Thursday, February 5, 2015

AC Quirkiness Part 4 - Create Similar Command

There is a comment made recently about my previous post on another odd behavior about adaptive component. I thought I would share it on this post.

"Create Similar" is one of my favorite commands in Revit. It is also one command that I use almost every day. I could create a lot of things quickly by selecting an existing elements around the space and keep building it.

Create similar is accessible both in project environment as well as family environment. In a project, you could literally select anything 2D or 3D, then go to your option under "Modify" tab and click the icon "Create Similar"

Or you can access it via "right click" and choose from the pop-up.

How about in Family? You can pretty much do the same; however, it only applies to traditional family.

Select the geometry, go to the option, click "create similar".

Or just "right click" after you have selected the geometry. 

**The only thing I found in family that does not allow you to use "create similar" are model line and symbolic line. For some reasons, they just don't work with create similar.**

When it comes to adaptive component (or conceptual mass), once again, Revit just disable this nice feature from this type of family. If you "right click" by selecting the geometry, you actually get the same option from the pop-up window but it is grayed out. I suppose there is no time saving using "create similar" in adaptive component!?


  1. It's always interesting to see other's views and ideas on using Revit; it's like a artist's brush - everyone has a different method of using it.

    In the 14 years I've been using Revit, I don't recall ever using the 'Create Similar' function. I might have tried it once; may I just don't grasp entirely what it does. In my view it's a little non-sensical: Create SIMILAR? Why not Create SAME - well, thats just copy, right? If I want to create something DIFFERENT, I place something different. But Create ... Similar? What about Create .... Same-same-but-different?

    Seriously though; I can see why it won't work in an Adaptive Family, and that gives a strong clue as to the how & why of Adpative Families. Any 'object' within an Adaptive Family is FAR MORE than 'just' an Extrusion or Model Line - it is a wholly parametric object just by it's very existence. Adaptive Family objects are much more intricately linked to the 'supporting' Reference Plans & Lines than a 'standard' Family object is. Revit can't 'Create Similar' - you need to give Revit far more explicit information about an Adaptive Family object than a 'normal' one.

    That said, I've found a useful trick to working with Adaptive familes is to create parametric 'normal' families for basic primitives - Cubes, Cylinders, Spheres, Cones etc. and use these as subfamilies within the Adaptive Family. With AFs (I'm getting bored of typing the full name) you can quickly get lost in 'Reference Plane hell', but by using sub-families of primitives you can quickly build dynamic AFs that have slightly easier-to-control geometry. I tend to use the AF purely as a framework for sub-family primitives, and try to avoid too much mucking around with 'real' Solids in the AF itself.

  2. Adrian,

    Thanks for reading my blog and chiming in with your opinion. I am a long term (7-8 years) Revit user and "Create similar" has been one of my favorite tools from day 1. To be honest with you, when you are a short key command user like I am, selecting something and type "CS" to create whatever it is is much faster than go through the UI. On the other hand, I find it to be more useful in a project other than in a family. This post is to point out some of the inconsistency that I come across when dealing with adaptive component. But then again, just like you said, everyone has a different method of using the tool in Revit.