November

3

2020

We extend a big thank you to Aimee Molleken, Mechanical CAD Technician/IT Support Specialist at GLHN Architects & Engineers for letting us know how she and her team use Ideate Sticky, how much time they save and how that time-savings covered the cost of the software.  

Here’s what Aimee said:
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“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.”

Before Ideate Sticky  “Our previous workaround for getting an Excel schedule into Revit was to print it to PDF, convert the PDF to an image and then bring the image into the sheet. The image quality was poor, the process took 10 minutes and it had to be done every time the schedules or calculations changed.”

With Ideate Sticky  “Using Ideate Sticky, the initial process takes less than one minute, updates take just a few seconds and the printed output looks identical to a Revit Schedule. That’s a minimum of a 9-minute savings per user per project per reload. With eight users, that brings the time savings to 72 minutes if each only uses it for one project. Based on standard billing rates and using Ideate Sticky to reload a schedule eight times on an average number of projects, our 25-pack license pays for itself in a month.”

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Want to experience the time savings and quality improvements possible when using Ideate Sticky to connect non-BIM data from Excel, Word or PDF files into your Revit projects? Download a  free trial version today.

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September

28

2020

This article was submitted by Shanoc Halliday, a friend of Ideate Software and the author of the blog, Captain Bimcad. Captain Bimcad is a collection of Shanoc’s thoughts on building information modeling as well as great technical blog posts created by other parties. His goal is to give readers robust workflows to improve their ROI on BIM software while enhancing drawing and model quality.

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Well, that’s something I have not done before.

An interesting project came across my COVID 19 lockdown work-from-home desk about a month ago. I had to translate a client's APAC (Asia Pacific region) sample drawings from Swedish to English. They were of an office building with seven levels. (Architectural, Structural and MEP plans, with a primary focus on Level 2.) I think I was a little naive to think with a translation guide I could smash this out in no time. 

Shanoc Halliday
 
I went through my options.

Option No. 1: I cracked open the file and started editing the text one at a time, but that was not quick at all. 

Option No. 2: I thought about creating a Revit Schedule, and let's be honest, until Revit can behave more like Excel and we can drag data down a column, this process takes way too long. 

Option No. 3: A better option could be to use Dynamo; I did teach Dynamo across Australia for over two years, but you know what?

  1. I could not be bothered creating a heap of graphs as one-offs.
  2. Then there is the, "Oh wait, that is a better Node, where is that again?"
  3. And the frustrating, "No, I don't want that data, what did I do wrong?"
  4. So I thought instead of the graph extracting and producing the update, "How about I send it to Excel," without the hassle to create the graphs.

No thanks, I was on an hourly rate, but not to experiment.

The battle of options in my head went on for a while; I can overthink things. Then, lo and behold, a Revit add-in found a gap in my deliberation and took over my train of thought… Ideate BIMLink! You see I live by the idea that I don't want to reinvent the wheel, I prefer to evolve it. All the smarts of exporting data from Revit to Excel via Ideate BIMLink hit this workflow for a 6! (cricket anyone?)  The trick is to recognize the array of Revit elements that represent “text” within a Revit Project. Text can appear within Views/Sheets, Text, Schedule Data and Annotation objects such as Rooms within a Revit project. Ideate BIMLink has access to all this text information.

I think that it is important that I put in a bit of a disclaimer in at this point; I am a big fan of Ideate Software tools. I started using them over six years ago on projects and I know from personal experience, Ideate BIMLink saves me hours and hours every month. So if I come across as a bit of a fan, well I am. And that's simply because I know how much my time is worth and I don’t have to learn new software or run complicated add-ins that are a little fragile. So if I can use a tool that saves me time, I go that route.

Step 1 - Everyone to the konferensrum

My first task was to update all the Room Names on all the floor plans for the entire building, which was an easy task with Ideate BIMLink. For example, I had to convert KONFERNSRUM to CONFERENCE ROOM. Ideate BIMLink allowed me to filter Revit's Categories, including Rooms, to pre-made Excel export configurations that are easy to tweak.

Shanoc Halliday - Ideate BIMLink Screenshot

Step 2 - Projeckt filter and sortering

Shanoc Halliday - Translation Screenshot

Ideate BIMLink ScreenshotMy next step was to customize some of the existing filters to suit my project. If I had built this Revit file, I could have quickly narrowed down to specific levels, back of house, floor plan areas, etc. If you have read my past blog posts, you know that I bang on about Naming Conventions; they are your best buddy when it comes to BIM. 

In this project, I did have a little play with Sorting. My thinking was that it would be easier for me to find problem areas if my data dump was in the same order as my Project Browser. I typically sort Views by Associated Level. I did blog post about that some time ago; here's a link.

I did something similar for the Door Schedule; the difference was that I based the export on the existing Revit Schedule that was used on the drawing sheets. This is such a simple, clever feature in that the Schedule parameters are narrowed down, filters have been set up to isolate elements take advantage of something already built. 

Step 3 – Keeping everything in order

Once I exported the data to Excel, I wanted to make sure that it stayed in order. An easy way to do that is to make the data-dump into a Table. To do this, select anywhere inside the dataset and hit Ctrl-T to turn your data into a Table. Make sure that you let Excel know that your data has headings or it will add in its own, which will continue throughout Ideate BIMLink when you load the edited data back in. Here is a link to Leila Gharani's YouTube video on Excel shortcut keys you SHOULD know. She is my Excel mentor.

Shanoc Halliday
  
Tip #1

By using Excel’s Sort and Filter options, it was straightforward to isolate the Swedish words, copy and paste them into Google Translate and copy the answer back again. And unlike Revit, it's so easy to copy data to the bottom of a column. 

Shanoc Halliday - Sort and Filter
 
Tip #2

Bringing back the data is a click away, and the dialog box shows transparency in what is about to change, what its value was and will be. When all the elements in a drawing need to be 100% correct and our drawings are now data-driven, workflows like this create more trust in what's going on in the "background."

Background
 
Tip #3

Lastly, whenever you edit any of the cells in Excel, there is nothing worse than strange things happening back in Revit when you send the data back in, so I always turn an edited cell green to know where I have been, or more importantly, what I messed up.

Which is not to say that you can’t by existing Schedules in the project, because you have spent the time creating, ordering and filtering them for drawing production, they are perfect for sending out to Excel.

Summary – Ideate Software tools make data management easier.

In summary, with Ideate BIMLink, I was able to knock out the project so much quicker than if I had used any of the methods I mentioned at the start of this post. Globally as regions reopen and thinking to when we are all back in the office again, these are tools that you can put in the hands the masses and know with confidence that they are stable, quick to learn, and can be easily edited to suit different needs. With the AEC industry improving due to BIM and its adoption becoming more the norm every day, look for tools that make data management easier.

Another shout out, this time to Ryan Lenihan for setting up a Revit Server at his home, to share this model on the cloud. Catch him on his blog https://www.revit.com.au/

This post is an abbreviated version of the post on Shanoc Halliday’s post on Captain Bimcad.
 

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August

25

2020

This is the third post in a series of three provided by BIMAGE Consulting, our value-added reseller in Singapore, about how companies in that country use Ideate Software products to comply with BCA BIM e-submission requirements. Read the first post, which was about IdeateApps, and the second post, which was about Ideate BIMLink. 

Established in 2010, BIMAGE is the leading technology company in BIM/VDC and Digitized Construction within Singapore. BIMAGE helps customers optimize design development, construction and operation phases of buildings and infrastructure while using various technologies, including Revit and Ideate Software tools plus other BIM software such as virtual design and construction, augmented reality/virtual reality, geographic information systems, cloud, mobile and more.

The Challenge – Complying with Varying E-Submission Requirements

As required by the Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA), design consultants submit their native BIM models for new developments with a gross floor area of more than 5,000 square meters through an e-submission system. They must obtain approval from seven different authorities before commencing the construction work for any project, and all the authorities have different criteria and requirements. 

To prepare their BIM models for submission, design consultants often spend a great amount of time creating multiple views and sheets for the regulatory agencies. While duplicating and modifying the views and sheets, they must follow various naming conventions and standards, and they often spend a lot of time performing extensive quality checks. 


 Screenshot of e-submission page showing the many links to instructions and forms by discipline

Ideate Software Solutions

Ideate Software provides several applications to aid consultants in performing quality checks of BIM models before submission:

  • Ideate Explorer efficiently manages and audits Revit models using a browsable object tree that enables fast search and query, select and edit, replace or delete, warnings management, and model clean-up. 
  • Ideate StyleManager  analyzes styles and can delete non-standard styles or merge them with e-submission approved styles in order to reduce documentation errors.
  • Ideate Sticky is used to directly display information required for submission on Revit sheets by linking Excel, Word or PDF documents as schedules or images. 

These tools help the consultants achieve the desired quality while saving a great amount of time and effort spent on auditing and correcting the models.

Browse the Ideate Software website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today

Blog Article Authors

Ms. Lee Yih Perng – Manager, BIM/VDC/Smart Cities, BIMAGE Consulting
Ms. Pratibha – Senior Consultant, Architecture & Planning, BIMAGE Consulting

 


 

 

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August

19

2020

This is the second post in a series of three provided by BIMAGE Consulting, our value-added reseller in Singapore, about how companies in that country use Ideate Software products to comply with BCA BIM e-submission requirements. The first post was about IdeateApps. Keep an eye out for the next one, which will be about Ideate Explorer, Ideate StyleManager, and Ideate Sticky.

Established in 2010, BIMAGE is the leading technology company in BIM/VDC and Digitized Construction within Singapore. BIMAGE helps customers optimize design development, construction and operation phases of buildings and infrastructure while using various technologies, including Revit and Ideate Software tools plus other BIM software such as virtual design and construction, augmented reality/virtual reality, geographic information systems, cloud, mobile and more. 

The Challenge – Complying with Varying E-Submission Requirements

Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) requires design consultants to submit their native BIM models for new developments with a gross floor area of more than 5,000 square meters through an e-submission system for design approval. It has published several Code of Practices for BIM e-submission to clearly define the requirements for each discipline. There are also templates for different BIM software along with the respective guidelines and recommended processes.

Preparing BIM Models with Required Custom Parameters

Consultants using the e-submission system often face challenges when trying to prepare BIM models that have many required custom parameters for different elements. In these situations, the consultants need to extract large amount of data from the models, which is not easy to do via Revit schedules or properties. The consultants often spend days or weeks in Revit trying to locate this hidden data. For data requirements that come from external sources, manual data entry in Revit schedules or element properties palettes is the only way to go. Because Revit does not support autofill or mapping functions like Excel, the repetitive and mundane data entry and verification tasks are extremely tedious and time consuming.

BIMAGE Part 2 - Ideate BIMLink
BCA BIM e-submission parameter examples for civil & structural (C&S) requirements

Simplifying the Process with Ideate BIMLink

Ideate BIMLink gives consultants unprecedented access to the required Revit data with speed, ease, and accuracy. With the help of Ideate BIMLink, consultants can quickly pull BIM data from Revit to Excel using predefined and custom templates, efficiently edit the data in Excel, then push the changes back to Revit. Editing Revit object data and schedules becomes as simple as updating an Excel spreadsheet, which can be easily done by anyone without Revit knowledge. The consultants can then focus on their design works in Revit with an enhanced and effective workflow.

For example, while preparing the BCA submission, consultants need to fill in specific information related to “Mode of Ventilation” for Rooms, as well as “BCA_Accessible” parameters for all door and parking categories. For Urban Redevelopment Authority submissions, consultants need to submit Gross Floor Area (GFA) plans that include various information, as shown in the image, for all the floor plans and make sure that the applicable fields are completed appropriately.


Consultants can use Ideate BIMLink to quickly export these Revit parameters to Excel, use Excel to complete all the information, then simply import everything back to Revit. This streamlined process can effectively save time and effort in completing the tasks.

Undoubtedly, Ideate BIMLink is a valuable productivity application that assists in the BCA BIM e-submission process. BIMAGE Consulting has helped many consultants adopt Ideate Software workflows on multiple projects. 

Browse the Ideate Software website for more information on Ideate Apps and our other Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today

Blog Article Authors

Ms. Lee Yih Perng – Manager, BIM/VDC/Smart Cities, BIMAGE Consulting
Ms. Pratibha – Senior Consultant, Architecture & Planning, BIMAGE Consulting


 

 

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August

5

2020

San Francisco, CA, August 5, 2020 – Ideate Software, a veteran Autodesk Developer Network member, is pleased to announce its collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), an interdisciplinary design studio whose practice spans architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print.

“Knowing that our Revit productivity tools help the architects, designers, artists, and researchers at DS+R automate tedious tasks and become more productive makes the whole Ideate Software team proud,” said Glynnis Patterson, Director of Software Development. “Our goal is to help our clients succeed. By freeing DS+R to focus on their goals of addressing the changing role of institutions and the future of cities, we have achieved ours.”

Here are some of the ways the professionals at DS+R use Ideate Software applications:

  • Ideate BIMLink
    DS+R uses Ideate BIMLink to produce and maintain Revit schedules of all types. “In particular, our Index for Construction Document packages has been completely handled with the help of Ideate BIMLink,” said Eranga De Zoysa, BIM Manager, DS+R.
     
  • Ideate Explorer
    As a BIM Manager, I get a lot of questions, even from advanced Revit users, about missing or hidden elements,” said Eranga. “Ideate Explorer removes a lot of time-consuming steps we used to take to locate the elements. It also helps us delete unnecessary views and sheets when running through our routine maintenance management.”
     
  • Ideate StyleManager
    “We save a lot of time by using Ideate StyleManager to remove unnecessary imported styles from Revit projects,” noted Eranga. “It also allows for surgical precision when we need to combine styles that commonly appear because of the different workstyles of users.” 

Read more about this collaboration. Visit Diller Scofidio + Renfro to learn more about the firm.

Download a trial of Ideate Software solutions or subscribe online.
 


About Ideate Software
Ideate Software an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, empowers Revit users to gain unprecedented control over their data. Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps and Ideate StyleManager were all developed to solve persistent problems in architecture, engineering, construction and owner (AECO) workflows. Ideate Software solutions enable Revit users to save time, increase accuracy, improve project deliverables and elevate design.

Autodesk and Revit are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

Microsoft Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

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