November 14, 2012

Part 1: Loaded Type Has Been Renamed… to Protect the Innocent

Copy/Monitor Quirkiness Between Revit MEP and Revit Architecture

While researching an issue for an Ideate BIMLink customer, I ran into some quirky issues with the Revit MEP Copy/Monitor tool as it pertains to the copying of the “Architecture” families into the MEP project. 

Major Problem: My copy/monitored Revit Architectural families that show up in the Revit MEP project is not in the exact same location, nor does ALL of my parameter information come across and it does not get updated if I make a change!

To properly answer the above question we need to separate it out into its individual problem statements. 

Problem 1: Families are not in the same location. 

The reason for this is twofold. One is this statement from the Revit MEP help file itself: When copied, the host-based fixture type is automatically converted to a face-based fixture type in Revit. (The geometry of the original fixture family is copied to a face-based family in Revit.) This conversion enables easier hosting of these fixtures on surfaces in linked models. 

Family Changed From Ceiling to Face

The second has to do with how the Revit family itself was built. Most, if not all of the out of the box Revit MEP families were created with reference plans that are set to “act” or “define” the origin. Whereas not every Revit Architecture family has reference plans set that way. This is very apparent when a Revit Architecture family is swapped out for a Revit MEP family, as shown in the following video:

Family Changed to Type Mapping

As you notice in this particular video the height of the Revit Architecture outlet is 9.75" - which does carry over to the Revit MEP outlet, however, due to the way the Revit Architecture and Revit MEP families were built, the heights cannot be relied upon to match.

Problem 2: All of my Parameter information does not come across from the Linked model. 

This issue is a bit more problematic. One would assume that if a parameter exists on a Revit Architecture family then the information will come across into the Linked family. Alas, it is not to be, as demonstrated:

Family with Custom Parameters Copied

Problem 3: Parameters do not get “updated” when changed in the Linked model. 

When parameters are changed regardless of copy/monitor or type mapped – those changed values do not come through at all – only the initial copy/monitor will transfer the parameters and only those that are “type” and “system” – as noted. If the offset value (which is a parameter) is changed in the Revit Architecture file while item is copy monitored it does not cause the Revit MEP linked project to consider the fixture moved when using the Copy Monitor feature. Only if the fixture is “physically” moved (in the xyz) then Revit will generate a coordination warning.

Stay tuned because in December we’ll share information about using Ideate BIMLink as a way to push this instance data from the Revit Architecture to the Revit MEP file.

Bill Johnson
Ideate Senior MEP Application Specialist

Bill has over 20 years experience in applying AEC design solutions for large commercial companies. A graduate of Pasadena Institute of Technology, he has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill has also had the opportunity to act as Lead AutoCAD Designer for multimillion dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.

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