We recently launched the ability to create the export of DWG files from Revit models via Ideate Automation. (We have supported the creation of PDFs since June 2022). Controlling the output of the files is done within the Ideate Automation set up wizard. We have improved upon the Revit DWG export settings and can control the naming of the DWGs better and add custom parameters where appropriate.

The default file naming for many of the scripts that export to DWG is controlled by the variable ${view_parameterValue}. This value is in turn controlled by either a sheet or view name parameter. The default value for the sheet elements is to use the parameter called “Sheet Number” while the default value for view elements is to use the parameter called “View Name.” 

To comply with ISO 19650 standards for example, many people are managing the required sheet number value with a custom parameter name. In the example shown below, the sheet number is combined on the title block to include two custom parameters called Project Code and Originator, both of which are stored under Project Information.

Project Code and Originator
Example of title sheet using custom parameters to comply with the ISO 19650 UK standard

Both the AUT-Export_DWG and IBL-Export_DWG_Dynamic Ideate Automation scripts can be used to deliver unique DWG file names by adjusting the File Name variable to:

${Revit.CurrentFile.ProjectInfo.Project Code}-${Revit.CurrentFile.ProjectInfo.Originator}-${view_parameterValue}

Task Script Variables - AUT-Export_DWG
You can add custom parameters from Project Information to the file name.

After the script has completed and the files have been created the file name is created by concatinating the Project Code, Originator and Sheet Number parameters.

DWGs created with names consistent with ISO 19650 UK standard
DWGs created with names consistent with ISO 19650 UK standard.

Read more about automating your DWG exports from Revit in this How To guide.

If you’re a fan of ISO 19650, you may find these related blog posts useful:

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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Customers with subscriptions to Ideate Automation will want to download the latest version today.

Don’t have Ideate Automation yet? Now is a great time to check it out. 

About Ideate Automation 2.0

Released in June 2022, Ideate Automation 2.0 is a scripting solution that runs time-intensive BIM tasks in the background, so staff can work on more meaningful activities. Use it to: 

  • Open large Autodesk Revit files for data extraction
  • Export key Revit model health data
  • Create document issue records
  • Prepare COBie data drops
  • Generate quantity take-off data
  • Generate regular, automated PDF exports
  • Deliver CSV reports on key Revit family and project metrics
  • Batch-export Revit sheets and/or views to DWG file format

Enhancements with Release 2.1

Get the latest version of Ideate Automation 2.1 for some incredibly useful workflows and improvements. 

  1. Access any of your BIM 360/ACC recently opened Revit files without Autodesk Custom Integration. While we recommend the custom integration for an optimum file access experience, we developed this functionality to respond to customer requests to make it easier to work with Revit files from a partner’s Autodesk account/hubs. It also allows you to use Ideate Automation without giving Ideate Software the BIM 360/ACC access permissions required for the custom integration.

    Ideate Automation 2.1
  2. Batch-export Revit sheets and/or views to DWG file format. Available for Revit versions 2020-2023+, this much-requested enhancement includes file naming support for short name, long name, and custom file naming conventions. Find these new scripts and learn more, get step-by-step instructions, and learn some file naming tips by reading our Help file, Publish to DWG.

    Ideate Automation 2.1
  3. Export model health data from a Revit file and display it in Power BI. This process will reduce the amount of hands-on time needed to ensure project stability and consistency across Revit project files. Learn more by reading our Help file, Ideate Software Revit Model Health Check Power BI template

    Ideate Automation 2.1


Learn More

As always, we updated our “What’s New” Help file with information about the latest enhancements. You may also want to read our recent blog post, Ideate Automation: Understand Revit Model Health Using Microsoft Power BI.

Have questions? Contact us at [email protected]. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit productivity enhancing tools. 

About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB – Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a registered architect and has worked within the building information modeling (BIM) industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is the Director of Software Development Services and continues to work with AECO clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to BIM challenges. In her spare time, Glynnis volunteers for the local high school and with growitgreenmorristown.org. Find Glynnis on LinkedIn.


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Recently, a customer was using our Ideate Automation script: “AUT-Export-Combined_PDF” and ran into a timeout error during the export process. Our timeout for this workflow was set to two hours. As a result, we changed the timeout to four hours for the latest release. 

This also sparked a conversation around the factors that impact the export to PDF time. Here is a short list to help you troubleshoot your model before exporting to PDF:

  1. Views Far Clipping and Depth Clipping Parameters Aren’t Managed
    Showing too much of what you don’t need in a view increases the time it renders it for the view, therefore impacting the time it takes to print, especially if the clipping setting is set to “No Clip,” which means that it’s infinite, and you are at risk of showing more than what you need.  

    Here are the settings you can manage to control this:
  • Depth Clipping: Plan Views and Plan Callouts 
  • Far Clipping: Elevations, Elevation Callouts, and Sections
    Note: Far Clip Settings for Elevation Callouts can either be independent or same as parent view, however, Sections and Elevations are inherently independent.  

To manage this, you can utilize Ideate BIMLink to audit your Views clipping options. Ideate BIMLink has a link definition named “Views” you can use as a starting point and add the necessary parameters. In this case we need “Depth Clipping” and “Far Clipping” 

You’ll notice that the clipping values are 0,1,2:

  • 0 = No clip
  • 1 = Clip with line
  • 2 = Clip without Line

“Far Clip Settings” is another parameter we can investigate. There are two options as indicated above, Same as Parent View or Independent. 

  • 0 = Independent
  • 1 = Same as parent view

When managing Views, it’s important to also understand the differences between Detail and Floor Plan Callout. Here is a knowledge-based article from Autodesk for your review: Understanding the differences between details and floor plan callouts in Revit LT

  1. Views Far Clip Offset Isn’t Managed
    To manage this parameter in BIMLink, you need the “Far Clip Offset.” You can go ahead and add it to your Link Definition. When far clipping is set to clip with or without a line, you can control the Far Clip Offset. You can audit your model by reviewing and editing the distance so that it’s not showing too much information for that view. 
  2. Depth Cueing is Enabled for the View
    This property can be managed with “Depth Cueing: Show Depth.” If this is enabled for a view, it will take longer to print and it rasterizes the image. 
  3. Views with Shadows Turned on
    If shadows are turned on for a view, it takes longer to print as it rasterizes it, much like Depth Cueing. Unfortunately, there is API limitations to access this data, but it’s on our roadmap once Revit makes it accessible. 
  4. Views Detail Level
    The rule of thumb for Views detail level is that the majority should be set to Coarse level of detail. Use Medium or fine level of details for detail only. To manage this, you can utilize the “Detail Level” parameter and add it to the “Views” BIMLink Link Definition. 
  5. Number of Views on Sheet
    Using the BIMLink Link Definition “Views,” you can use the property “Sheet Number” to investigate how many views are on the Sheet. Sheets that contain a lot of views take longer to print. 
  6. Views with CAD Links that aren’t clean
    A dense CAD file on a view increases printing time. Cleaning CAD links before linking them into the Revit model is a general rule, however, there comes times where you miss a few layers or want to do a quick merging or deleting layers. You can use Ideate Style Manager; Navigate to Object Styles and check Imported Styles. Scroll to the DWG file you’re looking to clean. You can analyze, merge, and delete certain layers.  

    You can also check if there are any CAD Links or imports in your project to begin with. You can utilize the Ideate BIMLink definition “HC-Imports” and go to the Filters tab and delete “Is Linked” filter to list all CAD Links and CAD Imports in the project.

As you see, there are many factors that impact the time it takes to export to PDF from Revit. With this short list and the proper tools, you can audit your model and find your Export to PDF from Revit culprit! 

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

Nivin Nabeel, Customer Success Manager, Americas

Nivin has a background in architecture, visual arts, and computer science and has extensive experience in managing and manipulating BIM data, developing and implementing BIM standards and workflows, and applying BIM workflows to ancillary project components for improved efficiency. Before joining Ideate Software, Nivin worked at several architecture and design firms where she learned about Ideate Software products, used them, advocated for them, implemented them, and trained others on how to use them. She earned her Bachelor of Architectural Science degree from Toronto Metropolitan University. Follow Nivin on LinkedIn.

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People often think of Revit for architects and engineers who use it to test design ideas, translate conceptual designs into BIM data, optimize building efficiency, create realistic renderings, and prepare documentation with the details needed for construction teams to build the designs. 

The benefits don’t end when the documents are passed from the architects to the contractors. In fact, the benefits of having Revit models of planned buildings or structures continue through the construction phase and even through the owner-operator phase. 

In this blog post, we focus on Revit and the construction industry. We will address how it is used by owner-operators in a future post.

Because the BIM process automates many challenges faced by companies in the construction industry, several governments have mandated the use of BIM for government projects to save time and money through better planning, designing, and management of buildings and infrastructure. In countries where BIM is not mandated, many construction companies are choosing to implement BIM anyway, because they are watching their competitors who follow BIM processes automate activities that help them gain competitive advantages in terms of win rates and successful project completions. 

Revit and the Construction Industry

Because Revit is the most popular BIM tool in the world, it is safe to say that as BIM usage spreads throughout the construction industry, the use of Revit will increase as well. Construction companies that use Revit will realize several advantages, including:

  • Ideate Software for the Construction IndustryClearer Communications with Architects
    Realistic 3D models created in Revit dramatically reduce any delays caused by misunderstandings about the architect’s design. The documentation includes all the parameters and shapes of the structural elements, part details, and systems such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, which the contractors can reference throughout the construction project.
  • Better Stakeholder Communications
    With the integration of cloud technology, project data can be accessed from anywhere, allowing project managers to keep their teams and other stakeholders current on project status.
  • Revision Management
    Change happens, even when the architectural drawings have bene finalized. The client may have a new idea, supply chain issues may impact product availability, or manufacturers may make changes that need to be addressed in the design. Contractors that use Revit can make changes in the existing model, recalculate parameters, and confirm that the new designs don’t negatively impact other elements. 
  • Accurate Materials Lists
    Ordering too much material, not ordering enough, or ordering the wrong material are common problems with construction teams that cause cost overruns, delays, and frustrated teams and clients. Construction companies that use Revit can minimize waste and reduce costs by using Revit to automatically calculate the required amount of resources and the budget.
  • Stability Testing
    Revit software can be used by contractors to detect structural flaws by assessing the stability of foundations, systems, fixtures, materials, and more. This pre-construction step helps confirm that an architect’s design can be successfully and safely built, potentially saving a tremendous amount of time and money. 
  • Clash Detection
    As designs change, the risk of clashes increases. Hard clashes, when two components occupy the same space, and soft clashes, when an object encroaches into the tolerance space of another object, can create a huge amount of rework if not found until after construction has started. Revit users can easily detect clashes in designs and generate clash reports that engineers can use to fix the problems, saving time, money, and the contractor’s reputation. 

Ideate Software Add-ins for Revit and the Construction Industry

We develop Revit plugins for architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator companies around the world:

Here are some videos with demonstrations of how to use our software for specific construction workflows:

  1. Leverage Revit coordinate data for VDC to bring new levels of quality control and efficiency
    See three examples of how Revit coordinate data can support both pre-construction and construction tasks to improve your project’s bottom line.

  2. Streamline VDC Tasks
    Dive deeper into methods of streamlining VDC tasks by watching the recording of this 30-minute webinar.

  3. Review issues with construction sequencing 
    Watch this four-minute video to see how a project scheduler, who doesn’t know how to use Revit, can use Ideate BIMLink to export Revit data into Excel to enter or edit data, and then import the updated data back to Revit, which can create 4D models that construction teams can review for issues and opportunities. The video includes final steps for Navisworks users.

  4. Get comprehensive quantity data with a 2-step quantity takeoff 
    Watch this three-minute video to learn how to harness the power of pivot tables and Microsoft Excel when performing quantity takeoff tasks in Revit. Also learn how to expedite the creation of a formatted quantity takeoff. The example in the video show how to use the Ideate BIMLink sample file template, created in Excel, to get comprehensive quantity data in two easy steps.

    For a FULL list of Ideate BIMLink videos for Construction and Facilities, please see the following link:  Ideate BIMLink for Construction and Facilities
  5. Keep all team members up to date on critical ancillary information
    See how live-linking important Excel, Word, or PDF documents, such as work orders, safety reports, and insurance certificates can ensure your team has quick access to current information, so they can respond to requests quickly and correctly.

  6. Publish project PDF information on a consistent and repeatable basis
    Ideate Automation is a scripting solution that is designed for use with Ideate software solutions such as Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Apps, and  Ideate StyleManager. It can also be used without Ideate Software solutions to report on Family information or publish information from a series of Revit models.

Learn More

Visit www.ideatesoftware.com to learn how Ideate Software Revit plugins for architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operators help users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables, and elevate design. Give them a dry by downloading trial versions or purchasing the “get to know us” bundle for access to Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager for six months.

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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Revit users and BIM managers need to understand Revit project health. Often the project data metrics (warnings, in-place families, annotation, model groups, and views not on a sheet) are time consuming to collect and quantify. Unaddressed issues pile up over time and can take a long time to track and correct.

Ideate Software, with the use of Ideate Automation and Microsoft Power BI, created an automation script and Power BI template to address Revit model health issues.

For BIM managers looking to visualize curated details of their Revit model health, such as the project data metrics, and wanting to visualize these metrics in Microsoft Power BI, Ideate Software developed a Power BI template.

Ideate Warnings Manager - Power BI Template
With this Power BI template, BIM users can understand the following Revit model issues:

  • Project Information including total Revit warnings and warnings per file size
  • Revit Warnings over Time
  • Top 5 Warnings as defined and managed by Ideate Explorer
  • Model Groups
  • Views Not on Sheet
  • Average Annotation Issues per Sheet as defined and managed by IdeateApps>Annotate
  • CAD Imports (with Details)
  • In-Place Families (with Details)

For more details, and step-by-step instructions visit the Help file.

Current Ideate Automation subscribers can request the Power BI template files by contacting [email protected].

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

David Haynes, Director, Ideate Software
David is a project management certified professional. Before joining Ideate, David had his own architectural practice and was president of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he has worked as an architect, contractor, and developer, and he was a national construction manager for a national retailer. David's current passion at Ideate Software revolves around how data influences AECO business decisions. 

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