Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Family Editor: Bones, Muscle & Skin

I have heard the term "bones" and phrase "build the bones" used in the context of the family editor in the past. In fact some of the earlier Revit Technology Corporation (RTC) and Autodesk Family Editor documents have used the term too, perhaps for the first time even. Lately over the last year or two I've been expanding on the metaphor.

Bones = Reference Planes
Muscle = Dimensions, Labels/Parameters, Automatic Sketch Dimensions
Skin = Solids/Voids and Symbolic Linework

If you properly define the "bones" first and then connect the "muscle(s)" to them you'll find that your "skin", once anchored to the bones, will go wherever the muscle tell the bones to go. I just picture my arm and in fact I usually hold it up and move it at the elbow while I mention it in classes. A properly defined family will behave as consistently as your arm does, unless you manage to do it harm skiing?

Too clinical? Squeamish? Sorry!


Steven Campbell said...

I think David C. started the term "bones", thou I like your additions to the metaphor. I am going to use it in my next class, next week.

Jason Grant said...

That is brilliant!!! A completely perfect analogy.

Bill and Connie said...

Bone, muscle, skin: Good metaphors to hang the concepts on - especially for those new to Revit.

John said...

Ouch, my arm's bones hurt with all this family talk..

Daryl Gregoire said...

Done ! I found myself referring to this REVIT family breakdown almost immediately.

Unknown said...

I also have heard this and picked it up and have used this in the past teaching our India team

Bones-Ref planes

Is what I used and it worked but I felt like I was teaching a human anatomy class

Steve said...

I think of the brain in this context as "you and me" working in concert with Revit. "We" tell the muscle/tendons (thru parameters) how to adjust the skeleton.