January

9

2014

In software development interesting things can happen when you interact with outside sources; Autodesk Revit is no exception. Our senior software developer Ben Bishoff recently spent some time investigating one example involving Microsoft Windows and the Revit Family file. Revit has rules about the naming of families that is enforced when you are working with the software, either as a user or as an add-on software. In particular, it does not allow the following characters to be included in the name: \ : { } [ ] | ; < > ? ' ¶ and unprintable characters (ASCII 0 - 31) For example, while in a Revit project file, if you use the "Rename½" option from the family right-click menu within the Project Browser, and to rename 'Door Tag' to 'Door Tag [New]' you would receive an error.

Ideate Software, Revit, Autodesk, BIM Manager, BIM, Revit to Excel, Excel, Family Name, Type Name, Family and Type, Rename Family, Audit Revit Project, Revit Project Maintenance, Ideate BIMLink
Renaming Revit Families

This is simple enough, but the situation is compounded when Revit uses the file name of a family as the name of the family in the project. Windows, like Revit, also has characters that is doesn't allow in file names, but these characters are not the same ones that Revit excludes. \ / : * ? " < > | As a result there is a small set of characters that, while not valid characters in Revit, can still end up in family names if they are part of the file name. { } [ ] ; ' ¶ To continue the previous example, if you create a new Revit family from the Family Editor, you can save that file with the name 'Door Tag [New].rfa'. When that file is loaded into Revit there will be a family name that Revit would not otherwise permit to occur.

Ideate Software, Revit, Autodesk, BIM Manager, BIM, Revit to Excel, Excel, Family Name, Type Name, Family and Type, Rename Family, Audit Revit Project, Revit Project Maintenance, Ideate BIMLink, door tags
Revit Family Door Tags

This doesn't appear to cause any problems in Revit itself, yet these characters were declared invalid for a reason, even if we do not know what that reason is. Is the use of an invalid characters worth the risk? We strive to avoid anything that would destabilize our customer's file. That is why have taken the time to understand this situation and verify that Ideate BIMLink interacts correctly with these illegally named families. Not only does Ideate BIMLink handle these families carefully you can use it to ensure that none of your family names contain theses illegal characters. We recommend using our 'Project_Stds-Rename_Types' sample link file which will allow you to rename all of the family names and type names within one file.

Ideate Software, Revit, Autodesk, BIM Manager, BIM, Revit to Excel, Excel, Family Name, Type Name, Family and Type, Rename Family, Audit Revit Project, Revit Project Maintenance, Ideate BIMLink, Project Naming Standards
Project Naming Standards in Revit 

If you have a lot of family types in your project you can make it even easier to find these problem families by adding a filter to the link that identifies family or type names that contains an invalid character. In this example we are identifying ones that use a bracket character:

Ideate Software, Revit, Autodesk, BIM Manager, BIM, Revit to Excel, Excel, Family Name, Type Name, Family and Type, Rename Family, Audit Revit Project, Revit Project Maintenance, Ideate BIMLink, Filtering Families in Revit
Filtering Families in Revit

To try it for yourself download the trial version of Ideate BIMLink.


About the Author

Jesika DiGregorio - Software Team Lead Jesika received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon in Eugene where she also spent time studying advanced math. Her work experience includes Junior Designer at an award-winning firm specializing in architecture and land planning, and Intern Architect at a firm that provides services in planning, design, construction documents and construction administration for projects of all sizes. After working in architecture design for several years, Jesika decided to pursue her interest in programming and her love of efficient systems. She now serves as a Software Team Lead for Ideate Software.

 

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December

5

2013

Ever wondered what's in a Autodesk Revit Multi-Category schedule? Here's the skinny½ while a regular Revit Schedule reports on a single category of data such as Doors, Plumbing Fixtures, or Structural Foundations, a Multi-category schedule can report on many of the Revit model categories at once, which can be useful for quantity takeoffs. Sounds straightforward, but the catch is that some of the model categories are being excluded. What's missing are the system families such as Walls, Floors, etc.

The good news is that Ideate BIMLink not only includes all the model category data that you need to do a comprehensive takeoff, but it also lets you select, on a per category basis, which elements you want to include. Furthermore, you can include not just the Length and the Volume, but also the Area, which is slightly important.

revit_ideate_bimlink_multi_category_schedule

Here are the steps required to use Ideate BIMLink to quickly extract your quantity data from a Revit Building Information Model:

  1. Within Ideate BIMLink create a New Link that is based on  
  2. On the Multi-Category tab review the items to decide which you need for your takeoff. 
  3. Export to Excel. 
  4. Ideate BIMLink will create a row of data for each instance within your Revit project. If you want a summary, to include counts and totals, you can use Excel's Pivot table. Refer to the quantity takeoff topic for an example of a pivot table used in this way. 

That's it. You now have a comprehensive list of the model elements and proceed with your estimating with confidence.

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog 11.14.2013

 

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September

23

2013

  1. Your engineer/architect has modeled your new facility in Revit and the building is done
  2. Get your hands on the Building model, you own it, right?
  3. Open up Revit (trial version works fine - get it here).
  4. You launch Ideate BIMLink and you export the COBie_Type and COBie_Components to an Excel file. Whether you intend to do COBie or not these links are a great way to quickly get all of the asset list that you need to get started.
  1. If your budget permitted, you required the model to be updated to reflect as-built conditions. Congratulations, you get to skip ahead to Step 7.
  2. If the model does not reflect the as-built conditions then you should pay your architect and engineers to fill out the Excel files from step 4 above or have your own staff fill out any missing info. This can be done with a tablet as outlined in this earlier post.
  3. Congratulations, you now you have a complete list of all the building assets for use in managing the building's maintenance and operations. That was easy!

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog 9.25.2013

 


About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, Revit expertGlynnis 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 ECLC of NJ and Grow it Green Morristown. Follow Glynnis on Twitter.

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August

30

2013

Autodesk recently updated their Revit Model Performance Technical Note for version 2014. This document contains a wealth of information related to optimizing Revit files and is highly recommended for all BIM Managers who are using Revit. Here's just one example, that can be found under the "Revit Model Optimization and Best Practices" section.

Arrays,

Example: Found under the "Revit Model Optimization and Best Practices" section[/caption] Ideate Explorer for Revit can be used to find Arrays and other problem areas, as shown.

Arrays - Show Elements

Use Ideate Explorer to select all your Arrays at once and then use the ungroup option as recommended by Autodesk for improved performance. You can find "Revit 2014 Model Performance Technical Note" and other Revit-related white papers on our website.


About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB - Director of Software Development Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked with 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 across the nation, developing, and implementing best practices solutions. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work and builds Lego projects. @GVPinNJ

 

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog
 
 

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August

26

2013

We've had many Ideate BIMLink customers request access to the Revisions on Sheet properties. These properties allow the project team to identify, on a per sheet basis, whether the sheet is part of a particular issuance (Bid Set, Owner Review, Request for Information, Addendum, etc.). Without Ideate BIMLink using this Revit feature requires that the user select each Sheet and then pick to the "Revisions on Sheet" button and then check the box next to the relevant Revision Sequence - very tedious. View here!

With Ideate BIMLink for Revit 2014.1 we now have access to the revision sequences so that all the sheets can be edited quickly, outside of the Revit environment, saving time and reducing liability. See how: Download the latest version of Ideate BIMLink (note this feature is for 2014 only).


About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB - Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked with 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 across the nation, developing, and implementing best practices solutions. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work and builds Lego projects. @GVPinNJ

This post was originally published on the Ideate Solutions Blog
 

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