3D cable trays for Autodesk REVIT produced by IEK


Customer: IEK Group (http://www.iekgroup.com/)

IEK Company, the regular InfoSAPR Company customer, ordered the database development of cable trays and plastic cable raceway for Autodesk REVIT. There were made more than 2000 3D models of cable trays and fittings:

  • Blind ends
  • Horizontal bends 90 and 45
  • Vertical bends 90 (outside or inside)
  • Vertical bends 45 (outside or inside)
  • Horizontal cross-overs
  • Horizontal tees
  • Right, left or straight reducers
etc.

Despite the fact that cable trays and cable raceways seem identical there is great deference between them.

Picture

The first difference is a dimension, in particular, width of cable trays and cable raceways.

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There are 3 kinds of families in Revit: system families, loadable families, and in-place families.

Most elements that you create in your projects are system families or loadable families. Loadable families can be combined to create nested and shared families.

Non-standard or custom elements are created using in-place families.

System Families

System families create basic elements that you would assemble on a construction site. Examples: walls, roofs, floors, ducts, pipes

System settings, which affect the project environment and include types for levels, grids, drawing sheets, and viewports, are also system families. System families are predefined in Revit. You do not load them into your projects from external files, nor do you save them in locations external to the project.

Loadable Families

Loadable families are families used to create the following:

  • Building components that would usually be purchased, delivered, and installed in and around a building, such as windows, doors, casework, fixtures, furniture, and planting
  • System components that would usually be purchased, delivered, and installed in and around a building, such as boilers, water heaters, air handlers, and plumbing fixtures
  • Some annotation elements that are routinely customized, such as symbols and title blocks

Because of their highly customizable nature, loadable families are the families that you most commonly create and modify in Revit. Unlike system families, loadable families are created in external RFA files and imported, or loaded, in your projects. For loadable families that contain many types, you can create and use type catalogs, which allow you load only the types that you need for a project.

In-Place Families

In-place elements are unique elements that you create when you need to create a unique component that is specific to the current project. You can create in-place geometry so that it references other project geometry, resizing or adjusting accordingly if the referenced geometry changes. When you create an in-place element, Revit creates a family for the in-place element, which contains a single family type. Creating an in-place element involves many of the same Family Editor tools as creating a loadable family.

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It seems logical to create cable trays and cable raceways into the one Cable Tray system family. But this family has restriction for cable tray width. Cable tray width must be less than 25 mm, but there are cable raceways width of which is equaled 7mm.  So we couldn’t use Cable Tray system family.

Picture

Therefor InfoSAPR placed cable raceways into the Electrical Equipment family and Conduit Fittings family.

Picture

Another one feature of Cable Tray family is that the family doesn’t save tray dimensions and every time user have to set width and height for tray before drawing based on dimensions in the name.

Picture

For every cable tray different fittings are attached:

  • Blind ends
  • Horizontal bends 90 and 45
  • Vertical bends 90 (outside or inside)
  • Vertical bends 45 (outside or inside)
  • Horizontal cross-overs
  • Horizontal tees
  • Right, left or straight reducers
Picture
Unfortunately, there isn't opportunity to set two vertical bends (90 and 45) at the same time, we have only one string for vertical inside bend and one string for vertical outside bend. Therefor if user has to use 45 bend he has to appoint another fitting in the Type properties and Type parameters.

Unlike cable trays it doesn't need to set width and height for cable raceways because they were created outside of system family and there dimensions are set inside the 3D model.