June

30

2022

We were recently asked to answer a question that reminded us about the importance of presenting to Revit users of all levels. Just as there are people who have been using Revit for decades, there are new architects, engineers, designers, builders, and building operators getting started with Revit all the time. 

The question we received was, “How do I use BIM tools in Revit?” Since Revit is a BIM tool, the question indicated a need for us to step back and provide a little background information before jumping into the information requested. We thought that others may benefit from this information, so we are presenting it here in this blog post. 

Quick Definitions of BIM and Revit

  • BIM, or building information modeling, is a powerful, collaborative process that architects, engineers, real estate developers, contractors, manufacturers, builders, building operators, and others use to create and manage a single database of information needed to work together to plan, design, document, construct, and maintain a structure or building.
     
  • Autodesk Revit is a software that supports BIM. Architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers, builders, fabricators, computational designers, and building owners use Revit to collaborate in a common BIM environment to create 2D and 3D models that they use to make more informed decisions during the design process and better achieve their goals.

Revit – A BIM Tool that Connects Teams, Tools, and Data

Revit, initially launched by Revit Technology Corporation in 2000 and acquired by Autodesk in 2002, is the most popular BIM tool within the AEC industry because it excels at transforming data created in the 3D model into realistic visualizations of buildings and structures that architects, engineers, and contractors can use to review and edit designs. All 3D, 2D, and Schedule information is connected and updated as a user creates AEC intelligent elements. 

Revit functionality falls into distinct discipline specific features – Architecture, MEP, and Structure. Each Revit BIM feature or workflow is designed for the specific discipline, and they all work well together:

  1. An architect builds the design model using BIM tools or features within the architecture discipline. They may share design information with the MEP and structural engineers within an integrated model, or they might have a unique model for each discipline that are then linked together.
  2. Using the BIM tools or features within the Revit MEP discipline and the Revit Structure discipline, the engineers may link to the model provided by the architect or provide information within one integrated model:
    • MEP engineers add pipes, cables, ducts, etc.
    • Structural engineers add beams, columns, trusses, etc.
  3. The MEP and structural engineers may link their models to the architecture model, or they may provide real-time design updates on an integrated model within the Cloud. It is probably more typical that many Architectural, MEP, and Structural models are linked together into a master model that represents the whole project.
  4. When the design is complete, detailed, accurate documentation is provided to the construction team.
  5. When the construction is complete, documentation with accurate “as built” information is provided to the building operator.

As a single platform for a multidiscipline BIM workflow, from design through construction and operation, Revit is a powerful tool that helps teams enhance design, avoid costly errors and rework, and deliver outstanding employee and client experiences.

Ideate Software - Proven Revit Solutions

Revit Plug-ins

Revit, the main BIM tool on the market, does have limitations. That’s where Ideate Software comes in. We are a team of architects, engineers, designers, and others who love the power of BIM and Revit. We develop software that essentially “plugs into” Revit, adding functionality requested by Revit users in all disciplines. Our Revit plug-ins solve persistent problems in Revit workflows:

  • Quickly review and edit massive amounts of data in a Revit model with Ideate BIMLink
  • Find, refine, and revise elements excluded from the Revit browser with Ideate Explorer
  • Connect non-BIM data from Excel, Word, or PDF documents with Ideate Sticky
  • Analyze, delete, or merge non-standard styles with Ideate StyleManager
  • Streamline common tasks with the IdeateApps collection of tool

Ideate Automation

We developed Ideate Automation to boost the power of our Revit plugins by running time-intensive activities in the background, freeing users to spend more time on interesting and valuable activities.

Using Ideate Software Plugins for Revit 

There are literally HUNDREDS of answers to the question about how to use Ideate Software plugins for Revit, because each Ideate Software product addresses numerous challenges. We recently provided six answers for using Ideate BIMLink at a webinar hosted by The Architect’s Newspaper. Below are high level summaries of three of them. You can get high-level summaries of the other three in this previous blog post. To get all the details and see the demonstrations, watch the recording of the webinar


 

Three Examples

  1. Create New Sheets (Watch the demonstration in the video)

    Creating a lot of new sheets in BIM tools like Revit can be time consuming. With the Ideate BIMLink plug-in for Revit, you can create multiple sheets at once, saving a huge amount of time, reducing the chance of manual errors, and freeing time for more interesting activities. 

    To create new Revit sheets using the Ideate BIMLink plugin for Revit, start by creating an Excel file with the relevant sheet properties. In the example in the webinar, we used Title Block, Sheet Number, Sheet Name, Appears in Sheet, and Created by: 



    Then add the word “NEW” in each cell in the ID column. From Ideate BIMLink, select the Excel file and click “Open” to check for accuracy. Once you confirm the information is correct, click “Import” and the Revit model will update with the desired information from Excel. 

    You can also use Ideate BIMLink to place views on sheets. Check out our Help file, Set Up Projects with Ideate BIMLink for instructions. 
     
  2. Project Standards (Watch the demonstration in the video)

    As projects move through their lifecycle, information often changes. While it is possible to update information in BIM tools like Revit by right clicking on an item and making the required changes, it needs to be done one line at a time. With Ideate BIMLink, you can make a large number of changes at once. 

    New Division NumberIn the example shown in this webinar, we add a new division number to each item in the Mechanical Equipment family by creating a new link in Ideate BIMLink, selecting Project Standards and then Rename Types, which brings up a wealth of data.

    We filter the results for Mechanical Equipment, and then export everything into Excel. In the Excel spreadsheet, we create a formula to change all the Family Names at once. Then we bring the spreadsheet back into Ideate BIMLink, verify that all the information is correct, and hit “Import.” The model is updated.

    To learn more about managing project standards with Ideate BIMLink, read our Help file, Quickly Manage Revit Project Standards with Ease.
     
  3. Health Checks (Watch the demonstration in the video)

    Maintaining the health of a Revit model is critical. Healthy models perform smoothly. Unhealthy models can move slowly, look sloppy, and even crash. Model health checks are easy with Ideate BIMLink, which comes with preconfigured links specifically for this purpose.

    Revit Model Health CheckIn this webinar, we want to review the floors, windows, roofs, and walls in a Revit model. For this workflow, we start in Ideate BIMLink in a multi-category link and select the categories to export to an Excel spreadsheet called Ideate Health Check that comes with Ideate BIMLink plugin for Revit. We open the spreadsheet, verify the data, make any corrections needed, and then use Ideate BIMLink to import the corrected data back to Revit.

    Because of the importance of performing Revit health checks, we have published quite a bit of information on the topic. Here’s a link to a recorded webinar called, Step Into the Clinic – Advanced Revit Model Health Checks

See More Workflow Demonstrations

As we mentioned, there are hundreds of ways to use Ideate Software plugins for Revit. Check out our Video Library to see how to streamline the Revit workflows causing you trouble. 

Stay Connected

Browse our website to explore Ideate Software’s range of Revit tools and see how they can make your Revit projects faster, simpler, and more accurate.

Check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit plugin solutions. 
 

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June

27

2022

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with people who design, build, operate, and maintain our built environment at the BILT North Americas conference. The three-day event, which was held June 14 - 16 in Anaheim, California, featured many informative lectures, presentations, labs, and round-table discussions focused on the use of best-in-class tools, processes and workflows, behaviors, and leadership.

Craig H. Dodge, Director, Ideate Software Sales, and Richard Taylor, Technical Evangelist, met with BIM, Revit, and Ideate Software application users from around the world at our booth in the Exhibition Hall. In addition, Richard:

  • Presented a lecture on Revit templates featuring Ideate StyleManager, which allows for a clean and lean Revit template or project
  • Conducted a lab session on Revit datums featuring both Ideate StyleManager and Ideate XRay, one of the tools in the IdeateApps collection

BILT North AmericaRichard said, “It was especially nice to see many old colleagues and friends in person after an almost three-year absence. It was wonderful to catch up with so many influential people within the BIM and AECO industries, and we hope it’s a trend that continues throughout 2022 and beyond.”

Craig added, “We appreciated meeting new people at the Ideate Software booth and hearing about their software needs. We also heard from clients who provided continued feedback on how we can further enhance Ideate Software products to better meet their challenges with Revit.”

Learn about our upcoming online and in-person activities by visiting the Events page of our website. 

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 all the Revit plugin solutions (Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps) for six months.

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June

24

2022

Ideate Explorer is great at hundreds of model auditing and model management tasks. One common use involves using the Ideate Query function within Ideate Explorer to find in-place families. In-place families are not parametric and are limited in the amount of the parameters they can contain. Also, excessive in-place families can cause the Revit model size to increase because unlike component families, they are actually duplicated for each placement.

In-Place Families
Select the categories you want to review and use Ideate Query to find the In-place families. 

Once the families have been selected they can easily be viewed within the model

In-Place Models in Revit
Once the in-place families have been identified they can be reviewed, modified, or changed into possible component families, which will reduce the model size.

Check out this video to learn more about Ideate Explorer and Ideate Query. You can also choose the Ideate Query playlist from the Ideate Explorer Video page to learn about additional Ideate Query features and workflows.
Iceate Explorer Video Playlist
The Explore Ideate Query playlist will show you videos specifically focused for Ideate Query.

For additional training tips, check out our Training blog series.

Learn More

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software helps 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 all the Revit plugin solutions (Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps) for six months.

Stay Connected

Check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit plugin solutions. 


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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June

10

2022

Healthy Revit models perform well. Unhealthy Revit models move slowly and there can be issues when opening, synchronizing, printing, exporting, upgrading, and more. Dealing with all the potential causes of an unhealthy model in Revit can be daunting. It’s not with Ideate Software. Our plugins enhance the capabilities of Revit software, making it easy to conduct regular audits, address issues, and keep models in good working order.

Watch the recording of our 30-minute webinar to learn about behaviors that can lead to model health issues and see demonstrations on how to use Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, and Ideate StyleManager to:

  • Perform QA and QC operations  
  • Review and address Revit warnings 
  • Review, merge, or eliminate unwanted styles 

Learn More

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 all the Revit plugin solutions (Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps) for six months.

Stay Connected

Check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit plugin solutions. 


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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June

9

2022

We all love a good Revit model. It helps architects finetune and share their visions, it enables all engineering teams to confirm their designs don’t clash with others, and it increases the productivity of construction and maintenance crews. Through detailed 3D models, Revit speeds the design process and reduces the chances of costly mistakes. 

What makes a Revit model so powerful? Data! Massive amounts of data. 

While all that data is what gives a model its strength, it also can be a model’s downfall: obsolete elements, imported data, incorrect styles, and more can cause performance and documentation issues. 

To avoid these issues and keep your projects moving along smoothly, it’s important to manage that data. Proactively managing the data is best. Knowing where to turn when things take a turn for the worse is also important. 

In this post, I share information about what causes Revit model problems, symptoms of unhealthy models, and how Ideate Software plugins for Revit can help you proactively audit files and to clean up problem items. 

TOO MUCH DATA CAN MAKE YOUR REVIT MODEL SICK

How does all that extra data get into models?  

Copy/Paste

Too Much Revit DataWhen done correctly, using copy/paste to bring existing data into a model and linking to previous projects can save a lot of time, but when done incorrectly, they can bring in massive amounts of unnecessary data associated with the original files.  
When you do any of the following activities, you run the risk of bringing unneeded data into the Revit file:

  1. Load unvetted families 
  2. Link and bind Revit files 
  3. Link, import, or explode CAD files
  4. Transfer project standards
  5. Insert views and schedules
  6. Create a large quantity of lines and text objects

An Excessive Number of Warnings

A Revit error requires users to resolve the issue before continuing. However, a Revit warning simply informs of a condition that may affect the model, but it allows users to continue working. With looming deadlines, it can be tempting to put the warnings on a back burner. This practice can be problematic, because if the number of warnings climbs, it can impact model performance. 

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR MODEL IS UNHEALTHY?

Fortunately, model health problems typically start off small and show signs that indicate that problems are accumulating. Watch out for:  

  1. “Save” issues
  2. Long sync times
  3. Slow performance
    • Dialog boxes that take a long time to load
    • Slow commands
    • Slow opening views
  4. Linework that jumps while you zoom and pan
  5. Exporting and printing problems
  6. Model upgrade difficulties
  7. Crashing 

If you spot any of these signs, take action! If left unchecked, the problems can continue to compound, and you may end up getting a message that requires immediate, difficult, and time-consuming attention, such as: 

  • “A fatal error has occurred”
  • “Unrecoverable error”
  • “Missing elements”
  • “This model is incompatible with…”

Revit Health ChecksAVOID THE PROBLEMS WITH PERIODIC HEALTH CHECKS

It is much easier, less time consuming, and better for everyone involved in the project to prevent problems from reaching the tipping point than to try to fix a model on its deathbed. 

KEEP YOUR MODELS CLEAN WITH IDEATE SOFTWARE PLUGINS FOR REVIT 

Before I joined Ideate Software in 2021, I had used its Revit plugins for more than 10 years; I knew they worked, and I knew the company was committed to developing solutions to real challenges faced by Revit users. In fact, I was part of several beta testing programs to verify that enhancements and new products addressed real needs, performed as described, and delivered exceptional value. 

Ideate Software products helped me keep my Revit models in top working condition, and I know they will do the same for you. 

Here are some ways Ideate Software add-ins for Revit can help you maintain model health: 

  • With Ideate BIMLink, you can export health check and QA/QC data from Revit into Microsoft Excel for review in Excel and Power BI where it is easy to locate, identify, and flag QA/QC issues or areas of concern.  

    Ideate BIMLink comes with more than 300 preconfigured links, or series of parameter data mapped together for export to Excel. These links make it easy for users to choose the items they want to review in Excel. And, because exporting a large amount of data from multiple files can take a long time, Ideate Software developed Ideate Automation to automates the process. You can set it to run manually or schedule it to run at a more convenient time, such as overnight. 
     
  • Dig deep into your Revit models with our model browser, Ideate Explorer. Revit has a project browser, which isn’t as powerful. With Ideate Explorer you can easily complete on-demand reviews of QA/QC tasks such as finding and removing CAD imports; addressing group usage; querying element selections to determine if they are pinned, flipped, modelled as in-place families; and more. To give you added control over the data in your Revit model, Ideate Explorer comes with three components: 
     
    • As mentioned earlier in this article, Revit warnings can indicate that a model is unhealthy. With the Warnings Manager that comes with Ideate Explorer, warnings management is easy. The program ranks warnings, notifies users when models contain high-ranking warnings, and allows users to correct problems using tools in Revit when the Warnings Manager dialog box is open. 
       
    • Moving through view-based elements is not a problem with the Navigate function in our Revit add-in Ideate Explorer. With it, you can easily find unused sheets and views; find and filter legends, schedules, sheets, or views by category and/or keyword; and customize working environments without altering the project browser. 
       
    • Use the Query function that comes with Ideate Explorer to search within set parameters for elements such as unused annotations, revisions, in-place usage, design options, structure usage/area scheme, and more.  
       
  • Standard styles keep documentation looking nice and brand compliant. Non-standard styles can make documents look sloppy while also bloating file sizes and negatively impacting model performance. With Ideate StyleManager, another Revit plugin by Ideate Software, users can analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles faster and more accurately than they can when using the style management system that comes with Revit. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT IDEATE SOFTWARE AND REVIT HEALTH

The article above provides some information about how Ideate Software plugin tools for Revit help companies maintain Revit model health. Here’s a link to a webinar recording with more information as well as demonstrations. 

Webinar Recording: Step into the Clinic: Advanced Revit Model Health Checks

NEXT STEPS

Considering the time, money, and frustrations you will save by keeping your Revit models healthy, don’t you owe it to yourself and your team to learn more about Ideate Software plugins? 

Browse our website for more information. You can read our blog posts, view our short how-to videos, and take a look at our robust Help files. And reach out to us at [email protected] to start the discussion on how Ideate Software plug-ins for Revit can help you improve the performance of your Revit models. 

STAY CONNECTED

Check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit plugin solutions. 

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 all 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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