Managing families in Revit is an ongoing task, whether updating folders full of existing families to make them smarter, creating new families, or sanitising and adapting downloaded content to make it comply with your requirements. There are several tools available to help you with this job, but it’s not as straight forward as you may think. If you want one solution that can do the lot then you’re talking one expensive Add-in! There are alternatives that can do the individual tasks, one job at a time though.
Let start with the key functionality that I want the tool to possess:
- Add, delete, rename, and enter value of Family Parameters to multiple families
- Add, delete, rename, and enter value of Shared Parameters to multiple families
- Convert Family Parameters to Shared Parameters
- Review existing parameters and their fields without having to open the family first
- Apply changes to multiple families at once (not required to be open in Family Editor)
- Add, delete, and rename Types within families
- Manage Materials in multiple families
- Purge unused information from family
- Perform Save As on Family to prevent file size increase
- Report on progress/success/errors
While there are several options available, and some are free, after assessing dozens I narrowed it down to the following Add-Ins:
One of the most complete offerings but for $2495 USD for a single license, it needs to be!
Another good solution that also includes ANZRS compliance checking – $2400 AUD
Offers partial capabilities and browser/search functionality for $1190 USD
Manages parameters (but can’t set values) for a very affordable $99 USD (currently on offer)
Capable SQL based shared parameter manager (but can’t do family parameters) for only $135 USD
Instead of purchasing one of the fully featured options, I stayed with two of the cheaper solutions more targeted at parameter management; RTV Shared Parameter Manager and Sumax Parameter Manager. Yes, this options means going without some functionality but these Add-Ins cover more than half of the functions listed, all for the princely sum of just over $200 AUD. I do have to complete some of the tasks manually (or use additional Add-Ins), but until I have a greater need for the missing features, I find these two powerful tools do a great job!
If you know of any other options please let me know by leaving a comment.
Perhaps some other Add-In programmers will come to party with a product that performs at a more reasonable price, or maybe Autodesk will make some long overdue changes to the Family Editor. Either way, well managed families are vital for a betterRevit!
(for the record, betterRevit does not receive any free products for testing and has no links to any of the companies mentioned)
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