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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May

31

2022

More and more companies across the architecture, engineering, construction, and building-owner community (AECO) are adopting building information modeling (BIM) to improve decisions, communications, win rates, and employee and client relations while at the same time reducing on-site changes and enhancing efficiency during building maintenance and updates. As they move to BIM, many choose Autodesk Revit software, one of the most popular BIM authoring tools in the industry. They use it to create high-quality buildings and infrastructure by:

  • Modeling shapes, structures, and systems in 3D
  • Simplifying documentation work
  • Enabling analysis on the digital model that would not be possible without BIM
  • Empowering multidisciplinary teams in varied locations

A single source of truth for every stage of a building project, Revit provides project teams with access to current information, which increases accuracy, reduces rework, and helps keep projects on time and on budget. Here are just a few of the many ways AECO firms use Revit software: 

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM)Architects optimize building performance during the design stage and run cost estimates
  • Structural engineers create more detailed documentation of steel and concrete designs
  • MEP engineers conduct simulations and interference detection early in the design process
  • Construction teams make better planning and preconstruction decisions earlier
  • Building owners locate components in walls before beginning remodel activities

Revit Limitations

As powerful as Revit is, it does have limitations. Many processes, like updating elements, styles, and data such as room numbers, are manual, and some processes, like search, warnings management, and spellcheck don’t dig as deep as users would like. While completing these tasks in Revit is possible, the processes can be incredibly time consuming and monotonous, which means that the people performing the tasks can easily miss items, make mistakes, or spend hours trying to find hidden elements or repairing model damage done inadvertently. This not only frustrates the users, it also delays the project, frustrating internal project team members, external project team members, customers, and ultimately the company’s reputation. Because time is money, slow manual work costs a company a significant amount of money, and rework is an additional hit to the bottom line.

Filling the Gaps with Top Revit Plugins

The popularity of Revit software and its limitations have created opportunities for individuals and companies to create plugin software to fill the gaps. Since there are so many to choose from, how does a BIM manager or Revit user know where to turn? Some start with free applications, thinking that they are getting a good deal, only to discover that the “solutions” don’t solve anything, and in fact, they sometimes even create more problems. 

We recommend that you start with us. We are confident that you will find that our products, our people, and our company are just what you need to get the most out of your investment in Revit software. Here’s a link to a blog post with five questions to ask when evaluating Revit plug-ins and reasons Ideate Software rises to the top.

Here’s What you get When you Team with Ideate Software

Revit plugins that solve real Revit challenges

All Ideate Software products and product enhancements start with Revit users. We follow Revit forums, we talk with Revit users, and we participate in AECO industry events to learn about Revit challenges. Then we develop products or enhance existing products to address those specific challenges. Before releasing our plugins to the market, we work with users to beta test the features, get their feedback, and make adjustments as needed. You can be confident that every Ideate Software product on the market performs as described.

Here's a recorded webinar that highlights 10 features of Ideate Software products that came directly from Revit user requests:

Highlights of our why our Revit plugins are so popular:   

  1. Ideate Explorer

    Ideate Explorer users spend less time on model management by quickly finding and deleting incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items—including imported or linked DWG drawings—as well as finding, refining, and revising elements, even if they are not included in the Revit project browser. Ideate Explorer users also appreciate these features included with the Revit plugin:
     
    • Warnings Manager – Used to audit and address Revit warnings that are ranked by importance and to fix problems using tools in Revit while the Warnings Manager dialog box is open
       
    • Navigate – Used to navigate through the view-based elements and find unused sheets and views; find and filter legends, schedules, sheets, or views by category and/or keyword; and to customize working environments without altering the project browser 
       
    • Query – Used to search within set parameters for elements like unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions
       
  2. Ideate BIMLink

    Verifying and editing massive amounts of data in a Revit file can be difficult. Ideate BIMLink is on many people’s top Revit plugins list because it makes the process easy! Instead of working in Revit, Ideate BIMLink exports Revit data into Excel, where it can be viewed and manipulated, and then Ideate BIMLink imports the updated data back into Revit, and the model immediately updates. Users love that it saves them significant time and it improves the accuracy of their models. 
     
  3. Ideate Sticky

    Building ConstructionAll AECO project teams work with both BIM data and non-BIM data. Without Ideate Sticky, it is difficult to share nicely formatted non-BIM data with the team, and updates are not always communicated in a timely fashion. With Ideate Sticky, it’s easy. Ideate Sticky live-links Word, Excel, and PDF documents to the Revit file in what we call “Stickies.” They look nice, are easy to read, and any updates made to the original documents are automatically reflected in the Sticky. 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 has access to current information at all times.    
     
  4. Ideate StyleManager

    Revit users know that using the “Paste” function to get existing data into a model can bring the styles associated with that data along with it. Removing that data can be a time-consuming process, and not removing the data is risky, because it can clog up the model and cause performance problems. Ideate StyleManager is a popular Revit plugin because it solves this problem. With it, users quickly and easily analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles. They also use it to see the view filters applied to views, and to clean up object and line styles and patterns, text, fonts, and anything else that might require such attention. 
     
  5. IdeateApps

    Manual, tedious tasks take time away from creative activities and can contribute to mistakes, rework, and employee burnout. By providing several tools that automate hundreds of common tasks, IdeateApps has become a top plugin with Revit users around the world. The names of the tools describe what they do. Here are just a few of them: Ideate SpellCheck, Ideate Align, Ideate Clone, Ideate ViewCreator, and Ideate SheetManager. 

An experienced team committed to customer satisfaction

One of the reasons Ideate Software plugins for Revit are so popular is because people get to know our team and experience first-hand how every person takes great pride in helping them reach their goals. From the first contact, through webinars with Q&A sessions, questions about feature requests, and responsive support teams, customers know that each person brings experience within industry, with Revit software, and with Ideate Software tools. Read a bit about our team members’ impressive qualifications.

A company that considers itself successful when its customers succeed

Ideate Software is an Autodesk Authorized Developer and is a member of the Autodesk Developer Network. Since launching our first Revit plugin more than 14 years ago, we have worked tirelessly to develop software that helps our customers get the most out of Revit. We are driven by one thing: our customers’ success.

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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April

22

2022

We recently showed how to find unused Legend or Schedule views using the Query function within Ideate Explorer in this blog post

Finding unused Legend or Schedule Views
Ideate Query finds where legends have been placed or not.

But how can you find which sheets the legend or schedule views are placed on? 

While Ideate Explorer and Query can identify the number of sheets with legends and schedules, it can’t identify the sheet names or numbers, as this is information is not yet accessible.

However, using Ideate SheetManager, one of the tools in the IdeateApps collection, you can easily find which sheets have legends or schedules placed on them by using the Search function.

Use the Search function to find which sheets have legends or scheduled
You can also use the Search to find other view types.

Using Ideate SheetManager can help make preparing your drawings sets an easy and efficient process.

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

Visit 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 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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April

12

2022

San Francisco, CA, April 12, 2022 – Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, is pleased to present its latest customer spotlight, which highlights how JGMA benefits from Ideate Software add-ins for Revit. JGMA is a Chicago-based architecture and design firm with projects across North America, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Its professionals look at each project as an opportunity to influence civic life and transform communities.

Bringing Ideate Software to JGMA

Esperanza Health Centers designed by JGMA
Esperanza Health Centers. JGMA designed this fully accessible building utilizing forward-thinking design to attract and unite the surrounding community.

When Darya Minosyants Stefanovic joined JGMA as the Director of Technology, she brought extensive experience with Ideate Software tools for Revit. “My last employer was a strong user and advocate of Ideate Software products,” said Darya. “I came to JGMA knowing their power, and after a few discussions and demonstrations of how we would spend less time on tedious Revit tasks, the team was sold.”

JGMA subscribed to all Ideate Software products, and within just a few weeks, the team was experiencing significant benefits:

  • Ideate StyleManager – Darya uses this Revit plug-in tool to streamline the process of managing templates and ensuring projects are set up with company standards. 
     
  • Ideate BIMLink – The architects and designers are digging into the functions of Ideate BIMLink for Revit. They immediately appreciated the fact that it enables them to quickly change worksets throughout a project and rename families.
     
  • Ideate Sticky – JGMA works extensively in MS Excel. They benefit from live-linking Excel spreadsheets to Revit projects, so the Stickies automatically reflect changes made to the Excel document.
     
  • Ideate Explorer – JGMA’s Senior Project Designer Ted Hogan has been advocating for the use of Ideate Explorer. As the team delves into the many ways it can help keep their models clean, they are using it get a broader understanding by isolating and previewing elements in 3D. 
     
  • IdeateApps – So far, JGMA’s favorite tools from the collection are Ideate SheetManager, which they use to quickly clone sheets with similar properties, place views on sheets, and align views between similar sheets and Ideate QuickSelect,which makes it easy to find out why elements are hidden and resolve problems. 

Read more about Ideate Software’s collaboration with JGMA. 

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


About Ideate Software - Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, empowers Revit users to gain unprecedented control over their data. Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager were all developed to solve persistent problems in architecture, engineering, construction, and owner (AECO) workflows. Ideate Software solutions enable Revit users to save time, increase accuracy, improve project deliverables, and elevate design.

Autodesk and Autodesk Revit are trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

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March

30

2022

Autodesk Revit is a powerful piece of design software that has revolutionized the modeling of buildings and structures. One reason this innovative modeling tool is so useful is because it gives users the ability to customize workflows through the Revit API (Application Programming Interface).

Ideate Software brings additional capabilities to Revit with a range of tools developed to increase data accuracy while saving users’ time and reducing their effort.

Work smarter with Ideate Software plug-ins for RevitIdeate Software’s Autodesk Revit add-ins can help you work smarter by giving you access to more Revit data, allowing you to verify, correct, and update data quickly. It is a set of Revit tools that offers numerous benefits, including preventing double handling of data, which vastly reduces the chance of manual errors, making error-related delays less likely and helping to keep projects on time and on budget. 

Here are descriptions of the Ideate Software add-in tools that make Revit users more productive:

1.    Ideate Explorer

Ideate Explorer is a dedicated model browser, as opposed to the project browser in Revit, carefully engineered to reduce the time users spend on model management while at the same time increasing model accuracy. 

This Revit tool enables users to easily keep models clean, comply with standards, and develop a more complete view and understanding of all elements in the model by making it easy to find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items, including DWGs. Ideate Explorer also makes it easy to find, refine, and revise elements, even those excluded from the project browser.

In addition, the Ideate Explorer Revit tool can help users improve the accuracy of their models through these valuable features:

  • A Warnings Manager, which, as the name implies, allows the user to review and manage Revit warnings with ease. It ranks warnings based on importance, notifies users when high ranking warnings appear in the models, and enables users to fix problems using tools in Revit when the Warnings Manager dialog box is open. 
  • A Navigate function that allows users to navigate their way through the view-based elements in an Autodesk Revit project and customize their browsing experience. Use it to find unused sheets and views; find and filter legends, schedules, sheets or views by category and/or keyword; and to customize working environments without altering the project browser. 
  • A Query function that permits searching within set parameters for elements such as unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions as just a few examples.

2.    Ideate BIMLink

Five Revit add-ins to enhance productivityHave you ever thought that controlling your Revit data would be faster and more precise if you had the capability to export the data to Microsoft Excel for editing and then import the updated data back into the Revit model for immediate updates? That is exactly what Ideate BIMLink allows users to do, which is why it is a favorite Revit tool of many professionals in the architecture, engineering, construction and building-owner industries. Whether you need to check to make sure naming conventions are used correctly throughout the model or update element numbering after adding or deleting some elements, or even create new Revit elements from a spreadsheet, Ideate BIMLink is the tool for you.

3.    Ideate Sticky

Project teams working in Autodesk Revit often have non-BIM data they need to share with team members or include in Revit projects by linking, importing or integrating. Ideate Sticky is the tool that should be selected from our range of Autodesk Revit add-ins for this purpose. It is always possible to use Revit schedules to show the data that sits behind your Revit elements, but it is also the case that formatting and organizing non-BIM data can take up a great deal of time, because there is limited text editing functionality built into Revit.

Ideate Sticky overcomes this issue by mixing the familiar flexibility of Word, Excel and PDF editing with the effortless convenience of a sticky note. Ideate Sticky is an elegantly straightforward way to link non-BIM data into a Revit project, whether that data is coming from a Microsoft source such as Excel or Word, or from an Adobe PDF document. And when the source document is updated, the linked “sticky” automatically updates as well. This easy-to-use effective tool can lead to immense improvement in workflows, saving time and improving project efficiency. 

4.    Ideate StyleManager

Pasting data from one model to another can save time, but it can also create issues, because the style information associated with that data can automatically transfer as well. It is important for Revit users to manage styles in their models to present designs that accurately reflect their brand and to reduce end-user confusion caused by publishing errors. Ideate StyleManager gives users the capability to analyze, merge or delete non-standard Revit styles more reliably, more quickly and more accurately than is possible with the built-in Revit style management system. 

Ideate StyleManager is a user-friendly and reliable Revit tool that gives users the ability to see clearly which view filters are being applied to which views, and then clean up object and line styles and patterns, text, fonts, and anything else that might require such attention. Users can also merge non-standard styles into standard styles and analyze forensically how all styles are used, an ability that can provide some extremely useful insight into the real effect of any deletions on the model.

5.    IdeateApps

IdeateApps is a comprehensive set of Revit tools that offers more functionality than Revit. We created and continue to enhance the collection to allow Autodesk Revit users to access and manipulate the data in their models with greater ease. Purposefully designed to take on common challenges identified by people who use Revit daily, these sophisticated MEP, architecture and structure Autodesk Revit add-ins automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows, freeing time for more interesting and valuable activities.  

This suite of intuitive and easy-to-use apps can help Autodesk Revit keep their projects on budget and on time by speeding the process of numerous tasks, including checking spelling, solving element visibility issues, identifying elements that will be deleted with a selected element, batch-creating multiple Revit views while complying with BIM standards, copying sheets with views, renumbering or renaming elements, and so much more.

About Ideate Software

Ideate Software is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer producing Autodesk Revit add-ins intended to solve persistent issues experienced by AECO companies. All the additional capabilities described above can be added to your Autodesk Revit software quickly and easily directly from our website. Whether you subscribe to one of the tools to address a certain issue or all of them to increase the overall productivity of your entire team, you will experience faster and simpler model creation, your models will contain more accurate data, and your models will function more smoothly.   

Hear from some of our customers as they talk about how they use Ideate Software tools for Revit:


 
Contact us or visit 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.

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. 
 

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