I showed this tip when I was teaching a class at RTC North America 2013 in Vancouver, Canada back in July this year.
Normally, you can use reference plane to make cut out at beam family natively in Revit. There are limitations though. You can only cut it one at a time; if the reference plane moves, it is hard to maintain the location of the cut. Besides, the cut only works with straight edge since ref. plane can only be drawn straight.
|Exposed Curve End Beam Trellis|
To begin, I start by making a profile (generic) family. Set up reference plane and parameters and draw a profile like the image below...
Next, I use the Revit out-of-the-box Dimension Lumber beam family as a base. Go to edit family and load the nested profile family into it. Create a solid sweep by using pick path and pick 3D edge option. I would recommend using pick path as a preferred option because the sweep would behave like a dependent to the beam geometry. Once the path is selected, choose the nested profile family as the profile and finish the sweep.
You should get something like this:
Change solid sweep to void object under properties; then use "Cut Geometry" to cut out the beam.
Go to project browser, find the profile family and click the type properties. You will see the parameters from the nested profile family. Associate the parameters to the beam family (parent) parameters.
You can now control the parameters of the exposed profile in the family and it will self adjust it when it changes from one size to another.
Repeat the same step on the other end of the beam to create the cut. The only difference here is I will set this up as an instance parameter to control whether I want an exposed end profile or not.
To do this, go to the property of the void sweep geometry; there is a yes/no parameter called "Profile is Flipped", associate it to the family and name "Show_End Cut" as an instance yes/no parameter. Now go the family type, toggle the check box and you will see the void flip to the other side of the beam thus it will not cut the it out. Volia! We have created an on/off switch to control the void cut in the family the easy way!
The last step is to save this family with a new name, copy the original type catalog file (txt file) and rename it to the same as the new beam family. Make sure you keep both of files together in the same folder prior to use. You are all set to go!
Using this trick allows you to create custom exposed beam family on a fly. Another benefit of creating all the nested profile families let you keep them for future reuse. Happy Cutting!
|Wood Trellis with beam system|
|Taper Wide Flange Beam|
|Exposed Steel Beam Rafter|