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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Drafting Workaround...

Yesterday, I published a post that explored the dangers of NOT building custom Revit families.  I used the example of out of the box casework families. Today, I want to expand on this idea and present a common work around I see every day.  In fact, you or your company may use this workaround too!  What is the workaround I am talking about?  Let’s call it “drafting”...  For example, when you create an interior elevation and you use drafting lines and filled regions to show details, patterns, and information.  Let’s talk about how dangerous “drafting” in Revit can be...

I know, I know… You spent your entire life “drafting”.  Drafting has been the standard of creating architectural documents for years.  You’ve been creating interior elevations in AutoCAD for hundreds of projects successfully, why would a little drafting inside of Revit be so bad?

First, I will be a bit cliche and mention the fact that by drafting within a “BIM” tool you are immediately eliminating the “information” and the “model”... So call your marketing coordinator and update the material to say you are doing “B” and not “BIM”. ;)

Second, I will use an example to illustrate the ramifications of drafting in Revit when you should not be.  In continuing with yesterday’s topic, I will use the example of Casework.  

In the example, I wrote about using the out of the box casework families and not modifying them to look like a shaker style cabinet.  Instead of taking a few hours to customize and model shaker doors into your casework family you used a note in the elevations.  This note was not picked up by estimators but was picked up when the project was bid which broke the budget.

Anyone willing to play devil's advocate could respond and say “well, what if I just drafted lines on the elevations to make shaker doors?”.  I’m glad you asked.  Yes, of course that would have solved the issue of making your interior elevations look like the product you wanted to specify.  Great.  Now, we have eliminated the estimators mistake and the bids came in as you expected. 

But, now the project is getting ready to break ground and the owner decides to make a few changes (I know, that never happens…).  The owner wants to use 4” frames for the shaker cabinets not 2” as you have drawn.  You have 24 unique interior elevations.  All of those 2” frames have been drafted within the elevation views and dimensioned as such.

You, or some unlucky intern, will have to enter every single interior elevation view and modify every single drafted door line to the new dimensions.

If you had modeled the shaker doors and made them fully parametric do you know what the process would be for that intern (or yourself)?  You got it, depending on the number of cabinet types and sizes, it could be as simple as a few clicks.  Edit the family type, change 2” to 4” for the shaker frame parameter, and click apply. 

Oh, the owner wants to change them back to 2” now?!  


Tomorrow, I will show you just how quick and simple it could be to modify the existing casework in Revit and make the shaker door referenced above.  A simple 20 minute tutorial has the power to save you hundreds of hours re-drafting and thousands of dollars re-designing. 

BIM After Dark - Volume 3: We Are Family...

BIM After Dark -Volume 3 is live!

In the series, there is an entire chapter (almost an hour of video) dedicated to custom cabinet creation...

If you find yourself feeling as though you don’t have time to create custom content.  If you or someone in your company spends all day drafting over out of the box families in Revit.  If you simply want to take your Revit family creation game to the next level, Volume 3 is for you.

Volume 3 is focused 100% on custom family creation while stressing the use of real-world situations and examples. In addition to over six hours of non-stop, easy-to-follow, and information packed tutorials you have the option of some great bonuses in the complete package…  From simple parametric tables to funky adaptive facades, Volume 3 has something for everyone.

Click here to download Volume 3 today!