Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Copy Monitor: Light Fixtures, Part 2

The Batch Copy part of the Copy/Monitor tool came after the original six categories we could use the tool on, which are listed in the previous post on this topic;Copy Monitor: Light Fixtures . I am not sure why everything that can be Copy/Monitored could not be part of the Batch Copy functionality. I do know this newer feature was developed in conjunction with Revit MEP, and that is why we can only use it on MEP Fixtures.

As you will see in this post, based on the challenges with this feature, I would rather have this work with grids and levels which do not have phasing. Knowing about a new grid is pretty important.

Continuing the discussion on Copy/Monitor and lighting fixture, I will...
use this post to highlight the automated Bach Copy functionality. In addition to the basic Copy/Monitor functionality, the Batch Copy feature will check the linked model for new elements, within specified categories, each time you open the host Revit model.

Below is our MEP model, with a linked architectural model. To show how this feature works I created existing, existing to be demolished, new and a design option. The design option has one 2x4 fixture in the primary option and a 2x2 fixture in a secondary option.

In the architectural model we start the Copy/Monitor tool and select the linked MEP model. On the contextual Copy/Monitor tab, on the Ribbon, we select Coordination Settings as shown here.

Here are the options available for each MEP device...

Copy behavior:
  • Allow batch copy
  • Copy Individually
  • Ignore category
Mapping behavior:
  • Copy original
  • Specify type mapping
When selecting Specify type mapping, we get a Type Mapping sub-item as shown here.

This Type Mapping allows us to pre-define what Revit does when we use Copy/Monitor (manually or via batch copy) on this category (lighting fixtures in this case). The default is basically what happens with the original six categories; that is, the original family from the linked model is used. We can also select Don't copy this type if we want to ignore this content.

If the host project has lighting fixtures loaded, you can even specify a different type be used as the replacement. This replacement must have the same hosting (i.e. face based versus ceiling) as shown in the image below. Also, the content should have the same relative origin to avoid shifting.

In line with my previous suggestion, Revit prompts to Copy/Monitor Levels from the linked model. However, I suggest everyone Copy/Monitor the architectural levels (but mainly, whatever the entire team agrees on).

Now, after adjusting the Coordination Settings, clicking Batch Copy will present the message shown below. Well, we literally just specified the type mapping, so click Copy the fixtures option.

All the lighting fixtures have been copied into the project as shown here. Sadly, every one of them are set to the New Constriction phase. This batch feature is not very helpful on remodel and addition projects. Plus, the element set to be demolished is a shinny new product, not set to be demolished at all.

To continue to show the big-picture intended workflow, I go back into the MEP model and add a few light fixtures and make what was the secondary option primary (via Make Primary command). All the new stuff just added is New Construction.

Now, when opening the architectural model we get the Coordination Review required prompt.

Clicking OK, we get this Fixtures Found dialog... and again, you would typically just select Copy the fixtures.

More bad news... now all the newly copy/monitored elements are on the Existing phase. Not sure why 'existing' now and 'new' before. Keep in mind this happens at open, so the phase setting of the view is not applicable (however this is a new test project and does not even have existing views). Plus, the element in the original primary design option is still there and the element in the "new" primary design option has been copied right on top of it.

In the past, we tried this on a project; bog messy remodel and addition for a school. One of the goals was to copy/monitor plumbing fixtures with a simplified family that essentially just had the MEP connectors (cold water and waste). Doing this (manually or with Copy/Monitor) allows the architects to control the location and graphic, and the MEP designer to still connect to something that is a "plumbing fixture" to close the system and develop loads. In addition to phasing, I know we had some issues with mirrored plumbing fixtures not being mirrored after the batch Copy/Monitor. However, in my test below the fixture appears to mirror just fine.

Mirror test, MEP model...

Mirror test, Architectural model...

The big-picture concept for batch Copy/Monitor is pretty cool, but does not really function properly in the real world:(

If you have developed special tricks or workflows to take advantage of this feature, please share in the comments section below...

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