cove.tool allows users to export their geometry using our various Plugins to Revit, Rhino/Grasshopper and Sketchup. This article focuses on tips and tricks when using the Revit plugin for "Linked Model" export. 

The complications with linked models are driven by accessibility permissions. Linked models, by design, cannot be edited or selected inside that file. If the user does not have access to edit the linked geometry, then the plug-in will also not be able to access the same data needed for export. The next section explains the fastest method to make linked geometry accessible, without having to open multiple files.

Solution

To select and export geometry from a linked model with cove.tool's Revit Plugin, the user will need to follow these two steps things: 

  1. Create a detach copy of your project. 
  2. Convert the linked model(s) to editable elements by Binding the Links. By Binding, geometry from the linked files are fully integrated into currently opened project. The linked file(s) will be converted to Groups and make discover-able by the plugin. This step is not reversible, which is why we recommend first creating a detach copy of your model for this troubleshoot process. Also to keep the operation tidy and quick, users may need to purge access information before binding. All that is required by cove.tool is the 7 export categories (roofs, floors, windows, skylights, exterior walls, interior walls, and shading devices). Attempting to bind entire models fully equipped with structural, mechanical, annotated, and rendering elements is strongly discouraged.  

Step-by-step guide 

1.Open primary model.
In this tutorial, we will demonstrate the steps to export linked geometry with the cove.tool plugin on a single-family residential project. There are two revit files, an Interior Models, and a Building facade Model. See Below. User can proceed with as many linked models as required to have the desired geometry exported to cove.tool. Note Files should also be saved on a local server for best results.  Also take note, we simplified both files to only include elements which will be required for a cove.tool analysis model. Elements like furniture, finishes, mechanical and structural elements were all purged from the detached models to expedite the binding process.  

2. Inside Main Model, Load necessary links.
**If your model already has all the necessary links loaded, skip to the next step.
Begging in the Interior Model, the next step is to link our projects Facade Model. Load a model by selecting, Manage Tab > Manage Project section > Manage Link Command to open the the Manage Links window. See below. 

Select Add, at the bottom of the Manage Links window and browse for the correct link. Make sure the coordinate system will match for both projects when loaded, then go ahead and click OK. Once the links have been loaded the project will appear complete and the link models will the grouped and inaccessible with a blue outline box. At this stage elements in the linked model will not be export or filtered.

3. Select the Linked Models in view and Convert them to Groups
Select the link model in your project view; if there are multiple linked models, repeat this step for each link. Use the Bind Link command under the Modify Tab. When the Bind Links Options window appears, select Attached Details and click OK.
This command will bind geometry from the linked model to the current project. Once you click ok, a warning will appear to let you know this process will remove the link and this cannot be undone. Click the Remove Link option to complete the steps of merging the models.  

4. Ungroup the Linked Geometry
Once you have completed binding all the links to their local model, the geometries from each linked model will convert to model groups, identified by the blue dashed outline box. At this stage, all of the geometry can now be filtered and exported into cove.tool. If there is not a need to distinguish between the links as you begin export, go ahead and Ungroup all of the remaining model groups. 

5. Proceed with cove.tool plugin-export process
Continue with the plugins export steps. Find Revit Tutorial here. Filter all of your building geometry into the correct categories, and complete all related exports. Your geometry will now appear in cove.tool and users can see their model in the Daylight, Glare, Shadow Page. 

Other Options

If Binding is not an operation you can attempt at the moment, below are other methods users can explore for getting their projects into cove.tool. 

A. Export form Multiple Revit Models
If the 7 element categories required for cove.tool are neatly accessible in different Revit models and those files are locally available to the project team, then users may export to their geometry to the same cove.tool project from multiple Revit files. The Plugin allows users to export geometry one category at a time and send information to any project in their project list. Therefore it does not require information to originate from a single source, but can be collected from multiple different files and aggregated at the end. 

B. Copy and Past Geometry from another file
If the desired geometry from a linked model is simple, and the file is locally available, users can unlink the model and independently launch it from Revit. Once both projects are open, users can select the desired elements from one Revit project, and copy and past them into the primary Revit model. This operation is recommended only for simple geometry transactions between projects. 

C. Export Revit geometry from an alternative platform
Users can export .dwg/.dxf files of their Revit models to be opened and exported from an alternative program like Rhino or SketchUp. Since any plugin can be used to upload your building geometry to the cloud, users have the flexibility to decide their preferred method to collect geometry and export to cove.tool through any compatible framework.

Check out other related links. 

  1. What to avoid in Revit for cove.tool workflow?
  2. Using an Architectural Model vs Mechanical Model for the Plugin Export Process
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