October

18

2023

We were pleased to welcome Nigel Davies from Evolve Consultancy to a webinar to share how Ideate Software products have revolutionized the way he and his team complete tasks by reducing weeks of work to hours. 

Watch the recording of this 30-minute webinar to see how Evolve Consultancy uses Ideate BIMLink to streamline workflows on a high-demand, new-build project called the Center for Arabic Calligraphy, where the client requires extensive, detailed, weekly reports on 19 KPIs. You’ll also learn how they use:

  • Ideate BIMLink to complete required reports on COBie 
  • Ideate Automation to perform a standard weekly reporting process overnight that used to take almost a full day 

 

About Evolve Consultancy

Founded in 2005, Evolve is an internationally renowned BIM consultancy providing services and support around the design, development, and implementation of technology-enabled data production processes to contractors, architects, and engineers in the UK, the US, Europe, Middle East, and Australia.

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September

29

2023

When learning how to use Autodesk Revit software, people get trained on the basics of how to use sample files, open and save Revit models, as well as several workflows, including how to create projects, walls, floors, roofs; and how to place doors, windows, and curtains. They also learn how to add dimensions and notes and to create sheets.

While appreciating the power of BIM tools, Revit users see how the software allows them to create accurate and precise designs, easily make changes, and see how the changes affect the building model. In addition, users also begin to discover some inefficiencies. Tasks, some that must be done hundreds of times during a project, need to be done manually. Plus, there are several complexities within the software that make model management time consuming and difficult, including the fact that some elements are not visible in certain views and that deletion sets can contain elements unknown to the user, who are then surprised and annoyed when they discover the elements are gone. 

Instead of investing in tackling the inefficiencies themselves, Autodesk turns to trusted partners to develop Revit plugins. They created the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) for software developers who want to develop tools that extend Autodesk products and technologies. ADN members are full-time professional software developers working with Autodesk technologies that can access Autodesk desktop software and get one-on-one direct support for software development based on virtually all Autodesk desktop technologies. They can also access confidential Autodesk information on technology futures, beta software, and basic marketing benefits. 

Ideate Software – An Autodesk Authorized Developer and Member of the Autodesk Developer Network

Since launching our first Autodesk Revit Plugin, Ideate Explorer, at Autodesk University in 2008, Ideate Software has been committed to helping Revit users unlock advanced functionality and efficiency in their BIM designs. Today, our suite of products includes five Revit plugins, and one of them—IdeateApps —is comprised of 10 different tools. We developed each of our BIM tools to address specific, persistent problems in architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator workflows by giving Revit users unprecedented access to and control over the data in their models. In addition to our five Revit plugins, we developed Ideate Automation to run time-intensive BIM tasks in the background, freeing staff to do more meaningful work. 

Ideate Explorer - Considered by many firms worldwide the indispensable tool to investigate, clean-up, and manage the Revit building model, Ideate Explorer users easily search for, filter, quantify, index, and select all Revit model elements, even ‘missing’ and hard-to-find ones, and make selections based on filters or data sets.

It comes with four tools that increase its power: 

  • Warnings Manager - Review and manage Revit warnings
  • Navigate - Navigate through view-based elements within Revit—legends, schedules, sheets, and views—and quickly customize the browsing experience
  • Query - Search on parameters, such as elements assigned a certain size or modeled as in-place families, sheets based on Issuance numbers, and dimensions that have been overridden
  • Filters - Filter Revit model elements based on your specified parametric conditions

Ideate BIMLink – The powerful filtering and sorting options in Ideate BIMLink are used to manage and extract Revit data. Used to easily edit and update vast amounts of Revit data using Microsoft Excel, users can use the hundreds of library links included with Ideate BIMLink to immediately access the Revit data required. In addition to robust editing, users can create many Revit elements as well as manage workflows that just aren’t easy or even possible within standard Revit. For example, with Ideate BIMLink, users can: 

  • Swap Revit elements
  • Manage Revit Parameters
  • Rename Revit elements
  • Manage Revit Sheet Revision Workflows and Sheet/View Sets

Ideate Sticky – Originally developed to address customer comments, Ideate Sticky first allowed users to create and format tabular text in an Excel spreadsheet and then “stick” that spreadsheet on a Revit sheet as a Revit schedule. As we do with all products, we made meaningful updates to Ideate Sticky every year. Today, Ideate Sticky is used to:

  • Link Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF documents into Revit projects
  • Link multi-paged documents at once
  • Link Excel spreadsheets to Revit files as images or native Revit schedule data

Ideate StyleManager – Launched in 2019 to address challenges with Revit styles that arise when users import content, Ideate StyleManager simplifies the style management process which in Revit can be time consuming and risky. This powerful Revit plugin is used to:

  • Safely delete styles that can’t be easily deleted or purged in Revit software
  • Merge non-standard styles into standard styles
  • Analyze style usage to understand the scope of a deletion
  • Clean up Object Styles, Line Styles, Line Patterns, Fill Patterns, Materials, Material Appearance Assets, View Filters, Templates, and Scope Boxes
  • Understand which views use View Filters

IdeateApps – This collection of tools launched in the summer of 2016 with:

  • Ideate ReNumber to quickly update element numbers and names
  • Ideate XRay to determine the cause of element visibility issues and fix the problems
  • Ideate SmartDelete to understand and edit elements that will be deleted along with a selected element 
  • Ideate QuickSelect to view all instances of difficult-to-find items

Within one year, we added four more tools:

  • Ideate SpellCheck to check open sheets and views, sheets in a sheet list and all schedules
  • Ideate SheetManager to filter sheet and view lists, create sheets, and place views onto sheets
  • Ideate Clone to duplicate Sheets and manage viewports on those Sheets as well as to match title block family and parameters, sheet parameters and browser file location
  • Ideate Align to align plan views in a set so they synchronize perfectly across all sheets

In 2018, we added:

  • Ideate ViewCreator to batch-create multiple Revit views while complying with company BIM standards

And in 2022, we added:

  • Ideate Annotate to ensure the legibility of tags, text, dimensions, and other annotative elements

Ideate Automation – Launched in 2020, this scripting solution runs time-intensive BIM tasks in the background while your staff does more meaningful work. Use Ideate Automation 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

Stay Connected

Learn more about our top Revit addons.

Check us out on X/Twitter, LinkedIn, FacebookYouTube, and Instagram.

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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September

12

2023

We add new features, and you just ask for more. (Thanks!)

In July of 2013 we created an easy way for Ideate BIMLink users to assign sheets to their respective revisions or issuances in: Ideate BIMLink for Revit 2014 Conquers Revisions!

The response was swift, "Thanks for saving me hours of time, but NOW I need help with this other Revit revision nonsense. I'm required to manage a complete list of all revisions for all sheets as a record, with the list of sheets as the rows, the list of revision dates as the columns, and, this is the kicker, the per sheet number of the revision within each corresponding cell, as shown."


Typical Document Issue Record with Revit Sheet and Revision Data.

We like it when you ask us to solve soul-sucking problems such as this. So here's your solution:


Ideate BIMLink and Document Issue and Revision Records

Existing Ideate BIMLink customers should contact [email protected] to request a copy of the Excel macro template used in this video.


About the Author

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. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for eclcofnj.org and growitgreenmorristown.org @GVPinNJ

 

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August

30

2023

There are many free Revit plugins on the market. Based on our personal experience as well as conversations with hundreds of people who have tried free and inexpensive plugins, we strongly discourage people from using them. Although a plugin may have a low upfront cost, it may cost a fortune in terms of time spent trying to get it to perform as described. And often, it never does. Not only does this frustrate users, if they downloaded the software in hopes of solving a pressing issue, they may miss a deadline and frustrate customers as well.

The Monetary Cost of Ideate Software Plugins for Revit

Developing, marketing, and supporting Revit plugins is complicated, and Ideate Software does it extremely well. While we like to focus on the value of our software, we understand that the monetary cost is important for budgeting, plus it creates a basis from which to determine the cost savings achieved.

Please visit our Bundles page for current pricing on our standard one-year subscriptions for single users, multiple users, and enterprise licensing, as well as our special promotions, which at the time of this post, include six-month get-to-know-us bundles for single and multiple users as well as the option to add Ideate Automation. Subscriptions to individual products are also available. For pricing information, go to our online store and click on each product’s name.

The Reasons Ideate Software Products are Top Revit Plugins

The whole reason Ideate Software is in business is to help companies in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator industries get the most out of their Revit software. It’s not an add-on to our business. It’s not a secondary or tertiary area of focus. It’s what we do! We are an Autodesk Authorized Developer and a member of the Autodesk Developer Network, meaning that we adhere to strict guidelines established by Autodesk and that they trust us to deliver products and services that strengthen their products and their reputation.

Here are some factors that contribute to our designation as a top Revit plugin developer:

  1. We create an atmosphere that attracts top talent. A people-first philosophy in which every person is treated with respect, encouraged to share their ideas, and recognized for their successes has led to several people staying with the company for decades as well as new people with outstanding skills joining us. For examples, read this press release about Rahul Verma, who celebrated his 20-year anniversary with Ideate in 2021, and this press release that announces three new hires who brought their talents to Ideate Software within the past year. 
     
  2. We develop plugins that Revit users want. We don’t ever think we know what functionality to work on next. We know what to do because we listen to Revit users. Because we have been in business for so long, we have a solid base of customers who tell us what they are working on, describe limitations in Revit that they’d like addressed, and provide candid thoughts on our product development ideas before we get to software development. As a business, our goal of course is to attract new customers, so we don’t just rely on our existing customers for direction. We tune into Autodesk Revit forums, we attend industry events across the world, and we ask for thoughts on product development after each of our webinars, which are open to the public and free of charge. 
     
  3. We put all our products and enhancements through rigorous testing. Our software development team takes great pride in their work. They test their work extensively before releasing new products or enhancements to existing products by providing them to the large group of people in our Beta Test Group who test them in real-world situations. We take their feedback to heart, making adjustments as needed to ensure each product works as described and performs a valuable function.
     
  4. We provide meaningful updates at least once a year. We are not a one-and-done company. Every year, we align our software with the new version of Revit, and we make customer-requested and process-improvement enhancements that bring additional value to subscribers. We highlight the enhancements in press releases, lead webinars on the updates, post videos on our YouTube channel, and put step-by-step workflow instructions in our online help files. Of course our top support staff are always available to offer assistance. Here is a video highlighting the enhancements in our May 2023 release:

Ideate Software’s Revit Plugins – An Overview

Here are highlights of our BIM plugins for Revit. Click on the links for more information.

  • Ideate BIMLink – Easily edit vast amounts of Revit data by using Ideate BIMLink to import/export Revit data to Microsoft Excel for editing. In addition to robust editing, you can create many Revit elements as well as manage workflows that just aren’t easy or even possible within standard Revit. A small sampling of these varied workflows includes the ability to swap Revit elements, easily manage Revit parameters, rename Revit elements, and flexibly manage Revit sheet revision workflows and sheet/view sets. Ideate BIMLink includes powerful filtering and sorting options to manage and extract the exact Revit data to modify. 
     
  • Ideate Explorer – Decrease the time spent on model management by using Ideate Explorer to find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items, including DWGs. Ideate Explorer comes with four additional tools that allow you to manage warnings, navigate through view-based elements, search on parameters, and filter model elements based on specific parametric conditions. 
     
  • Ideate Sticky – Easily link, import, integrate, and format non-BIM data into your Revit projects with Ideate Sticky. It combines the ease and flexibility of Excel, Word, and PDF editing with the convenience of a sticky note. Because the documents are live-linked, the Revit files automatically update when the original document is changed. 
     
  • Ideate StyleManager - Address the challenges that arise when Revit users load or import content into the model and the corresponding styles automatically come with the content. While management of styles in Revit can be time consuming and risky, it’s easy with Ideate StyleManager, which allows users to analyze, merge, or delete non-standard styles. 
     
  • IdeateApps – Streamline time-consuming repetitive tasks with the 10 tools that come with IdeateApps. Developed for both daily Revit users and BIM managers, IdeateApps will put hours back in your day while improving the quality of your Revit models.

In adIdeate Automation Logodition to developing the five plugins above to solve persistent problems in architecture, engineering, and construction, and owner-operator workflows, we developed Ideate Automation to boost the power of our Revit plugins by running time-intensive activities in the background. Learn more here

 

Stay Connected

Learn more about our top Revit addons.

Check us out on X/Twitter, LinkedIn, FacebookYouTube, and Instagram.

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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August

29

2023

Revit software enables some revision capabilities. Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Sticky take over where Revit leaves off.

  • Do you need revisions that aren’t in Revision Clouds to appear in the Titleblock?
    If yes, in Revit you must update the “Revision on Sheet” option within each sheet view.
  • Do you need a schedule of all revisions on each sheet?
    If yes, chances are that you have created a workaround, because Revit only lists the latest revision.

While the methods above can get the job done, they take a lot of time and they increase the chance of errors.

Watch our short video to see how you can use Ideate BIMLink to aggregate revision information in Microsoft Excel to edit the options in bulk and Ideate Sticky to bring the formatted Excel schedule back into Revit to place onto sheets.

 

You’ll see how the work that has taken you hours if not days can be reduced to just minutes by completing two simple steps.

For implementation services or to learn more about how Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Sticky can help your business, please contact [email protected]


 

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