BIMsmith Winter Wonderland Holiday Revit Family Competition 2023


UPDATE! This year I managed to get into the semifinals! Congrats to all winers!

Merry Christmas! It was an intensive year full of several architectural projects (One at Wawel Royal Castle – more in due time!), large graphic design works, laser-scanning projects, UAV photographs and 2 plugins developed and published on Autodesk App Store – Drafter being one of the largest plugins out there! – check it out!

But in December there is always BIMsmith Winter Wonderland challenge! The chance to do something creative and to push my Revit Modeling skills. There are a lot of reasons why I believe young architects should be good at modeling in Revit, just to name a few:

  1. Freedom to do whatever you want. Revit is just a tool, and no tool should limit your imagination.
  2. Except for some tricky objects in Revit like stairs, if you cannot model it, there is a big chance you don’t understand the geometry of the object. Having an impression about something is not good enough and leads to mistakes.
  3. Technical debt – There are great terms in software development which AEC industry should start using. Technical debt is my favourite – It “is the implied cost of future reworking required when choosing an easy but limited solution instead of a better approach that could take more time.”

During my life I drastically changed how I approach Revit families. I started with super complex and complicated. They worked, saved a lot of time, but always needed to be changed by an expert… And this is a problem! Because of that I changed my tactic. No more “master doors” with all configurations, rather simple yet still fully parametric single families. I even summarized it in a short sentence:

Good bim managers, coordinators and modelers should strive to be replaceable and that is exactly a reason why you don’t want to replace them.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love doing complex things, but now there must be a reason. And taking part in modelling competition counts as a pretty good reason to do something overcomplicated 😉 My favourite work from last year was done by Dariel Rey García and I wanted to know what I can do with this topic. So I ended up modeling a fully parametric Christmas Tree. The crucial factor I wanted to include was how well the family presents itself on the 2d drawing. Over the years I saw many Christmas trees and they shared the same problem – They were overdetailed and would print as a black mess. In this case it is simply better to add them as photorealistic objects in 3d Max, Blender or Enscape.

You can judge the final effect here, or find below an image and video showing variations and complexity of it. The family doesn’t contain a lot of geometry, but being fully parametric I had to use some trigonometry, ASS Theorem and other mathematical tricks. I am particularly proud of how nicely geometry from arrays joins without being joined, Christmas baubles coming up and down and general simplicity of it.

Once again Marry Christmas and happy New Year!


Written on December 26, 2023