April

16

2021

Object styles subcategories. Line patterns. Fill patterns. Text notes. Fonts. Dimensions. Arrowheads. 

These are just some of the many types of Revit styles used to maintain consistency in BIM models. Managing styles is important to:

  • Streamline model and family content
    • Keep file size to a minimum
    • Navigate Revit models more easily
    • Make informed decisions on which Styles to use
       
  • Improve file performance
    • Prevent file bloat
    • Open, save and reload latest faster
       
  • Keep project and company standards in alignment

Unfortunately, the style management process within Revit can be time consuming and difficult to manage manually. Fortunately, it’s easy with Ideate StyleManager.

Here’s a link to the recording of our webinar where I discuss and demonstrate the power of Ideate StyleManager. 


 

This session was also presented in Asia Pacific and European time zones on April 6 and April 7. The content of this North American recording is the same except for the specific attendee questions asked during the webinar.

Interested in learning more? Visit the Ideate StyleManager section of our website. When you’re ready, download a free trial version or subscribe online


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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April

14

2021

Every day, our Ideate Software Support team fields all types of questions from AECO professionals all around the world. Questions about simplifying the process of creating views are fairly common, so in this post, I’ll show you some of the ways Ideate ViewCreator makes the process fast and easy.

Ideate ViewCreator has the power to efficiently copy plan views to other levels while maintaining settings such as view template assignment, scope box setting and even custom parameters that are often used to help sort views within the Project Browser. In addition, Ideate ViewCreator can assist users by bulk-duplicating views to other phases or to create working views. Like the Plans to Levels method, users can assign view templates, scope boxes and so much more. The possibilities are endless!

While Ideate ViewCreator allows users to create customized rules to meet their needs, Ideate ViewCreator also ships with many pre-configured rules as well. Many of these rules already meet and address the needs of many customers, as seen here:

Creating Plan Views

 
For those interested in copying plan and ceiling plans up to multiple levels, consider using a special rule called *LEVEL, highlighted in the following image:

Creating Plan Views
 
The *LEVEL rule has a special algorithm that can predict how to match the intended naming convention of selected views so they can be copied up to other levels while adhering to the naming conventions. 

For example, let us assume you are working on a project with eight levels (LEVEL 1, LEVEL 2, LEVEL 3, etc.) and you have the need for floor and ceiling plans for those levels. Let us also assume you have already created a LEVEL 1 MECHANICAL FLOOR PLAN and LEVEL 1 MECHANICAL CEILING PLAN with the correct View Template, scope box, view organization parameters, etc. already assigned. If your views and levels have the same naming conventions, such as LEVEL 1 as the level name and LEVEL 1 MECHANICAL FLOOR PLAN for the View name, then the *LEVEL rule in Ideate ViewCreator should be able to predict how to copy those plans to the other levels while adhering to the naming standards. 

The advantage of using the *LEVEL rule is that you can quickly bulk create views of different types (Floor Plan, Ceiling Plan, Structural Plan) quickly and efficiently with the same settings that were applied to the views that you copied.

In the following image, you can see how we copied the LEVEL 1 MECHANICAL FLOOR PLAN and LEVEL 1 MECHANICAL CEILING PLAN to LEVEL 2, LEVEL 3, on up to LEVEL 8. Looking at the New View column, you can see that the naming conventions match the copied views from the Original View column, which is exactly what we wanted to. It is worth noting that the *LEVEL rule works best when the Level name and view names use the same naming conventions.

Creating Plan Views
 
There may be times in which the *LEVEL rule algorithm cannot predict the New View name as intended. This situation usually happens when the level name and Original View names differ slightly. In the following image, you can see that the New Level (the name of the level you want to copy to) is called LEVEL 2, but the Original View name has LEVEL 01 in it. 

Creating Plan Views

In this case, you have a couple of options. The first option would be to review your view names and correct them so that the levels and views have the same naming convention, i.e., LEVEL 1 and LEVEL 1 MECHANICAL PLAN, not LEVEL 1 and LEVEL 01 MECHANICAL PLAN. Your other option would be to use the Find and Replace in Ideate ViewCreator to correct the new view name so you can proceed with creating the views.

In summary, if you are looking to bulk create many plan views easily and efficiently, consider using the *LEVEL rule. Keep in mind that this rule works best when the level name and view names have matching information. This will help the algorithm to predict how the rest of the view names should match.

Related topics:

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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April

7

2021

Every day, our Ideate Software Support team fields all types of questions from AECO professionals all around the world. Here’s information about a topic that comes up occasionally.

Structural engineers frequently perform structural analysis to determine the proper sizing of structural members after a schematic building information model has been developed. The results of the analysis are then used to swap beams, columns and footings from that schematic layout to the accurate sizes. 

Ideate BIMLink supports this process with two important features that all structural designers and engineers should utilize:

  1. The ability to create new types for existing families
  2. The ability to exchange one instance of an element for another, which we call ‘Type Swapping’

Type Creation and Swapping 
Example of an early design with generic foundation sizes

When used in tandem, these two features can be used to transform that early schematic building information model into a mature model with just a few simple steps. We will reference structural foundations in our example, but these same steps apply to any structural element.

  1. Export your schematic design foundation data from Ideate BIMLink to Excel
  2. Perform the structural analysis to define any changes needed to the pre-defined model sizes
  3. Import any new structural foundation types that will be needed. This will update the existing families with new sizes.
  4. Import the modifications to the foundation instances to swap the schematic version for the required family and type to set the correct size per each location.

 Type Creation and Swapping
Revised design with the foundations swapped for the correct sizes

To see a video on this entire process, be sure to follow this link.

Creating new types and type swapping are the key to efficiencies, not only for structural design, but for any design process where you have placed Revit elements early in the design process with the intent of adjusting the size or type later in design development or even during the project handover phase.

Related topics:

Check out the other posts in our Ideate Software Support Series.

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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April

2

2021

Re-Branding of Autodesk BIM 360 Impacts Ideate Sticky

A recent change to the Autodesk Desktop Connector includes a re-branding of Autodesk’s BIM 360 platform. This change is described in the recent Desktop Connector Release Notes with important highlights that relate to Ideate Software, as shown in the image below. 

Autodesk BIM 360

When your end users install this version of the Desktop Connector, the change will manifest locally as a renamed folder. What was previously “C:\Users\[user name]\BIM 360” will become “C:\Users\[user name]\ACCDocs.” 

This change may impact Ideate Software customers. Please read below for per-product implications.

Ideate Sticky

For those of you using Ideate Sticky and storing your Excel, Word, or PDF files on BIM 360, you will find that this change will result in broken file paths for Ideate Sticky. We recommend the following steps, in order of importance:

  1. Avoid updating to the Desktop Connector if possible. We will re-code Ideate Sticky to support this change. We hope to release Ideate Sticky within 60 days of the Revit release.
     
  2. If you cannot avoid doing the update, then you will want to select all Stickies within each project and update them to the new path location. Here is a video with instructions.
     

Ideate Automation

Ideate Automation will work fine with the file path change. However, if you have customized your Ideate Automation scripts and those scripts are writing Excel file content to a BIM 360 path, you will need to adjust your script to use the new file path.

For example, in the image below, the original script has caused a new folder called “BIM 360” to be created. To avoid this problem, you should edit your existing script and do a search for “\BIM 360” and then do a replace with “\ACCDocs” path.

Help us Improve

We strive to integrate our solutions into the Autodesk eco-system wherever possible. In this case, our ability to handle this change is limited by the lack of a formal Application Programmer Interface (API) for the Autodesk Desktop Connector. You can let Autodesk know this is important by voting for this idea on the BIM 360 API forum.
 

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March

25

2021

We continuously monitor Autodesk Forums, Revit user groups, industry blogs, newsletters, and other events to keep our pulse on AECO trends and discussions. Much of our team also subscribes to local business, real estate, construction and AEC design news from different regions around the world. So, it’s very easy for us to express that we feel very connected to the AECO community!

We would like our customers to know that we frequently monitor the Revit Public Roadmap plus the Revit Ideas Forums. We want to ensure our tools help fill some of the workflow gaps that may exist within the current Revit building information modeling ecosystem.

“We take great pride in developing tools that address persistent challenges faced by Revit users,” said Glynnis Patterson, Director of Ideate Software Development.

We are continuing our Ideate Software blog series entitled Wishlist Granted. Each blog article features real user requests and our response to those requests. So, let’s take a spin on another top Revit request!

This request is a doozy! It’s so important and critical that we built an entire application around it. Plus, it is a request that Ideate Software has been hitting out of the park for over 10 years!

  1. The request for importing and exporting data from Revit to Excel has been around for quite some time, and it only grows stronger with more votes on the Revit Ideas page each year. It has over 550 requests as of February of 2021.

    Import and Export from Revit to Excel

 
Ideate BIMLink is the premier industry-standard application for integrating your Revit model data with Excel data. The number of workflows is just too long to list, but please check out our extensive online Help files for Ideate BIMLink, where we document many of the most helpful workflows.

  1. Then, there is this request to make many unavailable parameters finally able to be scheduled within Revit.

This is again a huge benefit and feature of Ideate BIMLink. It’s such an important benefit for Ideate BIMLink that we created a sample folder within our delivered library links for “Beyond Schedules.”

In addition, there are dozens of Revit properties or parameters available within Ideate BIMLink that are not available in base Revit, such as Is Faced Flipped, Is In-Place, Is Pinned, etc.

We also have the ability to manage many properties that are defined within the Revit model but are not yet available within a Revit Schedule.   

Ideate BIMLink gives you unparalleled access to system parameters, project parameters and family parameters. In addition, Ideate BIMLink gives you access to adjacent parameters that are extremely relevant to the category or categories you are trying to manage. For instance, Ideate BIMLink gives you all the room parameters, and it allows you to review and manage data for many adjacent categories, such as coordinates, level, model group, phase, project information or Revit link.

Parameters

  1. Revit has introduced the ability to have OR conditions within View Filters, but they still are not available within a Revit Schedule. The request to have both OR as well as AND conditions has almost 1500 requests!

Ideate BIMLink has supported the ability to have OR as well as AND conditions for years! If a filter selection does not have the “Elements Must Pass All Filters” checkbox selected, it is by default an OR condition. If the “Elements Must Pass All Filters” checkbox is selected, the filter rule becomes an AND condition.

These are just SOME of the many Revit requests that Ideate BIMLink fulfills. Check out our extensive video page for many examples of how Ideate BIMLink provides superior integration with Excel.

At Ideate Software, we are focused on delighting our customers. With Ideate Software there is no need to wait for future Revit releases to see your idea turned into a reality.

Wishlist Granted!

At Ideate Software, we are focused on delighting our customers. With Ideate Software, there is no need to wait for future Revit releases to see your idea turned into a reality.

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Please review our other Wishlist Granted posts.


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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