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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Revit 2010: Think Long and Hard Before Linking Multiple Files Together | CADuzer

Here's some great advise about linked files:


Revit 2010: Think Long and Hard Before Linking Multiple Files Together

Hey all. Here’s an update on my project. Within the first few hours of starting the project, I decided that since the were multiple parts to it (a site, four buildings, and walkways and courtyards which connect them all), I would separate them into 5 distinct Revit files. Specifically, the four building files would be linked into the site file. I actually started with a single file but thought that since not all of the levels were the same (ie. level 01 for one building was 110.5 meters while level 01 for another was 113 meters) it would be easier to keep them all separate. Well, that was a good idea for about two and a half weeks, which was when I had to do some serious printing of sheets. Trying to get the right things to show up on the right sheets was a bigger pain than I had originally anticipated. For example, I had to employ many work-arounds to get objects from a linked file to show as solid black where it was being cut by a section (and, yes, I did go into the “Visibility/Graphics” dialog box, overrode the, “by host view,” setting and set the cut pattern for those objects to black). Sometimes it worked, other times it didn’t. When it didn’t, I met my new best friend: Filled Region.

Another time I had to employ manual, almost AutoCAD-like, methods (oh yeah, I went there) was with grid lines and their associated bubbles. If the grid lines either didn’t show up or showed up on the wrong side of a linked file, I literally drew lines (with the “centerline” line style) and circles. I also created extra levels in the view so they would show up as I wanted them to. And, worst of all, all sheets were NOT in the main file (the site file), as I had originally intended. It was just easier to create them in each of the separate building files and link in, as overlays, the other building files (or even the site file in some cases) when they needed to show up. Of course the problem here would be that if I had over one hundred drawings (and it this case I didn’t), I’d have to open up each file individually to print the sheets located within it (which inevitably meant I had to keep an Excel chart of where each sheet was located).

Speaking of opening each file, often times there are problems with your model you might not notice until you cut a section or create an elevation. Therefore, I’d have to open each file each time I noticed a modeling problem in a section view where that particular file was not the actual one I was working in. You also get a bunch of errors when trying to open local files with linked in central files which might not be in their latest form because their local file counterparts hadn’t been saved to central (I’m sorry, synchronized to central) recently.

Anyway, yesterday I decided I had had enough and began the process of re-combining the separate files into a single file. I tried using the “Bind” feature to merge in all of the building files into the site file. For some reason this didn’t work (it appeared to bring in the file, but no actual objects showed up). So, instead, I very simply copied and pasted all of the objects in. I definitely ran into problems of the heights of things (ie. walls, columns, etc.), however, as I’ve been working it was easy enough to change their top constraints to the appropriate levels. Speaking of levels, specifically the fact that there would be multiple “level 01’s”, I made the names of those levels more specific. For example, I might have “Level 01 – BLDG A,” “Level 01 – BLDG B” and “Level 01 – BLDGs C, D & E”.

It should be noted that even after copying and pasting all of the files back into the site file, the entire model was only between 25 and 30 megabytes. Another project I know of, however, has 4 buildings and a site and is contained within a single file and is somewhere between 250 and 300 megabytes.
I think the practice of linking multiple Revit files into a single one is a very good idea. I also think, however, that careful consideration has to be made before doing it and a set of “Best Practices” needs to b established in order to avoid some of the pitfalls that I encountered

Id like to hear some of your stories regarding this topic. Let me know some of your Revit, linked model war stories.
– Posted to CADuzer.com From My iPod Touch

Original: Revit 2010: Think Long and Hard Before Linking Multiple Files Together | CADuzer


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