Sunday, March 27, 2011


If only ...

How often does Revit get me saying that ?  Its such a brilliant way of working, you can't help wanting to do more, to do everything the Revit way.  So if only.  If only we could use the conceptual massing tools to make furniture, or sanitary fittings, or pillows for example.

So how would I set about it ?  Could start with a profile, model lines drawn in a generic model family. Something like this.

Bring this into a massing family and place several instance of different sizes on reference places.  Use these to make a form.  Not a bad approximation to a pillow.

Using linked instance parameters, we can vary the shape, scale it up and down, even swap in different profiles.  An elipse for example. Some simple formulas will allow us to keep user parameters down to a minimum

Small versions could be pillows, cushions, various household items.

Larger versions can be panellised to make buildings, perhaps an arena ...

or maybe a flying saucer or two.   All variations on the same basic family.  Just tweaking the instance parameters will scale it up or down by a factor of 10 or 100, convert a rectangle into an ellipse, squeeze out a flange in the middle ...

Not too hard to imagine making better sanitary fittings this way.  In fact it turns out that you can do the same kind of form making with generic model profiles in an adaptive family.  Now adaptive families can be plumbing fixtures, and they can be shared, so by hosting them in a mass you can get them into a project and schedule them.  I made a version of Duravit's Puravida WC this way using a D shaped profile with 3 instance parameters to create 4 different forms, 2 for the bowl and 1 each for the seat & the cistern.  Loaded in a standard family that I use for flush buttons and the result is a better WC than I have been able to make before using native Revit modelling tools.

With Revit 2012 offering direct placement of adaptive components it will be no longer necessary to host my WC in a mass.  Now this is probably not what the factory had in mind for adaptive components, but it's about time we had some decent sanitary ware, so why not ?