September 22, 2016

Ideate Sponsors Leap's 34th Annual Sandcastle Classic

As architects, engineers, and designers, we are thrilled to once again sponsor Leap’s Annual Sandcastle Classic. 

This fun and educational event challenges Bay Area architects, designers, contractors, engineers, companies, and elementary school students to work together. They design, model, and create larger than life and truly stunning sand sculptures – from alien beings, mermaids, and other mythical creatures to abstract structures and traditional sandcastles. Awards will be presented in several categories, including Best in Show, Best Participation of Students, Best Site Sign, Best Team T-Shirt, People’s Choice Award, and Top Fundraising Team.

In addition to presenting a great learning opportunity for adults and kids alike, the Sandcastle Classic raises money for Leap, a Bay Area organization that works to make art a fundamental part of every child’s education. 
Last year’s event raised more than $262,000, making it Northern California’s largest sandcastle competition. Leap used these funds to provide art experiences and learning to more than 6,000 students in 25 schools over the course of the past year.

Ideate first jumped on board as a sponsor in 2009 and hasn’t looked back. We are excited to be a part of a fundraiser that provides enormous benefit to our schools while introducing young people to the fields we are so passionate about.

This year’s event, which is free, will be held on October 15, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Ocean Beach near the intersection of Balboa Street and the Great highway. In addition to sandcastles, attendees will enjoy raffles, food trucks, and with luck, beautiful San Francisco weather.

For more information about the event, including details on how to get involved, visit the Sandcastle Classic website.

September 20, 2016

AutoCAD Advanced Online Training from Ideate, Inc.

Are you a CAD drafter or designer going beyond the fundamental commands in AutoCAD? Are you a CAD manager or power user in charge of creating custom styles and blocks or sheet sets to improve your organizations production efficiency? If so, our new AutoCAD Advanced online course is right for you.

Here at Ideate, we’ve been working hard to develop new training offerings that make it easier and more convenient for our customers to get the training they need. Our first new class to be released for AutoCAD users will be the AutoCAD Advanced online course.

The AutoCAD Advanced online course will be presented in two (4-hour) virtual sessions focusing on advanced CAD user and CAD manager commands and functionality. Although this class will be presented online, it will still be a live, instructor-led course with handouts and exercises. Sessions will be scheduled on back to back days so attendees can participate in training without having to travel or be out of the office for multiple days in a row.

Day 1 of the AutoCAD Advanced online course will cover styles, text, tables, layer tools, eTransmit and hyperlinks. Day 2 will cover dynamic blocks, sheet sets, output and publishing. For a more detailed outline and to register for AutoCAD Advanced online training, visit the Ideate website.

Our first course is coming up soon on November 3rd and 4th. If you have any questions or need more information on Ideate’s training options, feel free to contact

Hope to see you in November!

ENI Manager & Senior Application Specialist
Matt is an ENI Manager and Senior Application Specialist in Ideate, Inc.’s Seattle office. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and is a licensed Civil Engineer. Prior to joining Ideate, Matt worked as a civil engineer, using Civil 3D on a variety of projects including site development, roadway improvements and infrastructure design. With over 10 years of experience in the civil engineering industry, Matt now provides training, consulting, technical support, and implementation strategies for organizations transitioning to Civil 3D. Matt is an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), as well as an Autodesk Certified BIM Specialist: Roads and Highway Solutions. Additionally, Matt is and Autodesk Certified Professional for AutoCAD, and AutoCAD Civil 3D. You can also find Matt on Twitter.

September 15, 2016

Revit 2017: Electrical Apparent Load Calculation Options

One of the new MEP design enhancements in Revit 2017 is the Electrical Apparent Load Calculation options to help better communicate the engineering data.

With the option to choose the default method, which is sum the true load and reactive load, or sum the apparent load which is a more simplified approach, you now have more control over the method you prefer to use to calculate the electrical loads with Apparent Load Calculation Options.
Sum True Load & Reactive Load Sum Apparent Load
Here is a short video demonstrating how new electrical calculation options enable you to design more efficiently and choose the calculation options for your needs.

For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

Vasudha Dixit
ENI Application Specialist 
Vasudha is an MEP Application Specialist at Ideate, Inc. based on San Francisco office. She has a Master’s degree in Energy Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she specialized in HVAC design, green buildings and energy analysis. Prior to Ideate, she interned at a few multinational companies where she performed finite element analysis for design validation of components. Vasudha provides Revit MEP training and support for various AEC firms.

September 13, 2016

Interoperability: Image Sequences for Easy Editing

Did you know can create and save a sequence of images from 3ds Max as a single file (AVI or MOV)?

By combining the best features from Revit and 3ds Max it is possible to edit specific frames (images) within a movie. From Revit we get the required, linked building elements with their materials, and from 3ds Max we get the ability to render a sequence of PNG files. This workflow saves us the trouble of having to re-rendering the whole movie, say after removing reflecting materials, or making other edits.
In this video tutorial, Interoperability: Image Sequencing for Easy Editing, only the first 40 images of a 900 image sequence needed to be fixed. The first sequence had a reflective paver material that took 40 minutes to render in one frame. The second, “fixed,” sequence used a matte material that took about 20 minutes to render in one frame.
First Sequence with relective paver material
Second, fixed, sequence with matte paver material
The building used for this example is a proposed prefabricated house, designed by Lt. Russell M. Amdal and featured in Art and Architecture Case Studies, 1945.

For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

AEC Senior Application Specialist
Jim Cowan’s extensive AEC design industry experience, Autodesk design solutions expertise and status as an Autodesk Certified Instructor have made him a sought after University Curriculum developer, instructor and presenter. Jim’s areas of expertise include eLearning, interoperability between solutions and overcoming barriers to the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM). Educated in Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot–Watt University and in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba, Jim has special focus on sustainability issues: daylight analysis, sun studies, lighting analysis, modeling buildings and conceptual energy modeling (models with shading devices). You can learn more from Jim on his YouTube Channel.