Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Not finding time to do a proper post.  I've been hard pressed dealing with one Revit job reaching a crucial marketing deadline (billed as the first new Dubai property to be released "after the recession" ... well it's nice to know the recession is over :-) ... and meanwhile the schools team have a shirt load of work coming in and want to ditch 2d drafting in the belief that Revit will allow them to achieve the impossible.

So I've been burning serious night oil, preparing training sessions, making families, getting my head around a totally new project, finding my way around sets of drawings that have taken a team of 8 people about 8 months to create using snail-draw technology ... but enough of the complaints.

This will be a rough snapshot of what I have been up to, which itself is a rough and ready, cobbling together of families that can get a team going with the intention of polishing the rough edges later on.

First up is the last family of today.  Ideal-Standard "silver" wall-mounted taps.  Start a new "Plumbing Fixture".  Drag in some CAD files downloaded from the web.  3 views attached to their corresponding views.  They come into 3d space if you drag & drop, but that's OK, I'm just going to delete them once the modelling's done.  It's all extrusions at first.  Jump between plan, front & side views to get it right.

There's a sweep in there for the spout.  Then I have a standard set of subcategories that I use for assigning materials for plumbing fixtures.  Start the names of with an underscore to separate them from other random nonsense that might get pulled into the project.  _Chrome is the usual one for all the taps & stuff.  So I create this subcategory and assign all the geometry to it.  Add a material parameter as well just in case we ever need to over-ride the object styles settings for some reason.

Checking out the image that was left on the server by whoever specified this item, it's not quite right.  OK so this is the long-spout version, but the flanges also seem to be different.  I'm going to stick with the CAD file version.  Yesterday I made a water fountain.  Missing some finer details, but it will do for now.  Both these familes read quite well in orthographic views just from the 3d geometry so I haven't bothered with masking regions and symbolic lines.

That render also has a soap dispenser from Bradley, who have great Revit content downloadable from their website.  I think this is actually the first time I've had a manufacturer-supplied family for a washroom that I can actually use on a real project.  Whoopee.  Please can the guys at Ideal Standard UK wake up and provide some Revit content.  The other point about this image is the tile material.   I made this today, from scratch ... and was quite proud of myself.

Had to revise my Hatch pattern file skills, because we can't rescale Revit patterns.  I made a 300x100 to while I was at it, and left a note to remind my how to tweak the numbers to get different proportions of stretcher bond.  All this in my special "fill patterns collection" which resides in our Revit library here at GAJ as a shared resource.

The second part is to get the bump map to match.  This is where I did a "quick and dirty" that worked surprisingly well.  Zoomed in to an elevation of a wall faced with the material in question.  Use the "snipping tool" built into windows (my favourite) to carefully grab a repeating module, then save this straight into my custom rendering materials folder.  So fast !  Part of the trick was to select the scale of the view so that the joint thickness looked right.

From there is was an easy job to assign that jpeg to the materials bump map and scale it to the right measurements. 

I've just about run out of words & time now, so I'm going to pop in a couple of images of some of the other stuff I made this week.  Cubicles and the like.

The WC families do make full use of symbolic lines and masking regions in all 3 orthographic views, because the 3d geometry that's in their for rendering purposes looks awful in plans & sections.  Plus it's a lot gentler on the processor ... assuming you might have a couple of hundred toilets in your project if it's an apartment block.  This one is a 3d mesh downloaded from Ideal Standard website.  The symbolic work is all native revit, but I did use the 2d cad downloads as a guide.  I'm happy with the results, nice crisp plans and sections and I made a keynotes file for the project that gives all the codes used on the drawings.

But please, you guys at Ideal Standard ... not that you are listening ... but why should I labour away making these families when you are the ones making the profit from the sale of the merchandise.  Maybe your first attempt won't be that great, but encourage feedback from your users, listen to what we say, and it wouldn't be very hard to achieve "best Revit content available for plumbing families"  the bar is pretty low at present, why not take a leap at it ?

And like a good movie, I will finish at the start ... this is my little A5 title sheet and opening advice for users of the collections files here at GAJ. 


  1. FYI, you can the hatch22 addin to create hatch patterns. It's easier than editing a text file.

  2. oh....if you want the link.


  3. Thanks Gregory
    We have been using this in the office, but I didn't have it installed on my machine so I thought I would try doing it the manual way.

    I have to do another slightly harder pattern this week, so I need to install hatch22. To be honest I often take the easy route and get someone else to make the hatch patterns for me, hence not having got around to installing hatch22 on my laptop.

  4. re: " I think this is actually the first time I've had a manufacturer-supplied family for a washroom that I can actually use on a real project. Whoopee."

    Everyone at BlockMill Ltd would like to thank you for the compliment ;)


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