Monday, September 5, 2011


I've said it before. Revit does not excel at making soft floppy things. It's number one job is to build rigid structural elements.  The conceptual massing tools are great for creating organic forms that panellise into grid-shell assemblies.  But they are not really intended for making cushions & pillows, despite my previous efforts. here

All this is fine, but we do like to populate our interiors with furniture that looks moderately convincing.  Some of us have interior design projects that demand photo-realistic renders of interior schemes complete with all the soft furnishings we have so carefully selected. 

So here's another small contribution.  It's a fully parametric cushion family. All instance parameters so it's very easy to make new versions on the fly. Very simple to make and lots of potential to nest this in furniture families and significantly reduce the effort needed to make these.

Set up reference planes for Width & Length, create a rectangular extrusion, lock it to the planes & fillet radius the corners.  Select each arc in turn and convert the temporary radius dimensions to permanent ones.  Select these and label them "R1"

Make a new profile family. Add 2 reference planes with labelled dimensions. Draw to lines and an arc. The arc will automatically lock to a perfect quadrant as you get close to this shape. Load into your cushion family.

In a 3d view go to Home/Void/Sweep. Pick path, Pick 3D edges and pick your way around the top edge of the extrusion.  Finish the path and select the profile.  Choose the family you have just made. Zoom in to check it.  You may have to flip the sweep.

Finish the sweep and you should have a nice rounded edge.  Repeat this for the bottom of the cushion.  The result is a family that flexes nicely to various shapes, from a box with slightly rounded edges, to a slighly flattened balloon.  You can even take the top and bottom radii beyond half way to create a sharp crease around the middle.

The best pillows I've made so far are based on a rectangle without radius corners.  Instead I put a slight kink in the sides.  The result is still an abstraction, lacking the subtle irregularities of real life.  But it is a native revit family, fully parametric, and recognisable as a pillow.
Renders quite nicely too

Final shot is from my furniture collection where all the GAJ reviteers can go shopping for what they need.  Shows these cushion families nested into sofas and scattered about loose.  I like the accidental effects on the round cushion (because you have to leave a short straight section for the family not to break)

Actually not the final shot, because I just discovered another happy accident. Because the cushions are work-plane based & not "always vertical" (go to family settings & parameters in family editor) they will host on each other.  Even better because of the curved surfaces you can nudge the cushions around to fine tune the angles they rest at.  Here's a shot from my bedroom furniture collection.


  1. I would like to go shopping there.

  2. Planning to make some of these families available for download soon, so have your shopping bag ready :)

  3. Just saw your newest post! Thanks!

  4. thanks!! for FLEXible CUSHION Family !
    I need full cushion chair with wheels tutorials Could you help me out!

  5. Your informational post is good one to read and i think it can easily to reach the correct market place. so thank for creating this interesting blog about office chair cusion... pure foam cushion

  6. Thank you so much for the download! It's very nice!


I've been getting a lot of spam so had to tighten up comments permissions. Sorry for any inconvenience. I do like to hear from real people