Doors Open

Revit Structure Families, Your Way: 5 Easy Customizations

Most of the standard Revit Structure (RST) families haven’t changed significantly in over a decade. However, serious users will need to customize these families to optimize RST’s usability. These changes may involve retrieving missing information or addressing major deficiencies from out-of-the-box RST families. Here are a few simple corrections to five of the most commonly used families.

Change Steel Shape Setbacks

The primary limitation with default steel shapes is that RST lacks insight into where the three-dimensional shape begins and ends. A steel shape frequently connects to a beam or column, which requires the attachment member’s bounding box to setback the framing member. The default setback gap is 1/2 inch.

Change the setback gap by modifying Structural FramingSteelW-Wide Flange.rfa. Add a reporting parameter to specify a setback value, which you can then change as needed. You can also modify this file to increase the length of the symbolic line.

Rename K Series Bar Joist Parameters

The default bar joist family uses parameter names that match the geometry controls in RST 2016. You’ll typically want to rename these parameters to something you can understand unless you’re completely overhauling the bar joist family.

Modify Door Openings

The standard door opening family defaults to an opening indicated with an ‘X’, which may not result in line work that matches your standards. You may also want a lintel cut in the wall or a wall cut-out for a slab threshold.

Make these changes by modifying DoorsDoor-Opening.rfa. Open the family, model a solid and void for the opening lintel, and provide it with some parameters. Repeat this step for the door threshold, and revise the line style for the X opening.

Center Steel L Angles

Embedding a centerline into a steel L angle can make drawings much easier when you need to indicate centerlines.

Modify Structural FramingSteelL Shape.rfa to make this change. Open the family, and create a new object style for the line style you wish to use for a centerline. Draw the symbolic line in the front and top elevation, and attach visibility parameters for the centerline.

Change Text

The text in drawings can often become cramped, making it desirable to use a lowercase “x” instead of an uppercase “X.” This change can affect many families and profiles.

Make this change by modifying Structural ColumnSteelM-Miscellaneous Wide Flange-Column.txt. This file isn’t a family file, so you don’t need to open a family. Use Excel and Notepad to change the text as needed, and repeat this step for the remaining steel families.

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