October

21

2022

Every day, our Ideate Software Support team fields all types of questions from AECO professionals all around the world. You can review some of these recent question and answers via our Ideate Software support series blog category.

We’ve been receiving excellent feedback on our latest tool within the IdeateApps collection, Ideate Annonate. If you don’t see the Ideate Annotate icon within your IdeateApps tool collection, it means you haven’t updated to the latest June 2022 release of IdeateApps. You can use our Ideate Software Installer to make sure you have the latest software.

IdeateApps Ribbon|
The most recent IdeateApps tool collection should now have 10 tools within the IdeateApps ribbon menu.

We recently received a nice question from a good customer:

“How do you control the sensitivity of the 2D annotation clash detections within Ideate Annotate?”

First, it’s always nice to review the workflows for using Ideate Annotate. We have a nice Help topic on using Ideate Annotate. Secondly, we are using the 2D annotation bounding boxes to pick up on 2D annotation clashes between elements. The sensitivity of the clash detection can be controlled via the Settings Menu on the main Ideate Annotate dialog.

Go to the Settings cog icon and choose the Settings option.

Ideate Annotate Settings
This is the Settings menu for Ideate Annotate

A dialog will appear allowing you to set the sensitivity of the clashes. You can also use this menu to clear all issues that you may have previously dismissed. Sliding the setting to the right will reduce 2D annotation clashes.

Each tag has a bounding box that is sized according to its geometry. Invisible lines in a tag family, for example, can create an unexpectedly large bounding box and may produce unexpected clash results. In that case, you might want to reduce the sensitivity.

Ideate Annotate - Clash Sensitivity
This image shows why you might want to adjust the Clash Sensitivity setting.

Review the online Help article for Annotation Clashes and Clash Sensitivity.

Ideate Annotate Clash Sensitivity Dialog
This is the Clash Sensitivity Dialog

You may find this recent web article from AECbytes very informative as they showcase many of the exciting features and workflows supported by Ideate Annotate.

Keep those amazing questions coming to [email protected], because this is critically important feedback allows us to continue to improve our software every release.
 

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September

30

2022

Ideate Software has been addressing persistent challenges in Revit workflows for a long time.  

In 2008, we launched our first Autodesk Revit addin, Ideate Explorer, and since then, we have made frequent, meaningful enhancements to Ideate Explorer and launched and made significant enhancements to Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager. Most recently, we launched Ideate Automation.

  • Ideate Explorer – Find, refine, and revise many elements excluded from the Revit project browser
  • Ideate BIMLink – Export Revit data to Microsoft Excel for faster verifying and editing
  • Ideate Sticky – Integrate and format non-BIM data into Revit projects
  • IdeateApps – Simplify everyday Revit tasks with the 10 tools in this collection
  • Ideate StyleManager – Analyze, delete, or merge non-standard Revit styles
  • Ideate Automation – Run time-intensive Revit tasks silently in the background for consistent results

Here are links to a few blog posts celebrating milestone anniversaries of our products:

Soon, we will write a similar blog post about Ideate StyleManager and Ideate Automation. Like the four tools above, our professionals developed these pro Revit tools to address challenges faced by Revit users. Here are the launch blog posts:

Keys to Our Longevity

When looking into what makes a company successful over the long term, you will find lists with a varying number of items. Three components make it to almost all the lists: 

  1. A strong mission
  2. A focus on customers
  3. A solid team

Our Mission

Our guiding mission is to provide our customers with the most extensive, highest-quality information solutions possible. We strive to accomplish our mission every day by developing and supporting Autodesk Revit plugin solutions that give people in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator spaces unprecedented access to and control over the data in their Revit models so they can 1) create better Revit models in less time, and 2) leverage the data in the models to streamline operations.

We consider ourselves successful when we improve our customers’ productivity and their return on investment in both Revit software and Ideate Software tools. 

A Focus on Customers

Because our success depends on making our customers successful, we must know what they need to be successful. If we presume or speculate, we most certainly will miss the mark. Missing the mark creates a negative customer experience, which will lead to fewer sales, unrenewed contracts, and low referral rates. We ensure we know that customers need to be successful by talking with them.

Our People 

Ideate Software has an extensive team of technical experts who are obsessed with providing Autodesk Revit plugin solutions to meet the needs of Revit users. Employing architects, engineers, BIM and technology experts, and other professionals, our diversity and real-world industry experience position us to provide premium services that ensure improved productivity and return on investment.

Robert Palioca – President

Bob was an original founder of Ketiv Technologies, Inc., one of the first Autodesk value added resellers and a leading developer of third-party applications for AutoCAD software. He became president of Ideate, Inc. in 2005 to retool the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator (AECO) industries through design technology, education, and solutions. 

Glynnis Patterson, Director of Software Development Services

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB – Director of Software Development

Glynnis is a registered architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator, and construction site manager. 

David Haynes – Director

David is a registered architect and a project management certified professional. Before joining Ideate, he had his own architectural practice and was president of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. 

Richard Taylor

Richard W. Taylor, Associate AIA – Technical Evangelist

Richard has more than 33 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions. He was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation and spent 12 years at Autodesk, where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. 

Jesika DiGregorio

Jesika DiGregorio – Development Manager

Jesika received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she also spent time studying advanced math. Before joining Ideate Software, she worked as a junior designer at an award-winning firm specializing in architecture and land planning. After working in architecture design for several years, Jesika decided to pursue her interest in programming. 

Ben Bischoff

Ben Bishoff – Senior Software Engineer

Ben has been a software engineer for more than 30 years and has been developing Ideate Software applications for more than 16 years to help customers save time, increase accuracy, improve project deliverables, and elevate design. With a bachelor’s degree in Physics, he has worked at several software companies that develop applications for the AECO industry.

Hank DiVincenzo

Hank DiVincenzo – Senior Software Engineer

Hank has been a software engineer for more than 24 years. With a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, he has developed applications for a variety of companies. Before joining Ideate, Hank worked on immersive 360° video applications used for situational awareness within the National Security Agency and Department of Defense. 

Stephanie Fitzgerald

Stephanie Fitzgerald – Software Developer

Stephanie earned her Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from University of Oregon. In past roles, Stephanie wrote C# and web design curriculum for Zaniac, where she was also the project manager for development, managed a research study of student motivation to learn math for Harvard University, and redesigned the website for a Tufts University library. 

Michael Coffey

Michael Coffey – Software Developer

Michael has a Bachelor of Architecture from New Jersey Institute of Technology and is a registered architect in New York, LEED accredited and a Revit Architecture Certified Associate. Before joining Ideate Software, he worked at an architecture firm, and in his latest position there, he coded and implemented tools using the Revit API, documented and trained in BIM and Revit tools, and managed content and standards. 

Jan Sako

Jan Sako – Support and Q/C Manager

Jan holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications. He brings in extensive experience in customer issue resolution and general IT troubleshooting. His other passions are green technologies, specifically reuse and recycling, and various other environmental initiatives. Jan previously worked within the sustainability movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Steve Deadman

Steve Deadman – Customer Success Manager — UK/EMEA

Steve’s CAD/BIM experience stretches back to his first job as a CAD Coordinator 2001. Since then, he has built a proven track record of BIM implementations at award-winning architectural practices, including several on The Architect’s Journal’s Top 20 list. At his most recent employer prior to Ideate Software, Steve was the Head of BIM for nearly five years. 

Nivin Nabell

Nivin Nabeel – Customer Success Manager — Americas

Nivin has a background in architecture, visual arts, and computer science. Before joining Ideate Software in 2022, she 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. 


Team with Us

If working with a company with a proven history is important to you, look into Ideate Software. Explore our range of Autodesk Revit addins and see how they can make your Revit projects faster, simpler, and more productive and efficient.

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. 

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.

 

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September

23

2022

At Ideate Software, we like to provide a wealth of support to our customers, either via our website, which has a ton of useful information, or within our products. For example, Ideate BIMLink ships with a great extent of preconfigured content; you get more than 350 predefined link definitions to help you get up and running as soon as possible.

All the content provided within Ideate BIMLink is displayed as shown below and can be manually imported as needed into the Revit project.

Content provided within Ideate BIMLink
The Ideate BIMLink content is saved and loaded from this folder C:\ProgramData\Ideate\Ideate BIMLink\en-US\Samples

You might not be aware, but you can also load additional content for some of our other applications too, for example, Ideate ViewCreator, one of the tools in the IdeateApps collection.

Start from the settings cog and select Manage View Rules.

Start with the Settings Cog
You can also import additional Room rules.

From here you can choose to import additional rules into your projects to help with your workflows. 

Import additional rules
You can also Export custon rules from this dialog, for wider use within your company.

This opens a folder where you can load the additional rules that ship with Ideate ViewCreator. The default folder shown below, called Basic Rules, contains the list of rules that automatically import into any new Revit project where Ideate ViewCreator has been previously used.

Additional Content
Lots of additional content is available.

If that wasn’t enough, there is also a Bonus Rules folder! My favorite bonus rule within Ideate ViewCreator is the one called “DUPLICATE - Phase New.” This rule can be used to copy existing views to make '-New' views. Newly created views have a hard-wired Phase and Phase Filter override.

Bonus time!

For more information see our Help file on this topic.

Additional content is also available for Ideate ReNumber, another tool within the IdeateApps collection. See more in our Help file.  

Our European and UK customers might find the bonus rule called “Sheets - BS ISO 19650.rule” particularly valuable. This rule is designed to work with customer parameters within a title block as described in my earlier blog post, Renaming Sheets to ISO 19650.


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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September

22

2022

IdeateApps users who weren’t able to attend this webinar will want to watch the recording to learn and see demonstrations of recent updates, including the newest addition to the IdeateApps collection, Ideate Annotate. Updates are available in Revit versions 2020 – 2023.


 
If you don’t yet use the IdeateApps collection and are curious about how it can help you streamline common Revit workflows, take 30 minutes to watch the recording. In addition to providing a detailed overview of Ideate Annotate, we also briefly discuss updates to other tools in the collection that are sure to grab your attention. 

About Ideate Annotate

Ideate Annotate, available to existing IdeateApps subscribers at no additional cost, allows the user to ensure the legibility of Revit tags, text dimensions, and other 2D annotative elements by reviewing clashes, and browsing through 2D annotative elements to understand usage throughout projects.  

About IdeateApps

IdeateApps is a collection of 10 focus-driven tools that decrease the time spent on common Revit tasks and increase the accuracy of BIM data in Revit models by allowing the users to quickly and easily:

  • Renumber anything
  • Select and review anything
  • Safely delete elements
  • Find hidden elements
  • Check project spelling
  • Place views on sheets
  • Align views on sheets
  • Copy sheets with aligned views
  • Bulk-create views
  • Review and check annotations on sheets and views

You can also review a short video for an overview of the previous collection of productivity tools contained with IdeateApps.

In addition, we will present the content again at a webinar for the UK and Europe on October 18. You can register here.

Visit our website to learn more about IdeateApps as well as our other Revit add-in tools. Download a free trial or subscribe today
 

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August

31

2022

Ideate Software is all about increasing the productivity, or the quality of work, plus the efficiency, or how well the resources available are used to produce that work, of architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator (AECO) professionals that work with Revit. As BIM tool adoption among AEC firms rises, and since Revit is the top BIM tool in the AEC community, the Ideate Software team has the opportunity to work with companies of all sizes and in all disciplines in multiple countries around the world. We learn about the workflows that create challenges, both in terms of model accuracy and time spent on model management, and we develop plugins for Revit that address those challenges. Visit our website for details about our solutions for Revit users, including product details, how-to videos, blog posts with step-by-step instructions, and information on free trials and subscription options. 

Confirming the Value of our Revit Solutions

There are many plugins for Revit on the market, and some of them are inexpensive or even free. At Ideate Software, we deliver value, and we charge appropriately (see blog post). So how do we get the message out about Ideate Software products and demonstrate that they deliver a strong return on investment? One way is by sharing the results of a survey in which we asked Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer customers from around the world about the amount of time they save by using the products.  

Survey Results - Ideate BIMLink 

Our Ideate BIMLink plugin for Revit saves users time and increases the accuracy of the data in their models by enabling them to export data from Revit to Excel, where they can quickly verify, correct, and update massive amounts of data, and then import that data back from Excel to Revit in order to make changes in the Revit model.

Here are some of the most significant time savings reported by Ideate BIMLink users:

In the “Common Workflows for Any Discipline” category, our customers reported that they saved an average of:

  • 40 hours per project preparing for COBie deliverables by editing and completing COBie-required data fields for the handover deliverables
     
  • 25 hours per project developing project health checks by scheduling multiple Revit properties and categories, both visible and not readily visible within the model, to make informed decisions on what to include as part of a health check
     
  • 25 hours per project managing overall schedule data by editing in Excel instead of Revit, insuring speed and accuracy of model data editing and management

Here’s a link to the information on our website, and here are links to the detailed reports by discipline:

Want to determine how much time and money you could save by using Ideate BIMLink plugin for Revit? 

Check out our Ideate BIMLink ROI Calculator. Simply select the tasks that your office performs from a list of common tasks and input:

  • How often each task is performed on a project
  • How long the task takes
  • Your average number of projects a year
  • The average billing rate of Revit users 

    Ideate BIMLink ROI Calculator

Survey Results - Ideate Explorer

Building information modeling (BIM) with this plugin for Revit is much faster because the tool reduces the time that Revit users spend searching for and editing elements in a Revit model. 

When surveying Ideate Explorer users, we asked them how they use Ideate Explorer and how often they use it. Here’s a link to the whole report. Below are three examples:

  • Frequency: Daily
    Task: Select and Filter Instances

    Ideate Explorer is a great substitution for the Revit selection filter, because it allows users to select from a list of Revit elements down to the individual instances. Then they can use its built-in functionality and Revit commands to further review or make changes to the selection.
     
  • Frequency: Weekly
    Task: Review Element Counts

    Ideate Explorer allows users to track the progress of Revit models over time by gathering total model element counts and total counts per category, such as under/over usage of certain categories and families, placed vs. unplaced views, etc. Users can drill down to element counts for each category and type used.
     
  • Frequency: Varies
    Task: Refine Element Selection

    The Query function within Ideate Explorer allows users to refine a selection of elements by selecting from a large list of parameters, including some not accessible by Revit. The many additional parameters listed include Created By, Last Edited By, Is Pinned, Is In Place, Is Flipped, and Is Nested.

To help Ideate Explorer customers calculate the time savings and convert that time savings in cost savings, we developed the Ideate Explorer ROI calculator. Stakeholders simply enter information about the average time savings per week, average number of Revit users, and average number of work weeks per year to determine the approximate hours saved per week and per year. Then simply plug in the average hourly billing rate of Revit users to get the approximate cost savings.  

Ideate Explorer ROI Calculator

By taking the time to calculate the return on investment and truly understand how money is spent and how our Revit plugins can save money, stakeholders will be well-prepared to have a discussion with leadership about recommendations.

A Customer Example - Steinberg Hart

We were pleased to present a blog post by our customer Steinberg Hart in which they shared how they got their team and leadership to support subscribing to IdeateApps, a collection of tools that automates common Revit tasks. Gautam Shenoy said, “For team buy in, I show how the technology will streamline processes, save time, and improve quality. For leadership buy in, I justify the expense by demonstrating a positive ROI based on its inference on the fee, time invested, and time spent.”

To determine the value of the tools in the IdeateApps collection, Gautam noted the relevant tasks performed by each tool, how much time he and his team spent performing them manually, and how much time they would take using the tools. He used this information to understand the value of the tools and to justify the move to IdeateApps to both his team and company leadership.

In addition to presenting the details in a blog post, we welcomed Gautam to present his process on a webinar, Developing Efficient Processes with Ideate Software and Gautam Shenoy from Steinberg Hart.  

Read Customer Success Stories

We are proud to be associated with leading architecture, engineering, constructions, and owner-operator companies around the world. To read about how some of them use our Revit plugins to save time, improve data accuracy, and increase the health of their Revit models, see the success stories we have posted on our website. 

Learn More about how to Increase Productivity and Efficiency with Plugins for Revit by Ideate Software 

If you’re interested in BIM, you likely use Revit. Our plugins for Revit are worth a look. Browse our website to explore Ideate Software’s range of Revit tools and see how they can make your Revit projects faster, simpler, and more productive and efficient.

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. 

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.

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