
Revit family library can include several different types of families. These families are differentiated based on parameter values, sizes, materials or the applicability of such a family. Here are the different types of Revit families:
System families are the families that come pre-defined and are useful for a specific task in a particular project. These families are used for creation of basic components in a model such as walls, ceilings, and other components used for creating a structure.
As they are already predefined, they cannot be created or deleted or cannot be loaded from an external source. As they are project-specific, they can only be saved within a particular project.
Annotation families can be loaded for annotation purposes i.e. defining the text, dimensions or tags of a component within a project. Annotation families are view-locked which means you can only see these in the views where they are placed.
In-place families are user-defined families which include particular BIM components created for a particular project. Similar to system families, they can only be used for a particular project and cannot be saved to any other project.
Parametric families consist of elements whose dimensions and parts can be modified according to the requirements of a model. Non-parametric families are created in the Revit database and are non-changeable even when the situation demands. In short, non-parametric families consists of static components that cannot be changed in the future.
Loadable families are defined by users using Family Editor from available family templates. One can create a component from scratch which can be used at a later stage according to the project requirements.
Loadable component families define structural elements like doors, windows, furniture, etc. and reduce the time spend on detailing a model. Loadable families can be imported into any project and be customized according to the specific requirement without any restriction.
Custom families can speed up the modeling process as teams can quickly embed the available components in a project. Not only this helps in the creation of an accurate and standardized model but it speeds up the entire modeling process by leveraging custom Revit libraries.
Benefits of Custom Revit Family Development
Revit Families, if used judiciously, can improve operational efficiency as well as improve the end-results. As user-defined families are highly-customizable, modelers can make use of the components as and when required, based on the needs of the project.
The parametric advantage of user-defined families ensures that a project is standardized and reduce wastage of time and efforts. Here are some of the benefits of using custom Revit families:
Professionals can use components and elements in loadable Revit families again and again on multiple projects. This means, they don’t have to design elements within a model from scratch, every time, saving valuable man-hours and hours of effort while working on a project.
Components in a Revit family can be easily replaced without disturbing other aspects of a model. A designer just has to delete a custom component of a Revit family and embed another component without having to disturb the entire project and start from scratch. As every component is saved in the Revit library, the designer can toggle between components easily.
User-defined loadable component libraries can easily be customized using available Revit tools and components. This means that each of the components can be customized according to the specific project requirement. Moreover, the parametric nature of the Revit family ensures that the component from the same family gets updated throughout the entire project model.
As there is immense scope for customization of Revit family components, it empowers designers and teams to achieve desired level of flexibility. They can cater to the personalized demands of the client and become more flexible in their approach without wasting times. They can learn from demand patterns and industry trends to create custom Revit libraries that suit their design goals.
One of the main advantages of using Revit family components is the standardization and uniformity they promise. Once developed, a Revit family component stays the same and can be customized throughout the project without dealing with each instance of the component, individually.
This means that the final model design is much more refined and appealing for the target audience, management and other stakeholders. This also ensures that the model is in a better and more presentable form, which makes it ready to use for marketing purposes.
Nurturing Modeling Processes for Higher Operational Efficiency
Custom Revit libraries are flexible, easy-to-use and highly-efficient in saving time and effort. In the modern AEC landscape that demands resilient and reliable models, custom Revit libraries can offer significant edge to design teams and companies in the long run. Revit families will not only save time but also help in creating a uniform modeling process that caters to the stakeholder’s requirements in a better way.
It would not be wrong to say that the proactive use of custom Revit libraries can promote optimal utilization of available talent and resources, thus taking an organization on the path of greater efficiencies and better results.