September

13

2016

 

     
    If you are not familiar with key schedules within Revit, you might want to first read What is a Key Schedule? I think of key schedule data as a collection of data that is applied to a Building Information Model object by a Post-It note. Key schedules are most commonly used as a way of managing large volumes of related properties for Rooms (room styles) and Doors (hardware) but have also been used to great effect as a way to create pseudo-type properties to circumvent manufacturing data.

key schedule, Revit, hardware, ironmongery

For a long time, I’ve been extolling the virtues of the key schedule. Which is why I was initially surprised to hear from an early adopter of Ideate Sticky, that they had decided to use Ideate Sticky as a substitute for key schedule data. For reference, Ideate Sticky links an Excel table into your Revit project, with the source data residing in Excel. Using this method to circumvent key schedules seemed a bit of BIM heresy, but I decided to let it slide as a crazy idea from a crazy architect. However, a chorus soon gathered of those who wanted to do the same thing; perhaps it was an idea worth further consideration.

So, after giving it much thought, here are my top (3) reasons to consider dumping your key schedules, in favor of using Ideate Sticky, and (1) reason to keep the key schedule. We’ll use this Door Hardware / Ironmongery Schedule as an example.

key schedule, Revit, hardware, Ironmongery

Benefits of the Key Schedule

Let’s start with the benefits of using the key schedule over using Ideate Sticky + Excel. With the conventional key schedule approach the data properties that relate to the key are connected to the Revit element. Meaning that if you selected a door, in the example above, you would see all the key properties (Location, Handle & Lock, Closers, Panic Bar), and their values, within the Properties palette, along with the key value itself (Hardware Group). You can also choose to include these same properties in the Door Schedule.

For some projects, this may be a requirement of the deliverable, particularly if your handover document is the Revit file. If you don’t need to handover the Revit file and you only include the ‘key’ in your main schedule, then consider the top three reasons for dumping your key schedule in favor of Ideate Sticky.

#3 No Support for Linked Files

Unlike regular schedule, key schedules are not designed to work across linked files, meaning that you cannot have a single key schedule be referenced by schedules that exist within multiple files. It is primarily for this reason that we’ve had customers starting to use Ideate Sticky as a solution to this problem. With Ideate Sticky, a single Excel file can be used for the ‘key’ data and then it can be linked into as many Revit files as needed. With Ideate Sticky, a change to the Excel file will then be automatically reflected within each Revit file – no need to open up each Revit file to make a change! This also means that the person in charge of this data does not need to own Revit, or no how to use it.

#2 Deleting the Key Schedule – Yikes!

Sad but true… if you delete a key schedule, the key parameter (Hardware Group in this example) will disappear, which is logical, but the related values will also become unassigned, which stinks. In the example above this means that the data already assigned for Location, Handle & Lock, Panic Bar and Closers would be deleted though the parameters would remain. I first ran into this problem when a customer called in a panic after having experienced a massive loss of data. The good news is that we were able to restore that data by using Ideate BIMLink, but it was a distressing problem to have, none the less. Keeping this ‘key’ data in Excel and using Ideate Sticky to display the data means no accidental loss of data.

#1 No Support for Shared Parameters

Probably the most vexing aspect of key schedules within Revit is that they do not support shared parameters. This means that you are limited in your ability to standardize the data across multiple Revit files. You also will not able to report the key value itself within a tag. When I checked last, this was high up on the Revit Ideas Forum and was under review, but until that day, you might just want to use Ideate Sticky to liberate your data. In our door hardware /ironmongery example, instead of creating a Revit key schedule for Hardware group, we can create Hardware Group as a shared parameter and then assign the values as needed. The rest of the data is identified within the Excel worksheet as desired.

Deciding how to best structure your Revit data is an important task that should be integrated into your BIM execution plans and office standards. Proper data structure can mean the difference between mind-numbing data entering and painless, user-friendly data decisions. For other posts related to this topic, you may want to review how to decide whether a parameter should be shared or not, and also how to handle multiple shared parameter files.  


About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, Revit expertGlynnis Patterson, NCARB — Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for ECLC of NJ and Grow it Green Morristown. Follow Glynnis on Twitter.

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September

13

2016

Ideate Software is pleased to announce the launch of its latest Revit add-in tool, IdeateApps. IdeateApps is a collection of the following four tools that simplify the tasks that daily Revit users perform most often:

1.    Ideate ReNumber speeds the once time-consuming process of renumbering elements by selection, path, or auto-update. Enabling users to create and save customized renumbering rules.
2.    Ideate XRay reduces frustration by quickly discovering why some elements aren’t visible in certain views.
3.    Ideate SmartDelete decreases accidental deletions by discovering all of the elements that will be deleted along with a selected element.
4.    Ideate QuickSelect enables users to easily select elements and zoom to elements within the Revit project, template, or family file.

→ Download a trial of IdeateApps and start saving time on everyday Revit tasks. 

“The development of IdeateApps expands our focus from managing the massive amounts of BIM data within a Revit model to addressing the needs of the everyday user,” said Glynnis Patterson, director of Software Development, Ideate Software. “By noting the questions that came into our support lines most often and by engaging in open discussions with our customers, we identified the areas in which Revit users spend a lot of time, and we created easily accessible tools to reduce that time.”  

“The development of these new tools demonstrates our commitment to providing the building design, engineering, construction, and facilities management community with unprecedented access to and control over their Revit data,” said Bob Palioca, president, Ideate Software.

IdeateApps is available with a non-commercial free trial. Download the trial today. For more information about IdeateApps, call 888.662.7238, or contact sales.

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September

8

2016

Ideate QuickSelect is a powerful application that is part of the IdeateApps suite of solutions for Revit. Ideate QuickSelect allows you to understand all of the elements in your Revit model, even those that might be hidden or difficult to select.  It allows you to organize, search, and select elements with speed and agility. You can quickly understand Revit elements as well as relationships between elements using Ideate QuickSelect.

Ideate QuickSelect is a Model Browser as opposed to the “out of the box” Project Browser included within Revit. Ideate QuickSelect shows a “results view” of ALL instances of either model or annotation elements. Inserted or linked CAD files, Section boxes, Scope Boxes, Elevation or Section Markers, Schedule Graphics, and View References are just some of the difficult items to find that Ideate QuickSelect can show you in seconds.

Not only can you select and modify elements with Ideate QuickSelect, but you can choose to find and display objects that may be hidden in a particular view.

Ideate QuickSelect can also be used to quickly navigate to views or schedules. Unlike the Project Browser within Revit that lists all schedules alphabetically, Ideate QuickSelect organizes schedules by their type and usage. Ideate QuickSelect even shows schedules that have been created with Ideate Software’s Sticky application

Use these powerful tools independently or together to realize increased productivity and efficiency, ease of design, and enhanced quality for all your Revit projects. 

Watch this video to learn more about Ideate QuickSelect.


About the Author

Richard W. Taylor - Associate AIA - Technical Evangelist Ideate Software
Richard Taylor has over 25 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 15 years of Revit experience, and was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked 12 years at Autodesk where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Masters of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Richard is currently a Technical Evangelist for Ideate Software Solutions and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on BIM solutions. In his spare time, he is active in his local community and is an elected member of the local Planning Board where he evaluates new developments, regional planning, and design criteria. @Rwtaylor_Revit

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September

7

2016

As an architectural project progresses, it is quite typical go through a series of design changes. One example of a design revision might be modifications to a plan layout which would require building elements such as rooms for example - to be either added or deleted from the Revit model. Because of these types of revisions, a renumbering of this category of elements is then required for documentation purposes. This task can become very time-consuming – especially if needing to be done several times throughout the life of a project. With the Ideate ReNumber tool, the process of renumbering rooms in Revit can now be expedited!

The Ideate ReNumber tool can be found in the Ideate Software ribbon on the Revit User Interface, along with other IdeateApps and Ideate Software tools.

When renumbering rooms in our project, we can create renumbering rules within the Ideate ReNumber dialog.

There are also several options for numbering sequence methods that we can choose from. For more information on numbering methods, read more on our support page.

After setting up the rule and numbering method, selecting the ‘start renumbering’ button at the bottom of the dialog, brings up a Preview dialog. This dialog shows information on the rooms being renumbered. It lists the element ID of the room, the Room Name, as well as the original and new value of the room number. Once the Preview dialog has been reviewed, the next step is to accept changes.

Watch the video to take a closer look at how the Ideate ReNumber tool can help streamline your design and documentation process when it comes to renumbering rooms in Revit!   


About the Author

Katrina Vea Rodriguez, RA, AIA – AEC Application Specialist
Katrina is an AEC application specialist at the Ideate, Inc. San Francisco office. She is a California–licensed architect with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of the Philippines. Katrina has over 18 years of experience in the AEC industry with a focus on both commercial and hospitality projects. She is also a Revit Certified Professional with over 8 years of experience utilizing the software on both small and large scale projects, from programming to project close out.

 

 

 

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September

6

2016

Have you ever received the Revit warning that “none of the created elements are visible in the current view”? What could be the cause? There are dozens of reasons why an object doesn’t display within a Revit view. Ideate XRay checks over 50 reasons why an element may be hidden within a specific view, allowing you to understand or fix the issue. One of the top questions a BIM Manager receives from the Revit team is “why doesn’t something display in this view?”

Ideate XRay helps the whole Revit team understand and fix visibility issues, therefore allowing the BIM Manager to focus and concentrate on higher level issues, thus increasing efficiency and productivity for the Revit project, and the entire Revit team.

Ideate XRay is a powerful application that is part of the IdeateApps suite of solutions for Revit. Ideate XRay allows you to understand why Revit elements don’t display within a specific Revit view. Revit allows many sophisticated ways to display or hide elements within the Building Information Model, based on intelligent parameters or properties.

As an example, every element has a category, phase, discipline, or workset that could impact whether that element displays within a selected view. In addition, there are scope boxes, crop regions, and view ranges that may also impact the display of Revit elements. Ideate XRay helps to make sense of why an object doesn’t display in a specific view. Ideate XRay gives ANY Revit user a powerful arsenal of forensic tools to understand why something doesn’t display, along with in-depth information on how to fix the issue.

IdeateApps is a collection of four Revit add-on applications that are designed for the everyday Revit user. IdeateApps will improve your productivity and increase your efficiency with difficult, time-consuming, and error-prone Revit workflows. Thus, allowing you to concentrate more on the process of design, rather than wasting time trying to manage your Revit project.

Use these powerful tools independently or together to realize increased productivity and efficiency, ease of design, and enhanced quality for all your Revit projects.

Watch the video to learn more about IdeateApps XRay!


About the Author

Richard W. Taylor - Associate AIA - Technical Evangelist Ideate Software
Richard Taylor has over 25 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 15 years of Revit experience, and was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked 12 years at Autodesk where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Masters of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Richard is currently a Technical Evangelist for Ideate Software Solutions and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on BIM solutions. In his spare time, he is active in his local community and is an elected member of the local Planning Board where he evaluates new developments, regional planning, and design criteria. @Rwtaylor_Revit

 

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