Xrev API Tools: Increase Productivity!



Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mr Spot's 5 Golden Rules for Revit

I had an anonymous user request my 5 golden rules which I thought was a great idea!

The hard part is trying to prioritise what I think are my top 5 rules, so hard in fact that I think I need to break it down into 2 categories. Project & Family:

  1. Work in multiple views. When you are working on your model make sure you completely understand the extents of what you are editing. I don't believe this can be done from any single orthogonal view. Working in 3D is great and should be done as much as possible as you can quickly see how the elements you are manipulating interact with elements around them (make use of section boxes to do this also). Too many times I see users trying to make changes only in a plan and then a week later discovering all the issues they have made for themselves in their sections...
  2. Setup your template effectively and continually update it & customise templates at the beginning of new projects to suit that project. If you find you have to make graphical changes to your project everytime you want to print something or once it reaches a certain stage then there is a good chance your template file isn't setup appropriately. The earlier you do this and the quicker you update your templates the less redundant work you'll have to do updating the many revit files you end up with.
  3. Plan your project! Sit down with pen and paper first, especially for large projects or projects of an unfamiliar type, and work out exactly how you are going to document it. Are you going to use groups or links or design options? If so what are the issues in doing this and how are you going to resolve these? How is the project team going to work? Important questions that need to be resolved as soon as possible, preferably before the model is started.
  4. Develop a system of control for your Library. Family naming conventions, parameters (what do I want to show up in my schedule?), displays at various scales...
  5. Make use of your model as much as possible for drafting and details. If you use your model as the basis for your details then you can identify issues before they get to site. Yes of course you should still draft over these for details, but using the model as the basis you know when your details need to be updated or re-looked at.

Hmm, most of these are standards based which shows my position as CAD/BIM Manager. But really having your standards and protocols in place is one of the MOST important tasks in maintaining an effective Revit working environment.


  1. Setup Reference planes first! I can't stress this enough. It makes creating parametric families so much simpler. Place them in and give them names and appropriate strengths (ie: Centre Front/Back, Bottom or Weak)
  2. Give your family an appropriate ORIGIN point. This is especially important when using arrays as I've spoken about previously.
  3. Do all families as non-hosted (there are some exceptions) first. Then simply nest them into the hosted template. This way its very simple to constrain them to their host.
  4. Fill out and add parameters & types for all your families. As a good friend of mine says, Wesley Benn, leverage as much data as possible. Info entered once here is info that doesn't need to be entered 10 times in your next 10 projects...
  5. Minimise numbers of families by making them as flexible as possible. Less families means, smaller project sizes, quicker load times, less things to change and things are easier to find. Refer to some of my previous posts to see some methods of doing this.

Well that's my list. I'm sure I could easily have a top 100...

As always your comments are most welcomed.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Requests for Posts

Hi everyone!

Please post your comments on this thread as to any particular items you would like me to touch on.

I've finished uni now and have the internet on at home again so should be able to start posting more frequently...

I'll then try to add posts based on peoples requests...