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Protecting my Revit families

59 REPLIES 59
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Message 1 of 60
Anonymous
16719 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 21 of 60
Keith_Wilkinson
in reply to: L.Maas

Interesting discussion that's been going on a while...  

 

I'm in the 'just share and get on with it' camp.  IMO the large majority of content is next to useless for my needs as an architect anyway so we build our own families to fit with our workflow - if others want to use them then crack on.  If you are intent on locking down your families then I think you need to take a long hard look at the game you're playing.



"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Maimonides
Message 22 of 60
vladimir_michl
in reply to: Anonymous

There is probably not method for a "write-protection" but you can sign your families with an invisible watermark (copy-protect) with BIMsign:

http://www.cadstudio.cz/BIMsign

 

Vladimir Michl, www.cadforum.cz

Message 23 of 60

Hey @f_santana and @Anonymous,

 

I know the reason why the family is uneditable, here is a quick explaination and work around;

 

Back when, there was no "edit family" button, so Revit families made before a previous date dont load into newer versions of Revit with that button (in short). Thats why, sometimes when you upgrade a really old family, you notice this issue (the family you presented was from 2012).

 

To fix this, you need to find the family in the families drop down box in the project browser (in Revit). Once you find the rollup door, right click it, press reload, and browse for the rollup door family again. When you reload the same file, it will gain all functionality of your Revit version (including the "edit family" button).

 

In short, nothing special was done to make this happen, you just found an older family that was made in a Revit version that did not have a "edit family" button.

 

***

 

Edit Just tested it on the rollup door family and it made the family editable.

 

Would be nice to have some functionality to write-protect your stuff so that other companies cannot steal you hard work when your in a collaborative project environment where your working with your competitors on certain projects.

 

Message 24 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: YZhuang_Spectech

Can you post that family here please?, I've already try your workaround with no luck, I just want to understand how this happen!, regards 

Message 25 of 60
Alfredo_Medina
in reply to: Anonymous

Andrés, see post # 10 in this thread. The door family is there.


Alfredo Medina _________________________________________________________________ ______
Licensed Architect (Florida) | Freelance Instructor | Profile on Linkedin
Message 26 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Alfredo_Medina

Thank you so much Alfredo, you are always kind!, I'll take a look on that family, best regards from France 

Message 27 of 60
Kev_D
in reply to: Anonymous

Just my opinion here....

Instead of a password protect family, I think a password protected text parameter may suffice. Just so you can place the creators name in it and that it cannot be changed. This will not affect the family or any other parameters. New users can alter it in any way they see fit but the initial creator will still be seen. Or, anyone wishing to change it may contact the creator to see if they can use it and alter it to suit their needs, or even ask what do some parameters mean. The Families I have created are driven by integer families, and are very detailed, and the naming conventions are outlined within a Office Guideline Document. 

Yes it is great to share and we all learned from using other peoples families from the online forums, but like some have said on this thread, 1000's of man hours (and Dollars) is spent creating families, so someone should be entitled to have their work noticed.

Revit families are much more complex than CAD Blocks and would store a hell of a lot more information. One of the first things I was ever thought with regards to Revit is to forget thinking AutoCAD and do not compare to AutoCAD. So We should not be comparing Families to Blocks. 

Message 28 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Kev_D

Hi and thanks for your reply, 

 

First of all I want to clarify that I wasn't seek for protect with password my families, that's another subject, I was asking to solve the problem of editing that family in particular because a colleague of mine ask me to help him and I wasn't be able to find the problem more that all the help provide here.

 

Secondly thanks for the text parameter tip I'll give it a try.

 

Again thank you for your reply, best regards

Message 29 of 60
YZhuang_Spectech
in reply to: Anonymous

As I stated before, the family in question that you are talking about is an OLD family. Back then, there was no edit family option, so when a family made during that time is loaded into a newer version, it comes without that feature.

 

To FIX THIS: Simply open the family in question into your project > locate it in your project browser > right click on the family in question > press reload.

 

VOILA! You can now edit the family. There was no secret trick being done to lock it down, it simply is just an old family that was made before the "edit family" button was a thing.

 

Hope this helps,

Rob

Message 30 of 60
rovich23
in reply to: Anonymous

What I say to protect not only my families, but also the model as such is to export to the IFC format, then import it into Revit and save it as an rtv. This is not editable neither the model nor the families.

Message 31 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Anonymous

Hey Guys and Gals,

 

Its been almost 2 years since I have wondered about this question and what I have found to be the best practice is, really isolate outside exposure to the actual rvt file. Export what you need to for vendors and outside suppliers or services but try to keep the rvt file in house as much as possible. Also Add shared parameters, the thing with shared parameters is you need the main shared file in order for them to work so even if they take the family it will not function properly.

 

For extra measure you can add Created by and Copy right parameters and even though they can override those it is just a extra form of protection. Finally take care of it in the hiring process as well, let them know that information stays within the company and get signed intellectual property papers. 

 

Now dont get me wrong they can still take the family but all of this will help stop or limit this from happening. also think about who has access to the models or library should they have access and maybe a reorganization of department and procedures is necessary. 

 

Hope this Helps

Message 32 of 60
Keith_Wilkinson
in reply to: Anonymous

Meh, you can generally still export the shared parameters from the family and create a new shared parameter file.

 

Whilst in some cases it would be good to be able to limit access to editing on the whole if someone has access to it they'll be able to use it and there's realistically very little you're going to do to stop them.  Asking people to sign an NDA or similar is completely impractical unless you are going to enforce it and good luck proving anything.  Personally I've got bigger fish to fry.

 

If you are that concerned about it the option of only issuing IFC is probably the best way around it.



"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Maimonides
Message 33 of 60
Anonymous
in reply to: Keith_Wilkinson

Yes there is no 100% way to prevent it from happening but adding complexity
and layers of security will vastly help limit the times it will happen.
Also they could even take the family but if they don't understand how it's
made or how the complexity works in the entire workflow it could also not
even be beneficial for them.
Message 34 of 60
rovich23
in reply to: Keith_Wilkinson

In the forums the context is always sold, but the reality is direct response to direct question, the rest is semantic or simply connotative. It is a technical issue.

Message 35 of 60
Keith_Wilkinson
in reply to: Anonymous

yeah, but at what cost in terms of time and effort?  It's all about effort vs return IMO.



"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Maimonides
Message 36 of 60
Sahay_R
in reply to: Anonymous

This conversation has been going on for YEARS now. 

To make Revit families totally uneditable - make a copy of the original RFA, change the file extension to RFT. That will make the RFA totally uneditable - which is why retaining the original RFA is so important!


Rina Sahay
Autodesk Expert Elite
Revit Architecture Certified Professional

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If it solves your problem, please click Accept to enhance the Forum.
Message 37 of 60
Keith_Wilkinson
in reply to: Sahay_R

Not sure what benefits that would give you. If you change to RFT you can only use it as a template to create a new family, not load it into a project or directly edit it.  You can also, just as easily, turn it back into an RFA file and carry on as before...  

I don't think we're likely to ever see a means to protect families from being edited by others but who knows... 



"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Maimonides
Message 38 of 60

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Message 39 of 60

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Message 40 of 60
Sahay_R
in reply to: Keith_Wilkinson

Actually, @Keith.Wilkinson - elements from an RFT file cannot be edited when it is saved as an RFA - hence the need to hang on to an editable RFA in addition to the uneditable RFT. Been burned by this already.

 

Regarding the benefits (or lack thereof) - I agree that this approach would be unnecessarily complicated and counterproductive in terms of time invested and frustration generated. Frankly, if 'protecting' your property is such an issue, then I would share by models exported out to IFC, or (horror of horrors!) DWG. Do I want to? No. Does it serve any useful purpose? Not in my book. Yet if people want to do so, they will.....


Rina Sahay
Autodesk Expert Elite
Revit Architecture Certified Professional

If you find my post interesting, feel free to give a Kudo.
If it solves your problem, please click Accept to enhance the Forum.

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