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Modeling tips for successful Revit imports to drawing.tool
Modeling tips for successful Revit imports to drawing.tool

FAQ: How can I make sure my model imports better into drawing.tool?

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

The process of importing plugin data to the drawing.tool is continuously improving. As we add more functionality and updates, this article will change to meet the current existing workflow. For now, here are some tips you can apply to your model to have a smooth import and reduce model clean-up inside drawing.tool.

  1. Introduce the two options with more detail

  2. I don't see anything in the revit plug-in that defines room or wall based export

Room based import

Instead of rebuilding the model by individual objects, the room-based import collects data from Revit Rooms.

  1. Why/why not use rooms, maybe this is in the introduction
    To generate a room-based import, make sure to have Revit "Rooms" placed in all enclosed spaces in the model. Next, continue to export geometry categories from the Revit Add-in using the individual export buttons followed by the Export Rooms. Or use the Export All function which exports both visible geometry in the covetool 3D views and existing Room data. Here are some tips that can help the import process per category.


Only walls, floors, windows, roofs, spandrels, and rectangular skylights are imported into drawing.tool. Everything outside of these categories will not be imported.

  1. Rooms is not listed above

  2. Change "Overall" heading to "Exported Model Elements"

  3. What about doors, spandrels and shading devices?

  1. Rooms:

    1. For ideal room imports, do not place rooms in smaller spaces like shafts, building core, column wrap areas, and chases.

      1. What drives this? Is it a size issue?

    2. Delete all unplaced and improperly enclosed rooms.

    3. If you have phases in your Revit model, place rooms only in one phase and export at a time.

    4. Revit Spaces, if present need to be deleted before exporting. ​

  2. Walls

    1. At every level, all wall objects should have identical Top and Base offsets.

    2. Shaft walls and Column-wrapped walls do not import.

    3. Walls that are closely placed together or are overlapping will be skipped by the import or will cause geometry conflict in the drawing.tool.

    4. Floating walls and Low-height walls do not import. However, both can be modeled in the drawing.tool interface.

    5. Curved walls will not import curved but will be segmented or faceted based on the complexity of the curve.

    6. Mitering Wall Joints can help reduce gaps across the model's envelope and better render floor slabs.

  3. Windows

    1. Having windows hosted on walls can reduce overlapping windows. Sometimes walls have cut-outs and windows are placed in place of the cutout, without either object interacting with one another. This will cause the import to draw two windows, one for the cutout and one for the window.

  4. Floors

    1. Multiple floor slab elevations at the same level do not import well.​

  5. Roofs

    1. Sloped roofs are not imported. Instead, they can be drawn after being exported to drawing.tool. Take a look at this article for information.

  6. Skylights:

    1. Currently only rectilinear skylights placed on flat roofs will be imported with accurate positioning and rotation angles.

  7. Height

    1. Double-height spaces will not import. Instead, they should be adjusted once inside the drawing.tool using air floors.

Wall-based Import

A wall-based import occurs when individual elements are detected by the plugin and rebuilt in the drawing.tool platform when Revit Rooms are not exported.


Q: Why do I see a 'Command Failure for External Command' message when exporting from the Revit Add-in?

A: This occurs when the Revit model contains the following

  1. Unplaced Rooms: Rooms that haven't been assigned a location within the building's layout, can cause issues during export. Since these rooms lack specific coordinates or boundaries, exporting their geometry accurately becomes challenging.

  2. Improperly Enclosed Rooms: Rooms that are not properly enclosed or have gaps in their boundaries can lead to geometry errors during the export process. These errors can cause the exported data to be inaccurate or even result in failed exports.

  3. Complex Geometry: Room geometry created around intricate profiles involving walls, ceilings, floors, and other components.


  • A quick solution would be to delete all rooms through a room schedule and place rooms level by level using the Place Rooms automatically command in Revit.

  • Make sure no rooms are overlapping, unplaced, or improperly enclosed.

  • Check Enclosures: Review and verify that room boundaries are properly enclosed without any gaps or overlaps.

Q: Will rooms enclosed by "Room Separator Lines" be detected?
A: Yes, rooms defined by Elements that are room bounding including room separator lines are detected on import. Room Separator lines will be imported as Interior walls, however can easily be changed to Air walls in drawing.tool.

Q. My building has changed when importing into drawing.tool
A. While importing, drawing.tool looks for room data from the import and matching wall heights which can result in changes in the building elements and mismatch in geometry. Please review the above article for a lot of helpful tips on the import process. Also, review the Room-based export process to learn more about this.

Q. Why is my imported building off-grid in drawing.tool?
A. While importing, drawing.tool looks for the left-most and bottom-most geometry to determine the basepoint and align it with the (0,0) of the grid. Missing rooms leading to unconnected buildings will result in part of the structure being drawn off-grid.

Q. How do I model skylights on a sloped roof?
A. Transforming a sloped roof into a flat roof is achievable by representing it at the average height of the slope. When it comes to modeling skylights, you can achieve the same impact by utilizing an angled window and projecting it onto the ceiling plane. This technique simplifies the process while maintaining the desired elements in your design.

Happy modeling!

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