Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Copy Monitor; Grids

I find that even experienced Revit users are not too familiar with Revit's Copy/Monitor feature. This is a feature I recommend be used on every project in the multi-discipline firm I work for. It has some pros and cons, which I will highlight in the next few posts.

In my experience, most BIM projects have a separate structural model. Structural owns the grids. If a change needs to be made to the grids, structural should be the one, and the only one, making changes to grids.

There is often a desire to adjust the length of a grid in the architectural and MEP models - for example, adjusting the...
grids so they do not extend through the exterior elevations. Enter Revit's Copy/Monitor feature. But, more useful than having control of the graphic representation of Grids is the alerts provided that something has changed related to grids.

Here is the big-picture overview of the Copy/Monitor workflow for grids. The same steps would be followed in both the Architectural model(s) and MEP model(s)...

The structural model has the grids. They are only ever created here, in this model. In this example, see image below, we have five grids.

In the architectural model, the structural model is linked in and we initially see the grids. However, they cannot be modified; e.g. which side the bubble appears on, position of the bubble, the length of the line, etc. Of course, we would not want to preposition the grid laterally.

Using the Copy/Monitor command, we can make a Copy of the grids, which are then Monitored.

Once the Copy/Monitor mode is started, we click the Copy command (see image below) and start clicking on grids (which are coming from the structural model) in the model. Click Finish when done selecting all the grids.

Now, when a grid is selected it shows a Monitor symbol as pointed out below.

We can re-position the Grid Head as shown in the next image. When we do, we notice the original linked Grids are still showing. These can be hidden via Visibility/Graphics Overrides and View Templates.

If we go back into the structural model and make a few changes, as pointed out in the image below, we will see what happens the next time the Arch or MEP models are opened.

Don't ignore this warning! It will appear every time the project is opened until resolved. If you think you are not the person to fix it, but it keeps popping up, search out someone who can make the call on the project.

The warning indicates that a Coordination Review is required. This happens when elements being monitored have changed in the host project. Expanding this warning we see something in the structural model has changed.

The start up warning is just that, a warning - it does not change anything. In the image below, the architectural model shows the modified columns correctly and the new one. But grid #2 is in the old location and the new grid A.2 does not show up.

To actually do a Coordination Review, click the Coordination Review --> Select Link from the Manage tab. Now, click on any part of the linked structural model.

The Coordination Review dialog shows all the monitored elements which have changed. Notice, in the image below, that grid 2 has changed.

There are four Action options:

  • Postpone
  • Reject
  • Accept difference
  • Modify Grid '2'

Seeing as Structural is in control of Grids, I almost always select Modify. Using this workflow, I am given a very granular opportunity to keep tabs on what has changed (great for  MEP, to know when ducts might need to be adjusted). Another option which can show up is when structural deletes a grid - selecting Modify results in your copy being deleted..

Once you click Modify, we see our copy of Grid 2 is now moved to the correct location.

The big downfall with this workflow is that new grids are not flagged and we hid the structural grids. This is where it might be helpful to have a coordination view that always has the Grids showing from all links. This will help identify new grids in the structural model and potentially outdated grids in other disciplines's models.
FYI: Keep in mind, you do not have to include all grids in the structural model. It is possible to intentionally lave some out.
There is a lot more to talk about related to Copy/Monitor... so, stay tuned.


  1. unable to copy/monitor speciality equipment (fir cabinets) from architectural link, do you know how to do that.

  2. Check in Help for he categories which may be Copy/Monitored... you will see SE and Casework are not in that list.


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