Custom Slope and Elevation Grading Family

Typically, when grading a site, an engineer or landscape architect will specify new spot elevations based on desired slopes and existing spot elevations. Grading is mainly just drawing lines across various areas and interpolating spot elevations based on slopes.

While Revit’s current hardscape and Topography tools are not ideal for grading a landscape, it does have the capability to calculate slopes and spot elevations for you. All you need is a custom family with some parameters and formulas set up the right way.

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Manufacturers and Recreating Lighting

Trying to work with manufacturer-created Revit content can often be a challenge. To start off, some do not have any 3D content, let alone any Revit content, but if you get lucky and they do have Revit content you still might encounter a few problems…

  1. import geometry. If you’re cutting sections import geometry can look really messy. It is also difficult to assign materials for rendering.
  2. bad parameters. Either incorrectly used parameters (instances when they should be types) or way too many junk parameters…parameters_junk
  3. wrong family type. This is one of the worst mistakes to make because someone spent time making what is essentially an unusable family.

For these reasons (and more) many firms will only use content that is created or meticulously curated in-house. This is a great policy for firms that have the time and the resources, but not everyone does. And besides, using some manufacturer content can save you time, especially if you don’t need a highly parametric family.

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Simple, Scalable Rock

All of my recent posts on scalable landscape families made me start thinking again about how scaling can be applied to rocks and boulders. Of all the landscape families out there, they are some of the trickiest to model, mostly because of their organic shape.

I have previously posted a scalable, rotatable, and editable rock, but it is admittedly a bit unstable. So this time I decided to make a more stable rock from an import and then nest it into a Planting family to make it scalable.


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