Been a little while since I posted a tutorial but this month I am going ‘back to basics’ to talk about Instance and Type Parameters and where to use them. I still find that many people are using OOTB families that are not suitable for certain modelling workflows. I will focus in on two specific families, Structural Openings and Structural Framing. The structural Openings will be created with a Generic model family that’s face based, this will be ideal for rectangular openings in walls, foundations, floors, beams etc. Let’s start by looking at the instance properties of Structural Framing. In the image below I have selected the UB section, notice that the Structural Material is instance based.
It may be more relevant if we made this a type parameter as the structural material needs only to be set once per family type. To do this you can simply edit the family and change the instance parameter to a type parameter. With the Structural Framing Element selected, click the Edit Family button on the Modify | Structural Framing context ribbon.
The Structural Framing element will now be open in the family editor. Select the Family Type button as shown in the image below.
You will now see the Family Types Dialog box displayed. Note that the Structural Material is shown. An instance parameter will always have the bracketed word (default) displayed. This is the easiest method to spot the instance parameters.
Select the Structural Material parameter and then select the Edit Parameter command by selecting the pencil icon in the lower left of the dialog box as shown below.
You will now see the Parameter Properties Dialog box as shown below. Select the Type Parameter radio button as shown below and then click OK.
Click OK to the Family Types Dialog box, note that the Structural Material Parameter has the (default) removed as this is now a type parameter.
You can then save the family and set the type parameter. This will then update all members of the same family type.
A full video tutorial is available here, the video also covers the creation and use of structural opening family.