Monday, April 4, 2011


Earlier this year I started a thing called the "Revit Lunch"  We have a resource area at GAJ where presentations & design reviews take place, which doubles up as a kind of canteen space.

My idea was to give weekly presentations aimed at intermediate level users who want to get deeper into family creation, or conceptual massing, or whatever.  I break it down into Starter, Main Course & Dessert.  Maybe start with a slide-show loop and finish with a video clip.  One time we had Zach Kron's icing the donut clip for dessert, which seemed appropriate.

First main course was a gentle introduction to wall-hosted families.  Cut openings versus void extrusions & sweeps. Locking geometry to reference planes.  I dropped this image into the server library to remind people what we covered.

The weekend before lunch 03 I got inspired to model a Greek temple.  Started out as "how to tackle the fluting on a doric column" Ended up as what used to be called the temple of Poseidon at Paestum, a Greek colony in Southern Italy.

I wanted the fluting to be based on a profile that could be scaled parametrically, but couldn't get this to work.  Had to be content with manually scaling the sketches in family editor.  It's a pretty fast way to make doric columns of different sizes & proportions.  One day I'll have another go at making it all operate from 2 or 3 parameters in the family type dialogue.

This was just a quick weekend exercise, but it demonstrated to me once more the depth of insight that building a Revit model of something brings.

I think it should be a mandatory part of all History of Architecture courses.  Work in groups, collect lots of reference images for the building, divide up the family creation work, assemble your model.  Then each student gets to set up views, renderings, text & analysis on a single A1 sheet to convey the insight they gained into the chosen building.

If every school of Architecture around the world was doing this, and they posted all the results on open websites, think what a resource that would become.  Kind of Great on steroids.


  1. Hi Andy,
    I tried to make the doric column parametric. The tric is to use spline by points. You can host the points to intersections of (reference)lines.
    If you like I can upload the Revit family or mail it to you.


  2. Hi Will
    Would be very interested to see this. I assume you are using conceptual massing here (spline by points & host to intersection) I get this in principle, but not quite sure how you've built your rig.

  3. Hi Andy,
    I did use conceptual massing but you can also use the generic model adaptive family.
    Draw a cirkel for the basic diameter, then one line for every section (I made 20).
    You have to make sure that these lines are long enough to cover the biggest diameter you want to make. Host a point on the intersection of every line and the cirkel. Then draw a second concentric cirkel, bigger then the first one. I made mine 1.25 times the first one. Drop an equal amount of points on this cirkel exactly between the points of the inner cirkel. Draw lines from these points to the middle. On each of these new lines you put the last points. For the distance between the point on the outer cirkel and the last points I used the formula sqrt((ro - (ri * cos(angle))) ^ 2 + (ri * sin(angle)) ^ 2) where ro is the outer cirkel radius and ri is the inner cirkel radius.
    Connect the dots and you have the base of the doric column. Copy this to make the top and make some changes to the diameters. Reading back it looks very complicated, but it is just a lot of work to draw the lins and points.
    I will send a copy of the revit file to GAJ at Dubai. You see, sharing is a two way street.


  4. Hi Wil

    Yeah, it's good that adaptive components can be other categories now in 2012. Your method is about what I had guessed, except I hadn't got to the formula part. Got stuck trying to get points on a circle to host on the intersection with a line. Could this be because I was using 2011 ? Will try again in 2012. No big secret how to contact me, my work email is As they say in the movies ... thanks for sharing :-)


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