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Up and Running with Revit
Illustration by Richard Downs

Linking another Revit file


From:

Up and Running with Revit

with Paul F. Aubin

Video: Linking another Revit file

There's lots of reasons why you might choose to link a Revit project to your exisitng project. When you create a link to a Revit project you're embedding an entire Revit projct into your current project. It will come in as a single object that you can move around and position relative to the geometry in your existing project. And then, if the owner of that original Revit linked file makes changes to that file, you can come back later and reload the link and capture those latest changes to that file. So, there's lots of times when you might choose to use this procedure and it might involve collaboration on a project with other disciplines like other engineers and so forth. Perhaps they're going to work in Revit.

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Up and Running with Revit
3h 58m Beginner Jun 20, 2013

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Autodesk Revit is one of the most popular building information modeling (BIM), solutions today. This course covers the differences between the various editions of Revit and shows architects and engineers who are new to the software how to use them. Learn how to choose a template; set up the basic levels, grids, and dimensions; and start adding walls, doors, and windows to your model. Author Paul F. Aubin also shows how to create views and documentation that clearly communicate your plans, import files from other CAD programs, and produce construction documents.

Note: The techniques shown in this course will work with any version of Revit, but due to backwards compatibility issues, the exercise files for this course will only work with Revit 2014. Unfortunately, we cannot downsave the files. Please see a Revit 2013 course for usable files.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the different editions of Revit
  • Setting up levels and grids
  • Adding doors and windows
  • Loading families
  • Working with 3D views
  • Dimensioning a plan
  • Adding a schedule view
  • Importing CAD files
  • Linking to another Revit file
  • Creating sheets
  • Plotting a set of documents
  • Generating a cloud rendering
Subjects:
Architecture BIM CAD
Software:
Revit Architecture Revit Structure Revit LT Revit MEP
Author:
Paul F. Aubin

Linking another Revit file

There's lots of reasons why you might choose to link a Revit project to your exisitng project. When you create a link to a Revit project you're embedding an entire Revit projct into your current project. It will come in as a single object that you can move around and position relative to the geometry in your existing project. And then, if the owner of that original Revit linked file makes changes to that file, you can come back later and reload the link and capture those latest changes to that file. So, there's lots of times when you might choose to use this procedure and it might involve collaboration on a project with other disciplines like other engineers and so forth. Perhaps they're going to work in Revit.

You're going to work in Revit. And you both link your files together. If you're doing a multi-building campus project, each building might be a separate linked file. So there's a lot of scenarios where it would be appropriate to do your work in multiple Revit projects and then link them together for coordination. So in this movie, what I'm going to do, is link in an MEP model that was created with the HVAC system for this building. And then we'll take a look at how that comes in and then use that as a coordination tool going forward. So, I'm in a file called Link Revit and I'm just in the Level 1 Floor Plan currently, and what I want to do is bring in this MEP model. So I go to the Insert tab, and then here I'm going to click the Link Revit button. Then I bring up the browse window and any of the Revit projects that I have available will be shown.

And I'm going to select this one here, called MEP Model. Now, if you watched the movie on linking CAD formats, there was a whole bunch of options down at the bottom of the dialog. But you'll notice here, when we link on Revit project, there's only one option, Positioning. Where do you want it to go? Well, hopefully, if you're coordinating with an MEP engineer, the two of you have coordinated you origin. So, in this case, I'm going to choose auto origin to origin, and that will mean that the two files will line up perfectly with one another. They share a common origin. I'm assuming that the engineering file was created from the architectural file. And usually the, that will, make sure that the origins match. If they don't match, you can always just move the file after it comes in. But let's give this a try.

I'm going to go ahead an click Open. A message is appearing that there's a nested link that's going to be invisible. So the MEP engineers started with an architectural model as the background, so they're not going to recreate all of the architecture. They actually use linking as well to create their model from. So they started with an empty project, they linked in the architectural model, and then they built their ducts and other engineering data inside that model. So what this message is telling me is, that Revit is only going to bring in the MEP model.

It's going to leave behind the architectural model. And that's perfectly fine. So I'm going to click Close here. This particular view, it doesn't look like anything happened. Well, all of the HVAC stuff is happening up above the ceiling. So this is really not the best view for us to see the result of what we just did. We might want to open up a section here or a ceiling plan. One of those views would give us a better look at what just happened. Now if you want to verify that a file actually did get linked in, you can come over here to the project browser. Scroll down.

And at the very bottom of the browser is the Revit links option. If you expand that, you can see that there's an MEP model listed there and it's got this little blue down arrow next to it. That's how we know that, that model is loaded, and it's currently active in the file. If it had a red x it would be telling us that it was unloaded. So this one has the blue arrow, that means it's basically ready to go. So let's take a look at where that file is. I'm going to scroll back up. And there's two places we might want to check out. Let's try the ceiling plan. So I'm going to do level two ceiling plan.

And you'll notice that a series of diffusers and returns are appearing here on the ceiling plan now and they're in those colors, so they're real easy to see. Those are the Revit link models. So if I put my mouse over here, you could see it wants to highlight the ceiling, but if I press the Tab key, at some point the message will say Revit link. And if I click, notice that all of those highlight and there's that box that surrounds the thing. If you zoom out, you can kind of see it right there. That's the Revit link. So you can see the Revit link is superimposed directly over our architectural file and it appears right there. If you double-click this section head, that's another way that you can see this MEP information.

It's right there. So again, if I highlight these lines right here, that outline appears up there, and we click on them and we can see that MEP information that has been added to our project. Linking in a Revit project is a fairly simple process to achieve and it's a great way for you to coordinate your efforts with other users who are also using Revit, be they external consultants working outside your firm or other users within your firm, if you're doing a multi building project.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with Revit.


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Q: Will Revit 2014 files work in a previous version of Revit? Will the exercise files for this course work in Revit 2013?
A: Revit file formats are not backwards compatible. A new file format is introduced with each new release. Newer versions of Revit can open older version files without issue. However, files will be upgraded to the latest file format during the initial open. Once saved in the current version, there is no way to save them back to a previous version. Therefore, it is important to consider this issue carefully and discuss it with all project team members before beginning a project. For example, it is not possible for the architect to use a newer version of the software than the consulting engineers and vice-versa. All members of the team must collaborate using the same version/file format. This course was authored using Revit 2014. Therefore, its exercise files can be used with any flavor of Revit (Architecture, MEP, Structure, or LT) 2014 and later. Files cannot be opened with versions 2013 and prior.
 
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