March

31

2023

Whether you are an urban designer, industrial architect, commercial architect, residential architect, or interior designer, chances are that you chose your field so you can be integrally involved in designing the look of structures and ensuring that they are both attractive and functional. The ability to express your creativity, be a part of new trends, see the fruits of your labor, and make an impact on your community probably contributed to your career path as well. 

Like many careers, the most desirable activities are often rounded out with some activities that are less interesting. For example, many architects at both large and small firms around the world get to work with Revit software, which allows them to create realistic 3D models, iterate and optimize designs, collaborate with people in other disciplines involved in the projects, “walk through” their designs with customers, and deliver constructable plans to construction crews. However, some Revit workflows interrupt the creative process because they are time consuming and tedious. Because time-consuming and tedious activities can cause the mind to wander, they often need to be done over and over again, frustrating the engineers, project teams, project managers, and customers.

Ideate Software Add-Ins for Revit

Fortunately, Revit users don’t need to spend their time and energy on repetitive activities. Instead, they can turn to Ideate Software. Since launching our first Autodesk Revit addin in 2008, we have focused our efforts on listening to Revit users, understanding their challenges, and developing products that address those challenges. Today, our suite of products includes Ideate Explorer, Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, Ideate StyleManager, and Ideate Automation.

With our products, architects around the world have more time to focus on interesting activities while they create high-quality models that accurately reflect their design ideas. Their customers are happy because the models look good, perform well, meet regulatory requirements, adhere to style guidelines, and are delivered on time. The construction teams are happy because they get clear and accurate instructions they can follow to get to work quickly and keep the projects moving smoothly without having to stop for clarifications, deal with clashes, or correct mistakes. Building operators are happy because they get accurate as-built information they can use for maintenance and more. 

See Some Examples

In addition to developing top Revit add-ins, we are also known for providing outstanding support through numerous methods, including how-to videos and webinars, both live and recorded. These resources also serve as ways for prospective customers to see our products in action before they determine that they are well worth the investment. 

Here is a quick summary of each of our products as well as a link to a related video, so you can see the products in action. You can access hundreds more videos from our website.  

  • Ideate BIMLink – Export data from a Revit file to Microsoft Excel for fast and easy auditing and updating, then import the data back into the Revit model, which will update automatically.

    Three-Minute Demo Video:  Push "To and From Room" data into Door Tags
    Need to schedule and tag the “To: Room” and “From: Room” parameters? This can create challenges in Revit because it does not list system parameters for tagging. This video shows you how to easily do it with Ideate BIMLink. 

  • Ideate Explorer - Revit comes with a project browser. Ideate Explorer is a model browser that lets users get a full view of all elements in the model, find and delete incorrect items, revise elements, and deal with Revit warnings. 

    Nine-Minute Video – Top 10 Revit Model Auditing Workflows Using Ideate Explorer

    Large Revit models can be difficult to understand and manage, but not with Ideate Explorer, which has an easy to use interface that provides many tools to display, sort, filter, search, query, review Revit warnings, and fully understand the complex relationships of your Revit model. This video delivers 10 tips for everyone who uses Revit, and are especially important for BIM managers or project managers. 

  • Ideate Sticky – Elegantly connect non-BIM data from an Excel, Word or PDF document into Revit projects.

    Eight-Minute Introduction Video – Introduction to Ideate Sticky 

    The lack of a text editor in Revit makes organizing and formatting essential non-BIM data frustrating and time consuming. Watch this video to see how easy it is to use Ideate Sticky to manage the look and feel of text and other tabular data.


     
  • IdeateApps – This collection of 10 tools streamlines the tasks that Revit users perform most often. 

    Five-Minute Demo Video - Numbering Revit Sheet Sets with IdeateApps

    Watch this video to how to meet a common permitting checklist to include in the title block the sheet number relative to the total number of sheets in the permit set. 

  • Ideate Automation – This scripting solution runs time-intensive BIM tasks in the background while your staff does more meaningful work.

    Five-Minute Demo Video - Publishing to PDF with Ideate Automation 

    Learn how to use Ideate Automation to set up and schedule publishing to PDF from a single Revit model or many Revit models located on a computer or the Autodesk Construction Cloud. 

Read About How Architects use Ideate Software Add-Ins for Revit

We are proud that many of our customers share their experiences with Ideate Software addins. Revit users discuss how they benefit from our tools in the stories linked to below:

Ready to Learn More?

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software’s Autodesk Revit addins help Revit users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables and elevate design. You can give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to our addins for Revit, which includes Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months.

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 add-ins for Revit

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February

28

2023

About Autodesk Revit Software

Revit software is the most popular BIM software used by architects; structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers; designers; and contractors to create, edit, and review 3D models. It’s used to:

  • Model 3D shapes, structures, and systems
    • Start from scratch or convert 2D models to 3D
    • Create photo-like representations of structures or systems
    • Identify clashes early in the design stage
  • Streamline documentation work
    • All model data is kept in a single database
    • Changes made in one place automatically update throughout the model
    • Monitor, review, and share information on changes 
  • Unite multidisciplinary teams in a unified project environment with specialty toolset that empower:
    • Architectural designers to focus more on creativity and innovative designs by using Revit to easily iterate design ideas and then document, coordinate, manage, and deliver architecture projects
    • Structural engineers to save time, reduce risk, and minimize errors by using Revit to design, detail, analyze, and document structural systems through all stages, from pre-planning through maintenance
    • MEP engineers to reduce headaches down the road by using Revit to model, analyze, and iterate system designs that support better performance and sustainability
    • Construction teams to increase productivity by working from accurate drawings of constructable structures

Feature Requests from Revit Users

Autodesk’s mission is to “empower innovators with design and make technology so they can achieve the new possible.” To do this, they must listen to the users of their technology, and they do. One way they listen is through Autodesk Community, a place for software users to connect, find answers to questions, share knowledge, build networks, and more. The Autodesk Community offers many ways to connect, including community-led webinars, a Community Voices vlog, and Community Challenges. The Community places for people to ask questions, get help, and share knowledge are the Community Forums, or product discussion boards. To make it easy to find topics of interest, Autodesk has separate forums for each of its products. Revit users can go to: 

  • Revit Architecture Forum
  • Revit MEP Forum
  • Revit Structure Forum
  • Revit API Forum
  • Revit Ideas Forum

The Revit Ideas Forum is where users can go to share ideas for future product features directly with the Revit team and collaborate on existing suggestions with peers. At the time this blog post was written, there were more than 43,000 posts in the Revit Ideas Forum. To simplify the process of contributing to and finding posts, Autodesk has three main tabs on the page: Hot Ideas, Top Voted, and Latest Ideas, and they have all posts sorted into more than 30 categories, including Architecture, BIM Management, Collaboration, Construction, Documentation, Mechanical, Modeling, Multi-Discipline, and Visualization.  

Ideate Software – Essential Revit Plugins List

We at Ideate Software know that we create essential plugins for Revit because we actually address challenges expressed by Revit users. The Revit Ideas Forum is one of the ways to learn about what’s important to Revit users. We monitor the site regularly, paying attention to the ideas that get the most “votes,” which are ways for Revit users to express their agreement with the original post. Armed with that information as well as information we get from discussions with Revit users from around the world, we decide which ones to focus on, and then determine if we can add functionality to an existing product or develop a new product.

Here's a recording of a one-hour webinar in which Richard Taylor, Ideate Software’s Technical Evangelist, highlighted feature requests addressed by Ideate Software

Here are links to the blog posts referenced in the video. Within each blog post, in addition to providing step-by-step workflow instructions, we link to the related feature requests on the Revit Ideas Forum, so you can see how our features granted a “wish” made by Revit users that Autodesk has not addressed:

  1. Duplicate a Revit sheet while creating new views or swapping existing views of the sheet 
  2. Control the view title alignment when aligning or swapping views on a sheet 
  3. Ease the documentation process with the help of the sheet and view tools 
  4. Easily find elements that may be hidden in the Revit model 
  5. Renumber almost any Revit element with intelligent rules and various methods for selection 
  6. Implement a fully functional Revit spell checker that checks all sheets and views plus schedules 
  7. Audit Revit models and select elements more easily 
  8. Quickly review and fix Revit warnings to ensure a well performing model 
  9. Manage, analyze, merge, and purge complicated Revit styles  
  10. Live link Excel, PDF, and Word documents into your Revit project

An Overview of Ideate Software Revit Plugins

Below is the top Revit plugins list of tools developed by Ideate Software:

  • Ideate Explorer – Revit users want to spend more time on interesting design activities. Ideate Explorer helps them do this by dramatically decreasing the amount of time they have to spend on model management. They use it to quickly find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items—including imported or linked DWG drawings—as well as to find, refine, and revise elements, even those not included in the Revit project browser.

    The following three features that are included with Ideate Explorer add additional value to the Revit plugin: 
     
    • Ideate Warnings Manager – Audit warnings that are ranked by importance and fix the problems using Revit tools while the Warnings Manager dialog box is open
    • Ideate Query – Search in parameters for elements like unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions
    • Ideate Navigate – Navigate view-based elements; find unused sheets and views; find and filter legends, schedules, sheets, or views by category and/or keyword; customize work environments without changing the project browser 
       
  • Ideate BIMLink – You can use Ideate BIMLink instead of working in Revit to verify and/or edit data one element at a time. Export data to Excel where you can easily view and manipulate large amounts of data easily. Once the data is updated, you can then use Ideate BIMLink for Revit to import data back into Revit, and the model will immediately update.  
     
  • Ideate Sticky – Revit users appreciate the ability to share accurate and nicely formatted non-BIM data with Revit teams by live-linking Excel, Word, and PDF documents into a Revit model with Ideate Sticky. These “stickies” look nice, are easy to read, and can be updated easily when changes are made to the original source documents.     
     
  • Ideate StyleManager – Pasting data from one Revit model to another often causes problems because information associated with the original files get copied along with the data. This clogs models with incorrect information that can take a long time to remove if working in Revit. Not removing the information is risky because it can cause model performance problems and documentation errors. With Ideate StyleManager, it’s easy to analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles. You can also use Ideate StyleManager to see the view filters applied to views and clean object and line styles and patterns, text, fonts, parameters, and more.
     
  • IdeateApps – Reduce the change of mistakes, rework, and frustrations by eliminating the need to perform repetitive Revit tasks on large complex models with the 10 tools that come in the IdeateApps collection:  Ideate SpellCheck, Ideate Align, Ideate Clone, Ideate ViewCreator, Ideate SheetManager, Ideate Annotate, Ideate XRay, Ideate ReNumber, Ideate SmartDelete, and Ideate QuickSelect
     
  • Ideate Automation – Do more meaningful work as Ideate Automation runs time-intensive BIM tasks silently in the background. You can start the script manually or schedule it to run at a convenient time, even during non-working hours. Our customers add Ideate Automation to their toolbox to increase productivity, eliminate the need to train staff on repetitive tasks, and ensure task outcomes are highly predictable, free of user errors, and standardized. 

Learn More

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software’s top Revit plugins help Revit users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables and elevate design. You can give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to our addins for Revit, which includes Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months.

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

7

2023

San Francisco, CA, February 07, 2023 – Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, presents its latest customer spotlight. This story is about Parkin Architects, a well-known architectural leader in Canada for acute and mental healthcare, recreation, science, technology and research, justice, corrections, and education. 

Parkin initially started using Ideate BIMLink to meet a specific need and has since expanded its use of Ideate Software tools to include Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, and IdeateApps.

“Delivering as promised is critical, and Ideate Software helps us do that,” said Oscar Ramos-Martinez, BIM Manager, Parkin. “Their products address challenges we face, and they are easy to learn and use.”

Here are some examples of how Parkin uses Ideate Software add-ins for Revit:

  • Ideate BIMLink: Set up new models with functional project data, transfer parameter values to doors from hosts, manage FF&E ID information, and manage room data
  • Ideate Explorer: Quality control activities. “With Ideate Explorer and its Query tool, we can find any element in the model, select it, locate it within the model, browse through its properties, identify issues, and more,” said Oscar. 
  • Ideate Sticky: Live-link Microsoft Excel spreadsheets containing code requirements to Revit files
  • IdeateApps: Apply room numbers to doors, create views, align views. “As we are preparing documents for submission, we simply run Ideate Align and the alignments are perfect,” said Oscar.   

Read Spotlight on Parkin Architects for more.

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.

Autodesk and Autodesk Revit are 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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February

3

2023

Those of you responsible for maintaining or verifying data and documentation quality in your Revit models will find the recording of this webinar valuable. You’ll learn about our six Revit add-in solutions that can streamline your QA processes of implementing Revit model standards and your QC processes of fixing problems that occur within a Revit model either as they happen or as part of a review process. You’ll also see demonstrations of common workflows for each of the Ideate Software solutions:

 

This webinar was held on 01-31-23 for the Americas region. A similar one was held on 02-15-23 for the EMEA region, and one was held on 04-27-23 for the APAC region.  

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software add-ins help Revit users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables and elevate design. You can give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to the Revit plugin solutions Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months. 
 


About the Author

Richard TaylorRichard 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

12

2023

***UPDATE***

The problem identified below has been fixed by the April 2023 release of Ideate Sticky for versions 2020+. You can download the latest version of Ideate Sticky here and learn about some of the Ideate Software advantages of upgrading to Autodesk Desktop Connector 16.x here.

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Autodesk Desktop Connector Version 16.0 Impacts Ideate Sticky

A recent change to the Autodesk Desktop Connector includes new file path locations for all local files. This change is described in the recent Desktop Connector Release Notes. While this is a deja-vu-all-over-again situation, we hope the information below will be useful in weathering this change. In a future blog post, we will discuss some of the positive impacts of the newer version, but for now, please review the information below to prepare for the risks.

Autodesk Desktop Connector
 
AUTODESK CHANGE - New Workspace Location

  • This release has temporarily removed the Change Workspace command
  • The workspace has been moved to a new location under %userprofile%\DC\

Example of the change:

  • Old path using Desktop Connector 15.8 or earlier: “C:\Users\[user name]\ACCDocs” 
  • New path using Desktop Connector 16.0: “C:\Users\[user name]\DC\ACCDocs.” 

This change may impact Ideate Software customers. Please read below for per-product implications.

Ideate Sticky

For those of you using Ideate Sticky and storing your Excel, Word, or PDF files on BIM 360/ACC, you will find that this change will result in broken file paths for Ideate Sticky. We recommend the following steps, in order of importance:

  1. Avoid updating to Desktop Connector 16.0 for now, if possible. We will re-code Ideate Sticky to support this change in the future and hope to release Ideate Sticky within 30 days of the Revit 2024 release.
  2. If access to a shared network location is available, you can use the “Update From” function to batch re-path to the new location.
  3. If you do not have access to a shared network location, then you can use the “Update From” function to batch re-path to the new Autodesk Docs location. This workaround will resolve the pathing for one user only.  

Ideate Automation

Ideate Automation will work fine with the file path change. However, if you have customized your Ideate Automation scripts and those scripts are writing file content to a BIM 360/ACC path, you will need to adjust your script to use the new file path. Using find and replace for “\ACCDocs” to “\DC\ACCDocs” for script should do the trick.

Additionally, you can use the %userprofile% syntax to reference not only the sub-path to these Autodesk Docs files, but also to other folder path locations, such as One Drive that support local user desktop file storage.

Help us Improve

We strive to integrate our solutions into the Autodesk eco-system wherever possible. In this case, our ability to handle this change is limited by the lack of a formal Application Programmer Interface (API) for the Autodesk Desktop Connector. You can let Autodesk know this is important by voting for this idea on the BIM 360 API forum.

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