March

23

2022

Our webinars and blog posts featuring top ways Revit users benefit from our plug-in tools are very popular; both customers and prospective customers want to know specifically what they need to do to ensure the data in their Revit models is correct and the Revit model is tuned for the best performance possible.

Now, to get people quicker access to information requested often, we created a short video demonstrating how to use Ideate Explorer for Revit to perform 10 critical model auditing workflows. In just nine minutes, you will see step-by-step instructions on how to:

  1. Scan for element count
  2. Review model and detail lines
  3. Clean up text and dimensions
  4. Review revisions
  5. Audit Revit families and groups
  6. Review views and sheets
  7. Check grids, levels and reference planes
  8. Audit worksets
  9. Review Revit model warnings
  10. Review and delete CAD imports

Large Revit models can be difficult to understand and manage, but NOT with our Ideate Explorer add-in for Revit software. It delivers an easy-to-use interface that gives users many tools to display, sort, filter, search, and query data as well as review Revit warnings and fully understand the complex relationships of a Revit model. Ideate Explorer is an essential tool for ANY Revit user that will quickly become your most essential Revit add-in for Revit model health and model auditing.


 
Want to jump right to one of the demos? Visit our Top 10 Auditing Tips playlist on our YouTube channel, where the videos are also posted individually.  


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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February

28

2022

Everyone at Ideate Software is obsessed with building information modeling (BIM). The ability to create and manage a digital model of a building and all its elements, from large complex HVAC systems to the direction a door swings is not only fascinating, but BIM has also transformed the building design and construction industries. We love being a part of that transformation.

What is BIM - Ideate SoftwareWith a staff of designers, builders, engineers, architects, and others who have hands-on experience in the field, we know the incredible benefits of being able to work together to make sure everything in the building fits together, provides easy access to parts that require manual manipulation (e.g., electrical panels, gas valves, water valves), efficiently heats and cools, meets codes and regulatory requirements, is aesthetically pleasing, etc., etc., etc. … BEFORE the building is ever built!

Benefits of BIM

BIM is a process that supports the creation and management of information across the lifecycle of a building or structure. 

What is BIM - Benefits of BIMWhen people think of BIM, they often think of the design and preconstruction phases, but BIM is beneficial at every stage of a building’s life. At Ideate Software, we talk about providing leading Revit BIM tools to the architecture, engineering, construction and building-owner (AECO) community, because like those involved in the early stage of a building’s lifecycle, building owners and managers with digital models reap significant benefits.

Some of the benefits achieved by AECO companies that leverage BIM are:

  1. Better collaboration. People in disciplines that once mainly worked independently now collaborate regularly, providing insights based on their experiences, sharing model updates, coordinating activities, verifying accuracy, and more. With everyone working together toward the same goal, many problems are avoided, and projects run more smoothly.
     
  2. Improved win rates. By providing an impressive visual experience during the proposal stage, companies demonstrate their understanding of the project, how they plan to help the prospective client achieve their goals, and their ability to accurately estimate timing and costs.
     
  3. Enhanced client relations. Using BIM throughout the building process keeps clients informed of how the building will look, how it fits into the existing environment, and how employees and visitors will interact with it. Design changes can be implemented quickly and communicated efficiently to all involved, reducing the chance of miscommunications and errors.  
     
  4. Reduced on-site changes. By verifying design efficacy in the model and performing clash detections, fewer changes are needed at the construction site. This brings projects to a close faster and for less cost. Also, BIM can greatly reduce the chance of rework caused by teams working with different versions of the plans, ordering the wrong material, or incorrectly scheduling deliveries or work crews.   
     
  5. Efficient building maintenance and updates. An accurate model of a building streamlines the process of handling emergencies, such as clogged drains or stalled elevators, or long-term projects such as reorganizing workstations, conference rooms and touchdown sites to accommodate more or fewer employees.
     
  6. Better choices, not guesses. An accurate digital model allows the designer to test different layouts for optimum energy consumption, review code compliance, and explore multiple design schemes or scenarios, and be able to know the building design is the best solution for the specified input criteria. It’s no longer a guess at which design is the best for the thousands of input specifications. Instead, designers can say with confidence that the building meets the design criteria and choices were made based on empirical data.

What are BIM tools?

Several BIM tools have been built to help companies capitalize on the advantages of BIM through design, simulation, visualization and collaboration.

Autodesk is a leading developer of BIM tools, including:

  • Revit – One of the most popular BIM authoring tools in the industry. It is used by architects, designers, MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) specialists, contractors and more. 
     
  • Navisworks – The main difference between the Navisworks BIM tool and Revit is that Navisworks is more of a project review solution for AEC professionals rather than an authoring tool such as the Revit BIM tool.  It also works with other Autodesk 3D solutions to open, combine, review and navigate through models.
     
  • BIM 360/Autodesk Construction Cloud – This cloud-based software unifies different processes of design, project and construction into one single process, avoiding delays by providing disparate teams access to relevant data.
     
  • Civil 3D – Focused on developing civil engineering more accurately, this software also offers some BIM-related features and workflows. 

Ideate Software’s BIM Tools for Revit

While Autodesk Revit software is a powerful tool, some of its workflows are a bit unrefined, time consuming, or maybe even non-existent. Ideate Software was founded to address these workflow gaps and increase Revit productivity. Our experienced software engineers develop BIM tools for Revit workflows for companies in building design, engineering, construction and facilities management industries. By automating workflows that they perform over and over again as well as creating tools that fill gaps in Revit software workflows, our Revit BIM tools help users at large and small companies around the world get the most out of the software.

Why do we develop Revit BIM Tools?

We love BIM, we love Revit and we love making them better!

How do we do it?

What are BIM tools - How we do itBusinesses and industries are constantly changing. To ensure we develop BIM tools that Revit users from across the AECO spectrum will find valuable, we stay connected to the Revit community throughout the world. We attend conferences, lead breakout sessions, serve as keynote speakers, survey users, track support requests, monitor Revit discussion boards, and talk with users in groups and individually.

Another critical way we stay connected to the Revit community is through our beta testing program. By asking people who use Revit and our Revit BIM tools for feature requests, running our early ideas by them, and involving them in rigorous testing, we ensure our solutions, whether new or enhancements, are wanted and work as expected.  

Ideate Software’s BIM Tools for Revit Users

Ideate Software LogoIn 2008, we launched our first BIM tool for Revit, Ideate Explorer. Since that time, we have made significant enhancements to Ideate Explorer and launched/improved four more tools that solve persistent problems in Revit workflows. Here’s a quick overview of each of our five tools:

  1. Ideate BIMLink – Verifying or updating massive amounts of data in Revit is tedious, time consuming and frustrating. Every time you think you’re done, you realize that you missed something! Ideate BIMLink eliminates this problem by enabling you to move data from Revit into Excel, where you can use its powerful functions to quickly check, correct or change data. When you move the data back to Revit, your model automatically updates and everything is correct. Tasks that used to take hours now take just minutes.
     
  2. Ideate Explorer – We developed Ideate Explorer to improve the browser within Revit, which is simply a project browser. Ideate Explorer is a model browser, which means you can easily search for and find hidden problem items including DWG imports or links, navigate through view-based elements within Revit, search on parameters such as elements assigned a certain size, and even review and manage Revit warnings. 
     
  3. Ideate Sticky – How can you elegantly share non-BIM data associated with Revit projects with the entire team? Use Ideate Sticky! Use it to link data from Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and PDF documents into your Revit projects, ensuring everyone has the correct information at their fingertips at all times.
     
  4. Ideate StyleManager – Copying/pasting data is a fast way to reuse information, but the process comes with challenges. Style information associated with the data often tags along, creating a mess that can cause publishing errors and end-user confusion. With Ideate StyleManager, this is never a problem, because it’s easy to analyze, delete or merge non-standard styles.
     
  5. IdeateApps – This collection of nine tools streamlines tasks identified by Revit users as tedious, time consuming and error prone. By automating these common tasks, IdeateApps improves the quality of Revit models and frees the users’ time to do more interesting and valuable activities.

Visit our website to learn more about our Revit BIM Tools. When you’re ready to take the next step, contact us, get 30-day trial versions, or choose the subscription option that best meets your needs. 

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. 
 

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February

4

2022

Thank you to everyone who attended our first webinar of 2022 and our first focused solely on Q&A about Ideate Software solutions! Based on the tremendous participation through questions asked during registration, live within the session, and through comments made in the post-webinar survey, I’m sure it will not be the last.

To learn from actual questions asked by people in the architecture, engineering, construction and building-owner communities who use our Revit software plugins, listen to and watch the recording. I’m certain you will hear some tips that will help you streamline your Revit data management activities, improve the health of your Revit models, and enhance your Revit designs.

Here is just a sample of the questions asked and answered:

  1. How can I transfer schedules/link definitions in Ideate BIMLink to other models/projects?
  2. Can you explain the Edit Rules dialog in Ideate ViewCreator?
  3. How does Ideate BIMLink work with Power BI?
  4. What are the steps to analyze parameters in families and project templates?
  5. How can I document and compare Revit template settings across multiple disciplines?

If this webinar sparked your interest in an Ideate Software plugin for Revit that you don’t yet have, be sure to give it a try with a free 30-day 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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January

31

2022

BIM Managers Faced New Challenges During the Pandemic

As a BIM manager, you wear many hats. In addition to supervising and supporting your technical team, your responsibilities include:

  • Developing BIM standards, protocols and templates
  • Managing the collaboration between your team, clients, contractors and others
  • Overseeing the production of project information models from design through handover

While the role of BIM manager has always involved a lot of moving parts, the pandemic-related challenges of disparate workforces, increased absences and talent shortages have put new and uncharted job duties on your plate.

Calmer Days Provide Time for Strategic Planning

Fortunately, companies around the world that have dealt with the urgency of the past two years’ challenges are starting to settle back into a routine. Now, with the raging fire down to embers, it is time to step back and make sure your team has the tools needed to enter this new phase seamlessly and position your company to succeed through increased employee and customer satisfaction.

One way to tackle employee and customer satisfaction at the same time is by investing in technology that allows employees to focus on more interesting activities while improving their designs and increasing the speed in which their designs are delivered to customers. 

Solutions for Revit Users

If your company uses Autodesk Revit software, we recommend that you spend a few minutes reading this post to learn how you, your team, your company and your customers can benefit from the leading Revit software plugins developed by Ideate Software.  
 
“We’ve been working with Ideate Software for years. Each one of their products tackles specific challenges we face with Revit software. They help us save time with a variety of model tasks, freeing up time for our designers to do what they do best, innovate and design. Ideate Software products also have a critical function in our model quality control process, giving us more control of our data in a way that Revit out-of-the-box cannot.”
~Jason Halaby, Senior Associate, Architect and BIM Manager, WRNS Studio
 

Revit Plugins for BIM Managers


In it for the Long Haul

No doubt you are aware of Autodesk Revit plugins that are inexpensive or even free. We suggest that you ask yourself why they are free. Wouldn’t a company charge for a product it considered valuable? At Ideate Software, we invest significantly in understanding challenges faced by Revit users and developing Revit plugin solutions that stand up to the rigors of a complex dataset. 

For more than 12 years, we have successfully served the needs of the Revit community:  

  • We stay connected to the architecture, engineering, construction and building-owner industries by attending and hosting events.
  • We learn about Revit challenges through Autodesk forums, surveys, roundtable discussions and one-on-one conversations, and we develop tools that address those challenges.
  • We leverage our beta testing program to ensure our tools achieve the desired results before we release them to the public. 

Because of our rigorous development and testing process, we know that all our Revit software plugins address specific requests from Revit users, streamlining workflows, reducing time spent on data management, and improving the quality of their Revit models.

What are the Five Must-Have Revit Plugin Solutions from Ideate Software?

Below are summaries of our products that BIM managers with teams ranging from small and local to large and global count on to help them achieve their goals. For details, visit our website

  1. Revit Plugins for BIM ManagersMove data from Revit to Excel for fast and easy editing and then move updated data back to Revit to instantly update your model – Ideate BIMLink 

    “[Ideate BIMLink] is an essential tool that we rely on regularly.”
    ~Peter Michealsen, Modulus Consulting

    Here are a few specific tasks you can perform with our Ideate BIMLink Revit software plugin:
     
  2. Find and delete hidden problem items including DWGs, find and refine elements including those excluded from the project browser, manage Revit warnings, and more – Ideate Explorer

    “[Ideate Explorer] puts the filter tool in Revit to absolute shame -it is simply THE tool for finding elements in Revit models.”
    ~Gavin Crump, BIM Guru

    See a few ways Ideate Explorer will save you time and increase the accuracy of your Revit models:
     
  3. Elegantly connect non-BIM data from an Excel, Word or PDF document into Revit projects, enhancing cross-team workflows – Ideate Sticky

    “Ideate Sticky reduces the time we spend getting Excel schedules into Revit by a minimum of nine minutes per project per reload. It paid for itself in just one month.”
    ~Aimee Molleken, GLHN Architects & Engineers

    Learn more about Ideate Sticky:
     
  4. Analyze, delete or merge non-standard Revit styles that enter models along with imported content – Ideate StyleManager

    “After cleaning up a library of 1000+ families, I can safely say Ideate StyleManager is a must have. It saved me many days of work, if not weeks! I’m not sure how I would have kept my sanity without it.”
    ~Ann-Helen Wirtz, SERA Architects

    Check out some of the valuable ways our Ideate StyleManager Revit software plugin is used to keep Revit models clean:
     
  5. Streamline common tasks such as renumbering elements, determining which elements will be deleted along with a selected item, copying sheets with views, and more – IdeateApps 

    “All [IdeateApps] apps are big time savers, but from a BIM management standpoint, [Ideate XRay] is my favorite time saver.”
    ~Anne Gustavson, NBBJ

    The IdeateApps collection is made up of nine different tools. Here are just three of the many tasks it can automate for you:
     

Ready to Learn More about our Autodesk Revit Plugin Solutions?

Revit Plugins for BIM ManagersYou’ve taken the first step and read this blog post. Now it’s time to dig in a little deeper. You can contact us for a one-on-one conversation; check out our blog posts that feature product information, workflow demonstrations, frequent questions addressed by our Support team and more; attend an upcoming webinar or review a recording of a past event, or watch short how-to videos that provide demonstrations on how to perform specific tasks using our Revit software plugin tools. 

As you peruse the information, we are certain you will come to understand the value that these tools can bring to your team starting on the first day you launch your subscription. 

Subscribe Today!

Whether you have a small or large team and are ready to dip your toe in the water or take the plunge, we have a trial offer or subscription option for you.

  • Trial – Try any or all our products for 30 days free of charge
  • Get-to-know-us Bundle – Subscribe to all our products for six months
  • Individual Products – Address immediate needs with 1, 5, or 10 licenses for the product(s) you need today
  • Bundles – Set your team up for long-term success with a subscription to all our products

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. 
 

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December

27

2021

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 questions and answers via our Ideate Software Support Series blog category.

Lately we’ve found that many of our customers are dedicating time and effort towards managing their Revit model health metrics, and specifically Revit warnings data via Ideate Explorer. In order to gather consistent and more importantly, relevant warnings data, the first step is to decide which Revit warnings are important, and then assign an appropriate warnings ranking as shown below.

Assign warnings rankings

Did you know that you can sort by the column headers such as Warning Category, Type or Rank? This can be quite useful to review which Revit Warnings are important to your company.  Just click on the column header to sort.

You can learn how to both setup and deploy company standards that relate to this important model health metric within our online help topic: Deploying Warning Standards. This time of year, it’s JOY TO THE WORLD.......or maybe it should be DEPLOY TO THE WORLD.

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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