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Understanding drawing.tool messages
Understanding drawing.tool messages

Geometry Detected, Export Failed, Geometry Errors, drawing.tool

Christopher Riddell avatar
Written by Christopher Riddell
Updated over a week ago

In this article, we will guide you through the process of reviewing and resolving drawing.tool warnings, enabling successful model imports and exports, while also sharing some valuable tips and tricks.

Import Failed

When geometry is imported using one of our 3D Plugins (Revit, SketchUp, Archicad, or Rhino-Grasshopper) to drawing.tool, the model may face import issues if one of the following is present in the imported model.

Missing geometry from required Categories

Our 4 required geometry categories from Plugins are Exterior Walls, Floors, Roofs, and Windows. All other categories (Interior Walls, Skylights, shading devices, below-grade walls, outdoor floors, spandrels, and furniture) are optional, which means that geometry is not required from those Views/tags. Review this guide to understand the requirements for geometry.

Solution: Include geometry for each of the four categories shown above in the required cove.tool views/tags from the Plugin and reexport the geometry to the cove.tool project. For example, if the building is all glazing you would need to introduce a a small 1x1 sq. ft. of exterior wall to meet the exterior wall requirement.

Overly Complex Geometry

This refers to models with highly detailed elements, often that are curved. These elements could be detailed facade panels, complex profile mullions, furniture elements, bolts, shading device, or other items that may be more related to the rendering of a project than the analysis. cove.tool utilizes triangles to measure complexity, for more information check out this help article.

Hide all unneeded detailed elements in the respective cove.tool views/tags. To determine if elements are needed for the analysis ask if it will have an impact on how daylight enters a space, or if the element is a barrier between the conditioned interior space and the outside. Remember, curved forms lead to the most complexity in the form of triangular subdivisions, potentially posing challenges for export processes.

Invalid Room Data (Revit Plugin only)

  1. Thinner/Smaller rooms:
    For ideal room imports, do not place rooms in smaller spaces like shafts, building core spaces, and column wraps that are typically under 10 sq. ft.

    Delete such rooms through a Room Schedule, as illustrated below. Find more details on the relevant steps listed in this Article.

    1. Open a Room Schedule

    2. Sort the Rooms list Area in ascending

    3. Select the rooms that are less than 10 sq. ft.

    4. Right Click then Delete Row

  2. Overlapping/Undefined Rooms:


    Overlapping and unplaced rooms can create issues for the export. Be sure to delete any unplaced rooms from the Revit model and resolve any overlapping ones.

Geometry Detected

When a model is imported using one of our 3D Plugins (Revit, SketchUp, Archicad, Rhino-Grasshopper) to drawing.tool, you will receive this warning message indicating that geometry can be imported into the project.

If this is your initial geometry import for this project, click 'Yes'. Be aware that this prompt reappears each time you launch the drawing.tool. If you've manually adjusted the drawing.tool model and want to preserve those modifications, select 'No'.

Errors on export

If you encounter the warning message below following an export from drawing.tool, it could be due to the following factors:

Undefined Rooms

In case where there are no room names showing this will be due to the room not being fully enclosed. A fully enclosed room will have no gaps in the rooms surrounding it. Enclosed rooms will also show a grey

Gaps can be closed by drawing walls into them, or move the current endpoints (blue dots) to connect.

Large Scale models

Models with more than 1 million sq. ft. or approximately 200 rooms per floor can face challenges. Their extensive surface area might cause them to get stuck, resulting in a geometry error message.

Identify small rooms that can be combined with larger rooms. Typical examples include closets that are part of bedrooms, small voids adjacent to larger offices, and multiple small offices that all have the same template. Combining these rooms will reduce the total number of surfaces and allow the model to proceed. Additional steps that can be taken are detailed in this help article.

Tiny connecting walls

During the import or drafting process, multiple tiny walls may have been created due to improper room definition. These overlapping walls need to be deleted or redrawn before running analysis.


Hide all other elements except the interior and exterior walls using the object visibility toggles on the properties panel to the left. Now with a simplified view of the model you can select each extra endpoint, wall shaded orange, and small walls that do not connect to delete or edit as needed. Here are more details around removing the extra endpoints.

Overlapping Elements

Elements highlighted in orange in 2D and 3D signify an overlap of geometry that will stop the analysis from succeeding.

Delete or adjust the dimensions of elements highlighted in orange.

Windows exceeding width or height:
Select the window and edit the dimension properties on the sidebar panel.

Overlapping walls:
Delete the overlapping walls to complete the room definition.

Missing Geometry

When Model geometry is exported from drawing.tool for further analyses it's essential to have elements in four categories: exterior walls, floors, roofs, and windows. The first three elements are auto-generated upon the enclosure of connecting walls to create a space, while windows need to be manually placed on suitable walls.

Export Failed

If you received a failed export warning due to an unexpected error as shown below, it is due to an authentication error stemming from a session expiration or timeout.

Please log out of your cove.tool account and sign back in.

Other warnings

Adjust First Floor Elevation

This warning signifies that the lowest floor, presuming the absence of any below-grade floors in the model, has not been set at a 0' 0" elevation.

Adjust the Floor elevation by double-clicking on the Elevation field and setting it to 0'0".

Upload size message

  1. When using drawing.tool to trace over and construct 3D models from .pdf or .dxf files, the upload limit is set at 5MB. Review this guide on steps to reduce dxf file sizes for optimum performance.

Project Locked message

When a project is locked by a user through the lock feature on the grey navigation bar, it disables further project changes in the model.

If you have been invited to the project reach out to the Project Creator (owner) or the Team administrators since they are able to unlock a locked project.

Multi-use project

If set up your cove.tool project as mixed-use and generated your 3D model in drawing.tool, exporting the model will result in a warning that indicates the model will be converted to a single-use project.

Since drawing.tool enables the assignment of specific room templates types that eliminates the need to create a mixed-use project on cove.tool providing a greater level of detail to individual rooms and space types.

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