The Divide & Repeat feature has come to fill a void in the conceptual design environment: arrays. Have you ever tried, in the conceptual design environment, in Revit 2012 and before, to select an object, go to the "array" tool, just to find it greyed out, completely unavailable? Well, now in 2013 we can create arrays in this environment, and not only "radial" and "linear" as in a project or in the regular family editor. Now we can create a linear or curvy array by dividing a path (line, arc, or spline), and we can make repetitions in surfaces as well, which in summary goes beyond the possibilities of the former array tool.
So, even though there might be other solutions for making a railing in this way, I wanted to test the Divide & Repeat feature for this challenge, and it worked very well. My conclusion is that even though this feature is not a replacement for railings, as it has been commented in some posts in forums, it is indeed a very good addition to the set of tools, to resolve especial cases that cannot be done with the regular railing tool.
Making the division and repetition
|You need to create an item to be repeated, outside of the family where the divided path will be. This family needs to be started with the generic adaptive template, and the geometry in this family must be hosted on an adaptive point. Otherwise, the "repeat" or "array" tool will remain unavailable, as it was in 2012. |
You can place parameters in the element that you want to repeat, as shown in this image, where at least the height of the baluster is controlled by a parameter named as "h". If you plan to tie this height to a local parameter, do it before applying the repetition. The parameters of the object will not be available afterwards.
Then divide the path. This is simple. Just select a path (line, arc, spline), and click on the new tool : Divide path. The default division will be 6. The properties dialog box will show several different options for the division. For this exercise of the railing, I chose "minimum distance" = 4" .
Nest the item to be repeated. Check the placement point. In this example, I used "place on face", which worked well. Place the item at any of the points of the divided path. Tab, if necessary until you see "Point of divided path" at the status bar; then click.
Then, select the item, and, if everything went well, the new "repeat" or "array" tool will come to life, and the repetition will be created as specified.
The following video starts when some points have already been created in a family that began with a generic adaptive template. Each set of three points aligned vertically in the front elevation is associated with the position of the lower point, which is an adaptive, placement point. Some of the repetitive or not very relevant actions have been omitted from the video. Let's see this in action:
Trivia note : In making this video and using Divide & Repeat to make this railing, I found a spelling mistake in the software. At some point in the video, the cursor stops at that word for a moment. Can you find it? This does not affect anything, of course, but I would be curious to see if programmers care about these tiny things and take the time to fix them, even having a thousand things to do that are more important than this. I might remember to watch this in future versions, just for the sake of it...