Monday, April 5, 2010

Nested Structural Elements: It's Just a Bad Idea or God Hates Me

I like consistency in my software, and Revit gives it to me in abundance....I am consistently beating my head against a wall because Revit doesn't do what I want it to, especially when it comes to nesting structural columns and beams in families.

This mess came from an attempt to sort out a post and beam family where a parameter controlled the distance between the columns while an angle parameter controlled the beam slope and column heights.

First I tried it as a line based family.  The columns were aligned and then locked to the reference planes.  A parameter was set to control the height of the columns and beam start/end points.

This worked great until i added the angle parameter....



Just like they said in CLASH OF THE TITANS, The God's move in unpredictable ways...

So I tried again....this time using a generic template, to see if i could get different results....

This is what it looked like in plan with my columns locked to reference planes:

Then checked out the flexing...

Looks good so far....or is it?  I brought it into a REVIT STRUCTURE project:


Looked dynamite....except for one small hitch, I can't snap to the structural elements!
Why?
Because the elements aren't shared.
Why?
Because structural element families don't have the SHARED box ticked.
Why?
I don't know, but if I tick the box myself, nest a column or beam in a family, and then import that family, i get a very ugly error message:













Looking at this mess side-by-side with my non-existent love life, I become convinced that god indeed hates me.

Models are here:

structural meshugas_Line based.rfa
structural meshugas_generic.rfa

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