Saturday, January 20, 2007

Manufacturer Families - Part 2

After thinking more about my last post on this subject, I have come to the realization that Autodesk will probably never create content based on manufacturers. There would be many legal issues and ramifications with them creating these. This could stem from many aspects: incorrectly sized object creates a cost impact in the field, wrong part number brings the wrong item to the field, and the big thing is how does Autodesk pick the manufacturers. They could really alienate themself from companies if they chose one over another to create content from. Why should they worry about this even though it is the largest hurdle that a new user finds with Revit? The family editor is definately the hardest aspect of learning Revit. You need to understand what the best type of family you want to create to get the best end result, know what aspects should be locked and what ones are dynamic, what information you want to schedule, referance planes, visibility settings, add enough detail but not too much also, and they just take a lot of time to make correctly which is never in the budget. If you really master the Family Editor then you have pretty much mastered Revit and you can do anything.

With that said, we are left on trusting how others create content and then downloading from a variety of sites or just creating our own. My goal by the end of this year is to create or download a lot of content so that we can work more efficiently in our office. Here is a list of what I need more of..... What would you like to see? Throughout the year I will upload some of my good families to Revit to pay back the Revit Community for the many downloads that I have used in the past year and a half. It would be great to hear what you think would be beneficial to have more of.

1. Doors - Variety of interior and exterior with different panel options, glass options, and an adjustable swing. Also, I need these in single, double, bi-fold, and pocket. The other item not really well covered is garage doors. I have a lot of manufactures in mind for the door category but it really matters what you are working on.

2. Windows - Where do I start with this.
For our residential projects it would be great to have Double Hung (regular, cottage style, half-round, and archtop), casements, awning, and transom units. It would be great to have these with different grille patterns but it would be best if you could at least turn on or off the bottom grilles or both the top and bottom grills since not every project uses them. Manufactures for this would at least be: Andersen, Marvin, Pella, Duratherm & Jeld-Wen.
For our commercial work it would be really great to have some content from EFCO, Kawneer, and Vistawall. This includes regular aluminum windows, storefront, and curtainwall.

3. Plumbing - This is an important category since it really does affect layouts in bathrooms but it would also be great to be able to schedule. Some key companies could be: Toto, Elkay, Kohler & American Standard.

4. Elevators/Lifts - Not as important since you have many variables to consider before having a set size and manufacturer but some standard sizes would be great.

5. Fireplaces - There are a few of these around but I think this category could always be expanded with some more parametric models. Also, chimney caps are really important but hard to find.

6. Architectural Woodwork - Stairs, Railing, Ballusters, Generic Cabinets, and more trim profiles.

7. Site - Bicycle Racks, Site Benches, and Planters

8. Toilet Compartments & Accessories - Don't really know who I would use as a manufacturer for toilet compartments but I would probably use bobric for the accessories.

9. Lighting - Too many manufactures to list. I started recently with taking the Iris line from Cooper Lighting and creating downlight and downlight accent fixtures. They started out simple but at least they look good on the schedule. This is a category that I will focus a lot of time on.

What do you think about the list? What do you think is important, what is not, and what would you add? It was really great for me to think this through but other input is always great.


Robert 1/20/2007 12:05 PM  

If I were you, I would not get cuaght up on modeling/creating content that is manufactuere specific. Rather given Revit's ability to track and maintain information, it generally makes more sense to have generic content that can be re-labeled as representing a specific manufcatuer. Sure there are times where a family must look exactly like what the product is, but in many cases all we really need to do it two things. Identify what the object is, and locate the object in such a way that a builder/contractor can create our project.


Anonymous 3/18/2007 5:55 PM  

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