Families have been termed as building blocks in Building Information Modeling. A family is a group of elements that are used in developing a BIM model with a common set of properties (called parameters) and correlated graphical depiction. The ease of modification and precision with which the Revit content can be created results in minimizing cost and improve time efficiency.
Important terminologies used while creating Families in Revit
In Revit, variations within a family where different components may have different values for their parameters but the name and meaning of the parameters remain the same are called Family Types or simply, Types. Each family can have multiple types within a category e.g. a furniture category includes various types that are used to create different furniture pieces such as desks, cabinets, etc. These come handy during Architectural BIM Modeling as they significantly reduce the time and efforts. Similarly, sprinkler category includes types that can be used to create wet and dry sprinkler systems which are eventually used in MEP BIM Modeling.
Though the families in a type have a different material composition and serve diverse purposes, they have an inter-related graphical representation and identical parameter set, known as family type parameters. An instance is an element that is created in a project with a specific type and family. Each Instance has its own set of properties which are independent of the type parameters and any changes made to these parameters apply only to the particular instance of the element that is selected. On the other hand, if you make changes to the type parameters, it will be applied to all instances that have been created with that type.
Different Kinds of Revit Families and their uses
Revit Content can be broadly classified into three kinds:
- System Families
System elements are predetermined in Revit and are used to create basic components of a building e.g. roofs, walls, floors, pipes ducts, etc. System settings that affect the project environment are also System Families e.g. Types for grids, levels, viewports, drawing sheets, etc. These can neither be loaded from external files nor be saved to locations external to the project. However, the parameters can be modified and new types can be created using element properties.
- Loadable Families
These are external rfa files that are imported or loaded into Revit projects. They are highly customizable in nature and most commonly created and modified. In cases where there are multiple types, the use of type catalogs allows loading only the required type for the project. They are used to create:
- Building elements (e.g. doors, windows, furniture, fixture, etc. in Architectural BIM Modeling)
- System elements (e.g. water heaters, boilers, plumbing fixtures, air handlers, etc. in MEP BIM Modeling)
- Annotation elements (e.g. symbols, title blocks)
- In-Place Families
These are unique components that are created for elements that are specific to a particular project and limited to be used in that project only. These elements are dependent on the geometry of the model. E.g. special trim, custom gutters, built-in or customized furniture, etc.
Revit Family Content Creation is an essential component of Architectural BIM Modeling and MEPF BIM Modeling. It is relatively easy to modify the parameters of a family thereby saving on the time and efforts spent on creating separate families. The level of precision that can be attained is very high when created by professional service providers such as Tesla Outsourcing Services, who are an expert and one of the Top BIM Service Providers when it comes to creating parametric and generic Revit Families. Hence, Revit Content Creation Services have been one of the most-sought-after services.