REVIT FAMILY CREATION: AN INTEGRAL PART OF BUSINESS INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM)

WHAT IS REVIT AND BIM: ARE THEY THE SAME THING?

BIM or building information modeling is the way in which the physical and functional features of the buildings in question in a 3D database, which is created via the information model that depicts the design of the building. It also comprises of the management of the digital illustrations. It consists of files that can be extracted, exchanged and networked, to take decisions regarding building the steps towards building other assets. The software is mainly used by professionals, business agencies, government organizers, etc.

In the industry, BIM is to CAD as Revit is to AutoCAD. It is usually understood, rather misunderstood by many that BIM is nothing but a piece of software and that Revit is BIM. But this is completely wrong. Because Revit is not BIM, it is a part or a tool of BIM like many other BIM tools like AutoCAD MEP, ArchiCAD, Microstation and even Navisworks.

BIM enables a 3D, dynamic and actual-time software for modeling that helps in increasing productivity and drawing consistency and error elimination. But Revit is different, with a powerful database, developed by Autodesk. Revit can contain information of various projects and might suggest re-edits also along the way at various stages of construction. Revit typically uses. RVT files for storing 3D BIM models.

What is Revit Family Creation?

As suggested earlier, files in Revit are stored in .RVT files. But every construction model needs 3D objects like walls, door, windows, roofs etc. In this scenario, rather than going back every time to create the same objects that are repetitive in almost every construction, families or groups of the objects are created which can be inserted into the model with ease. These files are saved as .RFA files and not .RVT files. These .RFA files are then imported to RVT database when needed and used accordingly. These families are single model database file elements that can be modified depending on what kind of family it is. Revit families are of two main types: parametric and non-parametric.

Parametric Revit Family: Parametric families are the elements that can be modified in dimensions and parts, according to the model requirements. The minimum level of detailing (LOD) is 350, LOD 400 is used for this generally.

Non-parametric Revit Family: Non – parametric Revit families are the elements, which have been created in the Revit database and cannot be tampered with, later in case of any demands in such situations.

Technically, there are three types of Revit Families:

  • System Families
  • Loadable Families
  • In-place Families

Most of the elements that are created in projects are system families or loadable families. Nested and shared families can be created by combining loadable files. Custom elements are created using In-place families.

System Families: System families are used to creating basic elements required for assemblage in a construction site. As for example walls, roofs, floors, ducts, pipes etc. System settings have types for levels, grids, drawing sheets and viewports. These files are established in advance in Revit. These are not downloaded into the projects from external files nor are these files uploaded into locations that are external to the project.

Loadable Families: Loadable families are used to creating the following elements –

  1. Windows, doors, caseworks, fixtures, planting, furniture etc…; the building elements that would be purchased.
  2. Boilers, water heaters, air handlers, plumbing fixtures etc; the building elements that would need purchasing, delivery and installation.
  3. Symbols, tile blocks etc, elements that are footnote components and are routinely customized.

Loadable families are the ones that are mostly used because they can be highly customized according to preferences and thus are mostly created too and used. These files are created externally, in RFA files and are then imported or loaded into their projects according to needs. Because loadable families contain various types, type catalogs can also be created and used for proper organization of use and the only families that are needed for a particular project can be then loaded into the project.

In- place Families: These families are the most unique ones that can be created, when there is a specific need for a customized product for a project. When created in in-place geometry, it automatically refers to project geometries, resizing itself immediately according to the changes in the geometry. When creating an In-place family in Revit, there is an automatic family in place for it that contains only a single family type.

Thus, in this way, Revit family editor users develop efficient families which then go through optimizations for complementing Revit modeling projects. With this assistance, Revit modeling projects take considerable less time and with more precision. Thus, Revit family creation has become an integral factor in Revit modeling projects and in turn for Building Information Modeling (BIM).

BIM Services India
We are a leading BIM Modeling services provider offering end to end Building Design Services. We execute high quality BIM Modeling projects. Till date, we have successfully executed 200+ end to end BIM projects for the following sectors. we can provide cost effective and high quality BIM Solutions in USA, UK, Europe, Australia and Canada.

Scan-to-BIM: How Point cloud to BIM Modeling impacts renovation and restoration of old buildings

Scan to BIM or “Point Cloud to BIM” is an innovative process of developing as built virtual models for further renovation and refurbishment of old buildings. Scans or point cloud images are developed through a “Laser Scanner” after scanning a building to get the measurements of the building site and other areas in as built conditions. Traditional methods permit measurement using measure tape and is long, tedious process.  Point cloud imaging or Laser scanning is a better and convenient process compared to physical measuring of sites.

Measuring companies in US, UK, Australia, Canada, Middle East and Europe is seeing significant advantages in using point cloud services. They are slowly and gradually ditching the traditional method. Using Scan to BIM Modeling services offers higher cost savings and efforts when they aim at creating highly detailed Revit BIM Models from laser scans. This data is extracted in form of “scan images” in raw format, later these images are “registered” and converted into “ RCS” or “RCP” formats so that these scans can be adapted and opened in Revit or any other BIM software. Revit BIM Models can be created effectively with all suitable details, Revit content, equipment schedules and later integrated to produce As-built drawings which can indicate renovation requirements in building. We can also develop proposed building design based on existing Model developed from point cloud.

Point cloud to CAD Drafting or construction drawings are also developed with an intention to use these drawings for installation on site. This process enables quicker construction and faster execution of project.  Contractors and End clients both find considerable time to review the designs, validate them and approve them on time before the site installation begins.  Onsite maintenance can continue while the point cloud scans are being converted to BIM Model.

With Scan to BIM Modeling technology, construction and design team jointly reap the benefits offered by point cloud to BIM Modeling services in India. There are many Indian CAD and BIM companies offering Point cloud to BIM Modeling services to Measuring Companies in USA, UK, EUROPE, Australia, Canada and UAE.

Scan to BIM Modeling companies in India take extreme efforts in providing standardized Revit Model with high level of detailing such as Revit Content, Schedules, 4D and 5D features etc.  Recently there is a major tunnel in Netherlands that is under renovation. Laser scan methodology is being used to renovate this tunnel in the most unique manner. This method is proving to be extremely cost effective resulting in quick construction as well.

Bhagwati Pathak on Email
Bhagwati Pathak
Director of AEC Operations at BIM Services India
Bhagwati Pathak, is the Director of AEC Operations with BIM Services India ,having 10+ years of experience in Client acquisition and project Management in field of BIM, Architectural Construction drawings and MEP Co-ordination.

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