Environmental Systems Design’s Digital Practice Leader Samir Abdelmawla delivered an engaging session called, “Arsenal of Revit Tools for the MEP Team” at the 2023 BILT North America Conference in Dallas, Texas. He featured several Revit add-on tools for the MEP team, and many of those tools were from Ideate Software!
“I am a strong believer of the tools developed by Ideate Software. A number of these tools are helping our engineers on their daily tasks. I am pleased to showcase how powerful they are for many MEP workflows and how easy they are to use,” said Samir.
Here is the information about Ideate Software tools that Samir featured in his presentation:
Starting with Revit 2020, Revit supported inserting PDFs to a model, however it only allows for one page at time. Ideate Sticky can place selected pages and maintain links to the source PDF.
Ideate BIMLink – Edit various MEP data and schedules in Excel and then import the data back to Revit. Editing in Excel offers the speed of copy/paste, fill down/across, concatenate data, and easily search/replace.
Also, with Ideate BIMLink, users can create definitions from a wealth of provided Libraries by category or by schedule: Export the data to Excel, edit, then import it back to Revit. Ideate BIMLink highlights changes for review before making them in the Revit model.
San Francisco, CA, July 12, 2023 – When appointed Information Manager on a major project that required weekly reports to demonstrate the development of Autodesk® Revit® models, Evolve Consultancy, a premier BIM consultancy in the UK, turned to a suite of tools, including Ideate BIMLink. Ideate BIMLink is a Revit productivity tool developed by Ideate Software, an Autodesk AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk Authorized Developer.
Joseph Frame, an associate with Evolve Consultancy said, “Simplicity is the key. We need anyone to be able to produce and analyse these reports with a minimum of training, as quickly as possible. Ideate BIMLink gives us that ability.”
In the customer success story published by Ideate Software, Joseph Frame and Francesco Pirritano, a consultant with Evolve Consultancy, share the steps they follow to:
The process of reporting starts with a custom link created in Ideate BIMLink to extract the necessary property values from the model.
Use Ideate BIMLink to select the required properties and categories to be included in the report
Export that data, which includes data from linked Revit models, to an Excel spreadsheet
Calculate the number and percentage of elements against each key performance indicator
Create a summary sheet to show the progression of how the models are developing over time
Francesco Pirritano said, “Ideate BIMLink allows the selection of multiple Revit categories, including both system and loadable families into the scheduled export, something not possible with Autodesk Revit multi-category schedules.”
Visit www.ideatesoftware.com to learn how Ideate Software add-ins for Revit help users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables, and elevate design. Give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager for six months.
About Ideate Software - Ideate Software, an Autodesk AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk Authorized Developer, empowers Revit users to gain unprecedented control over their data. They developed Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager to solve persistent problems in architecture, engineering, and construction, and owner-operator (AECO) workflows. They developed Ideate Automation to boost the power of their Revit plugins by running time-intensive activities in the background.
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One of the best places to get started with learning Ideate BIMLink is a Room Finish Schedule. If your Revit project has more than 30 rooms and more than four (data-input) columns, using Ideate BIMLink can significantly reduce the time it takes to review and edit your room data by allowing your edits to happen within Excel. The sheer volume of data makes this Revit task unwieldy. Despite the addition of “Freeze Header,” Revit still has a long way to go to achieve the ease-of-use found within Excel.
When you export your Room Finish data to Excel via Ideate BIMLink, you get these benefits:
Fantastic editing functions within Excel! Today I’ll highlight three of my favorites.
Format as Table
Find and Replace
More control of the Room Phase and Design Option properties
Unlike Revit, Ideate BIMLink data exports do not limit the room list to one specified phase or design option
Being able to edit all Room data across multiple phases at once will save you time in your complex projects
As this blog series continues, we will explore these and other powerful uses of Ideate BIMLink
Most importantly, you can hand off the Excel file generated via Ideate BIMLink to anyone on the project team for editing, regardless of their Revit skill set.
The example I’m using here is based on the Snowdon Towers Sample Architectural model that comes with Revit 2024. Everything shown here is supported as far back as Revit 2021 at the time of this post. All the Scheduled fields shown in the Schedule Properties in our example are built-in Revit parameters.
Here’s a cropped example of the Room Finish Schedule as viewed in Revit.
Simply open Ideate BIMLink, choose “New,” then “Create from Schedule” where you can browse or search for the Room Finish Schedule, and the click “Next.”
After reviewing the Link Properties, pick “Done.” You’ll be returned to the Ideate BIMLink home screen where you select the newly created Link and click “Export” to save and open it in Excel.
Now that the Excel file is open, let’s have a look at my favorite editing features.
Format as Table
This one click is the most powerful thing you can do to any Excel file that has been exported from Ideate BIMLink.
With cell A1 as the default selection when Room Finish Schedule.xlsx is opened, pick Format as Table from the Styles Tab in Excel to give your table headers (parameters) drop down-functionality!
The ability to filter and sort parameter values is nearly endless. Good luck getting a Revit Schedule to work like this!
Revit typically limits us from editing more than one value at a time in a Schedule View. Once in Excel, use Autofill options to easily copy multiples and sequences up and down columns with ease.
While Autofill is super helpful, be aware that it won’t work if you have applied a filter to any of the column headers. A perfect example of that would be in the previous step where we filtered the Levels column to show only L2 and L3.
Find and Replace
When it comes to making wholesale changes for issues like typos or in this case, changes to a finish that affects many rooms, Find and Replace is your friend.
Make sure to expand the ‘Options’ when using Find and Replace to get the most benefit.
We recommend that all Revit users have access to Ideate BIMLink to expedite the review and editing of Revit schedules and Room Finish Schedules are a great place to start. You can download a trial version of Ideate BIMLink and try for yourself.
In my next Training blog post, I’ll expand on this theme and cover the benefits of Revit Key Schedules.
Jason Bailly, Training Manager
Jason brings 20 years of experience in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator space with past roles including customer success manager, digital practice specialist, digital design principal, and application manager. At Ideate Software, he develops and leads training courses for customers and the internal technical sales and software development teams. When not working, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and children as well as mid-century modern architecture, road racing vintage two-stroke motorcycles, and landscaping
Every year, Autodesk adds new features and functionalities to Revit software, and this year is no exception. This year’s enhancements include interface modernizations and upgrades that will help users:
Design more creatively
Document more efficiently
Manage projects more effectively in BIM
Here are 10 Examples
Dark Theme – Interface enhancements that allow users to work more comfortably and intuitively
“My Insights” Panel – Aggregates usage data and finds workflow trends to help users quantify common commands and keystrokes; offers ideas on how to streamline design tasks
Interdisciplinary Imperial and Metric Template – Replaces discipline-specific templates
Sample Content – Provides a learning resource and a good examples of documentation best practices
Toposolids – Improves the quality of site designs
Enhanced Visualizations – Enables architects and designers to tell a more compelling story
Auto Sync with Twinmotion – Live links Revit and Twinmotion
New Capabilities for Energy Analysis – Simplifies workflows when working in linked architectural models in Revit
Enhanced Electrical Load Analysis Capabilities – Supports the use of demand factors and manage load sets for non-coincident backup equipment loads
Powerful Rebar Documentation Features – Allows detailers to create more complete shop drawings
Ideate Software’s Top Revit Plugins
One reason Ideate Software tools are at the top of Revit Plugins lists is because every year, when Autodesk releases their new version of Revit, we quickly align our software to the new version and deliver meaningful enhancements. Most enhancements are based on user requests, and all are tested rigorously, so users can upgrade to the newest version of Revit with no issues and jump right into the new functionalities to streamline Revit workflows and improve the quality of their Revit models.
Ideate Software Product Descriptions and Recent Enhancements
Below is information about our products and recent enhancements. For video demonstrations, check out our What’s New playlist on YouTube.
ABOUT IDEATE EXPLORER
Where Revit comes with a project browser, Ideate Explorer is a model browser that makes it easy for users to:
Find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items, including DWGs
Find, refine, and revise elements, even those excluded from the project browser
Ideate Explorer includes these valuable features:
A Warnings Manager that allows users to easily review and manage Revit warnings with ease. It:
Allows the user to rank warnings based on importance
Notifies users when high ranking warnings appear in the models
Enables users to fix problems using tools in Revit when the Warnings Manager dialog box is open
A Navigate function that allows users to steer through the view-based elements in a Revit project and customize their browsing experience. It is used to find unused sheets and views and filter legends, schedules, sheets or views by category and/or keyword. It is also used to customize working environments without altering the project browser.
A Query function that can be used to search within set parameters for elements such as unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions. These query functions can now be saved and used multiple times via our Dynamic Filters.
May 2023 Enhancements to Ideate Explorer
Ideate Explorer now includes the ability to create and save dynamic filters using expanded Revit properties exposed within Ideate Explorer that are not always available with the out-of-the-box Revit user interface. Users can search elements throughout a Revit model based on their parameter values, including parameter values in related data tables. Because this filtering system is dynamic, when parameter values in a model are updated, the list in Ideate Explorer will update as well.
Verifying or editing massive amounts of data in Revit can be incredibly time consuming. It’s easy with Ideate BIMLink. This powerful Revit plugin allows users to export the data they need to verify/update to Microsoft Excel, use its powerful editing capabilities, and then import verified or updated data back into the model. Whether you need to check to make sure naming conventions comply with customer standards or update a product manufacturer’s name, Ideate BIMLink is the tool.
May 2023 Enhancements to Ideate BIMLink
New features include the ability to:
Create new shared project parameters
Create shared and unshared family parameters
Push parameter standards to multiple models
Batch edit the material assignment and thickness value for compound walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, and slab assemblies
Watch our What’s New video for information on the other enhancements to Ideate BIMLink capabilities:
Support for MEP pipe and duct elevation properties
New support for sheet and view sets
The ability to manage family type properties that may vary across family types
The ability to edit the bounding boxes of views
The ability to create new worksets
ABOUT IDEATE STICKY
The limited text editing functionality in Revit makes it difficult for project managers to organize and format non-BIM data that their project teams need. Ideate Sticky overcomes this issue by combining the familiar flexibility of Adobe PDF documents, Microsoft Word documents, and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with the convenience of a sticky note. This Revit plugin live-links non-BIM data into a Revit project, and when the source document is updated, the linked “sticky” automatically updates.
Enhancements to Ideate Sticky
Recently, Autodesk updated its Desktop Connector from version 15 to version 16, which changed the location and path where non-Revit files are stored within the Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC). The latest version of Ideate Sticky is compatible with both versions.
The improvements to the Autodesk Desktop Connector solve a long-standing problem with the non-Revit data stored on the ACC not being actively refreshed. The latest version allows you to choose which folders are actively updating, which ensures that files linked via Ideate Sticky and stored on the ACC will be the most current. Ideate Sticky has a new “Show” button on the main dialog that highlights the selected sticky within the active view.
Another enhancement reduces the initial size of the Ideate Sticky dialog on start-up, reducing the time it takes for Ideate Sticky to open.
ABOUT IDEATE STYLEMANAGER
Pasting data from one model to another can create issues when style information associated with that data automatically transfers as well. With Ideate StyleManager, users can easily analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles more reliably, quickly, and accurately than possible with the built-in Revit style management system.
May 2023 Enhancements to Ideate StyleManager
Ideate StyleManager can now expose both Family parameters and Nested parameters within the Family Editor environment, making it much easier to standardize parameters within Revit content. We’ve also introduced Quick Analysis and In-Depth Analysis options to increase performance.
IdeateApps is a set of tools that enhances the functionality of Revit. With it, Autodesk Revit users can access and manipulate the data in their models with greater ease. Designed to take on common challenges identified by people who use Revit daily, these Autodesk Revit add-ins automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows, freeing time for more interesting and valuable activities.
Our team had a great time discussing and demonstrating our innovative Revit add-ins at the 2023 Digital Built Week conference in Dallas, Texas. We met with customers knowledgeable of our products, people who were familiar with them, and others who stopped by to hear for the first time how Ideate Software can help them optimize workflows and improve project outcomes.
Ideate Software’s Customer Success Manager – Americas, Nivin Nabeel, said, “We had an incredible time connecting with passionate AEC professionals and showcasing our innovative software tools. From personalized support to immersive demonstrations, we enjoyed empowering people to optimize and enhance project workflows. Seeing their excitement as they discovered new ways to enhance productivity and efficiency was truly rewarding.”
Moe Kress, Nivin Nabeel, and Richard Taylor enjoying the sites
Jason Bailly, Richard Taylor, and Nivin Nabeel horsing around at the Saturday night gala
The Ideate Software team—Marketing Director Qatanna Palioca, Technical Evangelist Richard Taylor, Business Development Manager Moe Kress, Customer Success Manager Nivin Nabeel, and Training Manager Jason Bailly—created an interactive and immersive experience at the booth. They ensured that visitors got a deep understanding of the benefits of our software through live demonstrations focused on how our solutions address their specific Revit challenges.
In addition to attending many informative sessions and meeting with people at the booth, the team networked with BIM enthusiasts in the building’s lobby, while walking the showroom floor, and even at the airport during a 4-hour delay. They also took the opportunity to demonstrate our latest product enhancements in person with several customers in the area.
“All the connections truly made the conference memorable,” said Nivin. “We valued the opportunity to network with industry peers, exchange ideas, and forge new partnerships.”
Visit the Events page on our website for more opportunities to meet with our team in person and online.
To learn more about how Ideate Software add-ins for Revit help users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables, and elevate design, visit our website. Give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager for six months.