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Doors: Creating your own Door Family: Part 6

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Welcome to the sixth part in this series of articles in which we explain how to create your own Door Family using the Family Editor, in Revit Architecture. If you have missed the previous parts in this series, you may wish to start here.

If you have been following the series from the start, you will know that we have now completed the modelling part of the exercise. That is to say, we have created all the 3D geometry that is required to represent our door assembly- including the door handles.

To get the maximum value out of the time we have spent modelling this door, we can go ahead and easily create a number of pre-defined “Types”, all based on the same basic family. Needless to say, that is the focus of this particular article: Types.


If you don’t have the door family open in the Family Editor, go ahead and open it now.



And there it is: Magnificent!

So what is the purpose of creating Types? Well, quite simply it is so that we can use the same basic family to form different elements. When I say “different”, I actually mean that their parameters are different- The basic 3D geometry stays the same.

So for example, with our door family we may wish to set up several Types, each one having a different “opening width”. Or we may wish to set up different “Types” that contain various thicknesses of door leaf. Hopefully, you get the idea? (As always: If you’re not sure, ask!).


So let’s go ahead and start defining some Types. Click on the “Family Types” button, on the “Home” tab……..


Upon clicking the button, you are presented with the “Family Types” control panel…..

You will note that the “Name” box at the top of the panel is blank and greyed out- that is because there is currently no Types defined for this family. So go ahead and click “New” in the “Family Types” section on the right hand side of the panel. I’m going to call this Type “1010 X 2010mm” to represent a door that is “1010mm wide by 2010mm high.

Of course you can name your Types however you wish.

Once this Type is created, you can go ahead and change / set any of the Parameters to suit. So in my example, I am going to go ahead and set the Width and Height accordingly……

To create additional Types, all you do is repeat the above process and set different values to the parameters accordingly.

In the image above, you will see that I’ve created 3 three different Types for this door family. At this stage, it is a very good idea to “flex” your family. That is: Change the active “Type” from the drop-down list and check (visually) that the family has adjusted in the way that you expect. With our simple door family example, there is very little to go wrong. But you will appreciate that large, complex families with many parameters can sometimes behave in a totally unexpected manner, when you try flexing them. It’s much better to resolve the issues now (whilst you are creating the family) than when you need to use the family in a live Project environment.

When you are happy with the Types you have defined, go ahead and “Save” a copy of the family and then “Load” it in to a new Project file. Create a single length of wall and insert an instance of the door family into it……

Making sure that you have selected the door itself, take a look at its “Properties” panel. You will notice that the current “Type” is shown at the top of the panel and that by clicking on this, you get a drop-down list of the various “Types” that are available…..

Just before we finish, it is worth reiterating that Types can control a variety of parametric aspects of your family- not just dimensions. For example, you can create Types to control the materials within a family, or even the visibility of certain nested components within the family. Like most things in Revit, only you can decide on the trade-off between modelling time and the value that you will get out of it.

In the next (and final) article in the series, we will take a very quick look at all the key concepts we have covered to date- and how some of these can be used in other areas of Revit.


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