We recently launched the ability to create the export of DWG files from Revit models via Ideate Automation. (We have supported the creation of PDFs since June 2022). Controlling the output of the files is done within the Ideate Automation set up wizard. We have improved upon the Revit DWG export settings and can control the naming of the DWGs better and add custom parameters where appropriate.

The default file naming for many of the scripts that export to DWG is controlled by the variable ${view_parameterValue}. This value is in turn controlled by either a sheet or view name parameter. The default value for the sheet elements is to use the parameter called “Sheet Number” while the default value for view elements is to use the parameter called “View Name.” 

To comply with ISO 19650 standards for example, many people are managing the required sheet number value with a custom parameter name. In the example shown below, the sheet number is combined on the title block to include two custom parameters called Project Code and Originator, both of which are stored under Project Information.

Project Code and Originator
Example of title sheet using custom parameters to comply with the ISO 19650 UK standard

Both the AUT-Export_DWG and IBL-Export_DWG_Dynamic Ideate Automation scripts can be used to deliver unique DWG file names by adjusting the File Name variable to:

${Revit.CurrentFile.ProjectInfo.Project Code}-${Revit.CurrentFile.ProjectInfo.Originator}-${view_parameterValue}

Task Script Variables - AUT-Export_DWG
You can add custom parameters from Project Information to the file name.

After the script has completed and the files have been created the file name is created by concatinating the Project Code, Originator and Sheet Number parameters.

DWGs created with names consistent with ISO 19650 UK standard
DWGs created with names consistent with ISO 19650 UK standard.

Read more about automating your DWG exports from Revit in this How To guide.

If you’re a fan of ISO 19650, you may find these related blog posts useful:

For additional training tips, check out our Training blog series

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software add-on products help Revit users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables and elevate design. You can give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to the Revit plugin solutions Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months. 

About the Author

Steve Deadman - Customer Success Manager - EMEA
Steve provides support to customers and helps them get a strong return on their software investment. He has a B.Eng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering and various certifications in engineering. Before joining Ideate Software, he worked at several top architectural firm in the United Kingdom where he specialized in the implementation and management of BIM processes and technology. Find Steve on LinkedIn.



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Richard Taylor, Technical Evangelist, Ideate Software

Ideate Software’s Technical Evangelist Richard Taylor is a renowned expert in AECO industries and technology. Before joining Ideate Software 8 years ago, he worked for Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk, and he was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. You can see Richard on our webinars where he leads informative sessions on our Revit add-in solutions. He also stays connected with the AECO community by attending and presenting at many industry trade shows and conferences. You can read his predictions for 2023 in an article featured within a blog post by AECCafe Weekly, a leading portal that delivers the latest AEC industry commentary, news, product reviews, articles, event information, and resources from a single, convenient point.

“I was thrilled to be asked to share my point of view with readers of AECCafe,” said Richard. “We are living in such interesting times, and it is exciting to take a look at the trends of the past couple of years and discuss how they will shape the way we work going forward.”

Find Richard on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Every day, our Ideate Software Support team fields all types of questions from AECO professionals all around the world. You can review some of these recent question and answers via our Ideate Software support series blog category.

Recently a customer reached out to us with a question about Ideate Explorer, which is his “favorite troubleshooting add-in to clear out warnings in a hot mess of a project.” 

After deleting one Warning Type that cleared out 10 warnings, he thought that he could clear more warnings faster if he could sort by the severity of the warnings as well as by the number of warnings on a specific element. 

“I just had deleted one object which cleared out 10 warnings, and it dawned on me that in particularly rough projects I could get more warnings cleared faster if I knew which items had multiple warnings. In an ideal world, that sorting by severity of issues could weight based on the errors most severe.   E.g., in our workflows I see a ton of abandoned room separation lines which cause notable room calc based lag, I might want those (or other red rated warning types) to count for 3 points, where I really may not care (from an emergent clean up standpoint) about a green warning about a railing being malformed, which might only get half a point.” 

By default, the Ideate Explorer Warnings tab is set to “Sort by:” the Types of Warnings, such as Highlighted Floors Overlap shown below.

Revit Warnings - Ideate Explorer

Ideate Explorer Warnings Tab set to Sort by: Warning Types

We responded to this customer that you can also change the “Sort by:” criteria to Elements rather than the Types of Warnings. This will show the Element ID and the number of warnings assigned to that specific element. It will also show all the different Types of Warnings assigned to that element in the Element Information Pane.  

In the example below, the Sweep, the Sunshade, and Mike’s Roof all have 48 warnings of the same Type. However, the Storefront has 2 warnings of 2 different Types. You can also see the severity of the Warning Type by color in the Element Information Pane. In the example below, we have a severity of medium for the walls overlapping and a severity of low for the walls missing their target.

Revit Warnings - Ideate Explorer

Ideate Explorer Warnings Tab set to Sort by: Elements

”BINGO!” said the customer, who was able to fix 30 warnings from one element very easily.

You can learn more about the Warnings Manager in Ideate Explorer by reviewing this online Help topic. You can also review an entire library of videos focusing on using the Ideate Explorer Warnings Manager. 

Don’t let your project become a hot mess! Fix things easily with Ideate Explorer and the Ideate Warnings Manager!

Keep those amazing questions coming to [email protected]. Your feedback allows us to improve our software with every release.

About the Author

Richard W. Taylor, Associate AIA – Technical Evangelist 

Richard has more than 30 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions, such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 20 years of Revit experience, and he was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked for 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 Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As Technical Evangelist, Richard works with AECO clients worldwide, developing and consulting on BIM solutions. Find Richard on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Autodesk Desktop Connector Version 16.0 Impacts Ideate Sticky

A recent change to the Autodesk Desktop Connector includes new file path locations for all local files. This change is described in the recent Desktop Connector Release Notes. While this is a deja-vu-all-over-again situation, we hope the information below will be useful in weathering this change. In a future blog post, we will discuss some of the positive impacts of the newer version, but for now, please review the information below to prepare for the risks.

Autodesk Desktop Connector
AUTODESK CHANGE - New Workspace Location

  • This release has temporarily removed the Change Workspace command
  • The workspace has been moved to a new location under %userprofile%\DC\

Example of the change:

  • Old path using Desktop Connector 15.8 or earlier: “C:\Users\[user name]\ACCDocs” 
  • New path using Desktop Connector 16.0: “C:\Users\[user name]\DC\ACCDocs.” 

This change may impact Ideate Software customers. Please read below for per-product implications.

Ideate Sticky

For those of you using Ideate Sticky and storing your Excel, Word, or PDF files on BIM 360/ACC, you will find that this change will result in broken file paths for Ideate Sticky. We recommend the following steps, in order of importance:

  1. Avoid updating to Desktop Connector 16.0 for now, if possible. We will re-code Ideate Sticky to support this change in the future and hope to release Ideate Sticky within 30 days of the Revit 2024 release.
  2. If access to a shared network location is available, you can use the “Update From” function to batch re-path to the new location.
  3. If you do not have access to a shared network location, then you can use the “Update From” function to batch re-path to the new Autodesk Docs location. This workaround will resolve the pathing for one user only.  

Ideate Automation

Ideate Automation will work fine with the file path change. However, if you have customized your Ideate Automation scripts and those scripts are writing file content to a BIM 360/ACC path, you will need to adjust your script to use the new file path. Using find and replace for “\ACCDocs” to “\DC\ACCDocs” for script should do the trick.

Additionally, you can use the %userprofile% syntax to reference not only the sub-path to these Autodesk Docs files, but also to other folder path locations, such as One Drive that support local user desktop file storage.

Help us Improve

We strive to integrate our solutions into the Autodesk eco-system wherever possible. In this case, our ability to handle this change is limited by the lack of a formal Application Programmer Interface (API) for the Autodesk Desktop Connector. You can let Autodesk know this is important by voting for this idea on the BIM 360 API forum.

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Customers with subscriptions to Ideate Automation will want to download the latest version today.

Don’t have Ideate Automation yet? Now is a great time to check it out. 

About Ideate Automation 2.0

Released in June 2022, Ideate Automation 2.0 is a scripting solution that runs time-intensive BIM tasks in the background, so staff can work on more meaningful activities. Use it to: 

  • Open large Autodesk Revit files for data extraction
  • Export key Revit model health data
  • Create document issue records
  • Prepare COBie data drops
  • Generate quantity take-off data
  • Generate regular, automated PDF exports
  • Deliver CSV reports on key Revit family and project metrics
  • Batch-export Revit sheets and/or views to DWG file format

Enhancements with Release 2.1

Get the latest version of Ideate Automation 2.1 for some incredibly useful workflows and improvements. 

  1. Access any of your BIM 360/ACC recently opened Revit files without Autodesk Custom Integration. While we recommend the custom integration for an optimum file access experience, we developed this functionality to respond to customer requests to make it easier to work with Revit files from a partner’s Autodesk account/hubs. It also allows you to use Ideate Automation without giving Ideate Software the BIM 360/ACC access permissions required for the custom integration.

    Ideate Automation 2.1
  2. Batch-export Revit sheets and/or views to DWG file format. Available for Revit versions 2020-2023+, this much-requested enhancement includes file naming support for short name, long name, and custom file naming conventions. Find these new scripts and learn more, get step-by-step instructions, and learn some file naming tips by reading our Help file, Publish to DWG.

    Ideate Automation 2.1
  3. Export model health data from a Revit file and display it in Power BI. This process will reduce the amount of hands-on time needed to ensure project stability and consistency across Revit project files. Learn more by reading our Help file, Ideate Software Revit Model Health Check Power BI template

    Ideate Automation 2.1


Learn More

As always, we updated our “What’s New” Help file with information about the latest enhancements. You may also want to read our recent blog post, Ideate Automation: Understand Revit Model Health Using Microsoft Power BI.

Have questions? Contact us at [email protected]. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit productivity enhancing tools. 

About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB – Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a registered architect and has worked within the building information modeling (BIM) industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is the Director of Software Development Services and continues to work with AECO clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to BIM challenges. In her spare time, Glynnis volunteers for the local high school and with growitgreenmorristown.org. Find Glynnis on LinkedIn.


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