Autodesk Revit Line-based Families Webinar Follow-up

Martha Hollowell

By Martha Hollowell

Thanks to everyone who joined our webinar Working with Revit Line-based Families. We have the recording on our YouTube channel and you can get to it here.

As always there were good questions that came up in the Q&A time so here are some of them with answers that I hope will help.

Q: ­Can line based families be made to follow topography at all?­

It doesn’t look like it will at this point. When I used the Solar Panel Array family and tried to use Place on Face I could not select topography. It is only in a recent version of Revit that you can put railings on topography so this is hopefully for sometime in the future.

Q: ­Can the array be void geometry?­

I was able to create a line-based family using a void element but I didn’t have time to figure out how best to use it. If anyone tries this let us know how it works in the comments below.

­Q: Can the line-based family example be used for a rectangular array? e.g. rows and columns­

How do you build rows and columns into an array in Revit? It is really simple – array sets of items. As you can see in the picture below you can select multiple elements to array.

Array sets

But, what was even more fun is, if the array is created with Group and Associate, the array can be edited, and you can add items to the array. Let’s see the steps for this.

How to Edit an Array Group

  1. Select an array that was created with Group and Associate on as shown below.

Linear Array step 1

2. In the Modify | Model Groups tab> Group panel click Edit Group  (Edit Group).

3. Add elements to the array.

  1.  If you insert a component or model elements while you are in Edit Group mode the elements will automatically become part of the group.
  2. If you want to select elements that are already in the project click Add (Add) and select the elements as shown below.

Add elements to array

4. When you have added or removed the elements you want in the group, click Finish (Finish). The array is created as shown below.

Array with new elements

Array groups like this are really powerful. In just a few steps I created this array shown below.

Array with lights

And you can array arrays.

Array Array


Q: ­Will that line-based family trim with another line-based family­? Will the line-based family trim or extend to other items?

Yes, to both questions. You can use a line-based family to trim/extend and it can be trimmed or extended.

Q: ­You set the distance between the panels from the centerline of panels.  What about having min distance between each panel edge.  Say like 6" between them­

This question is about the formula and parameters I was using for the solar panel array. There are a lot of different ways you can modify the array. I just chose one method to show you. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out exactly which method is best for what you are trying to accomplish. So, yes, you could try both methods and play around until you get them to work as expected.

Q: Would you use the last example for stadium seating? Only in a straight line though?

Yes, you could use the solar array example with any component including seating. But it is only in a straight line. Another participant mentioned that you can create stadium seats using a curtain wall and place them in a curve. That would be fun to try out. This is a good question to answer in the comments below. How do you add stadium seating or similar in a project?

None of this is new to Revit it just took some playing around and wondering what if? That is the best part about working with Revit – there are lots of ways to do things and the more you know the more you can find out. Let us know what you think of line-based arrays in the comments below. Thanks again for watching.

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