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RevitMEPWorksetsandModelManagement

Martin Schmid, P.E. Autodesk

ME310-1
Utilizing Revit MEP requires having a Revit Architecture model into which MEP elements
can be placed. Many MEP consultants work both with architects and in a separate linked model from the
architectural model. This advanced level class explores the process for sharing models, including tips for
organizing models for the extended design team. Additionally, well demonstrate methods for using worksets
to organize Revit models for multidiscipline collaboration. Planned organization of Revit worksets can help the
extended design team control model memory requirements, as well as display model elements. Even if youre
not utilizing linked models, many concepts of this class will apply to the multidiscipline design team.

About the Speaker:


Before accepting the role of Project Consultant at Autodesk, Martin worked as a mechanical and electrical
systems designer and, most recently, as an engineering coordinator. Martin has been using AutoCAD since
Release 10, and is fluent in the customization of Autodesk products, including AutoCAD Architecture,
AutoCAD MEP, and Revit MEP using .NET.
Martin has worked closely with both the AutoCAD MEP and the Revit MEP development team to share
insights gained while consulting with customers, and has developed custom solutions for customers built on
AutoCAD Revit MEP Suite to streamline documentation and analysis workflows.

martin.schmid@autodesk.com

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RevitMEPWorksetsandModelManagement

TableofContents
LinkingRevitModels.................................................................................................................................3
UtilizingArchitecturalWorksets...............................................................................................................5
CreatingWorksets.....................................................................................................................................7
ElementBorrowingvs.WorksetOwnership.............................................................................................8
ControllingVisibilityinLinkedFiles.........................................................................................................10
UsingObjectStyles.............................................................................................................................10
UsingLinkedDisplaySettings.............................................................................................................11
ControlVisibility......................................................................................................................................12
CreatingViewFilters...........................................................................................................................13
ApplyingViewFilters...........................................................................................................................14
QuickReference:ModelConfigurationProcedures..............................................................................16
StepstoLinkaFile..............................................................................................................................16
QuickReference:StepstoCopy/MonitoraProject...........................................................................17
QuickReference:CoordinationReview.............................................................................................18

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LinkingRevitModels
Ingeneral,theOrigintooriginoptionprovidesthemostpredictableoutcomewhenlinkingmodels,and
forlongtimeCADusers,thisshouldbenosurprise.WhatmaybeofsurpriseisthattheorigininaRevit
modelisntreadilyapparentbecausethecoordinatesystemisntdirectlyaccessibleintheRevitUI.
UsingtheOrigintooriginoptionisakintoinsertingat(0,0)intraditionaldraftingapplications.

EventhoughtheCentertoCenteroptionisthedefaultoption,itisnttypicallyusedtolinkentire
buildingmodels(MEP,Architecture,Structure).Thereasonisthatthecenterofthemodelschangeinall
threecoordinateaxesasthemodeldevelops.Forexampletheimageontheleftbelowshowsan
ArchitecturalModellinkedintoanMEPmodel,andtheMEPmodelcontainsasingleduct.Theimageon
therightshowstheductlinkedbackintotheArchitecturalmodelusingtheCentertoCenteroption.As
youcansee,theductiscenteredintothemodel,andclearlynotinthelocationintendedbytheMEP
designteam.

Figure 1 MEP model on the left imported into the architectural model on the right using the Center-to-Center
option.

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Figure 2 Model linked Center-to-center

ThefigureaboveshowsthesameMEPmodellinkedintothearchitecturalmodelinelevationview.
Whatyouseehereisthattheductisinthecenterofthelevelthatthemodeliscenteredbetweenthe
architecturalLevel1andLevel2,andthelevellines,thus,donotalign.Clearly,Centertocenteroption
isnotwhatisdesired.
IftheCentertoCenteroptionisdesired(inmyexperience,Ihavenotcomeupwithausecase),you
maygetthefollowingmessage.Thismessageindicatesthatyourvisibilityorviewrangesettingsmay
precludetheimportedgeometryfromshowing.Fortheexampleabove,bydefault,ductsarenotvisible
inarchitecturalviews,soimportingaMEPmodelmayresultinnothingvisibleinthecurrentview.
Adjustingvisibilityandviewrangesettingspriortoimportingmaybenecessary.

Tip:Oncethemodelislinked,
pinitinplace!Thiswillpreventyouforinadvertentlymoving
it.ItWONTpreventitbeingdeleted;however,awarningisissuedwhenauserattemptstodeletea
pinnedorlinkedelement.
Consideranotherissue:Thearchitectmovesthewholebuilding(theywouldntdothat,wouldthey?!)

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Whatwecandohereissketchinsomereferencelinesatsomeoriginalgridintersectionusingthe
Architecturalmodelpriortothebuildingshift(youdidkeepabackup,didntyou?).Afterdoingthis,you
canthenuse
linesifyouwish).

toalignthearchitecturalmodelwiththereferencelines(thendeletethereference

UtilizingArchitecturalWorksets
Worksetsshouldhelpyouorganizeyourmodelinwaysthathelptheextendeddesignteamutilizethe
modelinthemostefficientmeanspossible.UtilizingtheworksetsfromtheArchitecturalmodelcanbe
advantageousiftheworksetshavebeencreated,andused,inamannerthatsupportseffective
collaboration.Whenlinkinganarchitecturalmodel,itispossibletospecifywhatworksetstoload.In
theAddLinkwindowbelow,theOpenWorksets:optionissettoSpecify.Whenlinkingafileusingthis
option,theuserispromptedwithalistoftheworksetsavailableinthefilebeinglinked.

Tonotloadparticularworksets,simplyselecttheworksetnamefromthelist,andclicktheClosebutton.
Whenthefileislinked,thememorywiththeassociatedunloadedworksetsisnotconsumed,andcan
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keepasignificantamountofRAMfrombeingutilized.Additionally,sincethegraphicsforthese
particularworksetsdontneedtobegenerated,youmayexperiencebetteroverallperformance.

Asyoucanseebelow,evenwiththeExteriorCurtainSystemworksetturnedoff,theroomelementsare
stillboundedbytheexteriorgeometry.Thisisbecausetheroomsarecopy/monitoredfromthe
underlyingarchitecturalroom,andarenotboundbythegeometryinthehostmodel.

Tospecifyadifferentworksetconfiguration(i.e.,unloadtheInteriorWallsworksettoworkonjustthe
Core),rightclickontheappropriatelinkedfileunderRevitLinksintheProjectBrowser,andselect
ReloadFromLeavethefilenameselectionasis,andselectSpecifyforOpenWorksets.ClickOpen,
andthenselectivelyclosetheworksetsyoudontwanttoopenasbefore.

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MEPusersmayconfigureworksetstohelparchitectsandstructuralengineersselectivelyloadworksets.
AnexampleofthiswouldbetoutilizeaseparateworksetforallMEPequipment.Thiswillallowthe
structuralengineerandarchitecttoloadonlytheequipmentintotheirmodelforvisualscreening,point
loadandreinforcementverification,andclearancevalidation,withouthavingtoloadalltheductwork,
lighting,andotherMEPappurtenances.

CreatingWorksets
Itiseasytogooverboardwiththequantityofworksetswithouttheproperinsight.DoNOTuse
worksetsasareplacementforlayercontrol(youshouldbeusingVisibility/GraphicsOverridesandView
Templatestoaccomplishmostvisibilityrelatedtasks).Themoreworksetsyouhave,thelesslikelyyou
aretoplaceelementsintothecorrectworksets,andthus,thelessusefultheybecome.Ifyoudont
knowwhyyourecreatingtheworkset,thendont.Moreimportantly,ifotherusersdontknowwhythe
worksetexists,confusionandmisusemayensue.Thereisnoautomatedmechanismbywhichtoensure
elementsareplacedinaparticularworkset.However,tochangetheworksetanelementbelongsto,
simplyselecttheelement(s),andinthePropertieswindow,selecttheappropriateworkset.

IftheWorksetpropertyisreadonly,asshownbelow,thisindicatesthattheelementsyouhaveselected
arenoneditable.I.e.,theyareinaworksetthatyoudonothaveownershipof.Tobeabletochange
theworksetoftheelement,youmustfirstmaketheelementeditable.Thiscanbedonebyeither
makingtheworkseteditable(inotherwords,takingownershipoftheentireworkset),orclickingthe
controltomaketheelementeditable.Ifyouaremodifyingmanyelements,itwillprobablybequicker
tomaketheworkset(s)editable.

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ElementBorrowingvs.WorksetOwnership
InmanycasesinRevitMEP,itiseasiertoworkinwhatsomecallElementBorrowingModeinsteadof
usingWorksetOwnership.WorksetOwnershipcreatesanenvironmentwhereusersretainownership
ofentireworksets,andpermissionmustbegrantedforotheruserstomakechangestoelements.For
example,ifauserownstheMEPEquipmentworkset,andauserneedstorelocateapieceofequipment,
orevenjustchangetheMarkoftheequipment,theusermustfirstrequestpermissioninRevit,notify
theownerthattheyarerequestingpermission,andtheownermustgrantpermission.UsingElement
BorrowingMode,elementsareborrowedonthefly,andprovidesamuchmorefluidworkflow.
Worksetswereoriginallyimplementedtoallowmultipleuserstoworktogetherpriortothe
implementationoftheelementborrowingfunctionality;nowthatelementsmaybetransparently
borrowedwhenmultipleusersareworkingtogether,theremaybelimitedcaseswhereyouwouldapply
Worksetownership(i.e.,perhapstolockalinkedArchitecturalorStructuralmodel).
ThereisnosettingtouseElementBorrowingMode,itisjustamatterensuringthattheappropriate
worksetshavenoowner.Withnoowner,theelementsintheworksetareborrowedautomaticallyas
needed.ClickingSavetoCentralautomaticallyrelinquishesownershipoftheborrowedelement(s)so
thatanotherusermaymakemodificationsasnecessary.
InRevitMEP,usersshouldbeawarethateventhoughtheyarenotdirectlymodifyinganelement,they
mayendupborrowingelementsunwittingly.Asusersworkinthemodel,theymaybeinadvertently
borrowingmoreandmoreelements,andprecludingothersfromdoingthesame.Thefollowing
messageisacommonoccurrenceinsuchascenario:

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Thereasonforthisisduetothewayinformationiskept
synchronizedwithinRevitMEP.Wheneverachangeis
madetoanelementthatisdownstreamofanother
element,theinformationmustbepushedupstreamto
keepeverythingsynchronized.ForexampleifUserA
modifiestheflowatdiffuserA,theflowinformationis
propagatedthroughtheductsystemasfarasitis
connected.Whenthishappens,UserAnotonlyborrows
diffuserA,butalsobecomesborrowerofalltheother
componentsupstreamofthatcomponent.IfUserBwere
toattempttomodifytheflowofanyoftheother
terminalsatthesametime,UserBwouldreceivethe
aboveErrormessage,alertingthatUserAneedstosavetocentral.
Inmostsituationsthisiseasilymitigatedbystrategicallyassigningworktaskstousers.Inthisexample,
itprobablyisntnecessaryforUserAandUserBtobeworkingonthesameportionofthebuilding.
Whathappensinamorecomplicatedscenario?Sayforexample,multipleVAVboxesareconnected
upstreamtoacommonairhandler.Thesameissuewouldhappen,onlyatagranderscale.IfUserA
weretomodifytheflowonadiffuserinoneareaofthebuilding,potentiallyductworkallthewayback
to,andincluding,theAHUwouldbeborrowed,precludingUserBfrommakingchangestoanyelements,
eventhoughtheusermaybeworkingonacompletelydifferentportionofthebuilding.
Theeasysolutionistosimplybreaktheductworkatsomepointtokeeptheflowgoingallthewayup
stream,andtherebysegregatingthedatathatuserswillbeupdating.Intheexamplebelow,allthe
diffusersonthelevelareconnectedbacktoacommonairhandlingunitontheroof(atpointC).IfUser
AmodifiesthediffuseratpointA,allelementsthroughtopointCmaybeborrowed.Thisprecludes
UserBfrommakingachangetothediffuseratpointB,becausethiswouldrequireinformationtobe
updatedthroughtotheairhandleratpointCaswell.Toallowmultipleuserstoworktogether,the

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toolmaybeusedtocreateagapintheductsystematpointsDand/orE.Usethe
optiontocreatethisgaptocontrolhowfarinformationwillupdate.
Strategicallysegregatingthedatain
themodelcanhelpensurethat
multipleuserscanworksidebyside.
Inthescenarioabove,UserAcan
freelymodifyeverythingdownstream
ofpointD,andUserBcanfreely
modifyanythingdownstreamofpoint
E.Whenallupdateshavebeenmade,
theductsmaybeeasilystretched
backtogethertocompletethe
system.

ControllingVisibilityinLinkedFiles
Therearetwodifferentscenariosofhowyoumaywanttocontrolthevisibilityofelementsinalinked
model.Thefirstiswhereyouwanttochangethevisibility,anditisacceptablethatthischangeaffects
thevisibilityoftheelementsinthehostfile.Thesecondscenarioiswhereyouwanttoturnoffthe
visibilityofcomponentsinthearchitecturalmodel,butyouwanttoleavethevisibilityofthe
componentsoninthehostmodel.

UsingObjectStyles
ThefirstscenarioishandledusingtypicalObjectStyles(Settingsmenu)andVisibility/GraphicsOverrides
inViewProperties.Acommonexampleofthisiswhereyoumaywanttomodifythedisplayofthewalls
inyourMEPviews.Forexample,youmaywanttomakethelineworklighter,andhidetheinteriorwall
components.ThefirstportionishandledbymodifyingtheObjectStyles.Inthisexample,Ichangedthe
WallandCommonEdgescutlineweights,from5and2respectively,to1.

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Default

ModifiedObjectStyles

OverriddenViewSettings

ModifytheWallsObjectStyles

OverridetheViewsVisibility/GraphicsSettings
TheremaybeotherarchitecturalobjecttypesthatyouwanttosettoCoarse,insteadofusingtheBy
Viewsetting,suchasstairs,windows,anddoors.YoucanalsomaketheVisibility/Graphicschangesto
yourViewTemplates(Settingsmenu).Thiswillallowyoutoapplythesechangestomultipleviewsat
once.Thissimplifiesthedisplayofthearchitecturalbackground,andmayresultinaperformanceboost
sincetherearefewergraphicstogenerate.

UsingLinkedDisplaySettings
TheothermeansofcontrollingthevisibilityoflinkedelementsistoutilizetheRevitLinkstabinthe
Visiblity/GraphicOverrideswindow.Say,forexample,anarchitectutilizestheElectricalEquipment
categorytocreatethingslikethebagconveyersystemforanairport.Sure,thecorrectthingtodo
wouldbetosetthecategoryofthefamiliestoSpecialtyEquipment,butalas,youneedtocreatea
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presentationdrawing,andyouhaveallthesefunkyblobsonyourelectricaldrawing.So,whatyouneed
todoisconfigurethedisplayElectricalEquipmentinthelinkedfiletodisplaydifferentlythanthatinthe
hostfile,sothemethodemployedabovewontwork.
OntheRevitLinkstab,clickthebuttonintheDisplaySettingscolumn;bydefaultthisbuttonislabeled
ByHostView,indicatingthatthelinkedfileisdisplayedthesameasthemodelitishostedinto.
NextyouwillseetheLinkDisplaySettingswindowwiththreemainoptions.Insteadofthedefault,
selectCustom.

Then,ontheModelCategoriestab,select<Custom>fromthedropdownlist.

Youthenhavetheabilitytofinetunethedisplayofelementsbyeditingthedisplayproperties.Inthis
case,IcheckedtheHalftoneoptionfortheElectricalEquipment,andclicktheOverride..buttonunder
Linestosetthelineweightto1.

Asimilarapproachmaybeutilizedtocontrolthevisibilityofitemsrequiringvisualcoordination.Say,for
example,thearchitectplaceswaterclosetsinthemodel.However,youfindthattheyplacedfloor
mountedwaterclosetswhereitisdesirabletoutilizewallhungfixtures.Youcouldcreateaninspection
viewthatshowsthelocationsofthearchitectsfixturesinonecolor,andyourfixturesinanother.Then,
ifanychangesaremade,itwillbeeasytofindwheretherearefixturesthatdontvisiblylineup.

ControlVisibility
Inadditiontothemethodsemployedabovetocontrolvisibilityofobjects,itisalsopossibletohide
elementsusingViewFilters.Itisalsopossibletoapplyvisibilityoverridesusingfilterstomodifythe
color,lineweight,andlinetypeofelements.
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Considerthescenariowhereanabsorptionchiller,withchilledwatersupply/return,condenserwater
supply/return,andsteamsupply/returnispiped;however,allthepipingappearsthesame.Itis
desirabletosetupviewfilterstobeabletodistinguishthedifferentpipingsystems.TheSystem
Browserbelowshowsthatthepipingsystemshavealreadybeencreated,andrenamedasappropriate.

Tip:TorenameasystemfromthedefaultHydronicSupplySystem1convention,selectapipeonthe
system,clicktheEditSystembutton
ontheOptionsBar,click
thenenteranappropriatesystemnameintheElementPropertieswindow.

ontheDesignBar,

Implementationofviewfiltersisatwopartprocess:
1. CreatetheViewFilters
2. ApplytheViewFilterstoviewVisibility/GraphicOverrides

CreatingViewFilters
Fortheaboveexample,wearegoingtouseatotalofsixviewfilterstoparallelthepipingsystems
definedabove.

SteamSupply

CondenserWaterReturn

SteamReturn

ChilledWaterSupply

CondenserWaterSupply

ChilledWaterReturn

Note:ViewFiltersareCaseSensitive,i.e.,SteamSupplyisdifferentthansteamsupply.
Tocreatetheviewfilters,followthesesteps:
1. FromtheSettingsMenu,selectFilters
2. Click

toaddaviewfilter,andnameitappropriately.
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3. IntheCategorieslist,selectPipeFittings,andPipes.
4. IntheFilterRules,createtworules.BothbeginningwithSystemName,contains,thenfillin
ChilledandReturnasshownbelow.(Usingthismethodallowsyoutohavemultiplesystems
withsimilarnames,i.e.,youcouldhavetwochilledwaterreturnloops:ChilledWaterReturnA
andChilledWaterReturnB,andthefilterformodifyingthevisibility/graphicsoverrideswould
applytoboth.)

Repeatsteps24tocreatethe5otherFilterslistedabove.

ApplyingViewFilters
Nowthatwehavetheviewfiltersdefined,wewillapplythemtoourmechanicalviewtemplate.
1. FromtheSettingsmenu,selectViewTemplates
2. FromtheNamelist,selectandappropriateviewtemplate(i.e.,MechanicalPlan).
3. ClicktheEditbuttonnexttoVisibility/GraphicsOverrides
4. SelecttheFilterstab.
5. ClicktheAddbutton.
6. Selectthesixviewfilterscreatedintheprevioussection,andthenclickOK.

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7. Foreachoftheviewfilters,clicktheOverridebuttonintheProject/SurfaceLinescolumn,and
selectacolorandlinetypeforeach.ClickOKwhenfinished,andclickOKtoclosetheView
Templateswindow.
NotethattheDomesticand
Sanitaryfiltersinthe
MechanicalPlanview
templatehavethevisibility
unchecked.Thisiswhatkeeps
domestichot,cold,and
sanitarypipingfromshowing
uponMechanicalviews.

Youcannowapplytheviewtemplatetoyour
viewsasneeded,andthepipesofthevarious
systemswillberepresentedasdefinedbythe
viewfilters.

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QuickReference:ModelConfigurationProcedures
SettingupalinkedArchitecturalmodelisrelativelystraightforward.Afterthemodelislinked,youll
likelywanttoemployCopy/Monitortoleveragelevelsandspacesfromthearchitecturalmodel.Asthe
architectmakeschangetotheunderlyingmodel,itmaybenecessarytouseCoordinationReviewtore
syncthemodels.

StepstoLinkaFile
1. Openthemodeltobelinkedin,andselectDetachfrom
Central,andresavethefile,andcloseit.Thisistoensure
thatthecachedpathstoredinthefileisonyournetwork,
andnotreferringtoadrive/pathonadifferentLAN.
Note:Ifyoudonotdothis,otheruserslinkingthemodelmaynotbeabletoseeit,anditmay
beunavailablewhenyouclose/reopentheMEPmodelduetotheforeigncachedpath.
2. CreateanewmodelfromaMEPtemplate
3. Savethefile
4. Openanelevationview
5. Deleteallthelevels
6. FileMenu>Import/Link>Revit
7. SelectOrigintooriginpositioning
8. Selectthearchitectural/structuralmodel
9. ClickOpen
10. Selectthelinkedinmodelinthedrawingarea
11. ClickthePinonthetoolbar

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QuickReference:StepstoCopy/MonitoraProject
Ingeneral,itisonlynecessarytoCopy/MonitorLevelsandRooms.ItisnotpossibletoCopy/Monitor
otherelements,suchaslightfixtures.And,eventhoughyoucan,youreallydontwanttoCopy/Monitor
wallsorarchitecturalelementsitleadstoagrowingfilesize,withnorealbenefit.Althoughyoumay
thinktoCopy/MonitorwallssoyoucanuseWallBasedfamilies,youarebetteroffusingfacebased
families.Theyaremoreflexiblewithregardtowheretheymaybeplaced,andtheycanbehosted
throughalink.
1. ToolsMenu>Copy/Monitor>SelectLink
2. Options(DesignBar)
3. RoomsTab
4. ClickEditnexttoPhases
5. Setupthephasingbetweenthemodelsfortherooms.
6. ClickOK.
7. Copy(DesignBar)
8. CheckMultipleontheOptionsBar
9. Dragselectallthelevelsinthemodel
10. ClickFilterontheOptionsBar
11. VerifythatonlyLevelsischecked
12. ClickFinishontheDesignBar
13. ClickCopyRoomsontheDesignBar
14. ClickFinishModeontheDesignBar

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QuickReference:CoordinationReview
Coordinationreviewistheprocessbywhich
modelsareresynchronizedifthereare
changestothelinkedarchitecturalmodel.
Forexample,iftheleveltolevelheight
changes,levelsarerenamed,orroomsare
deleted,CoordinationReviewisnecessaryto
maketheadjustments.Whenthesetypesof
significantchangesareidentifiedwhenafile
isopened,theuserisprompted,asshown
here.

Toaddressthecoordinationissues,select
CoordinationReviewfromtheToolsmenu,
andselecttheappropriatelinkedfile.
WhentheCoordinationReviewwindow
opens,theissueswillbelisted,andyoucanselecttheappropriateaction.Assumingthearchitectmade
thechangescognitively(cough,cough),youwillrename,move,anddeleteelementstofollowsuit.In
theexampleshownhere,wehaveselectedRenameElementGroundtofollowthenamingconvention
ofthearchitect;MoveLevelLevel2,becausethearchitectchangedthefloortofloorheight,andwe
needtofollowsuit;and
DeleteElement,becausethe
roomnolongerexists.
Note:Tocopynewlyadded
rooms,youmustusethe
toolin
Copy/Monitor.Youarenot
notifiedwhennewrooms
areadded,somakeit
practicetoopen
Copy/Monitor,andclick
CopyRoomswhenaupdated
modelisreceived.

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