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Family with Transparency Issue in Navis


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I made a family for equipment that has a transparent access space. It looks fine in the family editor and in the revit project, but when I make a NWC and put it into navis it shows up with the entire family being transparent instead of just the access space. Is this a issue with Navis or my family? I've seen other families from the engineer that appear to be doing this correctly. I'm working with revit 2014 and navis manage 2015.

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This could be a number of things. Can you upload the Family first so I can take a look?


The first thing that comes to mind is that the material in Revit must be transparent. If you apply a transparent override, this will not carry over to Navis. So it's all about the Materials, not how you've set up your View to export to NWC.

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You edited the "Appearance" part of the Material, which was a global edit. This is not seen by Revit in the Project, but this information carried over to Navis. You must Duplicate this and edit it independently. Also, you didn't have the equipment itself assigned to any material, so Navisworks was overriding the entire Family with the Clearance Material by default. If you applied a Material to the Equipment Extrusions, it came into Navisworks just fine. Rule of thumb is to always assign a Material, preferably using a Type Parameter so you can change and schedule the Materials in the Project Environment.


Here are a few things I saw in the Family to watch out for:

  • Some of the Pad Offset parameters weren't constrained. This caused the Equipment to overhang the Pad if the dimensions weren't set correctly.
  • Lock the Clearance parameter so the clearance dimension always maintains the same distance, regardless of the unit size flexing.
  • Lock the Height parameter so as the Pad dimension flexes, you don't lose the Height dimension.
  • I added parameters for the gear openings in the bottom of the equipment. This way all this can be set parametrically via Edit Type.
  • I added Model Text that is associated with the Panel Name parameter, along with it's own SubCat so you can control visibility in your model. (This is particularly good when you bring models into Navisworks, so people can see the equipment name easily)
  • I added Visibility checkboxes for the Clearance and Model Text components.
  • I cleaned up the openings a bit, and deleted a reference plane. It overconstrained the openings so it was necessary. Openings usually need two dimensions (aka Parameters): An offset from center or edge or any necessary plane, and the opening itself. openings should be locked so as things flex you don't lose the value, and often times Offsets need to be locked as well. Locking is key so that you never lose the values given. This helps keep accuracy a top priority, and becomes easier to manage in the long run.
  • I added an electrical connector in which I left blank. This info would need to be filled in using Type Based and Instance Based electrical parameters.
  • I created a Type Name. This is good practice, especially if you can make this Family fully parametric so you can use it for multiple pieces of equipment, instead of one Family per equipment.


Hope this helps, and hope you didn't mind me revising your Family. It was just to do things "my way" so you can maybe get some ideas and benefit off it. Here is the Family:


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If that was your first Family then it was a heck of a lot better than my first Family. My first Families weren't even parametric, lol. And in reality, I would have approached it completely different, but baby steps first. I wish I had someone to show me a few things in the beginning... definitely would have been easier to transition. But either way, your first Family was great actually, keep it up and hope the project works well for you.

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Thanks, I found a video before making that family which helped a lot with getting the parameters. My coworker absolutely hates how some of these families are setup. He opens up AutoCAD every few days and say, "look how simple this is." I can't express how much you have helped me these last few weeks, AutoDesk should be paying you.


While we're talking about families, is there a way we can add more than one conduit connection to a face? It seems like they are always placed in the center and can not be moved. I'm trying to create a family for junction boxes that has all the different conduit sizes. I think we might have two make two, one which is work plane based to attach to walls and one that is not so that we have more freedom with our horizontal boxes. How many headaches are creating by making a family dependent on a wall? If the wall gets moved there should be no issue but if the architect deletes it and make a new one instead it should delete my work plane based elements, right?




I'm not seeing the connection sizes change, maybe I'll need separate families. *Nevermind* They change with parameters.


Edit 2:


I'm answering my own questions, I think. I made the connector work plane based and selected the face. Is there any downside to this?


Edit 3: Now I'm on to trying to constrain the conduit connector I can't seem to dimension them however. I can only seem to dimension them in one direction by selecting the diameter note. Strange.

Edited by Epicurwin
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The reason you can say "look how simple this is" in AutoCAD is because it IS simple... lines, rectangles and circles are pretty simple. Revit just wants a lot of information up front is all. With AutoCAD it is simple. With Revit, it creates simplicity. You just have to make it simple which requires more work on the front end, but saves a ton of effort on the back end. I mean, think about it... with a Revit Family, no more LxWxH issues with electrical equipment. New box from Square-D? No problem!! Type in the LxWxH. Plug in the pad size and height. And all other info.


And Revit has it's "simple" parts too. Create a Sheet in Revit and print it. Compare the Annotative Text in Revit to AutoCAD. Create a Section in Revit. Simple, simple and simple. Sometimes it's too simple.


As far as the connectors, what I would do is create a Family to nest into the main Electrical Equipment Family that the Connector will anchor to. Nesting Families is usually referred to as "Sub-Components". I'd create a face-based generic model, and the geometry would be a small cylinder and make it Parametric. Nest it in and place it on a Workplane. Since it's nested, it now has Reference Planes you can dimension to and constrain, placing your conduit connectors directly on them. Duplicate it as many times as needed, and rename them as needed and parametize them and you're all good. I can give you an example if you feel you're not following.



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