Is it important to use quality families in Revit?
When we started creating projects in Revit, it became more and more necessary to get families as supplements for our projects. There are countless websites to download families, however, have you stopped a minute to think if the quality of these families matters? The truth is that having quality families makes all the difference in our workflow, and we will explain why in this post.
Have you ever worked on a project that, at a certain point, begins to be difficult to work in because the file is slow? So maybe you blamed your computer, thinking that it doesn’t support Revit well, but the truth is -for the most part- the blame may be on the families you’re using on that project.
Yes! It is important to use quality families in Revit and in this article I will comment on some of the factors that reinforce this importance and that we, as professionals, have to take into consideration when choosing the files with which we normally work.
1. Size of the Family File:
The family´s “weight”, that is, the size of the family file, is 100% loaded in your project. Families that are too heavy overload your project and make your work difficult.
If for example your project is 50mb in size and you carry a family that weighs 5mb in it, your project will start to weigh 55mb. The same will happen for each family that you carry throughout your workflow.
There are several factors that contribute to a family becoming heavy, slowing down your project file. One of these factors occurs when we have elements that are repeated within the family and we do it with simple 3D modeling when, in fact, these repeated elements should be families carried within our family; this is a simple solution that helps making families much lighter but most people don’t take this into account.
Here at Blocks Revit we have created a checklist of tasks to optimize the file size as much as possible, so that our users have the lightest possible file.
2. Imports of 3D models from other programs
Families that have imports from other softwares, such as most of the ones we find on the internet, tend to slow our project down, making it difficult for us to develop any work.
Revit is a BIM software, this means that you can create 3D models within it. However, many people in a hurry end up creating families by importing software files such as SketchUp, 3DS Max, among others. This type of imports make the family up to 10x heavier than a family created directly in Revit.
Another very recurring problem in this type of practice is the graphic representation. Since the 3D modeling of these families was not created in Revit, it can be a little tricky to configure accurately the graphic representation of these files in terms of Plan, Cuts and Elevations; in fact, depending on geometry, it can be very complicated to reach a satisfactory result.
Here at Blocks Revit we don’t work with any files created in other software, everything is 100% developed in Revit.
3. Setting up the parameters of Revit Families
Another fundamental factor to be taken into account is to set up the parameters, the vast majority of families that we find on the internet do not have parameters or, when they do, they are not properly configured. This means that sometimes we need a family to have a certain size or a different material, and this is simply not possible because it was not foreseen by the person who developed the file. This type of problem tends to generate a long delay in the development of the project, because you need that family with a missing characteristic. In this case you have two options; opening the family and modifying it, so it can meet your demands, which can often be very complicated; or you can go back to the internet and look for other families that suit your demand.
4. Render´s Appearance of the Revit Family
When we finally find a family that meets all our demands, meaning, it has the right material, the right size and a good graphic representation in the project views; we can finally move forward on the project until it is time to render. This is another important moment in our workflow when we often encounter errors in families.
The most common errors are related to unconfigured materials, or poorly configured. This causes the object that, initially was planned to be gray, to come out red (or any other color) after the render; or even that the applied textures are disproportionate to the object. This means that the texture is too big, too small or even deformed, and so the family is rendered with a bad appearance. Oftentimes, the materials of the families are not even configured to render, which causes all materials to appear gray, for example.
Another very common mistake is that there are overlapping faces in the family modeling, and this causes the rendering of the materials on those faces to appear in conflict; which can completely ruin the image generated in the Render of that scene.
Here at Blocks Revit we create families making sure that the Render result is excellent, even when the rendering is completely done in Revit.
5. “Garbage” in the Revit Family
I take the risk in stating that this problem is present in most families that we find on the internet. It is really very common and in some cases it is even frightening to find such a big amount of information: other families, materials, hatchs, lines, etc. Things that are present within a family and that are absolutely useless.
This is one of the main factors why some families have so much weight in the file, because it often brings along with it hundreds of unnecessary information and carries it all in its project, which, in addition to other bad practices, makes projects go too slow.
At Blocks Revit this is taken very seriously, our families are checked 3x after development to ensure maximum quality.
These 5 factors that I mentioned above are just a few of the many that need to be taken into account when creating a quality Revit family.
I hope this article made you open your eyes in regards to the many benefits that good family development brings to your Revit Workflow. Having a good and reliable family library assures your project will flow much faster and more consistently. Have you already stopped thinking about how many hours you spend searching for families on the internet for each project you develop? The time spent is usually enormous and your work time is very expensive, because, while looking for families, you could be advancing the project and generating more value for your customers.
Work with reliable families that offer you a quality plan, cut, perspective and render.