December

15

2020

We send a sincere thank you to Paul Aubin, from Paul F. Aubin Consulting Services, for reviewing our Revit productivity solutions. With 30+ years of experience, Paul is an independent architectural consultant providing Revit software training and implementation services. He has authored many books, including Renaissance Revit, and has posted dozens of Revit courses and tips and tricks videos to LinkedIn Learning.   

Here is the first part of Paul’s article where he talks about Ideate QuickSelect and Ideate Explorer. We will post the second part about Ideate StyleManager in January.


Ideate Software Tools Have Enhanced my Revit Workflows

I have recently added Ideate Software solutions to my Revit installation and workflow. I find myself going to the Ideate Software tab on an increasingly regular basis. In these articles, I will share just a few of my favorite “go-to” tools. But first, if you are not familiar with them, Ideate Software makes Revit productivity solutions that are available individually or in bundles. They work directly inside of Revit and are accessed from their own Ideate Software tab on the ribbon. 

While I focus on Ideate QuickSelect and Ideate Explorer in this article, the complete suite of Revit solutions offered by Ideate Software is worth your taking the time to fully explore. 

Ideate QuickSelect

Let’s start with Ideate QuickSelect. This is a very simple but highly useful tool. Whenever I deliver beginner level Revit training, element selection is one of the first things we discuss. Editing in Revit (like any graphical software package) begins with a selection of elements onscreen. The software offers many ways to do this directly with your mouse and various modifier keys on the keyboard. Such methods are fine for simple selections. However, when you need to make a more complex selection, it can sometimes be challenging and/or time consuming using the native tools. For example, let’s say you have a large plan and want a selection containing only doors and windows. You can box select (with a window or crossing selection), and then filter out all categories except Doors and Windows in the Filter dialog. This is effective, but it limits you to selecting by category only. For example, if you only want some of the doors, you must be much more strategic about your initial selection (to avoid the ones you don’t want) and then filter from there. The other out-of-the-box method that is quite handy is the right-click option to select all instances. This is effectively “select by type.” Right-click an element and then using this method, select other element of the same type as the one selected. 

But what if you want to select two types, but not a third? And what if getting that initial selection just right to avoid the ones you don’t want is too tricky? Or what if you want to add to or remove from the selection later without manually CTRL and SHIFT clicking? These are the times when Ideate QuickSelect comes in. 

Ideate QuickSelect combines the best of the filter and right-click methods into a single modeless dialog. It lets you make selections from the active view, your entire project or even from an existing selection (like Filter). Best of all, it lists all elements in their familiar hierarchical tree starting at Category and progressing through Family, Type and even Instance. You simply expand your way down the tree and check the boxes at any level to select. 

Paul Aubin Review

Figure 1 - Select items by checking the boxes next to categories, families, types or even instances

Additionally, as you expand each branch you will see the quantity of elements at that level (even before they are selected). If you expand the branch all the way, you will see each instance listed. If you double-click on an instance shown, the active view will zoom to that element. 

If you choose the “Entire Project” option from the Display drop-down at the top, and then double-click an element, an appropriate view will be found and opened to display the element (if it is not visible in the current view). Furthermore, changing the Display options at the top will not drop the selection! So, any elements already selected in the list will remain selected. Naturally, this could be a little risky when using the “Entire Project” option, so I recommend caution or sticking with the “active View” display option most of the time. 

Ideate Explorer

Want even more control over your selection? Try Ideate Explorer. Ideate Explorer has all the features of Ideate QuickSelect plus other tools useful for auditing the project. I won’t dig into all its nuances in this article and will instead remain focused on selection. (However, there are excellent videos on the Ideate Software website that cover the complete functionality of Ideate Explorer and all the other Ideate Software tools). Ideate Explorer adds sorting and filtering to the selection. This means that you can choose from several other sorting schemes rather than the default of Category. 

But what I like best is that you can use Filters. Now these are Revit View Filters that we are talking about here. So, if you have configured Filters to use in your Visibility/Graphics Overrides, they can be used in Ideate Explorer to assist in selection! 

For example, in the next figure I have a project with many elements in the Site category. The left side shows that there are 1,510 such elements in the project. However, I have added information to the properties of many of these elements and a corresponding filter that lets me customize their visibility in certain views using that information. Using that same Filter in Ideate Explorer (shown on the right), you can see that it limits the selection to only 473 elements. This makes it very easy to select exactly the elements needed and leverage all those carefully crafted Filters you may have in your projects. By far one of my favorite selection tricks available in the Ideate Software tools. 

Figure 2 - Using Ideate Explorer, you can use your Revit display Filters to assist in selection

That is all I have for you in this article. I hope you found those features exciting and worth a look. Ideate Software offers a free trial of their solutions. Browse this website to learn more and download them. You can also subscribe to them online

Keep an eye out for the second half of my article where I will talk about Ideate StyleManager. 

Disclosure: I have been granted a license to the Ideate Software solutions in exchange for my honest review of the software. The views in this article are my own. 

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September

17

2020

Previously, I wrote a blog post on the Settings Menu for Ideate Sticky.

In addition to Ideate Sticky, we added the Settings Menu icon to many of our other applications, including Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate ReNumber, Ideate SheetManager, and Ideate ViewCreator. The settings icon, represented by a cog wheel, is generally where you will find specific settings, such as default library or rule paths, as well as any default mapping or creation settings.

Cog icon
The Ideate SheetManager settings menu can be accessed by selecting the Cog Icon in the upper right hand of the main Ideate SheetManager dialog.

Today, let us explore the Ideate SheetManager settings and see how easy it is to layout views on a sheet using the ability to set Viewport Types as well as the specific area for view placement within the defined Title Block and sheet.

The Problem

We need the ability to quickly select the proper Viewport Type and view location on a sheet. Ideate Software tools allow you to simultaneously drag and drop multiple views onto a sheet, but how can you control their default location as well as the Viewport Type for different views?

Ideate SheetManager

The Solution 

The Ideate SheetManager settings menu allows you easy control of Viewport Types as well as the Viewport locations within the Title Block area.

Ideate SheetManager

Review this short 3-minute video to see how you can use the power of the Ideate SheetManager Settings Menu to quickly configure the Title Block sheet for the tasks you need to accomplish.


 

We have a wealth of information on Ideate SheetManager and the ease of managing Sheets and Views.  Please review these additional blog posts on related topics for Ideate SheetManager:

Browse our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today


About the Author

Richard W. Taylor, Associate AIA – Technical Evangelist 
Richard has more than 30 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions, such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 20 years of Revit experience, and he was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked for 12 years at Autodesk, where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As Technical Evangelist, Richard works with AECO clients worldwide, developing and consulting on BIM solutions. Find Richard on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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September

7

2020

IdeateApps is one of the products developed by Ideate Software to increase Revit efficiency. It is a collection of nine focus-driven tools that decrease the time spent on common Revit tasks and increase the accuracy of BIM data in a Revit model. Designed for all Revit users – new and experienced – these tools help keep your projects on time and on budget. 

In addition to webinars (live and recorded), we offer robust online Help files and short how-to videos. These resources complement our in-product Help, substantial sample content, and awesome technical support team.

Watch the recording of this webinar to learn how you can save time and increase model accuracy:

  1. Spend less time renumbering elements – Ideate ReNumber
  2. View all instances of difficult-to-find items – Ideate QuickSelect
  3. Learn which dependents will be deleted along with your selection – Ideate SmartDelete
  4. Check spelling of all data, including text within schedules – Ideate SpellCheck
  5. Understand why elements aren’t visible in a particular view – Ideate XRay

SHEET AND VIEW TOOLS

  1. Place views on sheets and easily manage sheets – Ideate SheetManager
  2. Align all plan views in a set to synchronize across all sheets – Ideate Align 
  3. Easily copy sheets with aligned views – Ideate Clone 
  4. Create a series of views with the proper parameters – Ideate ViewCreator 

Browse our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today


About the Author

Richard W. Taylor, Associate AIA – Technical Evangelist 
Richard has more than 30 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions, such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 20 years of Revit experience, and he was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked for 12 years at Autodesk, where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As Technical Evangelist, Richard works with AECO clients worldwide, developing and consulting on BIM solutions. Find Richard on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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August

11

2020

Do you and your team spend too much time trying to figure out why an element is invisible in certain views in your Revit projects? The reason that it’s so time-consuming is because Revit allows a dizzying array of sophisticated options to display or hide elements within the building information model. We here at Ideate Software have uncovered more than 50 ways to hide an element! Revit out-of-the-box capabilities are limited for diagnosing visibility issues. Ideate XRay is the answer!

Ideate XRay will quickly search through the 50+ potential causes, identify the reasons the elements are invisible, and allow you to correct the problem. Within moments, your elements are visible, and you can get back to modeling.

Want to see some demonstrations? Watch the recording of the 30-minute webinar.


 
Here are some comments from people who attended the webinar:

  • “I am one of the main people in our office that others come to in order to ‘find’ those elements that are hidden. I have to run through all of these possibilities each time. Great to know that we have something they can start to use to solve their own issues.”
     
  • “This is a very important topic. This issue can take hours of troubleshooting from the BIM Support teams and delay the modeling work of the design team. In addition, this tool can help to find elements that were incorrectly hidden in view by inexperienced users and can create an issue when delivering the model to clients, since these elements can have an impact on the data collection effort.”
     
  • "Yes, this is a very useful tool, not just in troubleshooting, but in raising awareness of the layering of issues that happen when designers are not checking various settings when modeling.”

In addition to this webinar recording, please review our recent Blog Article post on the Ideate XRay Selection Wizard.

Browse our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today


About the Author

Richard W. Taylor, Associate AIA – Technical Evangelist 
Richard has more than 30 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions, such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 20 years of Revit experience, and he was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked for 12 years at Autodesk, where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As Technical Evangelist, Richard works with AECO clients worldwide, developing and consulting on BIM solutions. Find Richard on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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July

30

2020

This is the first post in a series of three provided by BIMAGE Consulting, our value-added reseller in Singapore. Keep an eye out for additional posts on how our other Revit productivity tools also contribute to successful BCA BIM e-submissions in that country.

Established in 2010, BIMAGE is the leading technology company in BIM/VDC and Digitized Construction within Singapore. BIMAGE helps customers optimize design development, construction and operation phases of buildings and infrastructure while using various technologies, including Revit and Ideate Software tools plus other BIM software such as virtual design and construction, augmented reality/virtual reality, geographic information systems, cloud, mobile and more. 

The Challenge – Complying with Varying E-Submission Requirements

For several years, Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has mandated that design consultants submit their native BIM models for new developments with a gross floor area of more than 5,000 square meters through an e-submission system for design approval. E-submission is voluntary for developments with a gross floor area less than or equal to 5,000 square meters.

In line with this, BCA published several Code of Practices for BIM e-submission to clearly define the requirements for each discipline. There are also templates for different BIM software along with the respective guidelines and recommended processes.

BIMAGE - Singapore
 
Screenshot of e-submission page showing the many links to instructions and forms by discipline

Using the e-submission system, design consultants must obtain approval from seven different authorities before commencing the construction work for any project, and each has different criteria and requirements. 

When design consultants prepare the BIM models for the submission, they often spend a significant amount of time:

  • Creating multiple views and sheets for all regulatory agencies
  • Adhering to the various naming conventions and standards
  • Completing extensive quality checks

Some examples include removing worksets, making sure all views are located on the correct View Category, updating the cover page, and ensuring the BIM model meets all the requirements. 

BIMAGE - Singapore
Example of View Categories and Views for one of the seven regulatory agencies

Speeding the Process with Three IdeateApps Tools

With Ideate Software tools, most of these tasks can be quickly completed within hours or even minutes. Here are some examples of how three tools within the IdeateApps collection speed the process, eliminate errors, and reduce frustrations:

  1. Ideate ViewCreator is a perfect tool to help consultants create multiple views with customizable rule sets and criteria. While duplicating the required views, consultants can easily adjust many settings, including:
    • View naming
    • View scales
    • View templates
    • Scope boxes
  2. Ideate SheetManager is used by consultants to create multiple new sheets and manage the views on sheets, as well as perform one-click sheet cloning and view alignments to satisfy submission needs. 
  3. Ideate SpellCheck can then be used to check the spelling of all sheets at once, so the team can spot mistakes and make corrections in time.

Undoubtedly, IdeateApps is a valuable productivity application that assists in the BCA BIM e-submission process. BIMAGE Consulting has helped many consultants to adopt Ideate Software workflows on multiple projects. 

Browse the Ideate Software website for more information on Ideate Apps and our other Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today

Authors

Ms. Lee Yih Perng – Manager, BIM/VDC/Smart Cities, BIMAGE Consulting
Ms. Pratibha – Senior Consultant, Architecture & Planning, BIMAGE Consulting


 

 

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