Revit Architecture Forum
Welcome to Autodesk’s Revit Architecture Forums. Share your knowledge, ask questions, and explore popular Revit Architecture topics.
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Protecting my Revit families

59 REPLIES 59
Reply
Message 1 of 60
Anonymous
16728 Views, 59 Replies

Protecting my Revit families

Hi All,

 

I'm creating custom families in Revit but I'm concerned that once i've released them anyone can go into the family and edit them to suit their own needs.

 

It's worrying becasue a) I dont want people creating some frankenstein monster product that cant be manufactured and b) I want to protect the IP of the manufacturer so competitors cant use the models as their own.

 

Has anyone come across this problem and if so is there a way of watermarking or locking nested families so they cant be edited?

 

I'm sure I cant be the only one concerned about IP rights?!

 

Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks in advance.

59 REPLIES 59
Message 2 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Anonymous

Well, at my work, we put a nice big legal disclaimer as the starting view for all our models, of course this cannot be done for individual families.
Message 3 of 60
rosskirby
in reply to: Anonymous

You can't make write-protected Revit families.  If you ever released a CAD block, this is the exact same thing.  Once it's out of your hands, anyone can do anything they want to with it, regardless of how many disclaimers you put in.  

 

And the more you try and "lock down" your content, the more you're going to f*** up the family.  Once you go down that path, it makes the families hard to work with (as an end-user), and in all likelihood people will just avoid your families.  A lot of manufacturers try and set parameters equal to specific values so that you can't edit them from the project environment, but anyone who's even moderately capable of working in the family editor can get around that.

 

Just make good content without trying to lock it down, and without making tons of unneccessary proprietary subcategories (I'm looking at you furniture manufacturers), and people will trust more in your content, and by proxy, your products.

Ross Kirby
Principal
Dynamik Design
www.dynamikdesign.com
Message 4 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Anonymous

I know of something that can be done at the time of the creation of such security for families. I believe that in the case of intellectual property the best way to protect yourself is to promote your product (family pictures), maintaining a constantly updated portfolio, because the great warranty is the publication of its creation. Sobe water mark `d believe not be efficient for the family itself, is far to the images generated from it. What can be done is in moments that fly could give them is to convert DWG and deliver them well, but you, or rather, who will get to have lost all intelligence Revit.

Message 5 of 60
Jason_S
in reply to: Anonymous


@Anonymous wrote:

Hi All,

 

Has anyone come across this problem and if so is there a way of watermarking or locking nested families so they cant be edited?

 


http://www.cadtechnologycenter.com/products/revit-expresstools/bim-manager-suite-overview/revit-express-tools-tools/593-watermark.html

 

This is the software I use when I create families for manufacturers.  Tons of the content you get from manufacturers web sites have watermarks.

 

Hope this helps you out.

Message 6 of 60
lanl
in reply to: Anonymous

Hi Harry,

 

Currently, you can try the workaround below, but it has some limitation, the family should only have one family type.

 

If your family file only has one family type, then you can use it in project, and then edit the family, delete all the family parameters, then load it into project again to override existing one. Then deliver your project to others. When they get your project file, they can view the model, but they can't change the parameter value cause all parameters were deleted by you before, so it is only a fixed model or family, not a parametric one, which means you only leave a geometry, and if others want to use your family file, they have to add all parameters, and label each dimension with each label again.

 

So in some way, this will protect your family a little. But just like the limitation mentioned above, you can only have one family type in the family, otherwise, the family will become one size in the project. So if you need some family types, then you need to save as multiple family, which means save each family type as a family file, and use it in project.

 

Meanwhile, this is a known wishlist "ability to protect family", I will add all your comments to that wishlist.

 

Thanks. 


______________________________________________________________

If my post answers your question, please click the "Accept as Solution" button. This helps everyone find answers more quickly!

 



Lei Lan
Message 7 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Anonymous

Ironic question on a forum that is designed to share knowledge, ideas and often families / files. Why the big need to lock it? I use to be like this, then one day someone shook me and i stopped giving a s***. know one cares, its just a Revit family. Everyone took, swapped and destroyed CAD blocks and we are still here today. Leave wasting time and money on IP to the experts, like Samsung and Apple.
Message 8 of 60
Jason_S
in reply to: rosskirby


@rosskirby wrote:

You can't make write-protected Revit families.  If you ever released a CAD block, this is the exact same thing.  Once it's out of your hands, anyone can do anything they want to with it, regardless of how many disclaimers you put in.  

 

And the more you try and "lock down" your content, the more you're going to f*** up the family.  Once you go down that path, it makes the families hard to work with (as an end-user), and in all likelihood people will just avoid your families.  A lot of manufacturers try and set parameters equal to specific values so that you can't edit them from the project environment, but anyone who's even moderately capable of working in the family editor can get around that.

 

Just make good content without trying to lock it down, and without making tons of unneccessary proprietary subcategories (I'm looking at you furniture manufacturers), and people will trust more in your content, and by proxy, your products.



@Anonymous wrote:

 

Ironic question on a forum that is designed to share knowledge, ideas and often families / files. Why the big need to lock it? I use to be like this, then one day someone shook me and i stopped giving a s***. know one cares, its just a Revit family. Everyone took, swapped and destroyed CAD blocks and we are still here today. Leave wasting time and money on IP to the experts, like Samsung and Apple.


 

LOL...

 

So you are Furniture Manufacture A.  You spend thousands if not more each year working on improving designs and making new ones.  Furniture Manufacture B has a similar product line and spends the same.

 

One day an AE firms asks Furniture Manufacture A and B if either one has Revit Families they could use.  B says no but we have AutoCAD blocks that you can use.  A says sure we have most of our product line in Revit and would love to send them to you for your use.  AE uses Furniture Manufacture A.  B gets a little bent and takes A Families and uses calls them their own.  Each time A updates B uses A.

 

Why is that fair? 

 

It is one thing to create something and share because an individual created it, but if a company paid money to get their product line created for their clients it isn't fair for another company to take that information and call it their own.

 

The original post stated "It's worrying becasue a) I dont want people creating some frankenstein monster product that cant be manufactured and b) I want to protect the IP of the manufacturer so competitors cant use the models as their own."  He wants to protect the IP of the manufacturer he is creating the content for.

 

I see a lot of manufacturer content being watermarked in some way.  This doesn’t mean the companies are hiding something or slighting the design world they are just protecting their IP and to make sure their products are represented in a true way.  Liabilities would be someone modifies their product to a shape and size that can’t be made or is unsafe.  Window, Door, Furniture, Mechanical equipment manufacturers all do this.

 

Just my two cents..

 

 

 

Message 9 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Jason_S

Well first, let’s not starting 'LOL...ing around'... we aren't 16 yr old school girls. 

 

The IP debate is nothing new. We have been talking about digital locking for years.  There are hundreds of discussions on the web about this.

Considering we have already been through this with AutoCAD and “with all the big companies stealing each-others blocks”?? I guess I can see why this might be an issue in Revit. Although, if ‘fair’ is what you are after, I would say your screwed.

 

My comments were based on the effort vs reward formula. For a large company with potentially thousands of families to lock down, that better be an efficient workflow you have going.

 

The plain truth is if a company is intent on stealing your stuff, a watermark add in certainly won’t cut it. Not in the year 2014.

Design is protected by copyright. For me, IP is not a software issue, it’s a legal issue. We have contracts and disclaimers for this stuff.

You could go to the trouble of “locking down” a family and you still end up in court having to defend yourself and spend money arguing its “yours”.

 

My point about Samsung & Apple. You think they didn’t “lock down” their ideas? I’m not sure what the tally is for who has won the most money in all their legal rambling, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it equated to 50-50 (give or take a couple of million). So is it worth it? We need a legal structure that is more about trust and collaboration, not distrust and hostility.

 

 I would like to think we are trying to move into a more collaborative approach in our industry and we can grow to have more respectful competition. There will always be abuses, you can’t get around that.

 

Locks on families are a pain in the backside. They are there for competition but cause problems for the client, so I ask, what is more important? When we get manufactures families, none of them enter our models until they are audited. I do two things, I purge it of left over crap (seems to be hard task to get this into their QA, i still find imported objects left in them!) and leaving the modelling, I adjust the amount of symbolic lines so it can be read at 1:100 scale on plan and not a black blob. (Manufacturers seem intent on over detailing thinking we produce plans at 1:5 scales) Are you telling me I can’t do that anymore? Ok fine, bin that company, move on to the next or I will just make my own family.

 

I have never come across this watermarking myself, is it like password protecting a PDF? So every time your own company wants to edit the family, you have to unlock it? Please.

 

As for users changing sizes that can’t be made, well dumb people will always do dumb things, can’t really protect against that either.

 

My one cent… (I don’t get paid till Wednesday)

Message 10 of 60
f_santana
in reply to: Anonymous

I found this family on the internet but not yet understood how this was done.

 

I wanted to know if anyone here knows how to make a family with this level of protection


Você achou uma postagem útil? Então fique à vontade para curtir essas postagens!
Sua pergunta obteve uma resposta que resolveu a duvida? Então clique no botão Aceitar Solução.


Fábio Santana
Architect | CAD/BIM Manager

EESignature

Message 11 of 60
f_santana
in reply to: Anonymous

 


Você achou uma postagem útil? Então fique à vontade para curtir essas postagens!
Sua pergunta obteve uma resposta que resolveu a duvida? Então clique no botão Aceitar Solução.


Fábio Santana
Architect | CAD/BIM Manager

EESignature

Message 12 of 60
f_santana
in reply to: Anonymous

 


Você achou uma postagem útil? Então fique à vontade para curtir essas postagens!
Sua pergunta obteve uma resposta que resolveu a duvida? Então clique no botão Aceitar Solução.


Fábio Santana
Architect | CAD/BIM Manager

EESignature

Message 13 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: f_santana

I am as stumped as you are. I can't seem to edit this roll up door family but you can use parameters to drive its dimensions.

 

Keep me posted. I want to know how this was done as well.

Message 14 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: f_santana

http://www.cadsoft-consult.com/blogs/architecture/2009/08/unable-to-edit-a-revit-family/

 

This link may explain the roll up door family in question. It is possible it was created in an ancient version of revit and upgraded to a newer version.

 

Creating families in unsupported ancient versions does not seem like an option for protecting families as a workflow. But, there is something to this specific example. If an old family can be locked down, why can't we lock down a current one? What has changed? Is there some glimmer of hope to being able to safeguard our families?

Message 15 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Anonymous

There is no way to prevent someone from modifying your family however I create a Simply copyright and created by parameter in the family. that way I know if someone edits the family they would have had to of seen that in there. you could also put in some random parameter that does nothing but its your way of knowing that it was your original family. other than that I still believe in sharing content to make the community better and help set a standard of quality however I do think there should be credit given and acknowledgement of the creators. I try to design my families with the intent that they will be used by people with no knowledge of family creation  and to be easy to read and understand and thus no need to edit.

Message 16 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Anonymous

Yes, my company is in the practice of using parameters in our families to identify them as proprietary. These are really easy to remove though. Even someone with a cursory knowledge of Revit can identify and remove them. This is really no great solution to keeping your own custom families from getting into the wrong hands.

 

We have begun using "watermarks" in the form of invisible lines within sub-nested families.

 

We also have started using the IFC exporter when we don't enter into a non-disclosure agreement with the contractors we work with. This process takes a long time though and most of the parameter information is lost. Please Autodesk, give us a way to lock down our families.

Message 17 of 60
Alfredo_Medina
in reply to: Anonymous

I think the idea of protecting Revit families is a lost battle. Families are components of models, and BIM models are supposed to be shared between the team members of a project. Families should be done in a way that is easy to use. They should not be altered in artificial ways just to make them intentionally difficult to use. That is just not right. Even if you create families for manufacturers. The manufacturer will pay you for your services, but they become the owners of the family, even if you were the author. And what is the manufacturer going to do? Share those families with their clients and potential clients.


Alfredo Medina _________________________________________________________________ ______
Licensed Architect (Florida) | Freelance Instructor | Profile on Linkedin
Message 18 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Alfredo_Medina

I think sharing families is really the only way to grow the community and quality as well as explore what is possible in a individual family. Everyone does visibility different everyone does nesting different everyone does Symbols and annotations in families different and by having all that information available you can piece together awesome more efficient and optimized families. Right now my current job is taking families from a library we purchased as a add on to revit and re optimizing the families. They now have more options and more functionality but also the end user has to do less work, almost none for most of the families. really protection from competitors i think is the real issue. For instance in the single family residential design community here in dallas almost all the architecture firms that use revit have used old versions of families and templates i worked on. Im not to upset because there is a reason i scraped those versions completely but the number one source of leaking of families and templates will always be internal.
Message 19 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Alfredo_Medina

I agree that you should not change your families so the end user does not lose function. We are the end user of our families as a design firm. We do not create them for other firms at all. When we give our Revit models for clash detection and coordination purposes between disciplines we will be working with throughout the project.

It is important to my company to not disclose our families so that the companies that contract with us do not feel that they can do what we do without us. Once they have our families, they have the ability to skip years of work in development to duplicate our efforts (albeit without our expertise.)

This is especially important when working with international contractors. Once they see our initial design models they have the option to just feel like, "Well we don't need them anymore."

Contracts have been lost because of this and we want to ensure that this does not happen again.
Message 20 of 60
L.Maas
in reply to: Anonymous

We approach it differently. If we have to send our model than we sometimes ask that our model will only be used for the relevant project. If they do not honor that gentlemen's agreement than probably they are not the client for us.

I also see it work the other way. If everything was locked down when I started with Revit. How much time would I have lost because could not study/use other people families? Take a little, give a little (that is what we do here on the forum Smiley Happy ). 

In my own experience when receiving families from other parties it usually is one of two things. Or the family is so complicated that it takes too much time to analyze how it works. Or the family is so simple that I can make it myself in a short time. Also when using such families it needs lots of rework to fit in our workflow. Parameters have to be renamed, materials exchanged, visibility settings modified and so on. In our library we only have a few external families, the rest we created ourselves.

On top of that I am not waiting to get in all this additional protecting business. Takes too much energy away from the regular work. Getting things (un)protected, passwords moving around, chasing/informing users, save storage.....there is already enough that.

 

As a last point, in a project we bring in much more expertise than just some Revit families, the Revit families are only a small part of our job. 

 

So I personally hope that this protecting will not happen

Louis

EESignature

Please mention Revit version, especially when uploading Revit files.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask the community or share your knowledge.

Post to forums  

Technology Administrators


Autodesk Design & Make Report