Our hanger families have several types with different rod and unistrut sizes that are most widely used. But in cases when these aren’t enough, there is an easy way to add custom sizes.
Approaches for creating new sizes for unistruts, rods, cantilevers or other hanger parts are very similar because all these parts are created as shared nested families that are used in main hanger families.
Examples below are presented with the metric hanger library (the workflow for imperial is the same).
Creating Custom Size Rods
1. In the Project Browser, find the “M_Rod Threaded” (or “I_Rod Threaded” for imperial version) family. It’s listed under the Structural Connections category. Duplicate one of the types, and rename it to the size that you are about to create.
2. Open type properties of the new type, and write the required value to the “Rod Diameter” parameter. While in type properties, you might also want to update text parameters in the Identity Data group. They can be useful in Revit schedules. Click OK to save changes.
3. The next step is to replace the existing rod with a new one in one of the main hanger families. Names of complete hangers (that can be used with our software) begin with “Hanger_”. Locate it in the Project Browser (under Structural Connections). The best practice is to duplicate one of the existing types so as not to make any changes to hangers that might already be placed. Rename the new type.
4. Open the type properties of that new type. Find the “Rod Type<Structural Connections>” parameter. When its value cell is selected, a drop-down list appears. In there, find and select the newly created rod type. Change text parameters in Identity Data group for scheduling purposes. Click OK to finish.
The hanger with the new rod size is now ready for use. You might also want to have hex nuts, washers or anchors of the same size as the rod itself. Instructions for that are covered in the “Creating Other Custom Size Components” section.
Creating Custom Size Unistruts/Cantilevers
1. Locate the “M_Unistrut Channel” (if you’re creating a custom unistrut for a hanger) or the “M_Cantilever” (for cantilever arm hangers) family in the Project Browser (under the Structural Framing category) and duplicate a type. Rename the type to the size that you are about to create. Note: imperial families are named “I_Unistrut” Channel and “I_Cantilever”.
2. Open type properties of the duplicate, and write required values to the “Unistrut Width” and “Unistrut Height” parameters. You might also want to change the value of the “Inside Gap”. It refers to the gap on the open side of the unistrut. Update text parameters in the Identity Data group as well. Names for these parameters in the cantilever family are slightly different – “Profile Width”, “Profile Height”, “Profile Inside Gap”.
If you get an error message after closing type properties, it is probably because the “Inside Gap” is too large for a given unistrut width – try making it smaller.
Note: changing the open side of the profile is also possible, but that is covered in later steps.
3. Now that the custom unistrut or cantilever has been created, it is time to accommodate them in the main hanger families (name starts with “Hanger_”). In the project browser, find one of these hangers, duplicate one of its types, and rename it.
4. Open the type properties of the newly created type. If it’s a unistrut hanger family, find the “Unistrut Type<Structural Framing>” parameter under the Materials and Finishes group. In the drop-down, locate and select the unistrut channel that was created a few steps before. It is also important to change the “Unistrut Height” parameter to the value of our selected channel. This parameter moves the channel and accompanying elements to the correct place. Change text parameters in Identity Data group for scheduling purposes.
Click OK to finish. The new family type with a custom unistrut size is now ready for use.
The steps are the same for other hanger families that have unistruts (unistrut channel for multi-level applications, rooftop support H-frame, rigid unistrut frame).
To complete a custom cantilever family, the steps are almost identical. Open the duplicate type of the main cantilever family, and change the “Cantilever Type<Structural Framing>” parameter value to a newly created type. Enter new values for the “Cantilever Profile Width” and “Cantilever Profile Height” parameters. Update Identity Data values as well.
Click OK to finish. Steps are identical for all cantilever families – single, double, and one with a two-screw clamp hanger.
5. (OPTIONAL) If you would like to change the open side of the unistrut channel (or cantilever arm), you can do that too. While in the type properties of the main hanger family, simply change the value of the “Open Side Up” parameter (or “Cantilever Profile Facing Down” if in a cantilever family). After that, because of the profile flip, you might not like how washers are placed. To correct that, there are “Top Washer Type” and “Bottom Washer Type” parameters available. You can change up the top and bottom washer types or set them both to identical one as well.
After changing the unistrut height, you might want to change the “Rods Bottom Extension” as well. “Rod Offset from Element Side_Minimum” and “Unistrut End Offset from Rod” can also be changed.
Creating Other Custom Size Components
Often after creating new rod, unistrut or cantilever sizes, you might want to have accompanying elements (such as bolts, hex nuts, washers, anchors, etc.) to be of that same size as well. It is quite easy to do so. These elements are parametric – that means that they can adapt to any size that you might need.
Let’s look at the example. Say, you have created new 15mm rod size used for a clevis hanger. Concrete anchor is now too small and disappears inside the rod. Hex nuts are also party covered by the rod.
To fix that, find the “M_Hex Nut” family (“I_Hex Nut” for imperial), duplicate one of the types, and open its type properties. Rename the type and change values for the “Hole Diameter” and ‘Width Across Flats” parameters. Update text information in Identity Data group parameters too. Click OK to apply changes.
Note: you can also change the value of the “Height” parameter, but if you do so, you will need to change “Hex Nut Height” parameters to the same value in hanger families that have it.
Now do the same for the “M_Concrete Anchor” family (“I_Concrete Anchor” for imperial) – duplicate and rename type, change “Diameter” and “Length” parameters to preferred values, update text information. Note that the “Diameter” parameter refers to the outside diameter of the anchor, so you should make it slightly larger than the rod diameter. Click OK to finish.
To have a precise hanger, you might want to update the size of the clamp itself. When rods and hex nuts are hidden, you can see that pipe clamps have cuts for rods to pass through.
To modify these pipe clamps, do the same as for other parts - locate “M_Clevis Clamp” (or “I_Clevis Clamp”) and duplicate and rename one type. Update “Rod Diameter” and text parameters as needed. Click OK.
Note: other pipe/duct/conduit clamps might have an insert nut instead of a cut. The size of an insert nut can be modified as well.
Finally, go back to the type properties of the newly sized hanger. Select newly created types for parameters under the Materials and Finishes group. Update value for the “Anchor Length” parameter. If it doesn’t match the actual anchor length, then the rod length will be slightly off. You can modify “Clamp Width” or “Clamp Thickness” if you prefer. The last step is to update text parameters.
Now the new size of the hanger is exactly as it should be. And all the created types can be extracted as distinct elements through Revit schedules for accurate bills of materials.