In place families trip up a lot of new revit users. Sometimes its just so quick & easy to create a family on the fly in the project.
Unfortunately though they have some real negatives. For instance they typical have a big hit on your file size especially when you start making them reference surrounding geometry in the project. Also, one of the worst things you can do in Revit is start copying around the in-place families in the project...
Many new users don't realise that unlike a normal family all the copies are actually completely new families. That is, changing one, will NOT update all the others. If it repeats it needs to be an external family.
So what in-place families do I create?
Generally the only things I'll model in place occassionally are floors, stairs & ramps. Modelling monolithic stairs and ramps as floors is a great idea as you can then attach walls to them and get those connections to floors correct. This is also because of the current limitations of the stairs & ramps.
I prefer to model complex floors as in-place purely because they don't adjust when you move walls, causing sketches to occassionaly become invalid and delete your floor. This also gives you absolute control over footings, and various beams through the slab.
Another trick is with High-Rise buildings where you have complex floors that are typical over a number of levels.
- I'll model the first one in-place,
- Then whilst still in edit family mode, copy all the geometry and paste aligned into a new external generic model family and save it as say "Floors 3-9".
- I then switch back to the project and delete the inplace family i just made.
- I create a new in-place Floor family called "Level 3 Floor" and load the generic model family "Floors 3-9" into it and place it on level 3.
- Then finish the family.
- Revit then understands that this family is a floor allowing you to attach walls to it.
- You can then copy and paste by level to levels 4-9 and rename in the inplace families as per the level they are apply to. Yes we did just copy and inplace family, but because its contents is purely an external family there is no real overhead in doing this. Plus if we make a change to that generic model and reload it, it will update all of our floors!
Let me know if you'd like me to post any other examples...