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    Using a Separate Central File for Linking all Project Files

    This may take a couple of lines to explain, so please bear with me.

    Our firm is multi-discipline, and as such we use multiple Revit files linked together: Architectural, Electrical, Fire Protection, Mechanical, Plumbing and Structural, all in separate Central Files.

    Our current project templates has each file with links to the other 5 as Overlays. This has worked very well, especially with view control, file sizes and so forth.

    Today, one of our Revit users introduced an idea where we would add a 7th Central File (he called it a 'hub') to the project, and it's role would be to have the other 6 files linked into it. In turn, the 6 Central Files would only have the 'hub' linked in as an attachment so the other files would come in.

    Using a test project this afternoon, a very experienced member of the CAD-BIM Department did a test with a small project, as our first thought was that this would never work as far as keeping visibility options and category control over the linked files, but it appears that you still do. And of course circular references are not an issue either, but we did find one draw back.

    It appears that each file, using this method, becomes the same size as the largest file of the group. This must be a by-product of using a Central hub file with all of the linked files. We're going to test some more, and frankly this is a big issue with us as it takes a project which used less than a Gig of drive space to nearly 1.75Gb, and repeat that 80 times a year (approx. number of Revit projects we have per year), that's a lot of traffic and storage space. Also, it means all of the machines in the office will need to be able to handle the larger file sizes...which 200MB is our typical files size, but already we're seeing 250+ on an unfinished project.

    So my question to all of you is this.....has anyone here tried such a thing in your office, or know of any reason to use this method, or more importantly NOT use this method.

    Thanks in advance, I look forward to seeing what everyone says.
    Tim Collier
    CAD/IT Support
    Cromwell Architects Engineers
    Little Rock, Arkansas

    #2
    I have never tried anything quite like this, but it's a really interesting question. I would think the reason for such a huge file size would be that all of the links in the 'Hub' are set to attachment...? If they are set to overlay in the same situation what is the file size you end up with?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Jj Mac View Post
      If they are set to overlay in the same situation what is the file size you end up with?
      as in the OP, "less than a Gig" - but that's because they're links, as opposed to, the models in their (practical) entirety - albeit minus views and sheets.

      I would say thanks but no thanks Tim, and stick with how you've been set up to date. I have yet to see any real value in using attached links.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Jj Mac View Post
        If they are set to overlay in the same situation what is the file size you end up with?
        Setting them to Overlay would defeat the purpose of the "hub" file wouldn't it?

        I used to do a similar thing with Xrefs in AutoCAD only by floors. Made dealing with xclips and drafting elevations/sections a lot easier.
        Greg McDowell Jr
        about.me/GMcDowellJr

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by GMcDowellJr View Post
          Setting them to Overlay would defeat the purpose of the "hub" file wouldn't it?
          Exactly, nothing would show up in the linked model.

          As far as something similar, I have created composite model files when I had a campus with multiple buildings, but never anything like this.
          Tim Collier
          CAD/IT Support
          Cromwell Architects Engineers
          Little Rock, Arkansas

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            #6
            Ah yes, I see that now.
            Last edited by Jj Mac; September 19, 2012, 10:36 PM.

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              #7
              Originally posted by colliert View Post
              This may take a couple of lines to explain, so please bear with me.
              So my question to all of you is this.....has anyone here tried such a thing in your office, or know of any reason to use this method, or more importantly NOT use this method.
              Do you use copy/monitor in your office? If so, how does this set up affect that, being that the files in the hub are set to attachment?
              Last edited by Jj Mac; September 19, 2012, 10:48 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                We definitely use copy/monitor, that's a great point. We'll definitely have to test that...

                After the post above about what advantages there are, I asked the user what would make it better than what we're doing now....he thought it would speed things up having fewer linked files, but we've pretty much disproved that already.

                Thanks for the feedback everyone...I'll certainly post the findings here regarding copy/monitor, but it's looking less likely we'll do this.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I dont like this method, since you lose the ability to demand load/unload/reload individual links, which gets really old really quick. Also, i dont know of ANY benefits to doing it with the *hub.*
                  Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
                  @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Aaron, we just discovered that Worksets go away as well....this is a big no go.

                    Again, thanks everyone for your feedback!
                    Tim Collier
                    CAD/IT Support
                    Cromwell Architects Engineers
                    Little Rock, Arkansas

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