Thursday, July 21, 2011

Creating Revit Type Catalogs for Families


When you have a family that has a lot of types, using a Type Catalog may be the best choice for helping users navigate them. An obvious example is structural steel. In that case there are many different choices and each choice changes the shape, weight and identity of the family. Type catalogs use a lookup table to assign the appropriate data needed for the different available types. It is important to note that the type catalogs can only drive family parameters and not project parameters.

For this example a dishwasher family is created and it is named dishwasher.rfa.

Select the Family Types button to identify the parameters to associate with the look up table. For this example use Model and Manufacturer. In order for this to work correctly some data has to be placed in Value column. The words model and manufacturer will work, the letter or any other characters will work as well, just don't leave them blank.
Next a look up table needs to be created. Start with an Excel file and save it with the same exact name as the family. Only the file extension should be different.

Leave cell A1 blank. Revit reconizes this as a heading for family type which will start below it. Placing any data here will cause things not to work. Fill out the rest of the cells as indicated below.
Column A defines the family Types that can be created.
Column B defines the Model number assigned to that type.
Column C defines the Manufacturer assigned to that type.

The column headers for Model and Manufacturer are a combination of the parameter name to be controlled and a code for the parameter type. The codes are listed below. 
  • Angle                    ##ANGLE##DEGREES
  • Area                      ##AREA##SQUARE_FEET
  • Currency               ##CURRENCY##
  • Integer                   ##OTHER##
  • Length                   ##LENGTH##FEET
  • Material                 ##OTHER##
  • Number                 ##OTHER##
  • Slope                    ##SLOPE##SLOPE_DEGREES
  • Text                       ##OTHER##
  • Volume                 ##VOLUME##CUBIC_FEET
  • *Yes/No                 ##OTHER##

 *When using a Yes/No parameter the Yes=1 and No=0.

When done, save this Excel file with a CSV file type. 

Then change it's extension in Windows Explorer to ".txt".
Test this by loading the dishwasher family into a new project. The type catalog will only show up when the family is loaded. Placing a second dishwasher will not bring it up again.

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