Fixtures, Fittings, and Furniture

BIM for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Curriculum


Modeling In-Place Components

slider What types of objects do you typically need to model as in-place components?

You will typically model in-place any object where their shape depends on the geometry of the surrounding walls or elements, for example, countertops and casework are typically sized to match the precise distance between walls.

In the example house, with its unique triangular geometry, many of the furniture elements and plumbing fixtures would have to be modeled as in-place components.

Can you copy\/paste to duplicate in-place components? Can you reuse your in-place component in another project?

We can copy and paste to the clipboard within the same projects or even to a new project. However, we cannot copy and paste between projects and families. So in-place components cannot be easily converted into reusable component families.

What factors determine whether a component should be modeled in-place or using the family editor?

The question is whether the component\u2019s geometry is project specific or whether the shape is the sort that is compatible and easily resized for use in other projects.


Adapting Components to Fit Your Needs

Which forms in the lamp component could be modeled in other ways (for example, as extrusions rather than revolves)?

Many answers are possible. For example, the lamp base could be modeled as an extrusion of a round shape or by revolving a rectangular shape.

For which characteristics of the modern lamp would it be useful to vary parametrically by defining new types? By changing instance properties?

It is most useful to set dimensions as type properties because they have a drastic effect on the component in terms of spacing and compatibility issues. Characteristics that we want repeated many times should also be considered type properties.

For simpler characteristics, such as materials, we can use instance properties. These changes will only affect the instance being modified and it will help to create variation.

Are materials assigned in the component definition automatically loaded into a host project? Where do they appear?

Yes. The materials assigned a component family definition are loaded into the host project and appear in the Materials dialog box under the same name.


Creating New Families

What are the advantages and disadvantages of creating single components with many parameters to create variations versus creating many independent component families?

By creating one component with different parameters, we are enabling multiple variations without the extra work or time it takes to create new families. However, we are also being locked into certain constraints when using a specific family. In order to expand upon a family and to be even more creative, it is better to create a new family. This enables unlimited variation, instead of only the limited changes prescribed to us in a predefined family.

When would it be useful to define a relationship between parameters with formulas?

Formulas should be used when a parameter is dependent upon another parameter. If there should be a shelf for every three feet of cabinet, a formula should be used. If a table\u2019s width should always be half of its length, a formula should be used. Independent parameters do not need formulas.

What types of constraints can be added to a component definition to prevent users from creating impossible geometries?

Formulas can be added to parameters to ensure that the values specified are within valid limits. For example, if a parameter is used to specify the size of an opening in a form, you can set up a formula to ensure that the size of the opening never exceeds the boundaries of the hosting form.