Shared family

The Shared checkbox in the Revit family editor allows us to use nested families just like the root one.


Checking the Shared checkbox is only useful when this family is nested into another. When you load the root family into your project, Revit will also load the nested one. You will then be able to see it in the Project Browser and in schedules, and your shared family will behave just like any other families, except that it is nested into another.

This function is very useful to insert additional elements upon existing ones, according to specific rules.

As an example, I add a light switch to a door family. This light switch is wall-based, and will appear alongside of every doors in the project. As this light switch is a shared family, these instances appear on the electrical fixture schedule.


Furthermore, these nested families only appear in schedules if they are visible in the project. I use this property to select on which door I want a light switch. I add a Yes/No parameter on my family to control the visibly of the switch. Once hidden in the project, the switch doesn’t appear in the schedule either.


Using shared families is a very efficient way to insert elements in a model, and is a good starting point for rule-based modeling.

But once every light switch families have been inserted in the model through their host, we generally want to be able to adapt the position of some of these elements.

To do so, I wrote a few lines of code to create a copy of every nested light switch directly in the model. These new light switches are no longer nested, and can be easily modified to fit the local configuration. Furthermore, these elements are now electrical fixtures families, and can be added to an electrical circuit to perform load calculations.



public void ExtractNestedFamillies()
	UIDocument uidoc = this.ActiveUIDocument;
	Autodesk.Revit.DB.Document doc = uidoc.Document;
	//Select a family instance
	FamilyInstance fi = doc.GetElement(
			ObjectType.Element ).ElementId )
		as FamilyInstance;
	// Create a filter to retrive all instance of this family
	List<ElementFilter> filters = new List<ElementFilter>();
	foreach (ElementId symbolId in 
		filters.Add(new FamilyInstanceFilter(doc,symbolId));
	ElementFilter filter = new LogicalOrFilter(filters);

	// Apply the filter to the elements in the active document
	FilteredElementCollector collector = 
		new FilteredElementCollector(doc);
	ICollection<Element> familyInstances = 
	using (Transaction tx = new Transaction(doc)) {
		tx.Start("Extract Nested Familes");
		//Loop on all family instances in the project
		foreach (Element element in familyInstances) {
			FamilyInstance instance = element as FamilyInstance;
			ICollection<ElementId> subElementsIds = 
			//Loop on all nested family
			foreach (ElementId id in subElementsIds) {

				Element ee = doc.GetElement(id);
				FamilyInstance f = ee as FamilyInstance;
				//The fammily is face based
				if (f.HostFace != null)
					Element host = f.Host;
					Face face = host.GetGeometryObjectFromReference(
						f.HostFace) as Face;
					LocationPoint locPoint = f.Location as LocationPoint;
				//The fammily is host based
				else if (f.Host !=null)
					LocationPoint locPoint = f.Location as LocationPoint;
					Level level = doc.GetElement( f.LevelId) as Level;
					FamilyInstance fam = doc.Create.NewFamilyInstance(
					//Flip the family if necessary
					if (instance.CanFlipFacing)
						if (instance.FacingFlipped) {fam.flipFacing();}
					if (instance.CanFlipHand)
						if (instance.HandFlipped) {fam.flipHand();}
				//The family is point based
					LocationPoint locPoint = f.Location as LocationPoint;
					Level level = doc.GetElement( f.LevelId) as Level;



My version of the Living Cube

Designed by Till Ewert Koenneker, The Living Cube is an assembly of shelves, storage space and a bed. Tightly integrated in an ergonomic cube, its timeless design allows it to be used in any space and situation.
After encountering the work of Till Koenneker, I decided to use it as an inspiration to draw the same one for myself.
The main idea is to design a piece of furniture, producing drawings with a software usually used for steel detailing. My goal is to automatically produce shop drawings of every parts of the finished product, directly from the model. These drawings are then to be send to a joiner’s workshop for the production of parts that I can assemble myself, just like any ready-to-assemble Ikea-like funiture.
I’m not using Tekla Structure on a regular basis, but I know its power for producing shop drawing for timber or steel structure, and its caracteristics fit my needs for this project. It will be a good occasion to hone my Tekla skills.
I started with a first sketch on Tekla Structure, trying to find the best proportion for my needs. I came up with a first version, and used 3D Max to render it.

RenderingI then used the Tekla model to produce general drawings of my project, and submitted this first version to someone who is used to design and build pieces of wooden furniture to get some feedback. His very precious advice helped me to draw a second, more constructible version of my loft bed. These drawings are also available here.

VersionI was then able to create a detailed shop drawing for each part of my assembly.

PartSadly, this project is still in its development phase, mostly due to my lack of knowledge in furniture design and joinery work. I hope to be able to restart it someday, when I will have time to draw some new version.