When creating families for your project here are some basic best practices to keep you family running smooth and trouble free.
- Plan your family before you begin creating, this will allow you to make informed decisions during the creation process. Try to keep it simple for others to use and edit.
- Select the correct Family Template file to start.
- Define Category and additional Sub-categories.
- Create a skeleton of Reference Planes.
- Dimension and create appropriate Parameters and apply to Reference Planes, (remember to utilise Shared Parameters where required). You should also create your Parameters in the appropriate ‘Group Parameter Under:’ section, this will help users find your parameters quickly. Don’t put everything under ‘Other’.
- Test your Parameters, flexing your model and ensuring you don’t get any errors. (You can create additional ‘Family Types’ of you family, this will help testing as you can switch between Types rather than having to alter values all the time.)
- Create 3D and 2D elements and lock them to the Reference Planes where required. This process may include the addition of nested families.
- Apply Visibility Settings to control individual element visibility.
- Test your Parameters again.
- Save you Family, in the correct location and Name it in accordance with the your offices' Naming Conventions. Remember the model is going to be sent out of the office, People outside of your company are going to need to find and analyse these families.
- Test the Family in a Project environment. Open a new project and test the family before you load it into your actual project model.
Although there are many variations of Family creation, if you follow these simple steps no matter how complicated your Family is it will have the best chance of working first time, every time.
The common thread through this outline is to test and test often.