March

1

2017

As an Autodesk Authorized Developer, we are serious about developing plugins that help companies in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner communities get the most out of their Autodesk® Revit® software.  We regularly ask customers about challenges they face and workarounds they’ve developed, and we ask for feedback on the products we developed to address those challenges and eliminate clunky workarounds.

Recently we heard from Dan Dankert, CAD / BIM / VDC Manager at Mead & Hunt. He shared some ways he and his team are benefiting from IdeateApps, a set of four tools we launched last year to streamline the activities that daily Revit users perform most often - they are Ideate ReNumber, XRay, SmartDelete and QuickSelect. Here are his comments:

“IdeateApps are great time savers that help me support our users every day. Just this week I have used 2 of the apps, and its only Monday!

  • “I used Ideate XRay to find display issues on two views when employees were having a hard time figuring out why they could not see families that should be visible in views. Not only did it provide an answer, it did it within seconds. The employee had spent minutes trying to figure it out by going through the complex hierarchy of Revit visibility rules.  
  • “The second app I used was Ideate ReNumber. I used it to renumber details on a sheet after moving them around to better match the client’s and our standards for a project. Not a complex process, but using the tool is both simpler and quicker than the classic ways in Revit.

“Each of these cases provided quick results that would have added stress and time to my daily tasks removing frustration in the process.”

Thank you, Dan, for sharing this information with us!

If you would like to experience the time-saving and stress-reducing benefits of IdeateApps, download the fully functional free trial.

For more information on Ideate Sticky and other Revit software add-ins that help customers get the most out of their Revit software, visit the homepage of our website.

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February

16

2017

AC Martin Partners was one of the first companies to purchase Ideate Sticky, which we introduced in 2015. Elisa de Dios, BIM Manager/ Production Coordinator and Associate at AC Martin, forwarded our launch video to her assistant, Henry Diaz, who walked right into her office and said, “What are you waiting for? We’re getting this, right?” He was certain that its ability to connect non-BIM data from Microsoft Excel into Revit models would save tremendous amount of time. He was correct.

AC Martin Partners, a Los Angeles-based architecture, planning, interior architecture, and research firm, uses Ideate Sticky mostly in the production phase and in construction documents.

“Because Ideate Sticky displays non-BIM tabular text in Revit, our team can quickly create and update those notes and code specifications, consultant data, and abbreviation lists in Excel, using the tool we already know,” says de Dios.

She continued, “If our project managers or project architects need to access or update the information on the Ideate Sticky schedule, they don’t have to go into the Revit model to check on files. That’s extremely important to our workflow, because not all project architects are Revit-savvy. We can also hand work to our administrative assistant, who doesn’t need to be Revit-savvy either.”

An average AC Martin project can consist of between 300 to 400 sheets, with perhaps a quarter of those created in Revit. “Someone used to spend hours in Revit typing line by line the sheets not already in Revit. Now an assistant can put it all together in Excel, which saves us significant project time,” said de Dios.

Companies throughout the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industries use Ideate Sticky to “stick” Microsoft Excel files containing non-BIM data, such as code checklists, design data, and general notes, onto Revit project files, which are not able to manage or format non-BIM data. Ideate Sticky allows for formatting and editing in Excel or Revit, while maintaining graphical fidelity.

For more information on how AC Martin benefits from Ideate Sticky, view the case study. For more information on Ideate Sticky and other Revit software add-ins that help customers get the most out of their Revit software, visit the homepage of our website.

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December

22

2016

As a developer of add-in solutions for Autodesk Revit software, our goal is to help our customers get the most out of their Revit software investment. One way we do this is by meeting with users of our software as well as Revit software at Autodesk conferences. At last year’s Autodesk Revit Technology Conference (RTC), one person we spoke with was Tim Ekstrom, the BIM/CAD department leader for SSG MEP. SSG MEP offers a wide range of support for designing electrical, lighting, and low voltage systems for medical, municipal, educational, commercial, and transit facilities, as well as highways, roadways, and streetscapes.

Tim told us about some BIM line style standards that were not supported by our Revit add-in solution Ideate Sticky. Ideate Sticky lets Revit users “stick” Microsoft Excel files containing non-BIM data, such as code checklists, design data, and general notes, onto Revit project files, which are not able to manage or format non-BIM data.

Based on knowledge gained from several conversations with Tim, we realized that we had a great opportunity to increase the value of our software to Tim and many other users who must comply with those standards. Our software development team went to work, and in December of 2015 we added three new features to Ideate Sticky:


1.    Support for hidden rows and columns
2.    Support for additional line weights
3.    Support for images


And we didn’t stop there. We asked Tim for his thoughts on the updates, and he provided additional comments that led to further line refinements.

We appreciate Tim’s comments and welcome yours as well. You are deep into Revit software and Ideate Software products. If you are experiencing a challenge, chances are others are too. Please reach out to us at support@ideatesoftware.com.  

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November

14

2016

Will you be at Autodesk University (AU) in Las Vegas this week? 

If so, please visit us at booth #2570.

AU, the premier Autodesk software users event, is an ideal time for you to see a demonstration of IdeateApps, our newest collection of Autodesk Revit add–in tools. Spend a few minutes with us and see how you can use this collection, which we developed to streamline the tasks that daily Revit users perform most often, to:

•    Save time by quickly renumbering elements by selection, path, or auto–update
•    Minimize stress by learning the reasons an element is not visible in a certain view
•    Reduce rework by learning which elements will be deleted along with a selected element
•    Easily select and zoom to elements within the Revit project, template, of family file

Then, take advantage of our special offer to experience the power that Ideate Software offers by getting a three-month trial of the 2017 version of any or all of our products, including IdeateApps, for just $50.00 each. This special offer is good for software purchased with a credit card through December 16, 2016.

We hope to see you here! If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact us at sales@ideatesoftware.com.

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September

15

2016

 

 

On August 1, 2016, Autodesk released a fix in Revit 2016/2017 software that eliminates a file-corruption problem we reported in late May. The problem occurred when both Ideate Sticky and UNIFI Content Management were installed on Revit 2016 or 2017. This fix, combined with the updated version of Ideate Sticky that we released in May, means that no one should experience the problem again.

To ensure that your Revit projects continue to run smoothly, we’re providing an overview of the issue and links to the Autodesk Revit and Ideate Sticky update releases. We encourage all Ideate Sticky users to download both.

Overview of the Issue

In May, 2016, Guy Messick, Nancy McClure, and others from Interior Architects told us that that certain workflows involving particular versions of Revit, Ideate Sticky, and UNIFI Content Management were causing Revit projects to become permanently corrupted.

Ideate Software and UNIFI Labs worked together to find the root cause: a change introduced in Revit 2016 FCS allowed Ideate Sticky to interact with UNIFI events in ways that corrupt Revit projects. We discovered that the situation and actions outlined below caused the corruption to occur:

  1. Have Ideate Sticky and UNIFI installed on Revit 2016 or 2017. These exact combinations of versions are required:
  2. Using Unifi Content Manager, add a new wall or other system family to the Revit project
  3. Close the Revit project
  4. Reopen the Revit project

At this point, Revit stopped on File Open and displayed the error message, “Data in project <project_name>.rvt is corrupt and needs to be manually recovered.”

Scope of Risk

It’s important to understand that this issue could affect any combination of two Revit add-ins or custom programming. (Geeky details: Revit threw an exception when one add-in registered for the Idle event inside the Document Open event triggered by another add-in).

Problem Solved

Ideate Software released a new version of Ideate Sticky (2016.4 /2017.1) on May 20 that avoided the add-in interaction. We then documented and reported the issue to Autodesk. As mentioned earlier in this post, Autodesk released a fix that avoids the corruption (even if the latest version of Sticky is not installed) on August 1 in Revit 2016/2017.

A big shout-out to Mikako Harada of Autodesk Developer Technical Services for taking a personal interest and driving the quick turnaround at the factory to address this issue.

Get the Fix

  1. Update to the latest release of Revit (2016 R2 Update 6 -or- 2017 Service Pack 2):
    Autodesk Revit Update Releases
     
  2. Update to the latest release of Ideate Sticky (2016.4  - or- 2017.1):
    Ideate Sticky Update Releases
     

More questions?

Please contact us if you are an Ideate Software user and have any questions. Also contact us if you are a third-party Revit add-in developer and think this issue might be affecting your software. We’d be happy to share what we know.


Ben Bishoff 
Senior Software Developer

Ben has been a software engineer for over 25 years. With a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, he has worked at several software companies developing applications for the AEC industry including Sage Timberline (construction accounting and estimating) and ArchT (architectural drafting for AutoCAD). He also worked at Microsoft creating AEC and other diagramming solutions for Office Visio. Ben has been with Ideate Software for over 8 years developing add-ins for Revit including Ideate Explorer and Ideate BIMLink.

 

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