At the moment, linked model workflows within Revit causes issues when exporting to the webapp. This article focuses on workarounds when using the Revit plugin for "Linked Model" exports. 

Summarizing the Problem

The complications with linked models are driven by accessibility permissions. Linked models, by design, cannot be edited or filtered inside the central 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 in the linked files. The next section explains the possible workaround.


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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