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Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 7:40:50 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#1

Devonshire


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I'm in definite need to be able to adroitly craft 3D family elements. 

 Q1:  Is there anyplace to properly learn how to work with and manipulate the solid modeling elements?  I can't find anywhere enough depth of information in help files, books and tutorials to be able to craft the complex models that I need.  Am I stuck with the hard fought, painful, utterly frustrating trail and error approach? 

 More specifically:

 Q2:  I'm trying to model a simple Newel post with a pyramid top.  I started with a post extrustion and then thought that it would be easy enough to just carve away at the post with void elements that are carefull positioned (Like I could with ADT).  Not.  The first void worked well enough.  A simple rectangular solid at a special angle to create the first faceted face of the pyramid top.  Then I need three more just like it rotated around the central axis of the post.  What seems to be happening is that:

  1. Voids can't be copied and rotated into place as separate instances of modeling elements.
  2. Voids don't like to be overlapped.
  3. Voids can't be copied and still work. I can copy a void extrusion for example and then move it to where I want to carve out a void.  But then it just sits there and no void is created.

So what's the trick here?  What am I missing? [Beating head against wall while in a deadline crunch...]


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Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 9:07:15 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#2

WWHub


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You can do the cap as a sweep - the perimeter is the outside path, the profile is a wedge -  1/2 the cap. To do this, you have to leave the center leg of the profile just a bit short of being dead center - results in a very small hole but you will never see it.

Edited on: Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 4:07:52 PM

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Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 9:14:35 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#3

TABEST


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Trial and error, I haven't found a book yet that does this topic justice.  As for your pyramid top, you should be able to do it as you were, if you are fine with a tiny square top (probably smaller than you could really see) then just use a simple blend, draw it's base as a larger square, and then it's top as a really tiny square.  Once done with this, set the depth (how tall the pyramid is) and then on the options bar (just above your view/workspace) use the setwork plane tool to "pick" the top of the post.

Best of luck


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Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 9:50:48 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#4

Devonshire


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Thanks; once again my ADT/AutoCAD years of training is a detrement more than a help.  Gotta think Revit.

I'm still not clear why copied voids won't co-exist and when copied become deactivated after being copied Cryingno void is cut).  This is so counter-intuitive that it makes my head spin.  Can anyone enlighten me how to accomplish these seemingly simple tasks?  I need to craft some 3D items then copy them about in a single family without the voids become deactivated as soon as I copy them.  ("arrgghh" just for good measure here).

(Warning: Stepping up on my soapbox)

This is such a "crazy making" type of thing that I'm a bit supprised why more tutorials and how-to guides don't exist and even why no one has organized enmasse to approach Autodesk on these types of things.  My fear is that Autodesk will merrily keep adding more cool features rather than be bothered with improving the really clunky and aggravating tools. 

(Stepping down off of my soapbox, coast is clear).


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Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 10:01:55 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#5

TABEST


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I believe it is a hosting thing.  When you copy it/ rotate it, etc. it loses the concept of what it is hosted in.  If you tried to "rehost" the void, then it works again, but it loses it's position!  As to autodesk, coming from a software programming background, they have a lot to do still, they tried to buy a program that didn't want to be ADT, and now they are trying to change that interface to become an ADT like interface.  Smile


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Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 10:14:34 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#6

TABEST


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I made this real quick, don't know if it is what you want, but this is what I was envisioning you needed.

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Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 10:38:00 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#7

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Very cool!

 

Can you describe the methodology to create this?  A profile sweep (ever so slightly open at the top)?


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Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 11:29:57 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#8

TABEST


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just created an extrusion square, assigned it it's height.  Then I used a blend, made the base the same as the extrusion, and then I made the top as small as possible (1/32", I think).  I then assigned a parameter to the blend's height (click on the little gray button to the far right of end height, in element properties).  Finally, I click on the blend, and assign it's workplane to be the top of the extrusion.

I'd explain further if needed, but it is time for me to clock out.


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Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 11:05:47 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#9

Devonshire


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This is with Revit Architecture 2011

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Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 11:28:16 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#10

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you're spot on in that the family editor is beyond arcane and the tutorials are significant by their absence.  The rules that the programmers built in usually are only discovered though long hours of trial and error to figure them out.  Is this ricidulous?  Yup. and Yup again.

 Here's a trick to consider.  If the modeling permentations are getting too complex (i.e Revit is starting to choke), then nest the families.  What you are describing occurs quite a bit with voids as they seem to be linked (they all highlight when you select any one void).  While in the Newel post (base family) edit mode, start another family, save it when done and then save it to the newel post family.  Go down to the outline and expand the "family" heading Cryingclick on the + sign).  Find the sub-family object that you just leaded and then drag and drop the sub-family element into place.

 BTW, if you check on the family's individual elements after you model them you will see a blue "#" sign.  Click on it and the "#" sign disappears.  That allows you far more flexibility and ease in moving the individual component objects around without the restraints.  I don't really understand why Autodesk choose to restrain the components as a default as it makes rapid modeling of complex families so difficult. I check off the "#" restraint routinely now.  that only took me a year to figure out.  You're welcome. 

FWIW:  Also I now end up using a whole lot of reference planes to snap the component objects to.  Also for parametrics and ease of revisions, if you use the align tool to snap an edge or face to the reference plane, you will see an small open padlock symbol.  Before you do anything else, click on the padlock until it locks.  That locks the object's boundary to that reference plane.  Then if you move the reference plane (like by changing the dimension) then when the reference plane moves, so does that object's boundary alonmg with it. It helps to name the reference planes in the properties dialog box so that you can reference them when modeling (you always need to define the plane that you are modeling in).  That trick is also very useful (required) for successful parametric modeling.  Parametrics are pretty much controlled by reference planes.  Don't be afraid of using dimensions within the family as they won't print or show back in the model.

 You can also create a pyramid with the Blend modeling tool.  The trick is that the tip of the Pyramid is not a true point... give the top a very, very small square.  That's faster.

 To get fast at modeling, one needs to learn the modeling tools down cold.  But there is no easy way to get there... just time experimenting, tweaking, working, etc. 


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Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 11:46:49 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#11

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when you copy voids, you'll have to use "cut geometry" to make them work again with individual elements. Not too big of a hassle. 

 

Use sweeps for the majority of your modeling.  The other massing tools are much less flexible and tend to dislike moving and rotating.  


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Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 2:02:26 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#12

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Most users that complain about Revit have not even looked at the tutorials and training available on-line from autodesk.  To all of these, I suggest you visit: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=11091739 .  Pay special attention to the Families Guide - There is a lot of useful information in this document if you take the time to use it.


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Sun, Jan 23, 2011 at 6:07:01 AM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#13

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A pyramid is a simple sweep in Revit. If you’ve used the sweep tool to generate say a baseboard, you’ll notice that when your path turns to a 90 degree angle, the corner of the sweep gets mitered. In effect, a pyramid is just a plain sweep with a triangular profile mitered at four sides.
This is one of the uses of this Pyramid_Parametric.rfa. The dimension was based on the proportion of the Cheops pyramid found on this link: http://www.phantomgallery.64g.ru/pyramid/pyr2en.htm. Of course, you can change the proportion. The family is parametric (base length/width and angle) created from a simple sweep. http://www.littledetailscount.com

Michael Anonuevo
Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011 Certified Professional


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Long Live Revit

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Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 4:43:12 PM | 3D Family modeling questions-Arrrggghhhh!

#14

Melani


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Great thread! I found the information here to be very helpful, Thank you!


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