November

18

2020

Watch the recording of this 30-minute webinar for a quick overview of four Ideate Software solutions that can help you ensure your Revit model performs well and has the highest quality deliverable. Comments made by people who attended the live session include: 

  • “The solutions demonstrated are incredibly helpful for checking the health of a Revit model. We have been exploring these functions within our company and tweaking the template spreadsheets to suit our company standards. We soon hope to make Ideate Software tools part of our standard internal Revit model audit processes.”
     
  • “I am taking on a role in which I will be maintaining the Revit models. It’s good to know about the tools that can help me maintain good model health.”
     
  • “The great set of pre-set queries and reports is very helpful to give users immediate value from the tools, without requiring much setup. The ability to then customize those starting blocks to adapt to a firm's unique requirements is very helpful.”

Webinar Highlights

  1. Ideate BIMLink
    • Review and edit data by extracting it from Revit to an easy-to-use Excel spreadsheet
    • Use the preconfigured library links or modify them to meet your needs
    • Review the included Ideate_HealthCheck.xlsx spreadsheet to make model review a snap
  2. Ideate Explorer 
    • Audit with certainty by seeing every instance of every element in your Revit model
    • Search for elements based on parameter information with Ideate Query
    • Review and fix Revit warnings with Ideate Warnings Manager  
  3. Ideate Dashboard for Autodesk BIM 360
    • Review Revit model information that has been published to BIM 360 for warnings
    • See Partner Cards that are configured to allow Revit warning review across models
  4. Ideate StyleManager
    • Safely remove non-standard styles
    • Understand the impact to the model if a style is simply deleted
    • Analyze, merge, rename or delete a multitude of Revit styles with confidence

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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November

12

2020

San Francisco-based Modulus Consulting provides BIM guidance, support and services to companies with needs that range from an extra hand in drawing production through full project BIM coordination and management. While providing BIM coordination services for an electric company, Modulus was asked to pull some information needed for the company to purchase prefabricated parts.

The client asked for information about strut lengths, rod insets and offsets,” said Javi Candelas, BIM Specialist, Modulus Consulting. “My first thought was to try to create a schedule in Revit, but I wasn’t able to find the reporting parameters I needed in the available field box. As I was thinking about the pretty laborious task ahead of me (identifying instance/type reporting parameters), I remembered that a co-worker had shown me how to perform a similar task with Ideate BIMLink.”

Having decided to spend a few minutes trying Ideate BIMLink before resorting to Revit, Javi launched the software and tested some options.

First I, tried to export info from a schedule I had already made” said Javi. “But then decided to make a whole new schedule through Ideate BIMLink to do the job.” 

Ideate BIMLink - Modulus
 
That did the trick,” said Javi. “In the next screen, the properties I needed were under the Available Properties tab in the Available Properties field box. I selected the properties, added them, verified the selection on the preview and finished my link.”

 After exporting the link and cleaning up the Excel spreadsheet a bit, Javi had the information he needed.

A process that could have taken a few hours in Revit took just minutes with Ideate BIMLink,” said Javi. “It was a win for the customer, Modulus and me.” 

After rediscovering how easy Ideate BIMLink is to use and how it simplifies tedious Revit tasks, Javi decided to look at the other Ideate Software applications. He quickly found an opportunity to use Ideate SheetManager, one of the tools in the IdeateApps collection that streamlines Revit tasks performed most often.

Ideate Software tools are becoming part of my regular routine,” said Javi. “I suggest that team members take a few minutes to get comfortable with them, because they are user friendly and they make it much easier to do our jobs better and faster.

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

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October

29

2020

Do you have a requirement from a client or contractor for a sheet schedule that lists each sheet and each revision on a sheet? If so, you probably have faced a challenge, because Revit only displays the current revision in a sheet list for both revisions per sheet and revisions per project. Unfortunately, there is no built-in solution in Revit to schedule every revision on every sheet. 

In addition to the previously mentioned scheduling challenge, you more than likely require revisions to appear in the titleblock for sheet issuance purposes. If so, you face another hurdle, because Revit only allows sheet issuance edits to one sheet at a time; editing multiple sheets is difficult and time consuming, since many projects have well over 100 sheets.

Fortunately, Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Sticky offer simple solutions to your Revit Revision workflows. Watch the recording of this 30-minute webinar for discussions and demonstrations.

 

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

Sash Kazeminejad - AIA, LEED AP - Customer Success Manager
Sash earned his Master of Architecture from Montana State University and is a California registered architect, LEED Accredited Professional. He has extensive experience in project management; BIM management; design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon; and leading classroom and online BIM training. He provides consulting, sales, support, and training solutions to AECO customers around the globe. Find Sash on LinkedIn.

 

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September

28

2020

This article was submitted by Shanoc Halliday, a friend of Ideate Software and the author of the blog, Captain Bimcad. Captain Bimcad is a collection of Shanoc’s thoughts on building information modeling as well as great technical blog posts created by other parties. His goal is to give readers robust workflows to improve their ROI on BIM software while enhancing drawing and model quality.

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Well, that’s something I have not done before.

An interesting project came across my COVID 19 lockdown work-from-home desk about a month ago. I had to translate a client's APAC (Asia Pacific region) sample drawings from Swedish to English. They were of an office building with seven levels. (Architectural, Structural and MEP plans, with a primary focus on Level 2.) I think I was a little naive to think with a translation guide I could smash this out in no time. 

Shanoc Halliday
 
I went through my options.

Option No. 1: I cracked open the file and started editing the text one at a time, but that was not quick at all. 

Option No. 2: I thought about creating a Revit Schedule, and let's be honest, until Revit can behave more like Excel and we can drag data down a column, this process takes way too long. 

Option No. 3: A better option could be to use Dynamo; I did teach Dynamo across Australia for over two years, but you know what?

  1. I could not be bothered creating a heap of graphs as one-offs.
  2. Then there is the, "Oh wait, that is a better Node, where is that again?"
  3. And the frustrating, "No, I don't want that data, what did I do wrong?"
  4. So I thought instead of the graph extracting and producing the update, "How about I send it to Excel," without the hassle to create the graphs.

No thanks, I was on an hourly rate, but not to experiment.

The battle of options in my head went on for a while; I can overthink things. Then, lo and behold, a Revit add-in found a gap in my deliberation and took over my train of thought… Ideate BIMLink! You see I live by the idea that I don't want to reinvent the wheel, I prefer to evolve it. All the smarts of exporting data from Revit to Excel via Ideate BIMLink hit this workflow for a 6! (cricket anyone?)  The trick is to recognize the array of Revit elements that represent “text” within a Revit Project. Text can appear within Views/Sheets, Text, Schedule Data and Annotation objects such as Rooms within a Revit project. Ideate BIMLink has access to all this text information.

I think that it is important that I put in a bit of a disclaimer in at this point; I am a big fan of Ideate Software tools. I started using them over six years ago on projects and I know from personal experience, Ideate BIMLink saves me hours and hours every month. So if I come across as a bit of a fan, well I am. And that's simply because I know how much my time is worth and I don’t have to learn new software or run complicated add-ins that are a little fragile. So if I can use a tool that saves me time, I go that route.

Step 1 - Everyone to the konferensrum

My first task was to update all the Room Names on all the floor plans for the entire building, which was an easy task with Ideate BIMLink. For example, I had to convert KONFERNSRUM to CONFERENCE ROOM. Ideate BIMLink allowed me to filter Revit's Categories, including Rooms, to pre-made Excel export configurations that are easy to tweak.

Shanoc Halliday - Ideate BIMLink Screenshot

Step 2 - Projeckt filter and sortering

Shanoc Halliday - Translation Screenshot

Ideate BIMLink ScreenshotMy next step was to customize some of the existing filters to suit my project. If I had built this Revit file, I could have quickly narrowed down to specific levels, back of house, floor plan areas, etc. If you have read my past blog posts, you know that I bang on about Naming Conventions; they are your best buddy when it comes to BIM. 

In this project, I did have a little play with Sorting. My thinking was that it would be easier for me to find problem areas if my data dump was in the same order as my Project Browser. I typically sort Views by Associated Level. I did blog post about that some time ago; here's a link.

I did something similar for the Door Schedule; the difference was that I based the export on the existing Revit Schedule that was used on the drawing sheets. This is such a simple, clever feature in that the Schedule parameters are narrowed down, filters have been set up to isolate elements take advantage of something already built. 

Step 3 – Keeping everything in order

Once I exported the data to Excel, I wanted to make sure that it stayed in order. An easy way to do that is to make the data-dump into a Table. To do this, select anywhere inside the dataset and hit Ctrl-T to turn your data into a Table. Make sure that you let Excel know that your data has headings or it will add in its own, which will continue throughout Ideate BIMLink when you load the edited data back in. Here is a link to Leila Gharani's YouTube video on Excel shortcut keys you SHOULD know. She is my Excel mentor.

Shanoc Halliday
  
Tip #1

By using Excel’s Sort and Filter options, it was straightforward to isolate the Swedish words, copy and paste them into Google Translate and copy the answer back again. And unlike Revit, it's so easy to copy data to the bottom of a column. 

Shanoc Halliday - Sort and Filter
 
Tip #2

Bringing back the data is a click away, and the dialog box shows transparency in what is about to change, what its value was and will be. When all the elements in a drawing need to be 100% correct and our drawings are now data-driven, workflows like this create more trust in what's going on in the "background."

Background
 
Tip #3

Lastly, whenever you edit any of the cells in Excel, there is nothing worse than strange things happening back in Revit when you send the data back in, so I always turn an edited cell green to know where I have been, or more importantly, what I messed up.

Which is not to say that you can’t by existing Schedules in the project, because you have spent the time creating, ordering and filtering them for drawing production, they are perfect for sending out to Excel.

Summary – Ideate Software tools make data management easier.

In summary, with Ideate BIMLink, I was able to knock out the project so much quicker than if I had used any of the methods I mentioned at the start of this post. Globally as regions reopen and thinking to when we are all back in the office again, these are tools that you can put in the hands the masses and know with confidence that they are stable, quick to learn, and can be easily edited to suit different needs. With the AEC industry improving due to BIM and its adoption becoming more the norm every day, look for tools that make data management easier.

Another shout out, this time to Ryan Lenihan for setting up a Revit Server at his home, to share this model on the cloud. Catch him on his blog https://www.revit.com.au/

This post is an abbreviated version of the post on Shanoc Halliday’s post on Captain Bimcad.
 

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September

24

2020

On July 22, 2020, we published a blog post on how much time our clients reported saving by using Ideate BIMLink to complete certain general Revit data management tasks. This post provides the same information on additional general tasks. With Ideate BIMLink, tasks are completed faster because users, including those who are not Revit users, use the software to pull Revit model data into Excel for easy editing, and then push the corrected data back into Revit to update the model. 

Below is information on how much time our users reported saving. 

Tasks: General Data Management 

Ideate BIMLink ROI

Calculate Your Return on Investment  

To figure out how much money your company can save by reducing time spent on Revit tasks with Ideate BIMLink:  

  1. Review the chart above as well as related data to learn how much time can be saved by using Ideate BIMLink for various tasks
  2. Compare that amount of time to your number of projects and your software purchase price

Two ROI Examples

Both examples below assume you will save four hours per project. Because our customers reported an average savings of 78 hours per project on the tasks featured in this blog post alone, your payback will likely be much higher.

  • A single standalone license of Ideate BIMLink costs approximately US$795. If you have 20 projects per year and save four hours per project, you’ll save 80 hours each year. The 2018 AIA Small Firm Compensation Report reports that the average designer salary is about $60K per year. Assuming a corresponding hourly rate of $29 (which would exclude overhead), you will have a payback (over covering software costs) of more than US$1500 each year. 
  • If you are a larger firm with network licensing, you can experience an even higher return on investment. For example, the cost of a single seat is about $2,000 per year. Assuming you save four hours per project, pay a higher burdened salary rate of $50, and have 50 projects a year, you will have a payback of more than $8,000 per year. 

Learn More  

We have several resources available online that can help you get the most out of Ideate BIMLink:

Similar Posts

This is the 13th and final post in a series related to the results of our survey of architecture, engineering, construction, and building-owner companies using Ideate BIMLink. Our previous posts covered the time savings possible by using Ideate BIMLink to:

  1.  Manage Revit sheets 
  2. Create and modify rooms and areas
  3. Swap structural framing instances
  4. Coordinate spaces & rooms and audit & fix device elevation
  5. Compile quantity takeoffs, assign assembly codes, and swap types
  6. View and revise tasks
  7. QA/QC doors, hardware, and other elements
  8. Extract/Import coordinate data and confirm level and grid information
  9. Perform general data management tasks
  10. Manage Interior Finish Data and Generate Plumbing Fixture Counts
  11. Audit Analytical Columns, Structural Framing, and Rebar Shape Data
  12. Gather and Edit Data for Facilities Management Software

Check out our Ideate BIMLink ROI web page, where we separated the all the time-savings data by discipline.

Contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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

Sash Kazeminejad - AIA, LEED AP - Customer Success Manager
Sash earned his Master of Architecture from Montana State University and is a California registered architect, LEED Accredited Professional. He has extensive experience in project management; BIM management; design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon; and leading classroom and online BIM training. He provides consulting, sales, support, and training solutions to AECO customers around the globe. Find Sash on LinkedIn.

 

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