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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Don’t Let Free Content Dictate Your Design…

How many times have you been asked about why you used a specific family in your project?  

How many times was your answer “because it’s all I could find”?

Frank Lloyd Wright is turning in his grave.  A man that custom designed everything from a desk chair to a drawer pull.  Imagine the horror on his face if you told him that you threw your design intent in the trash for the simple reason that there was no model available.  The time has come for you to stop settling for what is out there and build your own Revit families...

I know what you are going to say:  “But Jeff, there is no time and our fees are so low!”.

Let me tell you a story…

My previous employer was an architecture and engineering firm of around 120 people.  When I started working there they had just failed miserably on their first Revit project, but still stuck to their guns and mandated its use.  Part of my role was to assist in this transition.  

Most of the work consisted of educational facilities from Kindergarten through High School.  Like many projects of a similar sector, there are typical details and products that are specified over and over again from one project to the next.  Additionally, most project teams will refer to their last project to bring this information forward.

So there was this desk…

Six years ago someone on some team downloaded a student’s classroom desk from a website that shall not be named (it rhymes with “Levitt Pity”).  At first glance, this desk looked nice in the project.  In the family editor, well, that was a different story.  

The desk was actually a MIX between a cushion modeled in AutoCAD and other parts modeled in Revit.  It was not parametric AT ALL but contained many parameters that did nothing.  It looked nothing like the desks we specified and was not the correct size.  To top it off, the desk was roughly 5MB in size and attributed to a major slowdown when it was populated inside a project.

This desk, over a six year period, spread like a cancer throughout many large school models. It was only discovered one day when I had assisted a project team that literally could not open their file due to insufficient memory.

I would bet my life savings that the first person who downloaded and used this desk either “did not have time” or “could not find anything else”...
Some very basic family creation skills and a few hours of time upfront would have saved twenty or thirty Revit projects from being infected with this terrible model.  

Do you know what models are in your projects?  

Instead of settling for families that don’t meet your design intent, destroy your model's performance, and spread like a cancer it’s time you learned how to create your own.

On Friday I will be publishing a small snippet from BIM After Dark - Volume 3.  This snippet will illustrate to you how simple it is to get started building high quality and fully parametric Revit families that meet your design intent.

Let’s make Frank proud… :)

Don't forget to Download your FREE printable cheat sheet today...