Saturday, February 20, 2021



A request I received this week:

I am an avid reader of your grevity Blog. I really loved your lollipop trees and used them in my projects till my third year of architecture college and I seem to have lost them and your link is also not working. Is it possible to get a working link so that I can use them in my thesis too?


So I have reworked the lollipop tree family and will provide a link to the new version lower down.


The original post is here        


And below is a screenshot from a file I assembled for a presentation I gave in 2017 at BiLT EU in Aarhus, Denmark. 



I’ve been using Revit for more than 15 years now and one thing that fascinates me is how often I can come back to an idea like this and improve on what I did before.  So inevitably when I started on this post I found myself rethinking how the parameters work.  But even before that, I had to remind myself how in all works. 


The result is a family with ten types, grouped according to 5 basic shapes. 



In practical use the end user will probably want to simplify this down to 4 or 5 types, and maybe tweak the parameters to emphasize the differences between the shapes.  Height is an instance parameter so you can scale the shapes up and down at will without having to create new type names. 


The whole idea of the lollipop tree is to keep things simple and abstract.  It’s useful for campus style projects, large housing developments, urban design studies.  So having too many types is just counter-productive.


How you expose parameters to the end user is always important, but difficult to get right under time pressure.  I like to use short names with intuitive meanings.  Not saying I always succeed.



Under the hood, there are formulas, driven by these parameters to adjust the geometry and resize a nested family which displays as a symbol in plan views and matches the circular footprint of the canopy.


No doubt I will revisit this again at some point in the future.  Maybe you will find some useful ideas in the way that I have put this family together.  I’m a great believer in simple generic families, not always of course, but  often enough.



New link!AobWJ3ol0-6RrYByzD01Hd2O62kr9w?e=c8ukZA






  1. This is awesome, I've always wondered how we can have a plant family like this!! thank you for sharing. I will try it out.

  2. It might be interesting to look at the work of Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi who drew trees according to their growth and size. There are some very nice plates in the catalog of the exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in 2019.
    See also the example of the Parco Amendola garden on page 43 here :

    Good ideas for parametric Revit families according to seasons and weather?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Again, the link does not open. Could you make it available again? I searched a lot about this and you are really willing to help, and I really wanted to use the families in my final graduation project (TFG). I am from Brazil and I got here because of this.


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