Recently I have been looking into spaceframes again. Some very good Revit people have gone over that before. I always like reading this blog  from Zach Kron and this blog from David Light

Reading up on that I managed to produce (copy) this. 🙂 Sometimes understandiung a technology is best achieved by first copiën other peoples work. 

Build from only this and a mass

To actually getting this to work I very much needed to know one tiny thing. That is how to make a seamless panel.

  • start a new family from a Metric Generic Model Adaptive template
  • create 4 reference points and make them adaptive
  • draw 4 reference points on top of the earlier created reference points
  • but set the ref plane first for each point you create. see image
When you place the point be sure to see the point snap lighting up. I also find it handy if revit has been set to draw on a workplane.
  • select all points and filter the reference points from the selection
  • go to the instance properties and add a parameter for the offset
  • choose your parameter setup
  • The points are now constraint!

  • set the ref plane to one of the 4 points (a horizontal one)
  • draw a reference line on top of the reference points with 3d snap on
  • it should look like this
  • Set the ref planes to draw two lines at the bottom
  • Move a adaptive point to see if the other geometry follows! (flexing)
  • draw the other reference lines
  • place a reference point on top of the reference lines
  • Here it matters how you place it. If you create the point with the command draw on a face you get a different point then when you create the point with draw on a workplane. See images and check the instance properties. Also notice the size differences of the two points!
  • I want the one where the reference point has a instance property that let me control the position along the reference line. (the little point)
  • Next you draw a reference line on those two points. The reference line you draw on a workplane with 3D snap turned on. (or at least I had to, to get the thing to work) I test the construction by moveing around points
  • Next is the point in the middle. (I want a small one)
  • Draw a reference line for the cross. (draw on face)

  • To add geometry to the frame I like to draw reference points. I need a lot of them. I use those points because they give me nice perpendicular workplanes on the reference lines I place them on.
  • draw geometry on the planes. Draw them big and set the dimensions to control the size. (circles are easier to start with)

  • Parametrize the dimensions
  • The bottom one was a bit of a pain. Adding circles on a ref plane at the end of the reference line did
  • eventual this worked, at first…

  • After a bit of trial and error I got the lower tube working this way
  • The trick is in getting the right reference plan, on both sides.
  • Be sure to flex the radius the tubes. Several times I didn’t get the result I wanted. Also change the position of the adaptive points.
  • Load this family in to a conceptual mass

  • Divide a surface
  • Click on the little arrow next to the name Surface representation
  • Turn on nodes!

  • Place the family you made, be sure to place the points in the order they are numbered. 
  • I tend to not to place the family at the side of the surface. The edge points tend to make a mess of it

  • repeat the element

  • Wait a long time

  • Deform the mass. flex the family and have lot’s of fun and patience 🙂


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