So this is more of a way to gather opinion from the Revit community, than it is a question regarding a specific problem I'm having.
I'm working on creating content for an oven manufacturer. Within each product line, there are roughly 6 model where the only difference is fuel type.
Currently, the family is created for the overall model, and then there are different family types used to modify the model #, BTU values, etc.
What I'd like an opinion on, is how do you handle when one option requires the moving, or elimination of a connector?
Specifically, the gas connector in the family. One of the options requires no gas connection, and I'm unsure how best to handle this. I can't turn on or off the connector, only adjust it's size. I also am not a big fan of maintaining, or controlling distribution of, duplicate family files where the only difference is one has a connector, and one doesn't. Is there an acceptable 'best practice" for handling this type of situation?
You CAN turn on or off the connector. If you select the geometry of the connector in the family editor, you have a choice for Visibilty, which can be set to On or off. This value can be a parameter tied to the Type. Make one Type, and have the connector set to On, and make another Type and set the visibilty to Off. See the link below and read the Link below section 5, under "tips" for more info.
Connectors are very... unique elements in Revit... they...
- ...don't have visibility parameters,
- ...can't be part of a group,
- ...can't be selected for an array,
- ...don't have type properties,
- ...can't be moved freely by themselves,
- ...can't be aligned and locked in both directions to reference planes,
- ...can't be assigned to a new host or workplane.
- ...can't be nested.
Did I forget anything?
Could you create a separate family that is just the connector, nest that in your oven model family (a non-connector family), and control the visibility/presence that way? Don't have access to Revit at the moment, but it might work.
No. Even though it is possible to load a family that has just a connector, as you say, into a host family, once you load that family the connector disappears, and if you load the host family into a project, when you click on the family, that connector does not exist, making the familiy useless for MEP work. That is why I said that connectors cannot be nested.
In a workflow of nested families and connectors, the connectors must be created in the last host family, only. otherwise, they won't work in the project.
The best I've been able to accomplish, is to follow the example I saw for a fan manufacturer, and to use parameters to change the connector size to 0, and any notations for it in the properties to 'Invalid'.
Even if you make the size of the connector "0", when the family is loaded into a project, and a user clicks on the family, this connector will display its blue icon as a connector, and it will be listed on the list of connectors of the family when the user tries "connect into".
It would be a lot of help for us content creators if the programmers could address some of these issues about connectors, at least the "visible" parameter that most other objects in the family editor have.