December 30, 2010

Classroom Training - Open Classes

Know It. Ideate Training.

Position yourself to land dream projects. Tap the full potential of your software solutions. Increase your facility, fluidity and capability to maximize the value of your precision software tools.

Here are a few of the training opportunities Ideate has to offer next week:
Revit MEP: Electrical Fundamentals
1.5-7::San Francisco
AutoCAD Fundamentals

1.5-7::San Francisco
Revit MEP: Electrical Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

December 29, 2010

Manage Revit Shared Parameters with Ideate BIMLink

Did you miss today's Ideate BIMLink webinar?

No worries, we have a live overview of the application for Revit scheduled every Wednesday. Sign up for next week's conversation on January 5 with Glynnis Patterson, N.C.A.R.B., Director of Services.

Here's one of the questions from today's session...
Q: How can Ideate BIMLink be used to manage shared parameters?

A: Ideate BIMLink can help manage parameter values for both shared and non-shared parameters. While the application cannot create or merge parameters, you can use it to rename family or type names. This is particularly useful when maintaining firm-wide standards. A specific example can be seen on the Ideate YouTube channel where we are re-naming Detail Component type names.

Download your free trial at

Push. Pull. Power.

Ideate BIMLink - Things to Do Before You Start Using With Your Revit Model

- David Haynes, Ideate Director of AEC Services offers helpful insights on things to do before you start using Ideate BIMLink.

After the initial excitement of downloading the program and those wonderful thoughts of how much time Ideate BIMLink is going to save, most users rush to install and dig into the software.

Before doing that, there are several things to review/consider.

    1. Ideate BIMLink works on Revit Architecture 2011, Structure 2011, or MEP 2011; 32 bit or 64 bit operating systems.

    2. Ideate BIMLink requires that the Revit Extensions (REX) be installed on all computers using Ideate BIMLink. REX can be downloaded for free, when on Autodesk subscription. Install REX prior to installing Ideate BIMLink.

    3. You will know that Ideate BIMLink is installed correctly, when you see Ideate BIMLink in the following location – Add-Ins > Extension Manager > External Extensions > Ideate Software > Ideate BIMLink.

    1. Revit users, and Ideate BIMLink users, need to clearly understand the difference between Type Parameters and Instance Parameters. Instance Parameters and Type Parameters of an element combine to establish the element properties, or data.

      a. Type Parameters – Settings that control the appearance or behavior of all elements of a particular family type. Type parameters are also called type properties.
      b. Instance Parameters – Settings that control the appearance or behavior or an individual element in a project. Instance parameters are also called instance properties.

    2. Ideate BIMLink modifies data. In fact, some parameters have been excluded from modification, such as ID element, as this modification would cause model corruption. Careful consideration to whether you are modifying type or instance parameters needs to be understood to get the full benefit of Ideate BIMLink.

    3. Note that the Revit model is modified, not a schedule. Schedules are merely reports of the Revit model.

    4. Ideate BIMLink is phase specific. In the Link Properties > Phasing, the user can set what phase and phase filter they are interested in. If the user is in the incorrect phase, the data link will show undesired information or no information at all. A troubleshooting mechanism is to verify the phase and phase filter in both the Revit model and Ideate BIMLink.

Stay tuned for other helpful tip/tricks about Ideate BIMLink. Go to for more information, videos, and use cases.

David Haynes is Director of AEC Services at Ideate. His experience as an Architect, Contractor and Owner provides a unique perspective to the use of technology in the AEC industry.

Push. Pull. Power.

December 28, 2010

eLearning with the Ideate Tech Experts - Upcoming Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning - live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education.

Upcoming classes include:

1.4.11::Revit 201: Making Titleblocks
1.11.11::Civil 3D 201: Analysis for Master Planning
1.25.11::Revit 201: Collaborating Across Disciplines:
Revit Architecture/Structure/MEP

Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact

Get It. Know It. Use It.

Gain Access to Host Wall Info in Revit with Ideate BIMLink

Q: Is there way to get a parameter from a component's host to appear in the component's schedule in my Revit project? For example, I'm using the "Mark" parameter in each window instance to identify it by number in the Window Schedule and also in tags for drawing views. I'm also using the "Mark" parameters for walls to identify wall panel instances on drawing views. I'd like to add a column to my window schedule where the hosting wall's "Mark" parameter will show up for each window.

A: Ideate BIMLink can give you access to the Host Wall info for Doors and Wall Objects. A few ways in which this data might be useful are:

    a) to check window area as it relates to wall area
    b) to check the rating of the door versus the wall in which it is hosted
    c) review the window or curtain panel glazing versus the orientation of the wall in which it is hosted

Unfortunately, this same data still cannot be displayed within a Revit schedule. While it is certainly possible to copy/paste this data (Wall Type Mark in your example) into a Shared Parameter via Ideate BIMLink so that it could be included in a schedule, it is certainly not optimal.

To see additional use cases, visit And don't miss the free trial download.

Push. Pull. Power.

December 27, 2010

Already Using Autodesk Navisworks? User Survey

Earlier today we told you about an on-demand webcast about Autodesk Navisworks - a great introduction to the collaboration software.

Are you already using the product? The Autodesk Navisworks Team would appreciate your feedback.

Dear Navisworks user,

The Autodesk Navisworks team is currently running an online user survey to gather your feedback. It's an opportunity for us to measure your satisfaction with the current product, and for you to highlight functionality that you would like to see improved or introduced into future releases. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete, and your input is greatly appreciated!

To access the survey click here.

Many thanks,

The Autodesk Navisworks Team

Get It. Know It. Use It.

New to Autodesk Navisworks? Check out this recorded webcast...

Curious, but not sure how Autodesk Navisworks can help you, as a construction professional?

Navisworks for Clash Detection and 4D Logistics, a recorded webcast, shows how Autodesk Navisworks can help you address key construction process issues, such as model aggregation, clash detection, and project presentation.
  • Identify interferences before construction to prevent and reduce costly change orders
  • Virtually simulate a project and link to your existing project software to accelerate your project schedule
  • Keep files and models up to date across extended project teams

During the free webcast, you will also see a demonstration of Autodesk Navisworks to better understand the software at work. Watch at your own pace, on your own time, since it is recorded - then share it with your colleagues!

Just complete the registration form and you're on your way.

Get It. Know It. Use It.

December 23, 2010

Season's Greetings from the Ideate Team

As we finalize our daily work activities and turn our attention to family and friends this holiday season, I want to thank each of you for allowing Ideate to be part of your business in 2010.

Across our company and throughout our respective communities, we have worked hard to enhance your position as innovators and industry leaders in your market areas.

Whether it was our power-packed launch of the 2011 Autodesk software portfolio, new focused courses like our Revit MEP classes or the recent release of the lauded Ideate BIMLink application for Revit, our team has developed the tools you need to build your skills and grow.

We could not have accomplished these without your partnership; your willingness to take time to let us know what's important, what your business really needs. Thank you.

Here’s to good health, safe travels and a Happy New Year!

Robert P. Palioca, Jr.

Ideate BIMLink Featured in Autodesk Channel Services Program News!

Woohoo! An interview with Ben Bishoff about our new Ideate BIMLink application for Revit had been featured in this quarter’s edition of the Autodesk Channel Services Program News.

Ideate, Inc. is proud to be an Autodesk Consulting Services Partner - a member of a global network providing best practices and top-level expertise to help you adopt and integrate Autodesk technology for design innovation and business operational excellence.

Learn more about the newsworthy Ideate BIMLink at or contact

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Announcing Ideate BIMLink 'Coming Soon' Winner: Revit User Antony McPhee

Earlier this quarter, we announced the pending release of our Ideate BIMLink application for Revit, starting with a simple Ideate BIMLink Coming Soon website. We asked folks interested in receiving updates to provide their e-mail address, with the option to complete a survey, telling us a little bit more about themselves.

With the launch of our spiffy new Ideate BIMLink site and product now available to ship, we're pleased to congratulate the winner of our Ideate BIMLink Coming Soon drawing:
Antony McPhee, B Architecture, R.A.I.A., Lyons Architects.
As the BIM Implementation Leader for Lyons, an architectural and urban design practice based in Melbourne, Australia, Antony helps Revit users on complex cutting edge educational and institutional projects. Since Antony has a lot of experience using the features of Revit Subscription, including Revit Extensions, we look forward to having him check out how Ideate BIMLink helps with renumbering of rooms/doors and more, standardizing naming conventions across families & types and much more.

If you were not a winner, don’t worry, we still have a wealth of information available for you about Ideate BIMLink…

  • The Ideate BIMLink site includes a Free Trial link to download a free, non-commercial 30-day trial version of the Ideate BIMLink for Revit software tool.
  • Purchase Ideate BIMLink before January 31, 2011 and you’ll receive Ideate Explorer for Revit – a $399 value! See website for details.
  • We have weekly Ideate BIMLink Overview webcasts scheduled - a perfect chance for you to see the product in action and chat with Glynnis Patterson, Director of Services. Register for the December 29 webcast or watch the Ideate BIMLink site for future dates.
  • Be sure you’re subscribed to @IdeateBIMLink for all the updates.

Make your Revit model Excel with Ideate BIMLink!

Push. Pull. Power.

December 22, 2010

Editing the Titleblock on Multiple Revit Sheets with Ideate BIMLink

Q: I have an Autodesk Revit project with many sheets. I know how to change ALL the titleblock families at once, but I need to update specific ones. There are a lot that need to be updated, so I don’t want to open every sheet and change them one at a time. Some of the sheets need to stay labeled “Bid Pack 1," while other sheets need to change to read “.Addendum 2” for example. I have already modified the titleblock family so there is a type for each issue/addendum.

Is there a way to select the titleblock on multiple sheets to change the types all at once?

A: Ideate BIMLink is designed to edit large amounts of Revit data via Excel. It includes a Sheet Link which will allow export of all sheet parameters, including shared parameters. This data will then be exported to Excel where it can be sorted, filtered and modified as you require, and then reimported into Revit. It is also possible to renumber the views on each sheet via Ideate BIMLink.

Ready to learn more? Visit and download the free trial.

Push. Pull. Power.

December 21, 2010

Autodesk Services & Support solutions for Revit hang, crash, UI

Several useful updates from the Autodesk Revit Services & Support team today...

Revit 2011 Hangs at Splash Screen or Crashes with Unrecoverable Error
You launch a Revit 2011 product and it fails to open or it opens and you see the splash screen followed by an unrecoverable error message.

Download and run the script file for your Revit 2011 product to fix the problem.

Random Crash in Autodesk Revit Architecture/Structure/MEP 2011
You have experienced a random crash in Autodesk Revit Architecture/Structure/MEP 2011 and are wondering what to try to resolve the problem.

Random crashing in Autodesk Revit Architecture/Structure/MEP 2011 could be caused by corruption of the UIState.dat file that controls the Revit 2011 User Interface. Often, resetting this file can correct the problem and resume normal operation.

Resetting the Autodesk Revit 2011 user interface
You would like to reset the Autodesk® Revit® 2011 user interface (i.e. the Ribbon, Quick Access Toolbar, and Project Browser) back to the out-of-the-box version and remove any customization that has been applied.

Get the solutions at the Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support page.

Get It. Know It. Use It.

Ideate BIMLink application for Revit - Shipping Now!

Available Today
  • The Ideate BIMLink site has been updated to include a fully functional Free Trial version of the product.
  • Download a free, non-commercial 30-day trial version which will allow you to import and export up to (25)-lines of data from Revit to Excel.
  • Ready to purchase Ideate BIMLink? Upgrade your trial to a fully licensed version. Visit the Buy Now page and after the order is processed, you'll receive an email with instructions on how to download and activate the license code.
  • New Ideate BIMLink videos and informative tutorials have been loaded to the Ideate YouTube Channel.

Next Steps

Make your Revit model Excel with Ideate BIMLink.

Push. Pull. Power.

December 20, 2010

Featured Ideate Tech Expert: Ben Bishoff, Software Engineer

For me, this last year has been an amazing journey of taking an idea to reality. Back in the fall of 2009, we were pondering lessons learned from creating Ideate Explorer for Revit. The seed idea of that tool, which is still blossoming, was to create an iTunes-like way to explore the Autodesk Revit software building information model (BIM).

From many sources, including our own personal experiences supporting Revit here at Ideate, we heard about people wanting to connect the power of Excel spreadsheets with their Revit models. Excel is the ubiquitous tool for editing large lists of numbers and text. The phase "Excel as the pocketknife of BIM" was bouncing around the blogosphere. At Ideate, we decided to explore how we could connect Excel and Revit.

Well, that was over a year ago and we just released the first version of Ideate BIMLink. Our goal has been to create a simple yet powerful tool that allows you to access the information, or the "I" of BIM. Judging on initial reactions, I think we've hit on something useful and critical to unlocking the true power of designing buildings with Autodesk Revit.

Ideate BIMLink allows you to pick a category of "things" (say walls, rooms or text notes) within your Revit model, and directly create an Excel spreadsheet with properties of those things. No complicated setup needed to create the Excel spreadsheets. (In fact, if you are techie enough to know about COM and ODBC drivers, we don't use any of that.) You don't even need Excel installed on your computer.

Once you have the Revit info in a spreadsheet, analyze and edit using all the powerful commands of Excel you know so well. The changes you make in the spreadsheet can imported back into Revit. You get to preview all the changes you are making to your Revit model before you accept the changes.

Sound interesting? Check out some specific examples of what the Ideate BIMLink application can do at the Ideate BIMLink website. We keep discovering more uses and hearing new ones from our users.

What would you do if Excel and Revit were on speaking terms? Lots I'll bet. The future looks bright for this dynamic combo. Test drive Ideate BIMLink and see how!

- Ben Bishoff, Senior Software Engineer

Ben has been a software engineer for over 25 years. With a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, he has worked at several software companies developing applications for the AEC industry including Sage Timberline (construction accounting and estimating) and ArchT (architectural drafting for AutoCAD). He also worked at Microsoft creating AEC and other diagramming solutions for Office Visio. Ben has been with Ideate Software for over 8 years developing addins for Revit including Ideate Explorer for Revit and Ideate BIMLink.

Push. Pull. Power.

December 16, 2010

Architects - Leverage Autodesk Navisworks in Your Workflow

Check out this great blog post from our own Teresa Martin about staying relevant in the architecture field, including her top 5 reasons to incorporate Autodesk Navisworks in your workflow...

Ready to add Navisworks to your tool kit? Contact the pros at

Get It. Know It. Use It.

December 14, 2010

Save on Your Software Purchase - IRS §179 Deduction Expires 12/31/2010

Been considering the purchase of Autodesk software? Buy before December 31, 2010 and you may qualify for tax relief!

On Monday, September 27, 2010, President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 into law which includes an extension of the depreciation provisions for businesses buying equipment and computer software and placing it into service during calendar year 2010. This tax relief provides an incentive for you, as a business, to make investments this year.

Generally a business must recover the cost of property over a predetermined period of years. The depreciation provisions under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 allows a business to depreciate an additional 50% of the cost of an asset acquired and placed into service in 2010 in that year with the remaining basis depreciated in accordance with the statutorily prescribed recovery period.

One of the types of property eligible for the bonus depreciation is purchased computer software which is generally defined as any program designed to cause a computer to perform a desired function. As such, the purchase of Autodesk software should generally qualify for this incremental tax benefit.

OK, what does this mean to you?
In general, based on our interpretation of the legislation, you will be able to deduct up to 67% of the cost of the software purchased in year of purchase (see example below).

This is generally how it works:

Contact the Autodesk software experts at today to find the right solution for your business.

While we're software experts, please note that these are general guidelines and should not be construed as tax advice. You should discuss your specific situation with your personal tax advisor.

Get It. Know It. Use It.

December 13, 2010

Ideate BIMLink Tutorials - (7) New Videos Uploaded for Revit Users

Curious about Ideate BIMLink and ready to learn more?

We've uploaded (7) new videos to the Ideate, Inc. YouTube channel. Not just videos...informative tutorials, so you can get an in-depth view of how Ideate BIMLink puts the "I" in BIM.

While you're there, but sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, so you'll know right away when we add updates!

The Ideate BIMLink is a Revit Extension application that lets you pull data from a Revit file into user-friendly Microsoft Excel and push Excel data into Revit with equal ease.

Learn more at

Push. Pull. Power.

December 9, 2010

Classroom Training - Open Classes

Know It. Ideate Training.

Position yourself to land dream projects. Tap the full potential of your software solutions. Increase your facility, fluidity and capability to maximize the value of your precision software tools.

Here are a few of the training opportunities Ideate has to offer in the coming weeks:
12.27-29::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Fundamentals

Revit MEP: Mechanical and Plumbing Fundamentals

Revit Architecture Fundamentals

AutoCAD Beyond the Basics

12.30::San Francisco
3ds Max Design for Architects

Know your software. Sign up now!

December 7, 2010

eLearning with the Ideate Tech Experts - Upcoming Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning - live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education.

Upcoming classes include:

12.14Revit: Revit Architecture 2011 Update
12.20Civil 3D: Civil 3D for Beginners
12.21Revit:Conceptual Design

Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact

Get It. Know It. Use It.

December 6, 2010

The AutoCAD Customer Council – Join In!

The AutoCAD Customer Council (AACC) is an exclusive group of customers that directly influence Autodesk product direction by participating in regular surveys, focus groups, and other activities. As a council member, you will be asked to participate in 1-3 activities (mostly web-based surveys) per month, each taking about 10-15 minutes. In just the past six-months, the AACC has influenced product direction for 3D/conceptual design, AutoCAD LT vs. AutoCAD feature set, subscription advantage packs, reality capture, model documentation, suites interoperability, and many others.

The AACC membership is expanding. Interested customers are invited to complete this survey.

December 2, 2010

BIM for Construction – 12.16.10

We invite you to learn how many companies within the design and construction industry are realizing higher profit margins on their projects by combining technology with better workflow processes. These savings include:

• Reduce RFIs and Change Orders early in a projects to reduce schedule and cost impacts
• More efficient job site planning for equipment and materials
• Better understand your schedule by identifying errors and omissions

Who Should Attend
Professionals from A&E firms, owners and contractors and subcontractors will all find great benefit in this presentation.

About the Webcast Presenter

Jason Dodds is an Autodesk Construction Technical Specialist, located in the Denver, Colorado area. Jason has been actively involved in the design and building technology community for over 15 years. During his career, Jason’s focus and experience has been with construction, architecture, interiors, structures, MEP, construction administration and technology for companies such as Michael Baker Corporation and Southland Industries. He has been involved in all facets of design and building processes and understands what it takes to complete projects from design, estimating, coordination to fabrication. At Autodesk, Jason plays an integral role in advocating and implementing the company’s Construction and BIM solutions throughout North America.

DATE 12.16.10
TIME 11:30am to 1:30pm

Ideate BIMLink Technology Preview - Now Available

It's all the buzz at AU - unprecedented access to BIM data! Can't wait for the Ideate BIMLink trial to come out December 15th? Head on over to and download the Technology Preview today!

Need more information on Ideate BIMLink? Contact us at 888.662.7238.

Push. Pull. Power.