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Thread: Management of families

  1. #1
    I could stop if I wanted to Nic M.'s Avatar
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    After a few months with revit I find myself constantly updating and modifying families.

    example:
    I'm working in a certain project, find the need to add a parameter to a family. So I open the family in the editor, do the necesary things, save, close and load it back in the project. Easy

    But actualy I should also update my templates, other families where this particular family is nested in, check al the families that are derived from this family (windows with mullions/ doors and handles / ....)
    ...
    All this to have a lean and mean family library (the thing that makes the work fly)
    So I would like to have a tool or white paper to assist me in this.
    Current I'm the only one working in Revit but my head spins if I think of a whole office creating, modifying families.
    How do any of you manage this?
    Do you appoint a familie manager (DAD)?
    Is there any reading material on this subject? (did a quick search...)
    Do we need a tool to "update all instances of this family"

    A € cent for your thoughts

  2. #2
    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Management of families

    I don't think this issue has been adequately addressed before and it is a big issue for us also.

    I think the answer is a new tool to update all instances of the modified family. That will be a programmers nightmare, since the families are not globally databased but reside separately in each project. But that's why we have programmers, right.

    Having a "Dad" to manage families in an office environment is getting back to the bad old days of the CAD manager syndrome, which I've happily leave to the autocad , or sim, offices.
    Bruce Gow.

    Karel*CAD. Application Specialist..
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    Revitalize. Blog

  3. #3
    100 Club Vincent Valentijn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Management of families

    management is indeed a big problem.. the constant 'improvements' I make to content brings me a consistency problem.
    CAD drawers should constantly be kept posted about changed families... but that doesn't really work since, are they supposed to change former projects in hindsight? And you just can't rely on everyone being 100% alert all the time, that's an illusion.
    But maybe an idea for you Nic > I am now using journals as some sort of automated 'replace families' scrips, it works pretty good though it isn't always flawless (depends, for instance; if one replace action doesn't comply since the replacing object isn't in the project, the journal crashes) and I must say, for the amount of projects we run it takes up quite some time. Still faster then manually though.
    Wouldn't it be nice to have functionality like Acad2004? Notification Centre to keep links up to date and Standards Notification to make sure everyone's up to date with office standards. Of course.. we'd like XRef's first ..

  4. #4
    I could stop if I wanted to Nic M.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Management of families

    It's ironic that a almost perfect BIM aplication fails to manage its own family.
    The use of journals is no solution to me, I had my share of *.bat bashing, don't want to bring such a thing back in a production environment.
    More than once it happend to me that when modifying a family, load it back in the project, the thing shifts position (due to the kind of modifications where made in the family). If such things happend "automatic" ... brrr

    The "dad" thing is'nt appealing to me neither.

    I'm thinking of a sort of scheduling for used families in a project. Every familie has a version number and date stamp, that should at least gives us the opportunity to check used family against existing ones on a hard disk.
    Also a warning (one more couldent hurt) if a family's "origin" has changed, so you would be warned if a family shifts position in a project.
    ....

    I would like to read much more opinions on this family managinng thing.
    The more a think about it the greater that can of worm is getting (almost a barrel now)

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    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Management of families

    Quote Originally Posted by Nic M.
    I'm thinking of a sort of scheduling for used families in a project. Every familie has a version number and date stamp, that should at least gives us the opportunity to check used family against existing ones on a hard disk.
    I'm wondering if families could all be kept in a central database and the project reads them from there, but doesn't physically load them. It Xrefs them ( did I say that ? ). Then when you change a family, all projects that use it update when opened. After a warning message of course, giving you the choice to retain the older version which exists as a backup in the family folder anyway.
    Bruce Gow.

    Karel*CAD. Application Specialist..
    Architect.
    Revitalize. Blog

  6. #6
    Revit Forum Manager Steve_Stafford's Avatar
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    Default Re: Management of families

    You are describing Bentley's "shared cells"...library controlled cells that update across a project of office when changed. In truth, they are seldom used (at least true for us) and you don't want sealed projects etc to change and so...

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict Dimitri Harvalias's Avatar
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    Default Re: Management of families

    Correct me if I'm wrong here but isn't the 'Transfer Project Standards' command tailor made for this function?
    It's inevitable that as work progresses on a project some tweaking is done on families. I think it's the project managers responsibility to stress the importance of keeping things consistent throughout. I'm not sure that 'legacy' drawings are as important an issue. Once a project is complete, as long as it is consistent within itself, all families are stored internally and are current at the time the project is finished right?
    I like to maintain an office standards file that is kept up to date with revised families and it can then be opened side by side with any current project and just transferred wholesale to the new job. As long as family naming conventions are kept consistent there are generally few problems. I usually add a project specific prefix to family names if a particular family is modififed just for that project. The global update approach scares me unless it is restricted to things like title blocks and the like. Unless you can be sure that a family with a specific name is used for exactly the same purpose from one project to the next you could make changes that are not applicable to a past job.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Management of families

    When using transfer project standards existing family types are not overwritten. For example, if the target project includes "Wall Type 18" and you try to import a wall type with the same name, the existing type is not overwritten.

    Or are you saying that this facility exists, so could be adapted for the purpose in a new release ?
    Bruce Gow.

    Karel*CAD. Application Specialist..
    Architect.
    Revitalize. Blog

  9. #9
    Certifiable AUGI Addict Dimitri Harvalias's Avatar
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    Default Re: Management of families

    Begee,
    When transferring project standards the dialogue gives you the option to Overwrite or Transfer New Only. If you choose overwrite styles change and the new ones take effect.
    On the other note...
    Or are you saying that this facility exists, so could be adapted for the purpose in a new release ?
    If only I had that kind of inside information.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Management of families

    Sorry, I wasn't clear. You may want to overwrite only specific families if you are updating an existing project. You don't have that selective ability at present. Its all or nuttin'.

    I think its possible that the transfer project information could be regeared to give greater flexibility to update families.
    Bruce Gow.

    Karel*CAD. Application Specialist..
    Architect.
    Revitalize. Blog

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