The eTransmit Add-In
As a Structural Engineer, Designer, or BIM Technician, you have probably had to share Autodesk® Revit® files with your design team or anyone involved in the project along the way. Below I am going to outline one of my favorite Revit add-ins that will hopefully make your file sharing process a little bit easier. The eTransmit add-in has been around for a while now, but is very versatile and helpful.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Some common issues that can occur when sending Revit files to clients are not including dependent files, which in some cases can render the file useless, and not detaching your intended file to be shared from the Central Model.
Figure 1: Central file error
eTransmit allows you to group all dependent files into a designated folder while detaching the model from central, which will eliminate the need for your file recipient to take some additional steps to use the files once received.
Some common uses for eTransmit are:
- Internal archiving
- Sending deliverables to clients
- Model exchanges between consultants/partners
- Sharing models between disciplines
- Upgrading models
What’s Under the Hood?
Let’s go through the options available in this tool (Figure 2).
Figure 2: The eTransmit interface
A. This area is where you will choose the model you want to transmit along with the location where you want to save the model. Here, you also have the option to create a transmittal and an error report and the option to create a separate folder for each source file.
B. The “Add Files” area is where you can find options on what files you want to include when you eTransmit a model. You can include items such as linked Revit models, CAD files, etc. that will be included in the folder you chose in Step A.
C. The upgrade and cleanup area of the interface allows you to purge unused items, disable worksets, and even eliminate all or certain sheets from your model as well as limit the views you include. This is a great area to control the content and the file size of the model.
D. Once you set the options you prefer in areas A thru C, you can choose to save the settings for the next time you use eTransmit. This can be a nice timesaver when you are sharing models through the lifetime of the project on a regular basis.
E. Now just hit the Transmit Model button and let eTransmit work its magic. The only thing left to do is share your document through your preferred method (Newforma, Dropbox, etc.).
Where to Go
Now that you know of all the wonderful things this tool can do, you are probably wondering where in Revit you will need to go to locate the eTransmit add-in. Click on your Add-ins tab within Revit; eTransmit has its own panel. See Figure 3 for a visual aid on where to go.
Figure 3: Locating eTransmit in Revit
Follow this Workflow
We hit on some of this already, but it can’t hurt to review the workflow to follow when using this tool. As with most tools, there is a preferred method of use to follow. Follow this workflow to package a Revit model for transmission and you will be successful.
- *Ensure that all models are closed*. On the eTransmit panel of the Add-Ins tab, click Transmit a Model. This is the most important step to follow.
- Select the model(s), a target directory, and file types to transmit.
- Optional: Select to open and save models in the active version of Revit (upgrade).
- Optional: If upgrading, select to purge unused families and other Revit objects.
- eTransmit for Autodesk Revit inspects the model, repaths and saves all linked files and external files in the target directory. If the options were selected, the files are also upgraded, and unused objects are purged before the files are saved to the target directory.
- Optional: Open the transmitted model in the target directory to validate transmission.
- Send the model by email, FTP, or another method.
- The recipient opens the transmitted model.
- For a workshared model, the recipient selects an option in the Transmitted model dialog.
Even though the eTransmit add-in has been around for a while, it can be a very useful workhorse when it comes to sharing Revit models.
In my opinion, the ability to automate some of the needed and recommended steps when it comes to sharing Revit models is huge. Not only does using this tool save you time, but it also adds a level of consistency to your processes leading to a more successful project.
In an industry that relies heavily on relationships, trust, and competency, file sharing is so important! The next time you come across the need to share a model with a client, give the eTransmit add-in a try.
Jason Lush is a BIM Technician with the VDC Group at Kinsley Construction in York, Pennsylvania. Jason is also the Revit Structure Content Editor for AUGIWorld, He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.