August

31

2022

Ideate Software is all about increasing the productivity, or the quality of work, plus the efficiency, or how well the resources available are used to produce that work, of architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator (AECO) professionals that work with Revit. As BIM tool adoption among AEC firms rises, and since Revit is the top BIM tool in the AEC community, the Ideate Software team has the opportunity to work with companies of all sizes and in all disciplines in multiple countries around the world. We learn about the workflows that create challenges, both in terms of model accuracy and time spent on model management, and we develop plugins for Revit that address those challenges. Visit our website for details about our solutions for Revit users, including product details, how-to videos, blog posts with step-by-step instructions, and information on free trials and subscription options. 

Confirming the Value of our Revit Solutions

There are many plugins for Revit on the market, and some of them are inexpensive or even free. At Ideate Software, we deliver value, and we charge appropriately (see blog post). So how do we get the message out about Ideate Software products and demonstrate that they deliver a strong return on investment? One way is by sharing the results of a survey in which we asked Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer customers from around the world about the amount of time they save by using the products.  

Survey Results - Ideate BIMLink 

Our Ideate BIMLink plugin for Revit saves users time and increases the accuracy of the data in their models by enabling them to export data from Revit to Excel, where they can quickly verify, correct, and update massive amounts of data, and then import that data back from Excel to Revit in order to make changes in the Revit model.

Here are some of the most significant time savings reported by Ideate BIMLink users:

In the “Common Workflows for Any Discipline” category, our customers reported that they saved an average of:

  • 40 hours per project preparing for COBie deliverables by editing and completing COBie-required data fields for the handover deliverables
     
  • 25 hours per project developing project health checks by scheduling multiple Revit properties and categories, both visible and not readily visible within the model, to make informed decisions on what to include as part of a health check
     
  • 25 hours per project managing overall schedule data by editing in Excel instead of Revit, insuring speed and accuracy of model data editing and management

Here’s a link to the information on our website, and here are links to the detailed reports by discipline:

Want to determine how much time and money you could save by using Ideate BIMLink plugin for Revit? 

Check out our Ideate BIMLink ROI Calculator. Simply select the tasks that your office performs from a list of common tasks and input:

  • How often each task is performed on a project
  • How long the task takes
  • Your average number of projects a year
  • The average billing rate of Revit users 

    Ideate BIMLink ROI Calculator

Survey Results - Ideate Explorer

Building information modeling (BIM) with this plugin for Revit is much faster because the tool reduces the time that Revit users spend searching for and editing elements in a Revit model. 

When surveying Ideate Explorer users, we asked them how they use Ideate Explorer and how often they use it. Here’s a link to the whole report. Below are three examples:

  • Frequency: Daily
    Task: Select and Filter Instances

    Ideate Explorer is a great substitution for the Revit selection filter, because it allows users to select from a list of Revit elements down to the individual instances. Then they can use its built-in functionality and Revit commands to further review or make changes to the selection.
     
  • Frequency: Weekly
    Task: Review Element Counts

    Ideate Explorer allows users to track the progress of Revit models over time by gathering total model element counts and total counts per category, such as under/over usage of certain categories and families, placed vs. unplaced views, etc. Users can drill down to element counts for each category and type used.
     
  • Frequency: Varies
    Task: Refine Element Selection

    The Query function within Ideate Explorer allows users to refine a selection of elements by selecting from a large list of parameters, including some not accessible by Revit. The many additional parameters listed include Created By, Last Edited By, Is Pinned, Is In Place, Is Flipped, and Is Nested.

To help Ideate Explorer customers calculate the time savings and convert that time savings in cost savings, we developed the Ideate Explorer ROI calculator. Stakeholders simply enter information about the average time savings per week, average number of Revit users, and average number of work weeks per year to determine the approximate hours saved per week and per year. Then simply plug in the average hourly billing rate of Revit users to get the approximate cost savings.  

Ideate Explorer ROI Calculator

By taking the time to calculate the return on investment and truly understand how money is spent and how our Revit plugins can save money, stakeholders will be well-prepared to have a discussion with leadership about recommendations.

A Customer Example - Steinberg Hart

We were pleased to present a blog post by our customer Steinberg Hart in which they shared how they got their team and leadership to support subscribing to IdeateApps, a collection of tools that automates common Revit tasks. Gautam Shenoy said, “For team buy in, I show how the technology will streamline processes, save time, and improve quality. For leadership buy in, I justify the expense by demonstrating a positive ROI based on its inference on the fee, time invested, and time spent.”

To determine the value of the tools in the IdeateApps collection, Gautam noted the relevant tasks performed by each tool, how much time he and his team spent performing them manually, and how much time they would take using the tools. He used this information to understand the value of the tools and to justify the move to IdeateApps to both his team and company leadership.

In addition to presenting the details in a blog post, we welcomed Gautam to present his process on a webinar, Developing Efficient Processes with Ideate Software and Gautam Shenoy from Steinberg Hart.  

Read Customer Success Stories

We are proud to be associated with leading architecture, engineering, constructions, and owner-operator companies around the world. To read about how some of them use our Revit plugins to save time, improve data accuracy, and increase the health of their Revit models, see the success stories we have posted on our website. 

Learn More about how to Increase Productivity and Efficiency with Plugins for Revit by Ideate Software 

If you’re interested in BIM, you likely use Revit. Our plugins for Revit are worth a look. 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 productive and efficient.

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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August

17

2022

We at Ideate Software love Revit software. We know how powerful it is and how it transforms the way Revit users in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator fields perform their jobs. As powerful as Revit is, it does have some limitations. Our goal as a company is to talk with Revit users, learn which of those limitations create the greatest challenges, and develop plugins for Revit that address those challenges.

Reasons the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Owner-Operator Industries use Revit

Used by an estimated 4 million subscribers around the world, Revit is the most popular BIM tool within the AEC community. Why? People love it because it excels at transforming data created in 3D models into realistic documentation and visualizations of buildings and structures that architects, MEP engineers, structural engineers, construction workers, building managers, and others use to share, review, update, and confirm designs. The single platform used for multidisciplinary BIM workflows, from design through operation, leads to enhanced designs, fewer errors, and less rework, all which contribute to an outstanding employee and client experience. 

In addition to enabling the sharing, syncing, and iterating designs between architects, engineers, contractors, building operators, and others, Revit software also delivers specialty toolsets that offer capabilities specific to each discipline. Here are a just few examples: 

  • Architects
    • ArchitectsArchitects create fully functional mock-ups of buildings that not only support construction, but also help sales and marketing teams because they can walk potential clients and other stakeholders through the building and point out specific features that interest the specific audience.
    • For remodels and renovations, Revit software can integrate with Autodesk ReCap, which allows the user to take points from photographs of existing structures and import them into Revit, so architects work with an accurate portrayal of the buildings.
    • Using the analysis features in Revit, architects can optimize the performance of a building in the early stages, run cost estimates, and monitor performance over the lifetime of the project and the building.
       
  • Structural Engineers
    • Structural EngineerComplying with local requirements is easy in Revit because the software works with localized libraries and templates that can be edited to meet the needs of any project.
    • Detailed 3D Revit models are used to create many bidirectional views, like 3D details, schedules, and sections. Since all the views are stored in the same model, when the engineer makes a change to one, the others automatically update. 
    • While creating the physical model in Revit, the engineers use the analytical model to conduct structural analysis and export to analysis and design applications.
       
  • MEP Engineers
    • MEP EngineersThis easy-to-use modeling tool increases the productivity of MEP professionals by automatically placing ducts, pipes, and fittings.
    • With access to manufacturer-specific content, the engineers create exact digital representations prior to construction as well as as-built models after construction.
    • By using the multiple views in a Revit model, engineers check for clashes and issues in the design process, avoiding costly on-site mistakes.
       
  • Contractors/Construction
    • Contractor - ConstructionConstruction teams prepare construction documents with 2D drafting services that include elevation plans, foundation plans, roofing, sectional drawings, structural framing, floor plans, and more.
    • By automatically calculating the amount of material needed, Revit helps contractors minimize waste, reduce the cost of the project, and keep the project moving forward instead of dealing with material shortages.
    • Before any construction begins, contractors confirm that the designs can be successfully implemented by assessing the steadiness of the foundation, systems, fixtures, material choices, etc. to detect flaws.     

Enhancing the Power of Revit with Ideate Software Plugins

Ideate Software is an Autodesk Authorized Developer and is a member of the Autodesk Developer Network. We develop Revit plugins that give customers unprecedented access to and control over their Revit data. In 2008 we launched our first Revit plugin, Ideate Explorer. Since then, we added Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps to our list of tools that solve persistent problems for Revit users in architecture, engineering, construction, and building management. In June 2022, we launched Ideate Automation 2.0 to boost the power of our plugins for Revit by running time-intensive activities in the background. All our tools help Revit users perform tasks in much less time, freeing them to spend more time on interesting and valuable activities.

Here are highlights of the capabilities of our tools:

  1. Ideate Explorer – To solve the challenge of finding hidden problems in a Revit model, we developed Ideate Explorer, which is a model browser that shows each instance of elements within the Revit model; the browser in Revit is simply a project browser. With Ideate Explorer, users can easily:
    • Search for and find hidden problem items including DWG imports or links
    • Navigate through view-based elements within Revit
    • Search on parameters such as elements assigned a certain size
    • Review and manage Revit warnings 
       
  2. Ideate BIMLink – Data in Revit models needs to be checked regularly for accuracy, and when design changes occur, it needs to be updated. The process in Revit can be time consuming and frustrating for everyone involved, from the person entering the data to the people waiting for the end product. Ideate BIMLink eliminates the problem by enabling users to move data from Revit into Excel, where its powerful functionality makes verifying, correcting, and updating data fast and easy. Then, when the data is correct, the user simply uses Ideate BIMLink to bring it back into the model, which automatically updates. Tasks that once took hours take just minutes.
     
  3. Ideate Sticky – Revit teams need access to a wealth of non-BIM data, which, without Ideate Sticky, is difficult to format nicely. With Ideate Sticky, users live link formatted text in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF documents to their Revit projects, ensuring everyone has access to the correct information, such as:
    • Building codes
    • Specifications
    • General notes
    • Abbreviation lists
    • Consultant data
    • Document issue records
       
  4. Ideate StyleManager – A bloated Revit file doesn’t perform well, and one of the most common causes of a bloated file is extraneous data which often comes from copying and pasting data from other files. Done incorrectly, this process brings in all the style information associated with the original file. With Ideate StyleManager, one of our plugins for Revit, this is never a problem, because users can quickly analyze, delete, or merge non-standard styles.
     
  5. IdeateApps – This collection of 10 tools streamlines common tasks identified by Revit users as tedious, time consuming, and error prone, such as batch-creating views, copying sheets, aligning plan views, renumbering elements, ensuring the legibility of annotations, and more. Whether used as Revit architecture plugins or by MEP or structural engineers, the IdeateApps Revit plugin delivers insight into models, improves the quality of Revit models, and frees the users’ time to do more interesting and valuable activities.
     
  6. Ideate Automation – We developed this scripting tool to automate time consuming tasks in Revit and Ideate Software solutions, such as:
  • Creating PDF exports from Revit files
  • Auditing Revit family size
  • Checking compliance with standards in Revit
  • Automating common tasks in Ideate Software applications for Revit to:
    • Create health check reports
    • Create document issue records
    • Manage COBie data
    • Generate quantity take-off data
    • Extract model warnings data
    • Review Revit model style information
    • Review annotation clashes on views and sheets

Here’s an overview video on Ideate Automation.

  

Visit our website to learn more about our Revit BIM Tools. When you’re ready to take the next step, contact us, get 30-day trial versions, or choose the subscription option that best meets your needs. 

See Workflow Demonstrations

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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August

12

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.

This question was asked by an Ideate Explorer customer:

“How do I find all Revit elements assigned to a Design Option within my Revit model?”

Well, the first instinct for Ideate Explorer users might be to review the Sort by: options on the main Ideate Explorer dialog. Ideate Explorer can sort model and annotation elements by Category, Level, Phase, Room, Space, Zone, Workset, or Edited by.  (The last two options will only appear if the Revit model is a workshared model.) However, Design Option is currently not one of the Sort by: selections.

Sort by: selections
Ideate Explorer users have several options to view model and annotation elements within the Revit model by choosing a specific Sort by: option.

So, how do we accomplish the task of reviewing Revit elements assigned to Design Options? We can use our trusted friend, Ideate Query.

First, you would want to select the data categories of elements you wish to review for the specific Design Option. I might suggest selecting only doors or walls to begin as an example. However, I have selected all categories within the Revit model since the model size and number of elements is manageable for my example. I selected all model and annotation categories, but most annotation categories can’t be associated with a Design Option. Annotations and details (such as keynotes, dimensions, and tags) are view-specific elements. They cannot be part of a design option. However, reference planes can indeed be assigned to a Design Option and those are annotation elements.

If more than one data category is selected within Ideate Query, the list of available properties will indicate "Multi-Category" as shown in the image below. In this mode, the list of properties will be narrowed and will be limited to Project, Project Shared, and System Parameters. To see more parameters, select only one of the data categories at the left. The Design Option is a property that is available for all instances of Revit elements.   

Ideate Query Design Options
I foolishly selected all Revit elements in my model, but I can now review which elements have been assigned to a specific Design Option. In my example, 374 elements are assigned to the Office Suite Design Option.

I choose to select and review the 374 elements assigned to the Office Suite Design Option. This will return to the previous Ideate Explorer results tree, but the Display will read “Current Selection” to show ONLY those elements assigned to the Office Suite Design Option.

Design Option List - Ideate Explorer
These are the 374 elements assigned to the Office Suite Design Option. 

It’s easy to select all model and annotation elements that are assigned to a Design Option within Ideate Explorer. However, we’ve also had customers ask if you can accomplish the same procedure with Revit Views.

The problem with views is that Revit doesn’t give us all the information we need to compile an accurate list of views assigned to each Design Option. Revit has a property for each view entitled “Visible in Option,” but this is actually referring to the tag or view reference and NOT all possible views. The Autodesk Revit Help on this topic refers to the view tag, which I would also call the view reference. The “Visible in Option” property will set whether the view tag or reference will display in ALL views or just a view assigned to a specific Design Option.

Ideate Query Visible In View 
You can use Ideate Query to see which View Tags/References are assigned to a specific Design Option.  I have 3 view tags set to only display within the Office Suite Design Option and 1 view tag set to only display within the Balcony Configurations Design Option. Most views are set to all.

The information you want is the actual number of views that have been set to display the design option within the Visibility/Graphics dialog. However, this information is currently NOT easily accessible within Revit.

Ideate Explorer - Visiblity Graphic
Each individual Revit view can have an override setting to display different options.

So, use Ideate Explorer to review model and annotation elements assigned to specific Design Options, but be careful with the “Visible in Option” property, because it may not provide the information you need.

There are many more examples of using Ideate Query that you can find online. Let us know how you use Ideate Query to find, select, and modify Revit elements.

If you have any comments on how we can improve our user interfaces, please let us know! Just send an email to [email protected].


 

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July

12

2022

San Francisco, CA, July 12, 2022 – Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, announced enhancements to its Revit plugin applications. In addition to aligning its software with Revit 2023, Ideate Software made significant improvements that will help Revit users deliver high-quality models in less time.

Perform Time-Intensive Tasks in the Background with Ideate Automation 2.0

“One of the most significant changes made is the release of Ideate Automation 2.0, a scripting solution that links to all our Revit plugins to run time-intensive tasks in the background, including the much-requested .pdf export process,” said Glynnis Patterson, Director of Software Development, Ideate Software. “With Ideate Automation, users no longer need to wait for their computers to open Revit models and chug through all their data. Not only does task automation free staff for higher level engineering and design work, it also has the benefit of ensuring that task outcomes are highly predictable and standardized.”

Improve Revit Data Management with Several Enhancements

  • Reviewing 2D annotations and clashes is now possible with Ideate Annotate, a new tool added to the IdeateApps collection that simplifies common tasks performed by daily Revit users.  
     
  • Revit users can now use extended search capabilities to find Revit elements by their respective tag values, such as for door, structural framing, or mechanical equipment tags with Ideate Explorer, a powerful model auditing engine. 
     
  • Maintaining model health is easier than ever with enhancements to Ideate BIMLink:
     
    • Health Check folder has two new library links: HC-Ideate Types and HC-Worksets
       
    • The ability to rename worksets and review number of Revit elements assigned has been added
       
    • Detail Groups and Attached Detail Groups are available within many link definitions
       
    • Excel macro template for creating spreadsheets of all sheet revisions on the sheet now includes numeric, alphanumeric, and custom revision numbering settings
       
    • Several new library link definitions added for Industry Foundation Class data exchange and support for newly built-in IFC parameters
       
    • New ability to report on shared, non-shared project, and global parameters  
       
  • The addition of Parameters and Global Parameters to the main ribbon menu in Ideate StyleManager simplifies the complex process of managing Revit Parameters in Revit models; users can now understand exactly where and how these parameters are being used.

Current subscribers have access to the current Revit-compatible version plus three earlier versions as well as access to point release improvements made during the subscription period. Those who aren’t subscribers yet can download trial versions from the Ideate Software website or purchase our “get-to-know-us” bundle for access to Revit plugins Ideate Explorer, Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps by Ideate Software. Free trials of Ideate Automation are also available.
 


About Ideate Software - Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, empowers Revit users to gain unprecedented control over their data. We developed Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager to solve persistent problems in architecture, engineering, and construction, and owner-operator (AECO) workflows. We developed Ideate Automation to boost the power of our Revit plugins by running time-intensive activities in the background. 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 is a registered trademark 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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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 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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