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Get your groupon


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Groups can be one of the most misunderstood and misued features in Revit. When to use a group, a family or even parts and assemblies? Groupies know that while there is always more than one way to skin a cat, groups can offer a great solution to projects containg "typical" groups of elements (that's why they are called groups!) or to control parts of projects. Even Revit's developers seem to have caught onto this with the functionality of groups having improved in recent releases.

This class will look at best practice workflows for using groups.

* When to use a group versus a family
* Nested groups
* Naming and organising your groups
* What to do about "fix groups" and other group busting errors
* Tagging and scheduling groups
* Creating different group instances (yes it is possible!)

Published in: Software, Technology
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Get your groupon

  1. 1. Get your Groupon! Ceilidh Higgins Senior Interior Designer – Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke Blogger – The Midnight Lunch Twitter @ceilidhhiggins @BIMinions
  2. 2. why groups?
  3. 3. replication
  4. 4. groups are for repeating • high rise facades and cores • typical apartments • typical rooms • objects that have a fixed relationship to one another
  5. 5. speed
  6. 6. groups are fast • quick to create • copying and amending • annotating using detail groups
  7. 7. Groups have become more stable • you can mirror * • you can rotate * • they don’t increase file size *See Aaron Maller’s talk from RTC2014 for more on mirroring and rotating groups – particularly for face based families
  8. 8. but… groups are dirty
  9. 9. fix groups!
  10. 10. break easily
  11. 11. can’t vary
  12. 12. can’t schedule
  13. 13. alternatives
  14. 14. families
  15. 15. why use nested families • ability to flex • more stable than groups • suited to single category of objects
  16. 16. problems • more time consuming to set up • less experienced users struggle • cross category issues • slower to annotate
  17. 17. nested family example Casework – 5 different families, all with finishes and dimension parameters to link through Specialty equipment – 2 different families Long parameter list, complex family
  18. 18. benefits Ability to vary dimensions Ability to turn elements on and off and create various types
  19. 19. problems Hatch pattern shows where bins are present even when category is switched off Different categories within the nested families can have unexpected results Remove Bins and Copier from the family and create a group with the casework family and equipment
  20. 20. linked files
  21. 21. why use linked files • more stable than groups • groups can be used inside of linked files • suited to whole repeating floor plates
  22. 22. problems • require loading families, wall types etc into multiple files • walls joins from the linked file won’t clean up at intersections with elements in the main model • time swapping between files
  23. 23. assemblies
  24. 24. why use assemblies ability to quickly set up views
  25. 25. problems • if you change one assembly it makes a new one rather than updating them all – this includes instance based parameters • you can’t nest assemblies • you can’t include groups, links, rooms or some MEP objects
  26. 26. creating
  27. 27. plan your groups • is a group the best solution? • which elements belong to which groups? • how do your groups and worksets work together? • which elements are best left out of groups? • make sure there are no pre-existing errors/warnings in elements you are grouping
  28. 28. naming Organise and rename your groups in the project browser – just below families Detail and model groups
  29. 29. origin point Automatically assigned origin point Select origin and drag it to move it Select dots at ends of axis to rotate
  30. 30. families inside groups Errors inside groups are frequently due to just one family: • Overall construction & quality of families can impact on group • Could be due to items not visible in family type • Check the family level and host • Line based and face based families can cause errors in groups – each object needs to be hosted to its own reference plane To avoid breaking up the group - remove the family from the group
  31. 31. level and host Check the level and host for each object before you create the group
  32. 32. Be careful – when you copy and paste or create similar objects, the level and host do not always transfer
  33. 33. You cannot rehost the object when in the group editing mode. You have to remove the object from the group, rehost it and then add it back to the group Creating your family outside the floors and moving it into place can help solve this
  34. 34. hosted objects The door is part of the same group as the wall it is hosted on Best practice is to group objects along with their hosts and any objects they are constrained to
  35. 35. adding and removing Use the plus and minus symbols to add and remove objects form the group
  36. 36. detail groups Most people discover attached detail groups accidentally
  37. 37. nesting
  38. 38. nested groups Nested into kitchen group - typical island bench group Nested kitchen type 3 group Group of joinery, fixtures and fittings for each apartment type Limitation of nested groups: They won’t align!
  39. 39. export import
  40. 40. exporting
  41. 41. inserting
  42. 42. and yes you can update them
  43. 43. linking You can also turn your group straight into a linked file But be careful if you are using nested groups – the nested groups may be lost
  44. 44. worksets, phases, options
  45. 45. worksets The group belongs to a workset – this is the workset that you are working on now When you create a new group, the individual objects inherit the group workset But when you set up the group the worksets can differ!
  46. 46. Different instances of the group can belong to different worksets
  47. 47. match groups to worksets The basin, toilet, vanity and floor waste are a nested group – their relationship is always consistent
  48. 48. The group is on the FFE workset The floor wastes were setout on the concrete outline plans
  49. 49. and workflows The floor wastes were setout on the concrete outline plans Different users could not check out worksets to work on casework and concrete outlines!
  50. 50. phases The group does not have a phase
  51. 51. The phase belongs to each object inside the group Phases are allowed to vary across group instances
  52. 52. Different objects in one group may have different phases
  53. 53. Changing the phase of grouped objects is very time consuming
  54. 54. design options The group can belong inside a design option
  55. 55. scheduling
  56. 56. scheduling groups The kitchen group appears to have a type tag which is then scheduled – but how?
  57. 57. tagging The tag is just a generic tag which picks up the type mark parameter from the 2D family
  58. 58. varying
  59. 59. Exclude objects Once objects are excluded from a group it is as if they don’t exist in the model – they won’t show up in your schedules.
  60. 60. Restore excluded Restore excluded objects by selecting the group and right clicking Tab through to select and restore individual objects
  61. 61. vary parameters by instance Instance based parameters within the group can vary across group instances – but only for parameters which are not geometric
  62. 62. parameter types Even though this yes/no parameter does not drive geometry, you cannot make it vary by group instance Parameter types that can vary: Text URL Materials Area, volume and density Currency
  63. 63. repair
  64. 64. understand the errors Review the error warnings instead of just hitting fix groups. Frequently the errors all relate to just one family. Is the family a line based family? What is it hosted to? Remove the family from the group if necessary.
  65. 65. fix groups
  66. 66. find and replace
  67. 67. no error message • objects appear to be missing from some group instances • error “multiple instances in one place” Group is missing casework objects
  68. 68. i know they are there? Group has casework items visible Level 3 where the group was created
  69. 69. The objects can be found in 3d by isolating the group – while they were correctly hosted to the original level – they have replicated all over the place The culprit – these families were line based families
  70. 70. bugs
  71. 71. design options This project has 2 design options, when I accept primary this is the error – oddly the affected group only exists in the primary option
  72. 72. Instead of breaking up the group I will delete just the copiers. That excludes them though, rather than removes them from the group which doesn't sort out the problem - Revit still wants to break up the group. Remove the family from the group prior to accepting the primary option
  73. 73. floor levels The levels in this model were initially set up based upon a zero RL. Later the levels were moved to the real RLs. However the group origin points appear to remain at the original levels. The building is 19 storeys tall with groups on every floor!
  74. 74. The model was in chaos with groups everywhere Even if the origin points are fixed the groups are not hosting in the right places – this group is still on the roof even though the group origin is Level 17
  75. 75. When I edited the group I discovered that the objects themselves had a different Offset – and you can’t change the host inside the group In this case I did break up all the groups, but I later found the error…
  76. 76. what’s wrong? There are a number of nested groups of tables and chairs inside another group. One nested group has a strange level issue – although it is appearing correctly in all views
  77. 77. Exporting the group to a project is one way to check – turns out there are 5 levels with different parts of the group hosted to different levels! Rehost and delete excess levels and replace group
  78. 78. Group Tips • Don’t use line based families • Do match groups to worksets and workflows • Don’t group elements without elements that they are constrained or hosted to • Do manage your groups as you would manage families
  79. 79. Questions? check out my blog at @ceilidhhiggins @BIMinions Ceilidh Higgins
  80. 80. Groups highlight problems in your model
  81. 81. Screen shots and video by Ceilidh Higgins from DJRD projects for this presentation Question mark - Chairs - Runner - Stables - Hanging on (Muddy hand) - The weakest link - They are Coming - flip_board (Schedule board) - Options - Monkey in the Middle - Elephant walk (lineup of planes) - Create. (scrabble) - Nesting (Nested bowls) - Exported bottle - La libertad tiene un precio (options) - Cars in bucarest - Preying mantis Lawn Mower - Pointing hand - Lonely number 1 - Image credits