Getting Started Guide for Ideate Automation

The two exercises below are designed to introduce some of the primary uses of Ideate Automation. In the first exercise we will create a combined PDF file from two selected Revit files. Next, we will use Ideate Automation to create a report on the families that are loaded into a Revit project.

Before you begin, you should confirm that you meet these requirements:

Exercise #1 — Create PDFs 

In this exercise we will use the script called “AUT-Export-Combined_PDF-List” to automatically generate a single PDF for two different Revit files.

Revit combined PDF output via Ideate Automation

Review Revit Views/Sheets Sets

Before we use Ideate Automation for exporting to PDF, we need to review the default sheet set conditions.

Edit the Revit sheet set

In this exercise we will use the Revit sample file named rst_basic_sample_project.rvt. to analyze, delete, and merge line patterns to clean-up and bring consistency to this file.

  1. From the File menu, select Export → PDF
  2. From the PDF Export dialog, pick the option to export Selected views/sheets.
    • Notice that there is a default value called adsk 360.
    • This set includes (4) views and (0) sheets.
    • Each Revit file has a default sheet set value that Automation can use OR we can choose a sheet set by name.
  3. Change the Selected views/sheets option to Set 1 then pick the edit button as shown above.
    • This sheet set has a name, but does not yet have any selected sheets.
    • Pick all (8) sheets from the list, then pick Save current set and then Select, and then Close to save this information in the file.
    • Set 1 is now the default sheet set for this file.
  4. Next, use Revit Save As to save this modified file to your desktop or other location.
  5. Close the active file, then open this file to also review the PDF Export settings: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit 2023\Samples\rac_basic_sample_project.rvt.
  6. Notice that in this file the default sheet set is also called "adsk 360". Do not make any changes.
  7. Close Revit completely.

Define a List

Before we create a task to create the PDFs we will define a list of one or more Revit files. This list will be used within the PDF creation task.

  1. Open Ideate Automation from the desktop shortcut.
  2. Select Create from the menu bar on the left to start a new task.
  3. From the Automation Scripts folder, select the folder called 01 General, then pick the script called AUT-Generate Revit File List from the Scripts window. 
  4. Review the description of this task below, then pick Next.
  5. Select the Browse button next to the variable for Revit Files, then select the Local Models option at the top.
  6. Ensure the drop-down list is set to <Recent Revit Files>. This list should include the two models referenced in the steps above.
  7. Select only the file called rst_basic_sample_project.rvt
    • This is the file that you changed above, by when you added the eight Sheets to it.
  8. Pick Select Files to move to the next step.
  9. Select the Browse button next to the File Path variable to create a new .txt file to contain this one Revit file in a list. Call the file “My PDFs”, then select Next.
  10. Select Save and Run to create the .txt file. 

 

Create PDFs from a List

Now that we’ve create a list (of one file) we will use that list to set and run a PDF export task.

  1. From the Home page, select the New button to create a new task.
  2. From the Automation Scripts folder, select the folder called 03 Publishing\PDF, then pick the script at the right called AUT-Export-Combined_PDF-List.
  3. Review the description of this task below, then pick Next.
  4. Set each of the required variables for this task as follows:
    • Revit File List — pick the file you created called My PDFs
    • Export Folder — pick a location to place the pdf
    • Sheet/View Set (optional) — we changed the default set to Set 1, so if we leave this blank, it will use that value and export all 8 sheets.
      • Manually enter adsk 360 for the selected sheet set.
    • Select Next.
  5. On the Confirm Tasks Selection page, review all variables and note that the Task name is editable. 
  6. Edit the Task name to AUT-Export-PDF-List-one project
  7. Ensure that Revit is not open, then select Save and Run.

The result of this task should be a single, 4-page PDF file located per your input on item #4 above. 

Update the List

Now that we’ve successfully created a pdf from a list of one Revit file, we will update the list and then repeat the task to generate multiple PDFs.

  1. From the Home page, select the original task called AUT-Generate_Revit_File_List, then pick Clone. This will start a similar task while giving you the option to change the variables.
  2. Within the Revit Files variable, select the red x to remove the previously included file.
  3. Select Browse to add the recently saved file called RAC_basic_sample_project.rvt.
  4. Click Select Files to continue.
  5. Change the Append File option to True.
    • This will update the existing list to include this new file, then select Next.
  6. Select Save and Run to update the .txt file.

Clone the Task

Now that our list of Revit files includes two files we can repeat the previous task called AUT-Export-PDF-List-one project.

  1. From the Home page, select the previous task called AUT-Export-PDF-List-one project, then pick Clone.
  2. Both files contain a sheet set called adsk 360, so we can choose to list that as the Sheet/View Set variable. However, if we leave this value blank, it will use the default sheet set from each file. Make this value blank by deleting the previously saved value, then select Next.
  3. On the Confirm Tasks Selection page, edit the Task name to AUT-Export-PDF-List-My PDFs.
    • TIP: You can also use Repeat, instead of Clone here, the difference being that with Repeat the task will not let you change anything, including the task name. 
  4. Ensure that Revit is not open, then select Save and Run.

Congratulations, you have just created 2 combined PDFs, each in their own folder. Notice that the combined file for rst_basic_sample_project has the sheet set name “Set 1” as shown below and contains the (8) sheets you selected at the beginning of this exercise.

Revit combined PDF output via Ideate Automation

Exercise #2 — Family Report from RVT

In this exercise we will use the script called AUT-Families-RVT to automatically generate a report of the Revit families that are loaded within a selected Revit file. An example of the output is shown below. This kind of family report can be invaluable when assessing the health of larger Revit models. 

This exercise assumes that you have completed Exercise #1 above.

sample report of family data from a Revit file via Ideate Automation

  1. Launch Ideate Automation, which runs outside of Revit and can be found on your Desktop after installation.
  2. Select the New button from the Home page to start a new task.
  3. From the Automation Scripts folder, select the folder called 02 File Auditing, then pick the script at the right called AUT-Families-RVT.
  4. Review the description of this task below, then pick Next.
  5. Set each of the required variables for this task as follows:
    • Revit File — pick the previously added file called rst_basic_sample_project.rvt
    • Export Folder — select your Desktop or other location
    • Leave the File Name variable as-is and select Next.
  6. Ensure that Revit is not open, then select Save and Run.

The resulting file will be found at the location specified in the task (step #5); it will be a time-stamped .csv file similar to the one shown above.

Related topics: Schedule a Task and Create a Health Check Report

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