December

2

2022

As a company that develops Revit software plugins, we love Revit. We think you should too.

BIM is Awesome

Many Ideate Software employees have been involved in architecture and engineering for several decades, so they remember the days of creating designs with pencil and paper. 

The move from there to BIM within a career is almost overwhelming; seeing what used to take days come to life within hours really can seem like magic to those of us who have been around for a while. And our newer staff members are just as enthusiastic about where BIM is going as the more experienced ones are about where it has been. 

Revit is the Best BIM Tool

While you may know that Revit is one of the top BIM tools in the world, you may not know why it is better than all the rest. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Unified Database
    All the data needed to generate a Revit model is kept in the same database, and that database is updated anytime the model is modified. No longer do team members need to search for data through numerous project files.
     
  2. Scheduling
    Revit schedules are used to report the information in the model in a tabular format. Scheduling, which can be one of the more time-consuming tasks in the architectural design process, is greatly simplified with Revit because the schedules automatically update as changes are made to the model, ensuring they are always in alignment.
     
  3. Collaboration
    With Revit, several users can work on the model at the same time. Users push the work they do to the central model while pulling changes made by colleagues into their local copy. This not only speeds the process, it also exposes clashes that can be mitigated in the design phase rather than when the structure is being built.


     
  4. 3D Renderings
    There are a lot of programs available that provide 3D visualization outputs, but those from Revit are truly realistic. With views from any angle or perspective, architects can “walk” customers through early designs to point out large and small details, incorporate customer feedback into the next version, and quickly iterate until the customer sees that their vision is accurately reflected in the design. Design options can also be easily explored. 
     
  5. Parametric Modeling
    Parametric modeling lets you specify the key parameters of your project and make changes interactively, with the model automatically updating. Revit employs parametric modeling in the form of families. Everything in Revit is part of a family; some are integrated into the software, others are accessible through libraries, and others are created from scratch.
     
  6. Cost Estimating
    Accurate cost estimating is vital to the success of a project. Revit can be used to develop a detailed construction cost estimate in various ways. 
     
  7. Consistent Documentation
    Using templates that come with Revit or storing custom templates within Revit means you can deliver consistent construction paperwork across all your projects. Consistency contributes to clarity, which helps eliminate frustration caused by confusion. 

Ideate Software is the Best Revit Software Plugin

You may say we are biased, but we’re not the only ones saying that our products are great. Here are a few examples:

Customer Reviews on the Autodesk App Store

  1. “Why these application functions haven't been replicated, bundled or brought out into Revit itself astounds me. They simply transform the process of using Revit from a data perspective entirely into one that is 100% more automated, feasible and enjoyable.”
     
  2. “Ideate's suite of tools is indispensable at our firm. There are so many tasks that are made more efficient, and many tasks that would just be flat out impossible without these tools. Ideate does a fantastic job at listening to their customers and they implement suggestions and feature requests quite rapidly. I have been using their products for more than 6 years and highly recommend all of them.”
     
  3. “The Ideate suite of tools are one of very few tools I've come across for Revit that do exactly what they're supposed to, without spamming your toolbars with useless gizmos.”
     
  4. “I recommend every firm within AECO that uses Revit to invest in the Ideate Software Bundle.  Not only does the software make Revit users more efficient within the program, allowing for advanced communication with Revit itself, it also has a user interface that is second to none.  All Ideate applications are essential for every Revit user to be able to utilize on a daily basis - BIMLink for interaction with Revit data through Excel, Sticky to bring in static Excel data to a Revit sheet, Explorer to analyze the model in an advanced way, etc.”

Success Stories

We are pleased that companies in all disciplines and across the world have taken the time to share their experiences with Ideate Software through success stories, blog posts, and webinars. Access information about them all via the Case Studies filter on our blog posts

Our most recent success story is about Evolve Consultancy, one of the UK’s premier BIM and design consultancies. Evolve uses Ideate BIMLink to populate Revit models with COBie (Construction to Operations Building information exchange) data to satisfy ISO 19650-2 requirements. Read more and see screen shots here

Here’s a short video about another company, HLW, and why they recommend Ideate Software tools:


 

The Ideate Software Difference

Visit our website for details of each of our products. Here are highlights:

Ideate Explorer – Dramatically decrease the amount of time spent on model management and enhance model performance with this Revit software plugin. Use it to quickly find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items—including imported or linked DWG drawings—as well as to find, refine, and revise elements, even those not included in the Revit project browser. Included with Ideate Explorer are three features that also help you keep your models in top working order:

  • Warnings Manager – Audit and address Revit warnings ranked by importance and fix problems using tools in Revit while the Warnings Manager dialog box is open
  • Navigate – Navigate through view-based elements to find unused sheets and views; find and filter legends, schedules, sheets, or views by category and/or keyword; and customize work environments without altering the project browser 
  • Query – Search within set parameters for elements like unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions

Ideate BIMLink – Instead of working inside of Revit to verify and/or edit data one element at a time, you can use Ideate BIMLink for Revit. Import to Excel where you can easily view and manipulate large amounts. Once the data is updated, you can then use Ideate BIMLink for Revit to import Excel data back into Revit, and the model will immediately update.  

Ideate Sticky – Share accurate and nicely formatted non-BIM data with Revit teams by live-linking a Revit file to Excel, Word, and PDF documents. These “stickies” look nice, are easy to read, and can be easily updated when changes are made to the original file.     

Ideate StyleManager – Problems frequently occur when data is pasted from one Revit file to another and the styles associated with the original file get copied along with the data. This can clog up the model with incorrect information that can take a long time to remove if working in Revit. It’s important to remove that data, otherwise it can cause model performance problems. With Ideate StyleManager you can quickly and easily analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles. You can also use Ideate StyleManager to see the view filters applied to views and to clean object and line styles and patterns, text, fonts, parameters, and more. 

IdeateApps – Repetitive Revit tasks performed on large complex models can contribute to mistakes, rework, and frustrations. The 10 tools that come in the IdeateApps collection streamline hundreds of common tasks. Descriptions of their functions are in their names: Ideate SpellCheck, Ideate Align, Ideate Clone, Ideate ViewCreator, Ideate SheetManager, Ideate Annotate, Ideate XRay, Ideate ReNumber, Ideate SmartDelete, and Ideate QuickSelect

Ideate Automation – Run time-intensive BIM tasks silently in the background while

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

 

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November

30

2022

Ideate ReNumber, one of the tools in our IdeateApps collection, is a great tool for renumbering virtually any element in your Revit model. Whether its rooms, doors, windows, areas, you’ve probably used the tool when in a plan view.

But did you know you can also use Ideate Renumber in schedule views?

Ideate Renumber from Schedule View

Example

In this example, I’m renumbering sheets to match the ISO 19650 UK standards.

I’ve built a custom rule using custom shared parameters for each of the different containers of the ISO 19650 UK document naming standard. The parameters are concatenated and then pushed into the Sheet number parameter to renumber the sheets. 

With the schedule view open, run the Ideate ReNumber tool. The sorting order of the schedule drives the order in which the elements are numbered, meaning the order in which the increment part is applied.

Ideate ReNumber - Sheet Updates
 
After the renumbering, the sheet numbers have been changed.

Bonus! 

There is also a rule to renumber details views on sheets. This rule can be loaded from our standard as delivered content.

Ideate ReNumber - Renumber details views on sheets

Load the rule by clicking on Import. 

Once loaded, customize the rule to suit your company standard, then start renumbering!

 Ideate ReNumber


Just click on the viewport to renumber them.
 

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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November

17

2022

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.

We recently were contacted by a customer that was trying to find empty Structural Framing Tags. Some of the tags were displaying correctly and some had the infamous question mark symbol (?) within the tag. They were trying to find those empty framing tags and delete them. While investigating, we utilized the Query function within Ideate Explorer and searched for the parameter “Tag Text” to be able to list all the tags that had a prefix and a suffix in this project. That’s when we realized the specific framing tag had a prefix and a suffix setup within the tag.

The prefix and suffix within that Structural Framing Tag was telling Revit that it had a value and it was not actually blank, although the tag wasn’t set to display the prefix or suffix. In this instance, the prefix was set to “T=” and suffix was set to “k”. So, we suggested using Ideate Explorer or Ideate QuickSelect to search for the non-displayed prefix and suffix because you can now also search on the “Tag Text” property. In this specific case, we were able to tell the customer to use either Ideate Explorer or Ideate QuickSelect to use the search string “T=k” to find the Structural Framing Tags that need to be deleted.

Find information diplaying within a tag with Ideate Explorer or Ideate QuickSelect

Use the Search field in either Ideate Explorer or Ideate QuickSelect to find information displaying within a tag. This is the Tag Text Parameter.

Ideate Explorer, in addition to the text displayed in the Results area, also searches within the tag text parameter value, which is not displayed but can be viewed within Ideate Query.   

Find all the Tag Text information with Ideate Query
Using Ideate Query within Ideate Explorer allows you to find all the Tag Text information.

Ideate QuickSelect also has the advanced search for text within the Tag Text parameter, but it does not have the additional power of Ideate Query to see additional details of the Tag Text.

You can learn more about Ideate Explorer Search by reviewing this online Help topic.

You can learn more about Ideate QuickSelect Search by reviewing this online Help topic.
 

Keep those amazing questions coming to [email protected], because this is critically important feedback allows us to continue to improve our software every release.
 

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October

31

2022

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a collaborative process that allows architects, engineers, contractors, and other construction professionals to plan, design, and construct structures within a single 3D model. It also supports owner-operators in building maintenance and management processes. 

The Road to BIM

The road to BIMInitially, designers, architects, and engineers created drawings and blueprints to express their visions and information about building plans. Then, computer aided design (CAD) brought the plans into a digital environment. Next, CAD evolved to 3D, enabling more realistic illustrations. The concept of BIM came around in the 1970s, and today it is the standard and increasingly becoming a mandated process to ensure that the planning, design, and construction of buildings are efficient.

The Power of BIM

The power of BIM is the information, or the “I” in BIM, because it is actionable; BIM components are intelligent, have geometry, and store data, and when they are changed, the BIM software updates the model to reflect that change. These automatic and instant updates dramatically reduce the chance of problems associated with outdated information and version control. 

Structural engineers, architects, MEP engineers, civil engineers, designers, project managers, contractors, and owner-operators can all access the information in a BIM model through a common data environment, and it can be used in all stages of a structure’s life, from inception through operation and even renovations.

The 4-Step BIM Process

Plan  Design  Build  Operate
Generate context models of the existing built and natural environment Perform conceptual design, analysis, detailing, and documentation Begin fabrication using BIM specifications; share construction logistics with trades and contractors  Strip unneeded data from models; leverage remaining data for operations, maintenance, and renovations

BIM Tools

BIM is a process, not a tool. There are several tools available that support the BIM process, and Autodesk leads the pack with:

  • Revit – One of the industry’s most popular BIM authoring tools used by architects, designers, engineers, contractors, and others 
     
  • Navisworks – More of a project review solution for AEC professionals than an authoring tool like Revit
     
  • BIM 360/Autodesk Construction Cloud – Unifies the design, project, and construction processes into a single process
     
  • Civil 3D – Designed on top of AutoCAD for civil engineers; typically broken up in to separate pieces, like grading, alignments, and pipe networks 

User Requests

As powerful as Autodesk software is, it does have limitations. And even though Revit is the leading BIM tool for architects, engineers, and construction teams in the world, users need more. Anyone who checks out the Autodesk Revit Forums can read feature requests submitted through various channels, including Revit Architecture Forum, Revit MEP Forum, Revit Structure Forum, Revit API Forum, and Revit Ideas. Autodesk created Revit Ideas as a way for users to communicate their frustrations with the software, including what they wish the software could do and how existing features can be improved. Other users can give “kudos” to ideas they also deem important. There are also independent Revit forums, such as www.RevitForum.org, where people post questions, share knowledge, and discuss Revit software. 

Ideate Software Responds

Regularly reviewing these public channels is just one of the ways the professionals at Ideate Software remain aware of the needs of the Revit community and able to develop Revit tools that address the needs expressed by Revit users. We also sponsor and participate in industry events, host webinars, lead virtual and in-person user group meetings, attend Autodesk University every year, and regularly ask our customers for feedback. Then, we take all the knowledge we gain to determine how to bring exceptional value to our customers by investing in product enhancements and new product development.   

Gathering information about the needs of Revit users is our first step. Then we create beta versions and ask our customers to give them a try. Because our professionals have been developing Revit tools since 2008 and have proven over and over again that we deliver products that help Revit users do their jobs better, we have a large and loyal group of people who regularly help us fine-tune our products and updates, ensure they meet real needs, and verify that they perform as described. 

Today, our suite boasts six products, each developed and iterated in direct response to requests from Revit users. These Revit plugins for architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator industries automate time-consuming manual processes, streamline repetitive processes, make it much easier for designers and engineers to build models that look good, perform well, and help construction professionals and owner-operators perform their duties with fewer errors, less waste, and greater job satisfaction.  

Here's how our tools can help you:

Quickly find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items—including imported or linked DWG drawings—as well as find, refine, and revise elements, even those not included in the Revit project browser. This functionality dramatically decreases the amount of time spent on model management and enhances model performance. Included with Ideate Explorer are three additional features that will also help you keep your models in top working order:

  • Warnings Manager – Audit and address Revit warnings that are ranked by importance and fix problems using tools in Revit while the Warnings Manager dialog box is open
  • Navigate – Navigate through view-based elements and 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 
  • Query – Search within set parameters for elements like unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions

Instead of working inside of Revit to verify and/or edit data one element at a time, you can use Ideate BIMLink to export the data you need to review to Microsoft Excel where you can view and manipulate massive amounts of data at the same time. You can then use Ideate BIMLink to import the verified or updated data back into Revit, and the model will immediately update.  

Share accurate and nicely formatted non-BIM data with Revit teams by live-linking Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and PDF documents to the Revit file with Ideate Sticky. These “stickies” look nice, are easy to read, and can be easily updated within Revit when changes are made to the original file. Whether it’s building codes, consultant data, abbreviation lists, general notes, or any of the many other non-BIM data critical to a project’s success, you can be sure your team always has access to current information.    

Eliminate the problems frequently caused by pasting data from one Revit file to another. Often, styles associated with the original file get copied along with the data, clogging up the model with incorrect information that can take a long time to remove if working in Revit. Not removing it isn’t an option, because extraneous data can cause model performance problems. With Ideate StyleManager, a top Revit plugin, you can quickly and easily analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles. You can also use Ideate StyleManager to see the view filters applied to views and to clean object and line styles and patterns, text, fonts, parameters, and more. 

Eliminate tedious Revit tasks that when performed on large complex models can contribute to mistakes, rework, and frustrations. By using the 10 tools that come in the IdeateApps collection, you can automate hundreds of common tasks. The names of the tools describe their functions: Ideate SpellCheck, Ideate Align, Ideate Clone, Ideate ViewCreator, Ideate SheetManager, Ideate Annotate, Ideate XRay, Ideate ReNumber, Ideate SmartDelete, and Ideate QuickSelect

Run time-intensive BIM tasks silently in the background while you do more meaningful work with Ideate Automation. Either started manually or scheduled to run at a convenient time, Ideate Automation can increase your productivity, eliminate the need to train staff of repetitive tasks, and ensure task outcomes are highly predictable, free of user errors, and standardized. 

Examples of tasks to automate include: 

  • Exporting key Revit model health data
  • Creating document issue records
  • Preparing COBie data drops
  • Generating quantity take-off data 
  • Generating regular, automated PDF exports
  • Delivering CSV reports on key Revit family and project metrics

 Here’s a short video that shows how to use Ideate Automation to perform Revit model health checks:

     

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

 

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October

26

2022

If you use IdeateApps and haven’t yet learned about its newest tool Ideate Annotate, you’ll want to take 30 minutes to watch this recorded webinar.

In June 2022, we aligned our software with Revit 2023 and made feature updates to Ideate Software versions 2020-2022. These updates included a new tool in the IdeateApps collection called Ideate Annotate. This tool is available to existing subscribers at no additional cost, and it helps improve design documentation and quality control activities by ensuring the legibility of Revit tags, text, dimensions, and other annotative elements.

In addition to learning about Ideate Annotate, you’ll learn about updates to two other tools in the IdeateApps collection: Ideate XRay and Ideate QuickSelect

Stay up to date on Ideate Software add-in tools for Revit. Visit our Events page for details on more virtual and in-person opportunities to learn how to use our tools to enhance your productivity and efficiency.

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 add-in 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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