October

18

2021

An improvement to the multi-category schedule in Revit is one of several new features added to Revit 2022. As noted by Autodesk, this feature is listed as a top Revit Ideas Forum request. 

If we consult with the Wayback Machine, we’ll see that the Ideate Software team developed a multi-category offering in 2013, as detailed in this older blog post. As part of our Ideate Software due diligence for our 2022 release, we did an extensive review of this new Revit feature to ensure our own multi-category continues to both align and surpass the Autodesk version. 

There are a few noteworthy differences between the Revit 2022 and Ideate BIMLink multi-category data collections that we discovered during that research. 

Multi-Category Data Goal: Quantity Takeoffs

One purpose of a multi-category schedule is to be able to do an accurate high-level quantity takeoff. In Jan 2015, the Ideate Software team saw and addressed a discrepancy between the Revit curtain panel data being reported, via the API, and the actual BIM model conditions. Specifically, our early users pointed out that Ideate Explorer was reporting more curtain panels than a corresponding Revit curtain panel schedule would display. Thanks to our valued customers, we were able to fix this problem quickly to ensure accurate takeoffs.

In our review of the Revit 2022 multi-category schedule, we discovered that these extraneous curtain panels unfortunately are included. As shown in side-by-side schedules, the Revit Curtain Panel Schedule shows fewer results than the corresponding multi-category schedule. In the image there are two extraneous Glazed Panels and 11 extraneous custom panels, which will lead to takeoff inaccuracies if the multi-category schedule is used.

Multi-Categories - Revit 2022
 
The Revit Panel Schedules quantities shown at the left are accurate and are matched within both Ideate Explorer and Ideate BIMLink.

Be careful with the Revit 2022 multi-category schedule, shown at the right, which is inaccurate! This condition occurs when curtain panels are divided.

Multi-Category Data Goal: Quality Control - MEP Device Example

Ideate BIMLink customers know that another benefit of having high-quality multi-category Revit data is that you can review and make bulk changes easily. In June of 2016, our beta testers requested access to the elevation and offset values for all MEP devices. Being able to edit these values in one place enabled a high level of quality control within their Revit projects.

Edit Multi-Category Link
 
Additionally, filtering by Category has always been easy with Ideate BIMLink, as shown above. These two features combine to complete this quality control workflow, which is one of the top reasons to have a multi-category schedule.

Unfortunately, the Revit 2022 multi-category schedule does not include the elevation or offset properties, so you cannot achieve this type of goal. Additionally, the Revit multi-category schedule does not let you filter by Category, so it is very difficult to gather all these categories into one place. 

Schedule Properties
 

These are just two of the ways in which the new Revit multi-category schedule varies from the Ideate BIMLink version. 

At Ideate Software, we understand at a deep level the value of a comprehensive multi-category schedule. And when we do not understand, we listen to our customers to quickly improve our data model. We have updated our multi-category definition at least seven times in the past eight years.

If you are not content to wait eight years for your top features, you should consider subscribing to our Ideate Software Revit solutions.


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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September

27

2021

Every day, our Ideate Software Support team fields all types of questions from AECO professionals all around the world. A recent customer request came into our queue that asked about the ability of Ideate StyleManager to modify the color property of a CAD Import element:

“We have several imported [CAD] details from our façade consultants that require color to be edited to prevent an imported hatch from creating a large black area on our drawings.”

Revit manages CAD Imports as Object Styles unless they are exploded, in which case they become Line Styles. In the customer’s case, the CAD Import was not exploded, so Ideate StyleManager could absolutely be used to analyze, merge or delete these styles. However, the goal was to batch edit the colors of these object styles without exploding the CAD Import.

Imported Line Styles
Ideate StyleManager main dialog showing the DWG lines as Imported Object Styles

In this specific case, our support team advised that Ideate BIMLink would be a better fit for the requested task. Even though this customer was specifically asking about Ideate StyleManager, they have access to the full Ideate Software suite. When you have access to the Suite of Solutions from Ideate Software, you can use the best tool for the workflow or task.

Step-by-Step Instructions

To edit the color, line weight or material of Revit Object Styles:

  1. Launch Ideate BIMLink
  2. Select New
  3. Pick the Category option at left
  4. type 'object' in the search box to find Object Styles
  5. Pick the sample link called "Project_Stds-Object_Styles"

Imported Line Styles 
Ideate BIMLink Dialog after selecting NEW and typing ‘object’ into the Search criteria

  1. Optionally, you can limit the export to only edit the CAD Import Styles by setting the Link Definition Filter as shown:

Imported Line Styles 
Setting the Filter in BIMLink to only export CAD Imported Styles

  1. Export to Excel
  2. In Excel, change the line colors and patterns as needed
  3. Import back into Revit using Ideate BIMLink

In this specific example, the combination of using both Ideate StyleManager and Ideate BIMLink was an excellent solution that delighted this customer.

“Wow, awesome workflow!

This is what I was looking for. Very easy to access all the properties there.

Thank you!”

It’s a good idea to review other Project Standards samples via the Ideate BIMLink library definitions by reviewing this online Help topic.

Let us know how you use Ideate Software solutions to create the most consistent project standards for your Revit models. We love to hear from our customers about how they are using our Ideate Software solutions to solve difficult and time-consuming Revit workflows.

This post is part of a series of real questions posed to our Support team and our solutions. View more


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

4

2021

All Ideate Software product users can get the improvements made in May 2021 by downloading the latest versions. You can check for updates within the products, go to www.ideatesoftware.com/download or review What’s New in the online Help.    

Below are highlights of the updates. Watch the recording of our recent 30-minute webinar for more details and to see demonstrations.

General

  • All products aligned with Revit 2022 and updated for Revit 2019-2022
  • All products delivered in Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish
  • Most virtualized environments now supported by our new Cloud Networking
  • Support for legacy BIM 360 pathing and current Autodesk Construction Cloud pathing

Ideate BIMLink 

  • Alternate data key allows for the transfer of data from one project or phase to another
  • Edit nested family type parameters

Ideate Sticky 

  • Make overlapping images transparent for better viewing 
  • Open the source file directly from the Ideate Sticky dialog

Ideate Explorer 

  • Removed sketch reference planes
  • Integrated selection box and isolate elements
  • Added sheet count to views

IdeateApps

  • View title placement control on certain tools – Revit 2022 only
  • Copy plan views to other plan families
  • Alternate view placement for plan-based views
  • New checks and improvements to visibility results in Ideate XRay

 
This presentation was made at three different times for the convenience of our customers in various regions around the world. Other than the Q&A, the content was the same in each presentation.  

If you don’t yet have all our products, now is a good time to try them out. We offer free trials, and our current promotion is a six-month subscription to all of them for just US$500. 
 


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

27

2021

Every day, our Ideate Software Support team fields all types of questions from AECO professionals all around the world. In this series of support blog posts, we highlight questions and our answers.

I’m a big fan of ice cream! One of my favorite dishes is locally called a Smoosh-In, where several different ice cream flavors or toppings are combined in fun ways. This same concept can be applied to Revit where you need to smoosh several parameters or properties into a single item like a Door Mark.

Here is a recent support question that came from a customer with a specific request. However, it’s a broader question that gets asked in so many different ways by our Ideate Software customers. 

The customer asked: “If I wanted to renumber doors by exporting Door Marks out into Excel, is there a way in Excel to select a large number of fields (Door Mark IDs from one level) and automate the sequential numbering of selected fields with a prefix? For example, I would want to renumber door Marks to follow this naming convention of:

<DoorFunction>-<Level>-DoorNumber>

Example = ID-00-001, ID-00-002 etc.”

Ideate BIMLink excels at this!  (OK, pun intended)

I know that I’ve mentioned this a dozen times, but it’s always good to start with one of our pre-defined Library Link Definitions that you can easily browse to locate. A simple one to use and potentially modify is just called Doors. Notice that it is defined as an Instance link because we want to edit each instance of the Door Mark’s value.

Ideate BIMLink - Libraries
Creating a new Link Definition by browsing the Library Definitions

You will want to be sure to add the properties that you might want to use within the door tag to smoosh together. I just added Assembly Code and Keynote as two property options.

Ideate BIMLink - Edit Doors Link
Select from many available properties from Doors, categories and additional properties from the dropdown list.

Once you export the information to Excel, you can use an Excel formula to combine the information. I first might want to create a “scratch” column or temporary workspace to just renumber the doors in a sequential order. That’s what I’ve done with column “I” in the Excel image below. Then I’ve used a formula within the Mark cell to combine Level Name as well as Keynote properties. Of course, keep in mind that your Door Tag family might need to be enlarged to contain the text string. In many cases, you may just have a level prefix such as 01, 02, etc. plus the Door Number, as was requested by this customer. They also wanted the Door Function, which is probably a short code.

(Click image to enlarge)

 Ideat BIMLink
The Excel export from Ideate BIMLink showing the formula definition within cell B2

If you would like to learn now to place From Room data and To Room data within a Door Tag, we have an excellent blog article and video that explain the process, which is similar to the process I outlined above.

For more tips and information, please review the online Help topics for Ideate BIMLink. Our Frequently Asked Questions page is also a good place to start.   

Once you have mastered the property/parameter combinations, I recommend you celebrate with some ice cream, and be sure to combine many flavors together for your own Smoosh-In!


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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June

30

2021

We were pleased to participate in the 06-15-21 webinar hosted by The Architect’s Newspaper. We were so excited to demonstrate how Ideate Software applications can be used during project setup ensuring the minimum project maintenance effort over the life of the project.

Sash Kazeminejad, Customer Success Manager, and Richard Taylor, Technical Evangelist, led discussions and demonstrations on:

  • Using Ideate BIMLink to create:
    • New project levels 
    • Unplaced rooms using programing assignments from client requirements contained in Excel
    • Revit sheets by using existing information from an Excel list of required sheets 
       
  • Using tools within the IdeateApps collection to create:
  • The composition, alignment and properties of required views using the view tools in IdeateApps
     
  • How Ideate Software solutions can reduce project setup tasks and increase overall efficiency of Revit projects

To see these demonstrations, view the recording of the webinar

About The Architect’s Newspaper
The Architect’s Newspaper delivers quality news and cultural reporting to architects, designers, engineers, landscape architects, lighting designers, interior designers, academics, developers, contractors and other parties interested in the built urban environment. 

About CEStrong
CEStrong is a continuing education partner of The Architect’s Newspaper. It is a Registered Provider with The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System.
 

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