Family Matters – Best Practices for Creating Revit Families

19 December 2023Revit



As a recent addition to the Graitec Technical team, I have been given the opportunity to revisit an area of BIM that was a particular focus of mine in previous roles, the creation of Revit families. Delivering Family focused training sessions for our customers brings it all flooding back, the planning, the parameters and the ability to create the building blocks of a Revit project.

Creating efficient and functional families in Autodesk Revit is a crucial skill for architects, engineers, and designers. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting, mastering Revit families can significantly enhance your workflows and project outcomes. In this blog post, we’ll explore some best practices for creating Revit families, and provide information on an the available Graitec training courses that promise to elevate your family building skills to new heights.

Start with a Plan

Before diving into family creation, outline your goals and requirements. It doesn’t hurt to sit with a piece of paper and sketch out the key information. Ask yourself some basic questions to understand the purpose of the family, its origin and placement, its potential variations, and how it fits into your overall project. A well-thought-out plan sets the foundation for a successful family.

Efficient Parameterization

Parameterization is crucial for creating flexible and adaptive families as well as schedule information from your family to your project. Establish parameters that control various aspects of the family, assess if they should be Shared allowing them to be tagged and scheduled. If you are including nested families look to associate the parameters so that they can be easily adjusted at the core family level. Well-defined parameters enhance the versatility of your families and streamline the editing process.

Consistent Naming Conventions

Maintain consistency in naming your families and parameters. A standardized naming convention promotes clarity and organization, facilitating collaboration within your team and ensuring a smoother workflow. Ask yourself, can you identify what the family is without opening the file or viewing the assembly?

Geometry Best Practices

Follow best practices for creating clean and efficient geometry. Avoid unnecessary complexity, use reference planes wisely, and employ solid modelling techniques. Well-structured geometry contributes to a more stable and predictable family.

Consider Nested Families

Leverage the power of nested families to create modular and scalable components. This allows for the creation of complex assemblies while maintaining a manageable and structured hierarchy. The efficient use of nested families enhances project organization and simplifies editing.

Optimize for Performance

Large projects demand families that are optimised for performance. Minimise file sizes where possible, use detail levels judiciously, and optimise parameters to ensure responsiveness. Optimisation is key to maintaining efficiency in your Revit projects. Look to Purge any unused elements from your families before loading them into your project.

Test and Iterate

Flex, flex, flex and flex again! Regularly test your families as you apply your parameters and lock your geometry try different scenarios and iterate based on feedback. This process helps to uncover potential issues, ensures compatibility, and refines the performance of your families over time.

Mastering the art of creating Autodesk Revit Families is a valuable skill that can significantly enhance your BIM workflow. By adhering to some of these best practices, you’ll create families that contribute to a more efficient and collaborative design process.

Contact Graitec here to learn more about our Autodesk Revit Family training courses to delve deeper and elevate your skills, through valuable insights, hands-on experience, and expert guidance on creating families and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in Revit.

Written by Kris Atkinson – Software Technical Specialist

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