Can you change built-in parameters from Type to Instance based, and vice versa?  This post shows you can. 

The essence of the workflow is to

  • start a family with the desired template, 
  • add a value to the parameter, 
  • change the Family Category to something that doesn’t have that parameter built-in, 
  • switch the parameter to Instance, 
  • then change the Family Category back to the original

Read the more detailed version here:

(It is based on changing voltage parameter to Instance based for Electrical Equipment)

There are at least two distinct ways to move an item via dimension edit in the Family Editor, but they can have very different results.  See video:

My video is directly derivative of one from Steve Stafford last week.  Steve demonstrated some interesting behaviour along basically the same lines at:
Revit OpEd: Two Minutes with Constraint Quirkiness

EDIT Current category guide post:

In Revit, some families have Cut Dominance, some are Cuttable, and some respect various View Range rules in various ways.

These behaviours may further be affected by the Family Template that they were created from, whether they are Hosted or non-Hosted, whether they are Shared or not Shared.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a document that went through each Family Category and described its unique properties!  I have asked Autodesk for this before, but to no avail (SR# 1-9298685321 – The help file does not describe the unique properties of each Category).

Andy Milburn shares my feeling on this matter:
… I wish I know where to find a clear explanation of all these rules.
Shades of Grey: CUT ! CUT ! CUT !

What about the Families Guide?

I may not have all the answers, but I have posted many times about the differences between certain Family Categories.  See some links below:

Cuttable vs Non-cuttable Family Category Properties

View Ranges (and TOLERANCES) Explained *REPOST*
Things like –
Walls shorter than 6 feet (approximately 1.83 meters) are not cut, even if they intersect the cut plane, and
There are a few categories for which an element located above the cut plane but partially below the top clip is shown in plan. These categories include windows, casework, and generic model. These objects are shown as viewed from above.

Project Family Category Type Instance
which Categories do not have Types, or which Category has Types but no Instances?

Making unhosted components like unhosted Doors and Windows

Create a Component Family with Category set to Walls (or other system family category)
Yes, it is possible.

Plan regions have no effect on Topography – workarounds

buildz: Wall Trimming Method
Cut Dominance in action

Most of us use the old Reference Line with angular dimension method to control rotation in our vanilla Revit families.

However, Marcello Sgambelluri has posted three alternative methods to control rotation and angular dimensions, with full step-by-step instructions, at his blog Simply Complex.

Marcello says:
I have given three rotation rig methods that do not use the angular dimension parameter in these last two postings. These methods are the Ride the Rail method, the Open Reference Circle method, and the Revolve method.

So the method names again are:

  1. Ride the Rail
  2. Open Reference Circle
  3. Revolve

Read more about them at:

Here is what we want – you select an in-place family and click ‘Convert to Component Family‘ on the Ribbon.  Through API Wizardry, the following happens without any further user interaction:

  1. The family is edited in place
  2. All objects in the family (including reference planes etc) are selected
  3. A ‘group’ command is triggered
  4. The group is saved (as a file) to a temporary location (it will be an RFA)
  5. This family is loaded back into the project
  6. The family is placed in the correct location (XYZ) in the project
  7. The original in-place family is deleted from the project.

This can all be done manually of course, using the workflow described here.

I’m sure that many users would find this tool helpful, and for some of you advanced Revit API programmers, this utility should be a piece of cake!

Also: if you release this utility for free, just think of the Revit API street cred that would give you.

Finally, if you want to take it to the next level – make a Batch Convert option, that allows the user to ‘pick’ which In-place families (from the current project) that they would like converted, after which the Batch tool goes ahead and does steps 1 to 7 above on each and every in-place family you selected.

James Van posted a list of Revit content the other day that has been re-blogged and re-Tweeted many many times in the past week!

In the interests of creating an Open and Editable list of Links to Revit Content, I have created a page over at the Open Revit Standards.

Let’s crowd source this list and make it current, useful and informative. Head over to the link (register if you haven’t already) and add any other content sites that you are aware of.

I would like to somehow implement a ranking system for these content sites, perhaps we can talk to the Open Revit Standards guys and look into this.

Credit for the original post goes to James Van:
All Things BIM: BIM Content for Revit

There is huge post on content (family) creation over at this link.  I have provided a few useful excerpts below:

A handy list of relevant Agencies / Organizations:

Nice tip on formulaic materials:
How do you parametrically change a material parameter in a family if the material itself depends on factors outside of each type designation? After all, it’s impossible to control materials through formulas. Our approach (when the number of ‘stacked’ geometry instances is few) is to model separate pieces of geometry, apply their unique material and then control their on/off visibility through parameters.

How to provide error messages to the family user:
One solution to this perplexing problem is to include 3D text displaying a message to the user when a non-existent configuration is selected.

WARNING! This may void your manufacturer’s warranty: The Pros Dissect Autodesk Revit Content – BIMAdvent