New Bi-Fold Door Collection

We are super excited to finally release the first member of our new Revit Family Collections, the all new Bi-Fold Door.

As I wrote here in more detail, we are replacing our All-in-One Families with Collections, containing separate more specialized families, keeping and improving the great parts, and removing complexity. That ultimately results in much easier use and much faster performance, without losing the versatility our All-in-One Families are loved for.

This first new collection includes dedicated families for single and double sided Bi-Fold Doors, nothing more, nothing less.

Simple and straight forward

Because there are now separated families, you don't have to set parameters to get to the base setup. So all you need to do now is to:

  • load the family (single or double sided)
  • set width
  • set height
  • set count of panels

Yes, that's all that's required.

But there is more you can do

These new families provide a range of optional parameters that allow you to be more specific about the wall opening, main frame, panel as well as special solutions like corner setups.

Modular design

The new families are modular, using nested families, allowing to swap out panels and make sure that all new families follow a consistent pattern of functionality and parameter names.

Out of the box, each Bi-Fold Door Family comes with a full panel and a frame panel that can be switched between via one single parameter. In a future blog post I will get more into the details on how you can create and use your own panel family, which will be even more useful once we get to the Kitchen Family, where there is a need for high customizability of panels, accessories, etc.

New Documentation

Together with the new website, every new family comes with a new online documentation which is much easier to use and maintain than the static pdf files that have been included in All-in-One Families. At first this new documentation is focusing on being a parameter reference with embedded details and links to related parameters, but over time we want to extend it with references to articles that cover use cases in more depth and of course answer frequently received questions.

There is so much more ...

... to say about those new families but I don't want to duplicate the beautiful new product page in this post, so if you are interested in this family check it out here.


New Pricing

With the introduction of Collections we also start to apply a new pricing structure. With this post I want to explain the new structure and hopefully answer as many questions as possible for existing and new customers as well as purchases. If you have a question that isn't answered, please contact our support.

Collections

Each family (like the new Single Bi-Fold Door Family) can be purchased separately or as Collection (like the Bi-Fold Door Collection).

A Collection gives you the benefit of a guaranteed 20% discount on families included at the time of purchase and on families added to that collection in the future.

To clarify "...guaranteed 20% discount on families added in the future"; you will still be able to benefit from any introductory discounts when new families are released, however in case you miss those introductory discounts, you will still be eligible for the guaranteed 20% discount for the lifetime of the collection for the purchase of every new family added to that collection.

Bundles

We continue to offer bundles with a discount of 33%, which is applied to the individual family prices and not the discounted collection price.

In the case of bundles including the All-in-One Bi-Fold & Sliding Door Family we are going to add the new Bi-Fold Door Collection free of charge (for new purchases) until the availability of the new Sliding Door Collection which is when we will remove the All-in-One Bi-Fold & Sliding Door Family and replace it entirely with the new Bi-Fold Door & Sliding Door Collections.

Upgrades

All-in-One Family purchases (individual or as bundle) are eligible for an upgrade to the equivalent Collection once available.

If your All-in-One purchase is dated 1st of January 2018 or later, this upgrade is free, otherwise you receive a 67% discount when upgrading.

This applies to new Collections replacing an existing All-in-One Family only.


What's next after All-in-One

So far, our approach has been different to other content providers as we chose versatility over simplicity in order to enable many use cases that would have been difficult or sometimes even impossible to implement without the creation of custom families.

All-in-One Families are based on the concept of having one highly parametric family (per category, like door, window, etc.) which allows to create many different types to be used in one project.

Here are a few use cases...

The following project has 39 different window types and each of them is a type of one and the same All-in-One Window Family. As you can see these windows vary in size, layout, glazing bars, and more.

Another example of a revitalisation project with 9 different All-in-One Window types and 19 different All-in-One Sash-Window types:

But it's not just the ability to create countless variations with different layouts and features, it's also about special features that are especially helpful for surveyors and architects, dealing with historical buildings that have to be modelled exactly the way they are like the following example from C60 Architects where tapered wall openings were essential.

All-in-One Families have their strength, but also their weaknesses, which is why we took a step or two back to see what we could do differently.

The strength

  • The fist that comes to mind is versatility, meaning that a wide variety of requirements can be setup with just one single family
  • That leads to consistency as there is just one family that is used instead of a variety of individually created families
  • That results in time saving as there isn't that search for the next best fitting family every time the requirements change
  • Overall reducing the project file size as less families need to be loaded (various types of one and the same family are more efficient).

The weaknesses

  • Versatility comes with a price of more parameters leading to complexity
  • Complexity leads to spending more time on learning how a family works and how to achieve all those wonderful versatile setups
  • Complexity and a larger number of parameters also leads to more processing time (Revit updating the model on parameter changes)

Love & Hate Relationship

When looking at an All-in-One Family, there are parameters that are required to get to a specific setup and others that are optional for adjusting details. Let's take the All-in-One Bi-Fold & Sliding Door as a simple example (a much more complex example would be the kitchen) which allows the following basic use cases:

  • Bi-Fold Door
  • Patio Sliding Door
  • Regular Sliding Door

Each of those basic use cases are available as door or window and single or double sided.

That means that there is a variety of parameters that needs to be set correctly to get to that basic setup before actually adjusting the essentials like width and hight or the nitty-gritty of frame dimensions, etc. (if you need that at all).

Initially we tried to help out with those basic settings by providing a type catalog, which many of our users didn't understand how to use or just missed because they renamed the family but not the type catalog or just didn't put them in the same folder. Lately we include a sample project with those basic setups which can just be copied and used as is or as starting point to adjust the nitty-gritty.

The drawback of providing all those basic variations via one single family are obviously a number of additional parameters that allow you to switch between them (which increases the perceived complexity) and a series of calculated parameters to ensure that everything works within its designed constraints (which increases the computational complexity).

There is a love & hate relationship with those All-in-One Families as they solve issues that other families can't solve but come with a price of complexity and performance overhead.

What's next - Love Only Relationship

During the last few months we have been experimenting with countless approaches to how we can keep the versatility of our All-in-One Families but without the complexity. As a result we are working on new families that are modular and separated rather than single all-in-one families.

That means that instead of a single All-in-One Family we are offering separated, specialized families sharing a modular system of nested families to provide consistency and shared functionality, dramatically reducing the parameters resulting in much simpler use and a massive performance gain, without loosing any of the good parts.

The first families built this new way are the Single Bi-Fold Door and Double Bi-Fold Door which can be purchased separately or as collection, available later this week.

The Sliding Door families are going to be next shortly after and will once available replace the current All-in-One Bi-Fold & Sliding Door Family with the Bi-Fold Door Collection and Sliding Door Collection.

New price structure

This shift to separated families will also come with a new price structure which will be released together with the new Bi-Fold Door Collection later this week.

All-in-One purchases from 1st of January 2018 are receiving a free upgrade to the equivalent Collection, resulting in a great saving for everyone purchasing the All-in-One Family / Bundle before it's taken off sale.

More on that topic shortly...


All-in-One Window 1.6.5

New Schedule Parameters

Version 1.6.5 adds new schedule parameters that are very handy for building permission drawings / documentations.

The schedule parameter Openable Area calculates the clear openable area from window panes with swing.

The schedule parameter Glass Area calculates the total glass area (ignoring glazing bars) and Glass Area Minus Glazing Bars calculates the net glass area (subtracting the area of glassing bars).

Fixes

Version 1.6.5 also fixes an issue related to the visibility of handles.

This is a free update for everyone who purchased this family individually or as part of one of our bundles.


All-in-One Cupboard 3.0.4

The All-in-One Cupboard 3.0.4 is now available, fixing an issue related to the visibility of legs.

This is a free update for everyone who purchased this family individually or as part of one of our bundles.