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Graitec PowerPack - Openings Tool and how to use it with Revit linked files.

If you have not yet installed the Graitec Power Pack for Revit then you are missing out on some great additional tools within Revit such as Link to Excel, the Re-Numbering tool, and numerous Structural Reinforcement tools to name just a few. This article, however, is all about the Openings Tool.

The Openings Tool examines your architectural model, finds all the intersections of Pipework and Ductwork etc. and then proceeds to place holes around the systems to your predetermined specification.

Follow this link for a general overview of the Opening Tool.

After you have been using this tool for a while, for testing perhaps, you may then want to use it in a real project. The normal starting position for MEP engineers is to link an Architectural plan in; this is where things may get interesting, as it doesn’t always work the way people expect. This has been raised in some recent technical support requests that we have been helping with, and therefore, we’ll guide you on what you can do to make the most of this tool.

With a Revit-linked file on certain types of walls, the opening tool may produce an error message. This is likely to be due to the Open tool expecting to work with wall and slabs that are defined as structural. So, what is the fix? Simply open the original Revit model that you are linking, select all the walls and slab where systems are running through and change their Structural Property to Structural via the available check box in the Properties Palette. Save the file, possibly with an amended name and relink the architectural file.
Running the opening tool will now produce all the wall and slab voids you need around your various MEP systems.

For further clarification please take a look at this short video: 

What Next?

After changing the walls to structural, if this is a shared file, having the wall & slab definition changed could affect other Revit systems, to avoid this, you can open the amended architectural file and re-set the wall and slabs back to their normal setting. The voids that the Graitec Power Pack Opening tool produced will still be in the model!

We can then save the file, assuming the file name and location have not changed, then the Revit Link in our MEP project will still be valid and everything is as it should be.

MEP Design Changes

It is worth noting that if you have reverted the Architectural walls and slabs back but you need to make system changes, re-routing pipes etc. then the Openings Tool will no longer work. It is worth considering if the pipe or duct design still may need changing before reverting the walls and slabs; if it does need changing, then leave the linked file as is and then changes can be made by re-using the Power Pack Opening tools to refresh all the voids, removing old and generating new where needed.

Yes, this is a bit of a work around and our development team are working towards making it smoother to use with all walls and slab types in a future release, time unknown at this point.

The opening tool is a very useful aid available from the Graitec Power Pack that is free to our customers.

Read more about Graitec PowerPack for Revit by following the link below: 

Find out more about the Graitec Revit PowerPack

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