Revit Family


In this post, you will find everything you need to know about how to create a parametric family, starting from the absolute basics to the more advanced.

The post will be short, but it will link to EngineerBear videos from the YouTube channel.

For a collection of advanced masterclasses, click here

The post contains the following topic:
 – The basics about setting up a parametric family
 – Geometry tool
       – Extrusion
       – Sweep
       – Swept blend
       – Revolve

  – Difference between type and instance parameter 
 – Learn how to display different geometry based on detail level settings, Course, medium, fine
 – Drop down menu in the main project
 – Nested families
 – Formulas 
 – IF and nested if statement 
 – Yes/no parameter: turning on/off an object
 – Array 
Data type set as family type

 – Structural framing, sweeping a parametric 2D profile family 
 – Structural column (Varying thickness along the column using the blend tool) 

The basics

In this introduction video, we are going through the basics of building a solid, user-friendly parametric family.
The example is a concrete culvert with parameters for the width, height, thickness, chamfer, length, and material.
I introduce a workflow as a guideline on how to “attack” the family. The guildeline is a 4 part step by step guilde starting with:
1. The skeleton – Reference planes
2. The muscles – annotations
3.  The brain – parameters and formulas 
4. The skin – geometry

Type vs instance parameter

When establishing a parameter, you must decide whether it will be type-based or instance-based. In this video, I take a deep dive into explaining the difference.


On almost every family video here, you will find some sort of extrusion.


The blend tool blends two profiles (boundaries) together. For example, if you sketch a large rectangle and a smaller rectangle on top of it, Revit blends the two shapes together.


Create a 3D shape by sweeping a 2D profile along a path.


Create a 3D shape by sweeping a 2D profile around an axis

Swept blend

Create a 3D form based on two 2D profiles and a path segment.

Course, medium, and fine detail level settings for geometry

Explore how to create a family that will show differently in the main project based on the detail-level settings. 

Nested families 

A nested family is basically a family inside another family. In this guide, we explore the process of loading one family into another, connecting the parameters from the nested family to the host family, so the end user in the main project will be able to access them. Additionally, we uncover the advantages of utilizing nested families.

Drop-down menu

Sometimes we want the opportunity to turn off and on an object in a family, this can be a column foot or a concrete support on a culvert. 

Type catalog

Select which dimension on a family to import into Revit BEFORE loading the family with the creation of the txt-file. 

Data type set as family type

Set-up a drop-down menu as a parameter .

Formulas, IF statement, and nested IF statement

We are starting to develop a complex brain! introducing IF statements, nested IF statements, and complex formulas. Learn to set up an advanced and bulletproof parameter that will never break! 

Yes/no parameter turning on and off an object 

Sometimes we want the opportunity to turn off and on an object in a family; this can be a column foot or a concrete support on a culvert.


This massive, complex monster we dissect piece by piece and explain every little step to construct your own array in your own family. Look at linear arrays with a variety of options, like spacing being fixed and the array number being a parameter, the length being a parameter, and the array numbers being the result of the length. array with an angle (great for creating a ladder) and we make the family unbreakable when typing in 1 in the array number (which is not possible, but with some magic, I make it work). Finish it off with a little bit of a circle array.

Structural framing with a 2D profile 

Create a structural framing (beam) from scratch using a parametric nested 2D profile family.

Structural column

creating a complex parametric beam with varying thickness along the column using the blend tool.