Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Detail Item and Reference Plane Settings

The stock Revit family Nominal Cut Lumber-Section isn't built very well. Here's an example of it being used in a Drafting View. Notice the dimension style I've used shows a center-line symbol when it comes into contact with a so called center line, which is determined by the use of the IsReference settings; Center (Front/Back) and Center (Left/Right).


In the family editor, this explains why the center-line symbol is showing up. When this family was made they paid no attention to the IsReference setting for the reference planes. The Center (Left/Right) IsReference setting is assigned to what should be the Left reference plane. In fact the none of the other reference planes have appropriate names or IsReference settings either.


The symbolic lines that form the "X" in the detail item are assigned to Weak Reference and that means dimensions will see them as well as the Align tool. That doesn't make much sense either. There is nothing to allow us to dimension to the center of the lumber section either.


This is what it ought to look like, I've revised all the reference plane settings and added two new reference planes to permit adding a dimension to the actual center of the lumber.


By the way, the intersection of the Left and Front reference planes are assigned to the Defines Origin parameter so that corner is the origin of the family, which is the same as it was originally. After reloading the family into my Drafting View the center-line symbol and dimension witness line references have shifted over to properly identify the center-line of the lumber section instead. They did that automatically because of the new reference planes using the correct IsReference values. The first dimension on the left is no longer showing the center-line symbol because it is still referencing the side of the lumber section. It shifted over too but I reassigned it to the side of the lumber section.


I also changed the "X" Symbolic Lines to use a IsReference setting of Not a Reference and now Revit won't see them when I use the dimension or align tools. In the following image my cursor is hovering over them but Revit only sees the Center (Left/Right) reference plane.


I wish I could tell you that this is the only one like this...

Perhaps this is just one more reason to attend the Building Content Summit just before RTC in DC this July?

7 comments:

Joel Londenberg said...

I'd never noticed the center line symbol option before. I've tested it for a few minutes and it looks like it only recognizes component family center planes, not duct or pipe centers ... bummer. What else do you use it for Steve?

Graham said...

The same "dis-functionality" occurs in many OTB families, and also in a lot of 3rd party produced, manufacturer "endorsed" and distributed family content. This needs to be moved up on the list of testing for basic compliance, prior to releasing all content.

Steve said...

I don't use it much but some offices have standards that call for it. Unfortunately a grid isn't a valid "center line" either, but a column's center reference planes do... It is a semi-thought out feature.

Dave Baldacchino said...

Autodesk doesn't make money (directly) by pouring resources in family building. Having said that, it will indirectly help by improving Revit adoption. I think they will have much better luck if they open-sourced the library and let the user community apply fixes instead. They would only need to dedicate some manpower for gate-keeping and QA/QC before publishing.

Steve said...

Interesting idea and thoughts, thanks!

Dave Baldacchino said...

I think Autodesk could also incentivize by giving away A360 credits to the top published contributors.

Steve said...

Clearly you've given this some thought :)