[added Nov 22, 2011] I've written quite a few times about this now, more than ten times. A quick search of this blog for the criteris "Egress" will yield links to all the posts. If you just want to download examples you CAN HERE.
Often my articles are inspired by something I read on the newsgroups or forums. Other times they come from client questions. In this case it came from both and when line based families were introduced I applied them to this question, “How can I describe and then document exiting paths?” I discussed this approach at Autodesk University 2006 and the files will be available at AU Online.
This first image is the plan representation of the line-based family I made:
This image is the schedule results after sketching the segments you see above:
This image is what the family looks like in a 3D view:
I used a sub-category of generic model to allow me to turn on/off the 3D guy that’s sliding along the egress path.
This is an image of the family itself:
It is a line-based solid sweep using a silly looking “human” like form as the 3D object. A symbolic line in plan sweeps along with it. Finally a Multi-Category Tag family reports the “length” parameter (yes, a shared parameter) of each segment in the plan view. A multi-category schedule filters for just elements that have an egress related comment.
The trick to getting the Path of Egress shared parameter to report the length of the line-based family is to connect it to the default Length parameter present in line-based families already. Just entering the parameter name “Length” in the formula column for the parameter “Path of Egress” connects them.
I suppose I should have made a girl version too? Modular man? Give it try, see if the concept works for your needs?
Refer to the email instructions on the sidebar if you want to get a copy of the project file, which will give you the family, tag and the schedule as well as what you see above naturally.