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Thread: Void to cut end off array of nested family - A metal deck roof sheet problem

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    Void to cut end off array of nested family - A metal deck roof sheet problem

    Hi Revit Battle'ers. Can you offer some wise words?

    PROBLEM: How to make a fraction of an arrayed item?
    EXAMPLE: Arrayed item=100mm long, desired area to cover=250mm, required array count=2.5
    FAILED ATTEMPT: void from the array end. Failed as array is a nested family, void won't cut it.

    Surely requiring a fraction of an array is a common problem, when the item can't be simply extended but rather can only be repeated (eg Metal Roof Sheet)?
    What do YOU do to work around it?


    VOIDs vs NestedFamilies
    I've searched the forum, I understand the void won't cut the nested family. But what is a good work around?

    MODEL AN IN-PLACE VOID
    When faced with this do most people rather allow the family to be oversized and in the project model an in-place void to cut the family? (model in-placed voids seem anti-BIM as should be able to achieve correct size parametrically)

    FACE BASED NESTED VOID
    I can't get a face based nested void to work. I think as the item i want to cut is arrayed, so I can't host the void to "a" face as the array keeps changing so there isn't a consistent host-face?



    CONTEXT (What I'm trying to achieve)
    - I've made a family "Roof Profile Extruded". A void within this will cut the extrusion (yay), BUT an array of the profile (within "Roof Profile Extruded") is slow as hell to array 28.8 x the complex geometry (extruded 700mm roof profile) over our 20.2m roof length.
    - So I've taken Autodesk's advice and nested the extrusion in a new family "MetaDeck Roof" and yikes an array of nested "Roof Profile Extruded" within "MetalDeck Roof" is super fast!!!!
    - However a void within "Metal Deck Roof" will NOT cut the arrayed nested family (Roof Profile Extruded).
    - So how to deal with the 0.8x (of 28.8x) roof sheet I'll need for this project? How to deal with the 1.3x roof sheet another project may require (as arrays need minimum 2)? How in a BIM parametric way?



    PROBLEM 2: ARRAY LIMITATIONS
    - As well as the above "how to cut a fraction off an array end" issue
    - How do you deal with the limitation of "minimum 2 elements" for an array? As to me I've solved it with a bonkers work around of duplicate objects ontop of themselves that are visible for 0.99 - 1.99 arrays worth, and another separate object for 0 - 0.99 with its own visibility parameters, all sorts of formulas to work out who to turn on/off when, what offset the end one needs (which has inside it a void allowing it to do a fraction of the extrusion, but seperate instance to the arrayed items so they don't become fractions of an item) all the while screwing up schedules with incorrect counts of objects required to solve this.

    REVIT REQUEST: modification to the array function so that
    A) parametrically an array can be set to less than 2 elements, eg 0 or 1 and the array would deal with it, not the creator through workarounds
    B) an array can deal with fraction of items / nested items (eg hidden away it has its own void that cuts the array end, etc), but not requiring complex workarounds by the creator

    How do you deal with arrays of items for [0]-[1]?
    As whatever is done to the item being arrayed will also be done to all array items, so if you cut part of it all them will be partially cut (so roof sheet cut at end rather has holes all over it), or if you make it not visible they all dissapear, a bit like my hair has at the moment!


    - Is array the only way with a complex extrusion that can be extended to make the object longer in one axis, but in the other axis has to be repeated (eg roof sheet)?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MetalDeck_ProfileExtruded.GIF  
    Last edited by williamturner1; October 9th, 2016 at 09:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tim West's Avatar
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    Attached is a 2D solution that I made years ago (you may notice when you open) to overcome this problem.

    To duplicate in 3D, would require 2 nested families.
    The first with the complete geometry.
    The second geometry with a nested void.
    Use the 'whole' piece in your array, and the void at the end.

    Would love to see the result if you get there...
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Hi Tim. Here is my working 3D Metal Deck.
    As a workaround to the "fractions" of an array issue discussed above, I've created a sheet that has a instance parameter yes/no variable for "override width" which, if ticked, alters the size of a 1mm void to cut the extrusion.
    Two instances of these extrusion families (RoofSheet) are nested into a new family (MetalDeck), where the one used for the array has "override width" unticked, whilst at the end of the array I place the other instance with "override width" enabled and the fraction of a sheet it needs to represent is calcualted.

    Works ... but ... comes unstuck between 0-1.
    Also has grab handles in one orientation, but I've not been able to get grab handles to appear in the other. Let me know what type to set ref planes + dimension to ensure grab handles appear.

    I'll try as you suggest and make a nested void and see if that will cut the nested family. If it does, that would be a better approach, and will be the one I'll use in future BIM creation. This "how to get a fraction of an arrayed nested family" needs a definitive repeatable consistent solution.

    Please Autodesk, please please consider my above REVIT REQUEST + array recommendations
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by williamturner1; October 10th, 2016 at 02:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim West View Post
    To duplicate in 3D, would require 2 nested families.
    The first with the complete geometry.
    The second geometry with a nested void.
    Use the 'whole' piece in your array, and the void at the end.
    I'm a little confused about your suggestion (nested void) as I've been unable to make a test work.
    So I've created a family "cube" with a cube extrusion and a family "cylinder" with a void cylinder.
    In a 3rd family "all together" i've nested "cube" and "cylinder", and then (in "all together") if I select CUT, then select void "cylinder" I cannot then select nested solid "cube" to be cut by the nested void.

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    Member Hirvio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by williamturner1 View Post
    FACE BASED NESTED VOID
    I can't get a face based nested void to work. I think as the item i want to cut is arrayed, so I can't host the void to "a" face as the array keeps changing so there isn't a consistent host-face?
    This is what I do, with a twist. Don't make void family. It won't work. You have to make solid family, insert it in the project, cut with curtain panels (work with mullions as well), move it to a separate workset, and make workset invisible.

    Arrays with less than 2 elements require array and a single element, both handled with visibility parameter driven by number of elements. Surprisingly, Revit doesn't complain on array with less than two elements if the array is not visible.

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    thanks Hirvio!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirvio View Post
    Surprisingly, Revit doesn't complain on array with less than two elements if the array is not visible.
    Now that is interesting and helpful to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirvio View Post
    Arrays with less than 2 elements require array and a single element, both handled with visibility parameter driven by number of elements.
    Yeah. I'd come to this conclusion via brute force experiments. A real shame Revit Array's won't deal with "<2" and a shame they won't incorporate their own voids so they auto deal with fractions (e.g. "1.3")

    Is there a dynamo work around Revit Arrays not dealing with "<2" items?
    Is there a dynamo work around Revit Arrays not dealing with fractions of an array'd item?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirvio View Post
    make a solid family, insert it in the project, cut with curtain panels (work with mullions as well), move it to a separate workset, and make workset invisible.
    This is very interesting. "cut with curtain panels"? I'm not familiar at all. Could you give just a little more detail (or a link)? BIG THANK YOU = )

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    Member Hirvio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by williamturner1 View Post
    This is very interesting. "cut with curtain panels"? I'm not familiar at all. Could you give just a little more detail (or a link)? BIG THANK YOU = )
    Create generic face based family with only a solid extrusion. Parametrize extrusion, so it can flex when inserted in project environment. Load it into the project, place it on the curtain panel or mullion. Resize it in order to protrude through the curtain panel as you wish. Use "Cut" tool (from "Modify" tab"), to cut panel with extrusion family. Place extrusion in non-visible workset.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by williamturner1 View Post
    Hi Revit Battle'ers. Can you offer some wise words?

    PROBLEM: How to make a fraction of an arrayed item?
    EXAMPLE: Arrayed item=100mm long, desired area to cover=250mm, required array count=2.5
    In your family, have an extra roof profile constrained to the end of your array that you control with a void to deal with fractions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew K View Post
    In your family, have an extra roof profile constrained to the end of your array that you control with a void to deal with fractions.
    Yup. Seems to be the way to do it.
    A quick bit of trig and it now cuts the angled edge too.

    Now onto battles with gutters, fascias and sarking. = )

    THANK YOU ALL for your replies and taking the time to read.
    Attached is latest (incase it helps someone else).
    Attached Files Attached Files

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