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Using Revit Linked Models with cove.tool
Using Revit Linked Models with cove.tool

FAQ: How to export geometry to cove.tool for linked models in Revit

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

Revit plugin versions v3.0.0 and upwards can now detect and export geometry from Linked Revit models!

This feature allows you to selectively include objects from your linked model into the cove.tool views for export.

Watch the tutorial or follow the simple steps below to assign geometry from Linked models into the cove.tool views for export.


  1. Link your Revit models

    1. Ensure that only relevant models are linked i.e. models that contain geometry elements that are part of the thermal envelope and therefore crucial for energy and daylight models.

    2. Avoid linking MEP and Structural models.

  2. Follow the usual 4 step plugin workflow:

    Update Login > Select Project > Create cove.tool views

  3. Open "3D - covetool linked geometry view".

    A new view called "3D - cove.tool linked geometry is created. Open the view to locate the geometry from the linked model(s).

  4. Unhide Linked Geometry

    Now open relevant cove.tool views that need to include objects from the linked models. For example, if you are linking an interior model.

    1. Open the cove.tool interior wall view and Select "Reveal Hidden Elements"

    2. Select and Unhide the entire linked geometry in the view and Toggle out of the Reveal Hidden Elements mode.

    3. Now Hide objects of the linked geometry that are not expected in this view. In this case, hide all windows/curtainwalls and only keep interior walls from the linked model in this view.

  5. Export your geometry:

    1. After linked model objects are assigned to the respective cove.tool views Select "Export all" from the plugin.

    2. If objects were only added to a single view, use the individual export buttons to export linked geometry to the project.

  6. Refresh page

    Refresh the geometry page and proceed to 3D analysis to view your geometry.

Other Solutions for Linked Models

Option 1: Export from Multiple Revit Models

  1. This option is ideal when Core+Shell is the main model,

  2. If (1) the geometry components required for cove.tool are neatly accessible in different Revit models and (2) those files are locally available to the project team, then users may export their geometry to the same single cove.tool project using 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.

Option 2: Bind the model(s)

  1. This option requires the user to create a detached copy of the project with the links. Also, attempting to bind entire models fully equipped with structural, mechanical, annotated, and rendering elements is strongly discouraged.

  2. Convert the linked model(s) to editable elements by Binding the Links. By Binding, geometry from the linked files is fully integrated into the currently opened project. The linked file(s) will be converted to Groups and make discoverable by the plugin. This step is not reversible, which is why we recommend first creating a detached copy of your model for this troubleshooting process. Also to keep the operation tidy and quick, users may need to purge excess information before binding. All that is required by the web application is the 7 export categories (roofs, floors, windows, skylights, exterior walls, interior walls, and shading devices).

  3. Check part 2 of this article for full step-by-step guide.

Option 3: 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.

Option 4: 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.

Option 5: Use Copy/Monitor to copy elements from Linked Files:
Users can use the Copy/Monitor feature in Revit to essentially establish, monitor, and copy elements from a linked model to a current model. Follow the steps below to use this feature:

  1. Open a generic 3D view of your current model, where you will copy elements into from a linked file.

  2. In the view properties, for Discipline, select Coordination.

  3. Now attach the linked file. Click Insert tab > Link panel > (Link Revit)

  4. Pin the linked model in place. Modify | RVT Links tab > Modify panel > (Pin)

  5. Start the Copy/Monitor tool:

    1. Click Collaborate tab > Coordinate panel > Copy/Monitor drop-down > (Select Link).

    2. Select the linked model in the drawing area

  6. Copy the elements for monitoring:

    1. Click Copy/Monitor tab >Tools panel > (Copy).

    2. Select the elements to copy.

      To select multiple elements, on the Options Bar, select Multiple

    3. click Finish on the Options Bar.

    4. Click Copy/Monitor tab > Copy/Monitor panel > (Finish).

  7. When selecting a copied element in the current model, the monitor icon

    displays next to it to show relationship to the original element in the linked model.

  8. Move over to the cove.tool plugin and select create cove.tool views, you will now find the copied elements in the respective cove.tool 3D views and you continue the export process.

Option 2: Bind the model 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 Interiors Model and a Building Facade Model, as seen in the image below. Users can proceed with as many linked models as required to have the desired geometry exported to cove.tool. Note that files should also be saved on a local server for best results. Also, we have simplified both files to only include elements that will be required for an 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.
Beginning in the Interior Model, the next step is to link our project's Facade Model. Load a model by selecting, Manage Tab > Manage Project section > Manage Link Command to open 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.

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