Parametric Patterns II: Jigs


One thing that is becoming clear to me in doing these comparisons with Grasshopper and Generative Component examples in Revit is that you need to spend more time EXPLAINING how to make them.  The advantage in GC is that there is code to refer to, and if you know code, you can read the results.  In Grasshopper, the process of making elements is so thoroughly abstract and hierarchical, that you can basically read the diagram as a flow chart. 

The examples in Revit are like reading a series of drafted plans.  If you see the finished product, it is not entirely clear how it was arrived at.  The best way to examine such a document is to watch as it is made.   


“Build simple abstract frameworks to isolate structure and location from geometric detail.”  I have plenty of examples of this sort of work, and a full tutorial on one of the versions the Woodbury demonstrates that I will repost here along with a new one.



“Use the local properties of a curve to determine the local radius and orientation of circular Jigs. Use the circles to define a tube. In turn use a curve as another Jig to apply a global form to the tube as a whole.”

Tube Jig



“Use a moving point to smoothly move each of a collection of points, which, in turn, define a surface.”

I did this exercise several months ago, and I’m reposting the video.  I love this family, it’s really fun to play with.

Download the files from here:

Lift Pincushion Jig

Tube Jig


  1. what i see again in this shape, and what a really big downside is about revit, is that if you analize this shape, its is a 3D shape, but based on a 2D plane.
    what it means in my perspective, is that it is not yet a real 3D shaped form like some of those other software packets are able to do.

    is a bit the same as the sweep example in revit 2010 (structure).
    when you hovered over the sweep, the were showing you a example of something that was sweeping in X Y and Z direction. but a sweep can ony be made on a plane, so only be drawn in X and Y directions. (z is possible with some ingenious workarounds)
    funny to see the autodesk solution was to change the example image in 2011 ;) in the end, it is some kind of bugfix...

    but that is i think a bit the same with shapes like this, it can be nicely parametric and drawn in X-Y but not that Z

  2. @Anonymous: I think I see what you are saying, that there is a limitation of only being able to do a 2d spline? Actually, the same operation can be done with a spline by points, which can then be manipulated in all 3 dimensions by dragging the points or hosting to different elements off of the workplane. I was just keeping the demo simple.

  3. @Zach
    I assume that would only be possible with Vasari and/or conceptual masses ?

    forgot to say in the last post: they do look awsome by the way ;)

  4. @Anonymous. It is possible to do this in either Revit or Vasari inside of the massing environment. And thanks!

  5. When I load the adaptive component into the other family, the second pick-point cannot snap to the reference spline without "flattening" the circle. In other words, it rotates the circle into the XY plane instead of orthogonal with the reference spline. Why would this be occurring?

  6. You might need to draw the circle on the YZ plane, instead of the XZ plane (as it currently is). Spline by points and splines behave a little differently from each other. It's a bit of a crap shoot to get it right in the first place when you are only placing 2 points (you can't define a plane with 2 points, and have to rely on some cues from the host to complet the orientation).