Nesting Shared Elements

Combining a bunch of stuff into a single family (nesting) makes modeling more efficient, and can be less of a processing hit than groups – but there are some things to consider – specifically, if the nested elements should be SHARED.

By default, component families are not set to be shared. This setting is in the general parameters of each family.

WhNested Familyen not shared, the nested element is not recognized as separate from the overall family it is placed in, and only the entire collection can be selected, tagged or scheduled.

A decision should be made UP FRONT on if the individual elements of a nested family need to be tagged/scheduled. If this is required, each nested family must be SHARED.

element SHAREDThis is a modification you want to do sooner rather than later, as when the modified element is reloaded into the respective multi-element family, and then that parent family is loaded into the project, the other nested elements in the other multi-element families do NOT update automatically. This can result in differing appearance/behavior across what you THINK is the same element. Chaos ensues.

UPDATED shared element
To update across the project, each nested family needs to have the updated sub-component reloaded into it, then that nested family reloaded into the project.
As an added complication, changing the SHARED parameter requires overwriting WITH parameter overrides, which could alter numerous instance settings applied across the project.
shared sub-component
Now, it seems like the best thing would be to go ahead and SHARE everything nested – but the downside to that is reloading updates to individual elements is MUCH more processing intensive. This can be a real workflow bog-down if many of those elements will not ever need to be individually scheduled.  SO – the lesson here is to decide what will need tagging/scheduling, and share ONLY those elements.
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