Sunday, December 16, 2012

Please Just Say No to 2D Only

If you make a Revit family and it is meant to represent something real, tangible, please don't make it 2D only. In 3D your family doesn't exist and that is usually a bad thing. Everything we put in a building is three dimensional, even wall paper has thickness. If you aren't prepared to model it faithfully in three dimensions, at least use a generic box form that is at least dimensionally consistent with the thing you are representing. If you are documenting clearance zones make it 3d too. You can't use Interference Check meaningfully if it is just lines on the floor.

Resist the temptation to just make it 2D.


Matthew said...

I don't necessarily agree. There are plenty of valid reasons to model 2D-only families. For example, interior schematic design is a process which benefits greatly from a simplified, 2D-only approach as you are pumping out potentially dozens of floor plans for an initial client review. In this case you don't need fully 3D furniture, 3D plumbing fixtures, or even 3D stairs to make the point. Simplified & stylized 2D graphics keeps the 3D family modeling to a minimum and Revit performance high, as well as provides a feeling that the design is still in progress. Of course, once a plan is approved you can easily swap out full 3D families for the flat 2D ones and keep the data curve rising through to CDs.

Another reason would be for better introperability between disciplines. If the architect "owns" the ceiling and MEP owns the air terminals, the architect can get away with showing simplified 2D diffuser families in their ceiling coordination plans that do little more than cut the ceiling host. The MEP gets the architect's model with the holes ready for them to place non-hosted diffusers to connect to their duct systems.

Same with plumbing fixtures. Why would the architect need 3D plumbing fixtures if they are never rendering the toilet rooms? Simple 2D families with the appropriate graphics for plan and elevation are all that are required. The MEP ultimately owns the fixtures and will plumb to them, in which case they can easily swap out the 2D fixtures for the real ones.

Aaron Maller said...

I totally agree... If someone is electing to do it for a reason they think makes sense.

But in intro user training, i often tell them: if they dont know how to *model* a family, and its draft 2d in a family, or draft 2d in a view... By all means, 2D family that sucker. At least the Object is there, and we can revisit it later to make it a real object.

I generally prefer to model more than less, but ill take less over Detail Lines in a floor plan, too. ;)

Steve said...

Plan only review process is probably going the way of the dodo...

Aaron Maller said...

I should clarify- My *totally agree* was with Steves post.

Even for early SD, i dont condone using 2D only families, unless its a sitch where someone just doesnt know how to model in 3D.

2D only families bite you in the behind the moment a room isnt a square and you need to elevate something.

And 3D geometry doesnt have to mean bad performance. Plan review still looks like plan review, even if things are modeled. But more and more (particularly in heatlhcare) we are showing end users the actual space, in live walkthroughs. 2D kills that.

Do something better.