Scoping out the Grid

Scoping out the Grid

So the other evening, I was working through a model setup and I came across something i never noticed before. Being alone in the office, I posted my findings to my favorite 140-char rant space.

In all honesty, I didnt expect much to come of it, but some of the Revit elite called me out on it almost immediately. It actually caught me off-guard, as most of the time, my tweets dont cause too much of a comotion.

In a later tweet, @rpiboy mentioned that it didn’t feel like revit and I agreed. It really didnt feel Revit like and I felt called to action to dive a bit deeper into it. I put together a video real quick to validate the results that i had found.

In creating the video, it seemed to validate that when a Revit model that contains grid-lines that are constrained to a scope box, the grid-lines will not be visible in a host model when linked.

The Setup:

I started with our Standard 2014 Template and built up:

  • Simple Floor Plan
  • Standard building section
  • Set of Grid Lines
  • Set of Levels
  • Scope Box that Extends X/Y to extents of Gridlines and Beyond lowest / highest level Elevation.

Once created, I saved that off as my ‘linked’ model. Then duplicated the model and deleted the datum elements and saved it as the ‘host model’.

This allowed me to have identical datasets minus the datum and isolate the conditions down to the grids & levels and not worry about any other variables.

I then did an Origin-Origin link of the ‘linked’ model into the ‘host’ on an always visible workset. I ensured the workset was loaded and that the link was completely resolved. Upon opening the floor-plan in the host model, I was presented with a blank view, where the grids should have been. Synced, Reloaded, Manage worksets and checked visibility/graphics (from my standpoint, I could not find any odd-ball setting that was throwing this off)

At this point, It seemed the scope box was the driving issue. In the same revit session , I loaded up the ‘link’ model and popped open one of my favorite schedules, our “Grid Backcheck” which lists the grids, the associated scopebox, and grid name. I set all the scopeboxes to ‘none’, synced up and closed the file. No other steps were taken. Back in the host, I used the project browser to reload the ‘link’ model and WHAMO the grids were back.

Still with me? Good. Here’s the thing, When I posted the original tweet, I failed to check levels in isolation. So when i saw the issue with the grids, i made the assumption that levels would behave the same way. Ohh, as the ol’ saying goes, “IF you assume you make an a** out of u and me.” Yup, levels behave exactly as @LukeyJohnson suggested:

As the section intersects the extents of the levels it makes total sense. I would expect that with all datum elements. So, where does this leave this whole topic?

It turns out through further testing, that it gets even more specific. When a linked model has a scope box applied to it’s Grids, the grids are visible in a section that cuts through the section box. However, the grids WILL NOT be visible in plans. Why? I have no idea currently but from every test that I tried, it seemed to remain a constant. And like i hastly posted, do what you will with this information but at least now, I am abit more confident that this is a repeatable condition.

Linked Grids associated to a Scope box will show in section but will NOT be visible in plans.

To me, this is bizarre and I would have never thought Revit would behave this way. I did a search on the googlez and it seems to have come up a few times before and often resolved without a clear resolution such as this post from 2013 on Revit Forum. With that being said, Im compelled to believe that this is truly the way Revit behaves for good or bad. In hind sight, I should have done more due-diligence before tweeting, as you never know who will pay attention to it. I feel a bit of remorse becasue it could have set a revit user down the wrong path if they blindly followed that statement. Lesson learned. A little egg on the face but that’s ok. Failure is always an option.

I’d love to hear from others out there and see if they have ever experienced this anomoly as well and if this may truly be the root culprit.

In the spirit of Revit OpEd and the very talented Steve Stafford, I hope to classify this as a “Dept. of Subtle” post.


For anyone that does encounter this issue, Luke Johnson has posted his follow-up on this topic. (Which thank god, he was able to reproduce the oddity) He closes his post out with a few workarounds to contend with the linked scope boxes. Thanks Luke!