Needing to “Manually” Edit Revit Families Created in Dynamo

•January 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I have recently have been asked if it was possible to manual edit a parametric family created using dynamo.

In my experience, there are two reasons you would want to be able to edit the families manually in Revit once they are created:

  1. Your design team / project management does not completely trust or understand parametric design. they want the safety net of being able to go back to what they know: they want the option for someone at any point to be able to interact with family “manually”.
  2. The other reason is that you want to be able to  modify these parameters through a schedule.

I will address both situations:

  1. First, I was told this very thing on a project: that others (who did not know how to use dynamo or any parametric design) need to be able to interact with the families/geometry I created using dynamo. However, the farther we went into the project, and the more complexity that was added, the more  this area became my sole responsibility (there was one other person working on a parallel track, but he was also using dynamo and we shared much between us). But I am getting ahead of myself. Because of the decision, four people were tasked with the geometry to manual create the complex geometry using adaptive points and massing families in Revit. It was a long an tedious process but we managed and got really good at it. However, as more and more was asked of these geometries, the more it became clear that we did not have a choice but to use Dynamo. So I started experimenting with work flow to replace our original manual methods using Dynamo after hours and quick began getting result. (The key is taking baby steps in a situation like this, and giving your team leaders quick short term results one step at a time so that they gain trust of it. But asking me about this another time.) The results were so good in fact, that I was able to start doing what took 2-4 people a week to produce (for either original creation or  updates), in a matter of a day to a few hours (to develop the workflow) and updates took minutes.  Thus the need for anyone else (who did not know dynamo) to interact with these geometries or families became a non-point. It sure would have saved us a lot of time and man-power had we gone with the dynamo created families earlier.
  2. To the second point, you can use schedules to change values through dynamo by referencing the data tables or excel file to set instance parameters, so this also is a non-issue.
  3. An additional benefit to using Dynamo generated families and geometries is that they are lighter and more efficient. Manually created Revit families contain a lot of reference geometries (the more complex the family the heavier they become, especially when you start nesting many adaptive components in mass families). In the example above, there was an extensive ceiling system, that when done manually with adaptive components created a 400 MB Revit file. When the same geometry was created using free-form type geometries in Revit through Dynamo (FreeFormElement type geometries are a hidden gem of 2015 and on, see this link) the file came out as a mere 10 Mb—pretty good I’d say!

So now that you have it, I don’t think there is any reason to “edit” the families manually.

One last piece of advice I will give you: Do not use the import geometry instance in Dynamo, as it is essentially the same as importing an SAT. You want to use things like form.byloft and the nodes from the Spring Nodes package, form.bygeometry and familyinstance.bygeometry—they produce native Revit geometry through the FreeFormelements geometry type).


See the conversation on the Dynamo forum.

Robotic Construction/Fabrication got one step closer to becoming a reality…

•June 20, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I remember when this project was an academic project. It’s quote exciting to see it finally get some traction and get some serious investment. It will be exciting to see how it moves forward.


Is Architecture in danger from automated design?. . . . Not likely, see why….

•June 20, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This is a great article about why architects really don’t need to worry about AI ever (or at least in the perceivable future) replacing the human decision making process. It is just another confirmation of the little phrase (I forget who said it) ” automate when possible”. Basically it boils down to computers are good a crunching large amounts of data (which, honestly, we humans don’t do so well at) and human excel at spontaneous, intuitive and sometimes, illogical decision making (something computers will likely never be able to accomplish, even if we can make them mimic us). But don’t take my word for it, read the article, you won’t be disappointed.


One last chance…. (help me win a 3D printer!)

•May 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment


One last chance to help me in this awesome 3D printer for my home office!  The voting closes tomorrow night (5/25 @ 11:59pm PST). If you haven’t already grabbed the download of this fun completely printable jewelry set, now is your chance. Every download helps me get closer to winning this printer. So share it with family, friends, coworkers, on facebook, twitter… every download from a unique IP address counts.

Download / Vote Link

In case you missed it… the link is now live… (and I still need your help to win a 3D printer)

•April 30, 2015 • Leave a Comment

For all of those who saw the last post about needing your help with winning the B9Creator 3D printer, I still need your help. I had over 64 views, thanks to all of you. The download link was finally fixed so please download it, share it with your friends, coworkers, family… get them all to download it.

Thank you all!

Lets try this again… the download link is now live….I need YOUR help!…. Yes you… I’m talking to YOU…

•April 28, 2015 • 1 Comment

I entered a competition to win a 3D printer and I need your help. It is really simple, I promise and you will get an awesome set of 3D models in the process. All I need you to do is follow the link bellow, create a free profile and download my files. The more downloads I get the better chance I have for winning this competition.

IEEE Computer Society 3D Printing Event

•March 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

IEEE Computer Society 3D Printing Event

·        Tuesday, March 17, 2015

9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

·        Fourth Street Summit Center

88 S 4th St, San Jose, CA 95112

  • Remain Relevant in Your Industry
  • This networking event will cover the various challenges affecting safety, security, ownership, and other issues which 3D printing presents, while conversely underscoring the creative new innovations that provide cost-effective solutions for a wide range of industries. This one-day event features experts, early adopters and visionaries that are driving this revolution forward.
  • Who’s Attending?

Executives, program managers, and technical professionals from Raytheon, Yahoo!, Hewlett-Packard, FujiFilm Systems, Applied Materials, Hexcel Corp., Maxim, Neurintel, NuVasive, Boyd Lighting, Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Cranial Technologies, and more.  REGISTER NOW.

  • Please RSVP HERE and enter promo code: RS3D-MTP to receive a special discounted $150 registration (regular price: $329 for IEEE members and $399 for nonmembers)

IEEE Computer Society 3D Printing Event_Page_1 IEEE Computer Society 3D Printing Event_Page_2


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