Create multiple family types of beam in Revit using Dynamo

Many people around the world in various fields do not use a single BIM authoring tool only and there are plenty of data collaborations between BIM authoring tools for example Rhinoceros or Autocad <-> Revit.

Recently, I conducted a lot of researches and tests on how to link or collaborate between different BIM authoring tools. In particular, to create structural beams, MEP pipes, or ducts using lines created by Rhinoceros or Autocad.

Unfortunately, in this article, it is not the topic to use Dynamo to do the above things. What I am going to introduce at this time is a problem that has occurred repeatedly while proceeding with the above-mentioned contents.

Let’s think of Structure or MEP modeling is carried out the other BIM authoring tool and the designed data converts into Revit’s elements. (Figure 1)

Figure 1_Covert Line to Element

As the design progresses or the LOD of each design stage increases, more beam types, pipe types, and duct types will increase, and even when each type of size changes, it will be necessary to manually add the family type in Revit or modify the parameters of any existing family.

Figure 2_Chart image of increasing elements

Let’s find out how to create multiple family types of structure framing (Beam) in Revit using Dynamo.

Here is the software version I used in this article.

  • Revit version 2021,
  • Dynamo 2.6.1,
  • Excel.

Set up Revit Project & Revit Family

Create the new Revit project and select the proper beam families that will be used for the project and load into the Revit project.

Figure 3_Revit Family Addition

After adding the necessary families, set up the name for each of families referring to the BEP or Family Naming system of the project and also, set up the parameters of beam.
In this article I will follow ‘Figure 4’ and check the result ‘Figure 5’

Figure 4_Family Naming System & Parameters of Beam

In order to use the Dynamo I made, at least one family type is required for each family like ‘Figure 5’, and it must be set to the same parameter’s name as the parameter’s name of the ‘Figure 4’.

Figure 5_Set up result of Family name & Parameters

Create the Beam List

In the Dynamo script, I will read the excel file -Figure 6- and use the data to create multiple types.

  • Family Name is an item that defines which beam family to use,
  • Type Name is an item that defines the type name of a family,
  • Beam Type is an item that defines the dimension parameters of each beam,
  • Beam Size is an item that defines the value of dimension,
  • Sheet Name of excel is an item that defines which sheet to use in Dynamo.
Figure 6_Beam Schedule List

Create Multiple Family Type of Beams

Here is the overall script I made, the script is all composed of OOTB nodes except for using a node of Data-shapes and Clockwork one each.

Figure 7_Overall Dynamo script

Let’s run this Dynamo and check the result.

Figure 8_Create multiple family types of beam using Dynamo

I think the key point is to understand the structure of data, which is considered the most important, and to organize and integrate it appropriately.
Also, this script can be effective if it is used appropriately in a way that collaboration between different BIM authoring tools such as lines created by Rhinoceros or Autocad to Revit elements and additionally new family types are added as the design progresses.
I hope with this idea, even structural beam, most families’ types (Pipe, Duct, etc.) in Revit can be created using Dynamo if you set up as I introduced in this article.

For more information and if want to get this Dynamo script and other materials, please contact here.

Youngcheol Jeon

Move to Japan and working as BIM consultant. Before in Korea, Project Management area for about 4 years in EPC company. Mainly use 'Autodesk Revit & Dynamo, Navisworks and BIM360'


1 Response

  1. Thank you for sharing. I was wondering if you could zoom in and retake your dynamo graph image. I am unable to read the names of the nodes.

    We are trying to do something like this and have found that the parameter “Section Name Key” from the look up table is not an editable parameter in the family. Does your workflow update this parameter? I think that parameter is used when working with the Connections module of revit.

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