Saturday, March 18, 2017

Materials in Linked Revit Models

This is my "hello world" blog post... I hope you like it! In this first post I want to share some material from my top rated Mastering Materials class I presented at RTC (now BILT) Singapore in 2015.

Revit materials are used in renderings and analysis tools such as Autodesk Insight 360 (i.e. thermal properties and reflectances for daylight), ElumTools (i.e. reflectances for daylighting and electric lighting illuminance calcs) and "VR-enablers" such as Enscape, Revizto and Fuzor.

When dealing with linked Revit models, all materials need to be set in the source Revit file. This can be tricky if the linked file is coming from an external consultant.

Following the image below are notes on how each material was applied in the MEP Revit model -- which will then appear properly when linked into the architectural model. FYI, this image is from the Revit model of our LEED CI Platinum office in Minneapolis, MN, USA. USGBC-MN is also co-located here through donated space by LHB.

Adding materials in a mechanical model

A: You can set a material in Object Styles to quickly apply a material everything, in a sepcific category, in the model as shown in the image below. This is overridden by the subsequent techniques mentioned below.

Add material via Object Styles in a mechanical model

B: It is also possible to Paint materials on some elements. This is required if the color needs to change. For round duct, you need to paint four separate quadrants for each section of duct. Also, you cannot paint a material on a duct fitting.

C: Most Loadable Content (i.e. regular families) can have materials assigned as usual.

D: You can also assign materials to the Duct or Pipe Systems as shown in the image below.

Adjusting the duct material via the duct system type

When working with a consulting firm, they will need to send any custom image files (jpg, png) with the model. For multi-discipline firms, like mine, we save custom files in a common location on the network and that path is added in Options > Rendering so everyone in the firm "sees" them.

Fun stuff.


  1. What about, Linked arch model to our elec model, I am trying to render in elum tools a stairwell and I cannot see landings or steps.....

  2. Elements must have a material assigned to them in Revit, otherwise ElumTools (ET) will ignore it. Also, you can try the ET Render View command. ET does work with stairs - for example, you can add points along a sloped line and see illuminance values along the slope of the stair.

  3. Hi Dan, I am trying to find out how Fuzor goes with linked models. ie. Can you move items from a linked model and have that live update the linked Revit model? From this post it sounds like you couldn't.

    1. If you have Revit and Fuzor linked, you can simply edit the linked mode in Revit and Fuzor will automatically bring in those changes.
      Step 1: In Fuzor select an object that belongs to a linked file
      Step 2: Click edit in BIM box to open linked file in Revit
      Step 3: In Revit, make changes to linked file
      Results: Fuzor will automatically sync those changes over
      If you are using composite loading, you can use the .chl to save the location of the linked files. If there is a change made to one of the linked files, the next time the .chl is loaded it will have the changes.
      Step 1: Composite load .che files
      Step 2: Create a .chl from the Linked file manager
      Step 3: Exit Fuzor
      Step 4: Open up the linked file that you would like to modify
      Step 5: Modify linked file in the .chl document
      Results: The next time the .chl is loaded, the changes from the linked file will be shown

      I hope this was helpful. If you do need help, the developers of Fuzor can be reached at 760-602-7959.