Ideate Software is pleased to announce that Ideate Sticky for Revit 2016 and Ideate Explorer for Revit 2016 have been released.

Ideate Explorer for Revit:

Ideate Explorer for Revit is designed to help the everyday Revit user navigate quickly through the building information model, and to assist BIM managers in performing regular project audits.

Watch the What's New in Ideate Explorer video to learn about the 2016 release and related improvements made to version 2015.2. Existing Ideate Explorer 2014 or 2015 owners may purchase an upgrade to this 2016 version by contacting your local area Ideate Software account manager or by contacting [email protected]

Ideate Sticky for Revit:

Ideate Sticky for Revit links Excel files into your Revit project, just like you would link in a CAD file.

Watch the What's New in Ideate Sticky video to learn about the new content added to our 2014.1, 2015.1, and 2016.0 versions in April 2015. Please note that existing Ideate Sticky standalone owners may purchase an upgrade to this 2016 version by contacting your local area Ideate Software account manager or by contacting [email protected]

Get Started Today - Try Ideate Software Risk-Free

Still haven't tried Ideate Software? We offer no-cost trials Ideate BIMLink,  Ideate Explorer for Revit and Ideate Sticky. Ideate Software is available for network and stand-alone licensing. For trials, customer success stories, help files, and ordering information, visit Be Certain of Your Revit Data. 


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In-place families are powerful elements that can be created in the context of the Revit model. However, they come with some performance trade-offs. The following quote is straight from the Revit Help topic:

"You can create multiple in-place elements in your projects, and you can place copies of the same in-place element in your projects. Unlike system families and loadable families, however, you cannot duplicate in-place family types to create multiple types.

Although you can transfer or copy in-place elements between projects, you should do so only when necessary, because in-place elements can increase file size and degrade software performance."

So, how can we use Ideate Explorer to seek out and audit these in-place elements to make sure they are being used properly in our project?

In-place component families may be made up of various 3D forms that are created on different levels or workplanes. Each 3D form gets assigned a workplane. However, when you close the in-place editor to create the in-place component family, the in-place component family does NOT get a level or workplane assigned to it.

This allows us to easily configure a set of sort and filter conditions in Ideate Explorer.

  • Set the Display: "Entire Project"
  • Set the Sort By: "Level"
  • Set the Filter: "" (This is one of the default filters}

You will see the Results Pane shows Model Elements organized by Level. Elements that do not have a level assigned, get grouped into the node.

If you expand the node, you can quickly see Types that have only 1 instance. As outlined above, you can't have multiple types for an in-place family. Even if the in-place family gets copied, Revit will append the family name with a numeral. As the example below shows, the in-place bookshelf family was copied 3 times, and each time the Type Name was indexed with a new numeral. Each Type Name has only 1 placed instance in the tree. This is a GREAT way to review in-place families to see if a loadable family might have been a better option to use.

Keep in mind that this Sort and Filter setup in Ideate Explorer will also show other Revit elements that don't have a level assigned. Some examples are:

  • Unplaced Rooms
  • Unplaced Spaces
  • Unplaced HVAC Zones
  • Non-Workplane Associated Families

However, it's easy to understand the difference because these elements will usually show multiple instances and multiple types in the Ideate Explorer tree. So, go forth and audit your project with Ideate Explorer to truly understand how in-place families are being used in your Revit project. This will help keep your Revit files performing to their maximum potential.

About the Author

Richard W. Taylor - Associate AIA - Technical Evangelist Ideate Software Richard Taylor has over 25 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 15 years of Revit experience, and was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked 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 Masters of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Richard is currently a Technical Evangelist for Ideate Software Solutions and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on BIM solutions. In his spare time, he is active in his local community and is an elected member of the local Planning Board where he evaluates new developments, regional planning, and design criteria. @Rwtaylor_Revit


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In addition to our live, online, Ideate Software classes, our expert tech team is working hard on developing targeted videos for all Ideate Software + Revit workflows. Below are just a few of our playlists created to solve persistent issues in common Revit workflows.

BIM Managers

Ideate Explorer for BIM Management

Audit Revit models, manage imports and DWGs for trouble-free models.

Ideate BIMLink Content and Family Management

Edit and manage families, parameters, schedules & assembly codes.

Ideate BIMLink Project Management

Manage revisions, translate, and incorporate data from MS Access or Google Sheets.

Architects and Designers

Ideate BIMLink for Architects and Designers Start out with the NEW Automating Pre-Design video.

Engineers and Designers

Ideate BIMLink for Engineers and Designers See solutions for data management, rename + renumber, and more.

VDC Managers and Estimators

Ideate BIMLink for VDC Managers and Estimators Use Ideate BIMLink for quantity takeoff, construction sequencing, and editing assembly codes.

New to Ideate Software? What's New in Ideate Software Overview of the most recent updates to Ideate Software.

More Ways to Stay Current

Keep up-to-date on new events, learning opportunities and workflow videos by following this blog, following us on Twitter, and subscribing to Ideate Software on YouTube. To find upcoming Ideate Software online classes, view recordings of past classes, or see what events we are headed to next, be sure to keep an eye on our events page. For questions about purchasing Ideate Software, or adding to your current Ideate Software solution, contact [email protected] Get unprecedented control over your Revit data with Ideate Software.


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Did you know that Ideate BIMLink provides an abundance of additional Revit 'related' data that can enhance quality control processes? You may be familiar with this concept of related data, because it aligns with how Revit schedules work. Within a Revit schedule, for example, it is possible to create a schedule of Generic Model elements and also include related data about the Rooms or Spaces in which these elements are located. Within the Ideate BIMLink environment, however, a far richer list of related data is available. This opens up a wealth of possibilities for sophisticated data management.

Look for "Select available properties from:" option found at the bottom of the "Available Properties" list within the Properties tab. For example, when editing a "Door" link you will see the drop-down option as shown in the image.

The Door "instance" link with additional available properties shown.

Note that Type-based links, such as a Door Type link, will have different options for the available properties. While instance data includes spatial data lists such as Level, Coordinates, Rooms, Spaces, etc., Type data will only include these (non-spatial) related data lists: Project Information and RVT Link.

The Door Type link with additional available properties shown.

Many BIM Managers have shared with us the significance of this data to their quality control tasks and as they do so, we capture each of these workflows as a sample link definition. One such example can be found within the sample link called  called "Doors-Check_Rating". This link, found in the \Architectural subfolder and shown below, highlights the use of one of these extra parameters: Host Wall: Fire Rating.

Ideate BIMLink - Sample Link
Finding "Doors-Check_Rating"

The inclusion of the fire rating property means that you will be able to view the list of all door instances alongside with the wall fire rating data. Now you can ensure that 2-hour walls have doors that are adequately rated.

View all door instances alongside wall fire rating data.

This sample link is one of over 140 samples that ship with Ideate BIMLink. Be sure to look through this sample content to master your BIM data and build your own quality control processes.

About the Author

Glynnis 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 and @GVPinNJ


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Ideate, Inc. recently hosted a couple of Revit user group roundtable discussions in the Bay Area and asked the audience the following questions regarding Pre-Design & Programming:

  1. Are you actively using Revit as part of your pre-design process? If so, which elements are being used and what are the pros and cons?
  2. What are some ways architects might use Rooms, Areas, Spaces, or Masses?
  3. Ways engineers might use Masses or other elements?
  4. Which third party tools are you using to manage pre-design process?
  5. Regardless of your pre-design solution, what are the challenges in taking that information and moving it forward into the schematic design

As you can imagine, we found that the answers varied, from using hand sketches and manual calculations to 3rd party applications and plug-ins for Revit. For those that used Revit, many used rooms with room separation lines for pre-design tasks but found that it was difficult to manage the rooms and lines, especially if changes to the required area needed to occur. We also found that several folks are using AutoCAD because creating shapes is a relatively fast process. Others said that they were using Sketchup but once they transitioned to Revit, they started over completely because they found that using the Sketchup model was too difficult, especially for complex forms.

Nonetheless, the conversation proved to be very valuable and inspired us to share information about a Pre-Design & Programming workflow that has been well-received by our Ideate BIMLink customers.  This workflow, documented below, in now possible with the latest version of Ideate BIMLink because it supports the creation of new mass elements.

With Ideate BIMLink, you can easily take your Excel based programming data, such as the Mass Number, Mass Name, Department, Target Square Footage, and any additional requirements to create unplaced Masses in your Revit model. In addition, you can create a Programming Mass Schedule in your Revit model that can calculate the percentage difference between your programming areas and actual areas and have it flag the major deviations with a color code, allowing you to quickly identify the Masses that will need adjustments.

You can use Ideate BIMLink to create and place masses with data, for the purpose of programming and pre-design.

For a complete how to video on this process, be sure to view it on our YouTube channel. Existing Ideate BIMLink customers can request the sample dataset used within the video example.

About the Author

Sash Kazeminejad - ACI, LEED AP AEC Senior Application Specialist Sash brings proficiency in Autodesk solutions including AutoCAD and Revit Architecture to Ideate customers. His industry experience includes project management, BIM Management, and design for Architectural firms in California, Montana and Oregon. He is LEED accredited professional and is on track to achieve California licensure with Oregon to follow. In his academic life, Sash was awarded a variety of college scholarships, earned a BA in Environmental Design, a MA in Architecture from Montana State University (MSU) and taught Building Information Modeling courses at MSU Gallatin College. As a Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Instructor, Sash provides Revit Architecture training and support for AEC firms. @sashpdx


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