December 31, 2012

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:
1.14-16::Sacramento
Revit MEP Mechanical and Plumbing Fundamentals
1.16-18::Seattle
Civil 3D Fundamentals
1.23-25::San Francisco
Revit MEP Electrical Fundamentals
1.23-25::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

December 27, 2012

eLearning – Upcoming Revit 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: 
1.15.13::Revit 201:Rapid Detailing
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

December 24, 2012

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:
12.26-28::San Francisco
Revit MEP Mechanical and Plumbing Fundamentals
1.7-9::
Sacramento

Revit Architecture Fundamentals
1.14-16::
Sacramento
Revit MEP Mechanical and Plumbing Fundamentals
1.14-16
::
San Francisco
AutoCAD Fundamentals
1.16-18::Portland
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
1.16-18
::
Seattle
Civil 3D Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

December 20, 2012

eLearning – Upcoming Revit 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: 
1.15.13::Revit 201:Rapid Detailing
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

December 19, 2012

Too Many Layers…

As a Consulting Services Provider for Autodesk Products, we often receive requests for tips from our customers making the transition to current versions of software. 
 

As a Civil 3D Application Specialist, one of the questions I hear the most is “How do I get rid of all the extra Layers in the Civil 3D template?” If you’re a current Civil 3D user, you may understand where this question comes from. If you’re new to the program, here’s a bit of an explanation.
 

Civil 3D uses a drawing template file (.DWT) to create all of the necessary layers, styles, settings and so forth in the same way the AutoCAD does. With Civil 3D drawings, these template files also include Object Styles, Label Styles, and numerous additional styles and settings associated with the dynamic functionality of the program. Along with these styles come the Layers that the objects are placed on. The Civil 3D 2013 out-of-box template contains 201 pre-defined Layers that automatically show up in a new drawing file.
 

In most cases, the recommendation would be to simply delete the layers you don’t need. Unfortunately, Civil 3D (and AutoCAD) doesn’t quite work that way.  Civil 3D will automatically prevent users from deleting any styles or layers that are being used and/or referenced by other objects in the drawing file. In this case, the default Styles included in the template are referencing the Layers created in the drawing, thus preventing them from being deleted.
 

So what can we do?
 

Well, there’s a handy little command that’s been around for quite a while now called LAYDEL, short for Layer Delete. The LAYDEL command will allow users to override the automatic block that the program has on deleting layers assigned to objects. When you use the LAYDEL command, you are allowed to delete all layers except for Layer 0, which is pre-programmed into the drawing and has its own special properties.
 

The added benefit to using the LAYDEL command is that it does not delete or remove any of the pre-defined Styles from the Civil 3D template; only the pre-defined Layers that fill the Layer Properties Manager. The Civil 3D styles remain in the drawing file and save their pre-defined layer designation. The layer itself is only created if and when it is needed (when an object assigned to it is created in the drawing). If the command is never used, the layer never gets added to the drawing file.
 

Here’s a quick example of how it works:
 

When the initial blank Civil 3D 2013 drawing file is opened (from the default _AutoCAD Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS.dwt file) it contains 201 Layers.

Figure 1: Out-Of-Box Template with 201 Layers
These layers are created automatically, based on the pre-defined Styles and Settings that assign Layers to Civil 3D Objects. A list of these layers can be found in the Edit Drawing Settings Dialog box, under the Object Layers tab.

Figure 2: Civil 3d Object Layers Tab
Because the Objects are assigned to these specific layers by the template file, Civil 3D will try to prevent these layers from being deleted.

Using the LAYDEL command, along with the NAME option, we can override this action so that all layers except for Layer 0 can be deleted from the drawing. When the Delete Layers dialog appears, use the Shift+left-click method to select all layers on the list and click OK to delete them from the drawing.


Figure 3: Delete Layers Dialog
Figure 4: Layer Delete Warning
A warning also appears asking you to confirm that you want to delete the layers, and telling you that all objects referencing these layers will also be deleted.

Once the process is complete, the Layer Properties Manager will be empty, except for Layer 0. From that point on, additional layers can be added as needed by the user. If a Civil 3D object is created, the Object Layer assigned to it will be automatically added as well.

So if you’re starting out with Civil 3D, or if you’re just looking for a way to get rid of some unwanted Layers that are cluttering your Layer Properties Manager, try the LAYDEL command.


Matt Miyamoto, P.E.
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Matt is a licensed Civil Engineer in the state of Hawaii. Matt obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and has 7 years of private sector design experience which he applies in his role as an application specialist with Ideate, Inc. His project experience includes residential and commercial site development, private and public sewer, water and drainage systems, harbors improvements, and roadway improvements. While in Hawaii, Matt was involved in multidisciplinary projects for City and County agencies, State Departments, the Army COE and private developers. @MattM_PE

Get it. Know it. Use it.

December 18, 2012

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:
12.26-28::San Francisco
Revit MEP Mechanical and Plumbing Fundamentals
1.7-9::
Sacramento

Revit Architecture Fundamentals
1.14-16::
Sacramento
Revit MEP Mechanical and Plumbing Fundamentals
1.14-16
::
San Francisco
AutoCAD Fundamentals
1.16-18
::
Seattle
Civil 3D Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

December 17, 2012

The Infamous FILEDIA System Variable

Here at Ideate, one of the common issues we hear about while on tech support is that a customer is not able to use a dialog box to select files for opening. In these cases, rather than seeing the dialog box, they are prompted to manually enter the full file path and name of the drawing or file they want to open at the command line.
 

The solution for this is almost always the same, and is relatively easy. Set the FILEDIA system variable to “1” instead of “0.” This system variable controls whether or not the application uses the dialog box function for file selection. 

What do “0” and “1” mean?
(Courtesy of AutoCAD Help file)

0 - Does not display dialog boxes. You can still request a file dialog box to appear by entering a tilde (~) in response to the Command prompt.

1 - Displays dialog boxes. However, if a script is active, an ordinary prompt is displayed. Prompts are also displayed if an AutoLISP or ObjectARX™ program is active. (Not applicable to AutoCAD LT.)


So what causes the value to change to 0? 
In most cases, we’ve noticed that the system variable tends to reset when a file crashes during closing, or when the application runs into an error during shut down or saving. When that happens, FILEDIA changes back to “0,” and the next time you try to open a file, you’re prompted to enter a file name and path rather than select. To fix the problem, either launch a new drawing, or double click on an existing drawing to get to the command line and type in FILEDIA to set it back to “1.” 
 

Why do we need a “0” option?
Some of you may be asking why do we even need a “0” option to begin with? Well, most of the time, you really don’t need to use the “0” option. But there are instances where you may want to be able to manually specify a file name and path rather than select it from a dialog box. Take for example, a SCRIPT file that automatically loads and add-on or resource file that you need to use in AutoCAD. To fully automate the process, the script would need to be able to locate and open a file from a specified location without any user input. Otherwise, it would pause and wait for the user to navigate to and select the file before completing the process. In that case, FILEDIA would be set to “0” as part of the script so that the author can include the full file path for the resource file in the script. 
 

So there you have it, if you ever encounter a problem where your file dialog box is missing and you’re prompted to enter the file path at the command line, change your FILEDIA system variable to “1” instead of “0” and everything should be back to normal.


Matt Miyamoto, P.E.
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Matt is a licensed Civil Engineer in the state of Hawaii. Matt obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and has 7 years of private sector design experience which he applies in his role as an application specialist with Ideate, Inc. His project experience includes residential and commercial site development, private and public sewer, water and drainage systems, harbors improvements, and roadway improvements. While in Hawaii, Matt was involved in multidisciplinary projects for City and County agencies, State Departments, the Army COE and private developers. @MattM_PE

Get it. Know it. Use it.

December 13, 2012

eLearning – Upcoming Revit 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: 
12.18.12::Revit 201:Revit + Light Meter
1.15.13::Revit 201:Rapid Detailing
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

December 11, 2012

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:
12.26-28::San Francisco
Revit MEP Mechanical and Plumbing Fundamentals
1.14-16::
Sacramento
Revit MEP Mechanical and Plumbing Fundamentals
1.14-16
::
San Francisco
AutoCAD Fundamentals
1.16-18
::
Seattle
Civil 3D Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

December 6, 2012

eLearning – Upcoming Revit 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: 
12.18.12::Revit 201:Revit + Light Meter
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

December 5, 2012

Ideate Explorer for Revit 2013 User Survey Winners

Congratulations to our Ideate Explorer for Revit Survey Winners:
The above winners received a $50 Apple gift card for completing our 2012 Ideate Explorer for Revit user survey. Each person who completed the survey was entered into a random drawing to win.

We take your input very seriously - You ask, we listen. Our newest release of Ideate BIMLink will ship soon and contains all three of our top user survey requests from the 2012 Ideate BIMLink survey. See the Sneak Peek before it ships!

December 4, 2012

Classroom Training – Open Revit 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:
12.11-13::Seattle
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
12.17-19::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
12.26-28::San Francisco
Revit MEP Mechanical and Plumbing Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

Ideate, Inc. Exhibits New Ideate Software Enhancements at Autodesk University 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – 12/4/2012 - Ideate, Inc., a leading Autodesk® Authorized Developer and Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the AEC industry, returned as an exhibitor to Autodesk University 2012, with increased emphasis on its recently enhanced Ideate-developed software solutions, Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer for Revit.

At the AU annual conference and exhibition in Las Vegas, design professionals from around the world attend classes, keynotes, product demonstrations, exhibits and networking events.

Bob Palioca, President, Ideate, Inc. said of AU 2012, “The shared energy and the concentration of knowledge at AU make it a truly rewarding technology event. We get in-person feedback from professionals who use the software we develop. That is invaluable for our ongoing updates. Plus, we have an opportunity to introduce the new features and enhancements of our software solutions. At AU in all the ways we participate, we get to help people within our industry become more productive and connected, and help them keep learning.”

Ideate BIMLink lets users access, analyze, control, edit, extract, and manage BIM data with speed, ease and accuracy within a reliable and stable platform. It lets users pull data from an Autodesk Revit file into user-friendly Microsoft Excel and push Excel data into Revit with equal ease. www.ideatebimlink.com

Ideate Explorer for Revit is a simple, powerful Autodesk Revit add-on to explore, quantify and manage the 100,000+ building elements in a Revit model. www.ideateexplorer.com

To coincide with AU 2012, Ideate, Inc. is offering worldwide an Autodesk University 2012 bundle until December 31, 2012. The combination is available via easy web download. It is limited to one offer per company. Included are single, stand-alone, full, upgradeable licenses of Ideate BIMLink 2013 and Ideate Explorer for Revit 2013 at US$599. The promotion offers a savings of more than 50 percent from US$1249. Network pricing is also available. For details, visit http://www.ideatebimlink.com/index.php/buy-now/or contact: ideatesoftware@ideateinc.com

About Ideate, Inc.
Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years’ experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and is a leading Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the AEC industry since 1992. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and operating five Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) in the northwestern U.S., Ideate is recognized as an Autodesk Gold Partner for Architecture, Engineering and Construction, one of Autodesk’s highest levels of authorization.

Autodesk, ATC, and Autodesk Revit, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
 
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November 29, 2012

eLearning – Upcoming Revit 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: 
12.4.12::Revit 201:
Converting Blocks to Families
12.18.12::
Revit 201:
Revit + Light Meter
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

November 27, 2012

Classroom Training – Open Revit 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:
12.10-12::San Francisco
Revit Structure Fundamentals
12.11-13::Seattle

Revit Architecture Fundamentals
12.17-19::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

Ideate, Inc. Announces New Ideate BIMLink Workflows at Autodesk University 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California - 11/27/2012 – Ideate, Inc., a leading Autodesk® Authorized Developer and Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the AEC industry, introduces new Ideate BIMLink 2013 workflow enhancements at AU 2012, November 27-29, 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada. Ideate BIMLink is an Ideate-developed Autodesk® Revit® software add-on with a five star rating on the Autodesk Exchange Apps Store.

At AU, architects, engineers, construction professionals, building owners and project managers from firms of all sizes around the world who use Ideate BIMLink can see how their requested enhancements have been integrated into the software solution to further ensure the integrity, stability and quality of their building information modeling (BIM) data.

New Ideate BIMLink features include License Borrowing enabled (2013 only), Multi-Category Links, Smart Filtering that allows exclusion of items from Export, Read and write to existing Excel files, and Coordinate (XYZ) data.

“As developers, we are committed to making sure our customers get maximum productivity from their software solutions. To that end, we ask for feedback, we listen, and we continually refine and enhance. We update Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer for Revit on an ongoing basis,” says Ideate Inc. president Bob Palioca.

Ideate BIMLink lets users access, analyze, control, edit, extract, and manage BIM data with speed, ease and accuracy within a reliable and stable platform. With Ideate BIMLink, users can pull data from a Revit file into user-friendly Microsoft® Excel®, edit and push Excel data into Revit with equal ease. The data – the “I” in BIM – can then inform BIM decisions with precision. Wasteful data-entry tasks are eliminated. Tasks that once took days take only minutes. A free 30 day non-commercial trial is available: http://www.ideatebimlink.com/index.php/free-trial/

To coincide with AU 2012, Ideate, Inc. is offering worldwide an Autodesk University 2012 bundle promotion until December 31, 2012. The combination is available via easy web download. It is limited to one offer per company. Included are single, stand-alone, full, upgradeable licenses of Ideate BIMLink 2013 and Ideate Explorer for Revit 2013 at US$599. Ideate Explorer for Revit finds hidden elements in Revit databases. The promotion offers a savings of more than 50 percent from US$1249. Network pricing is also available. For details, visit http://www.ideatebimlink.com/index.php/buy-now/ or contact: ideatesoftware@ideateinc.com

About Ideate, Inc.
Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years’ experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and is a leading Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the AEC industry since 1992. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and operating five Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) in the northwestern U.S., Ideate is recognized as an Autodesk Gold Partner for Architecture, Engineering and Construction, one of Autodesk’s highest levels of authorization.

Autodesk, ATC, and Autodesk Revit, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
 

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November 22, 2012

eLearning – Upcoming Revit 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: 
11.27.12::Revit 201:
Scheduling 201
12.4.12::Revit 201:
Converting Blocks to Families
12.18.12::Revit 201:
Revit + Light Meter
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

November 21, 2012

Faster Is Better – Temporary Dimensions in Revit

At Ideate, we look to improve on workflow. There are default settings and then there is what works best!

PROBLEM: You want to place doors and windows a fixed distance from a wall or room corner and it just seems like there are too many clicks.

ANSWER: Change the defaults for temporary dimension placement so they measure from wall faces to the edge of a door or window. The process is reduces you work by about 75%.

Where you want to control placement or spacing of windows/doors the new settings let you click and place in a way that the makes the most of the temporary display of dimensions. A better setting in most situations than the default!

Watch the following video for an example:




Credit: Ron Palma, AEC Application Specialist – Ideate, Inc.



Jim Cowan
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Jim Cowan’s extensive AEC design industry experience and Autodesk design solutions expertise have made him a sought after university curriculum developer, instructor and presenter. Jim’s areas of expertise include 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 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). YouTube Channel: MrJimCowan

Get it. Know it. Use it.

November 20, 2012

Classroom Training – Open Revit 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:
12.10-12::San Francisco
Revit Structure Fundamentals
12.11-13::Seattle

Revit Architecture Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

November 19, 2012

In Revit – Masking Regions Not Masking

In a recent Revit support case the end user was copy/pasting masking regions from one drafting view to another. The issue they were running into was the pasted masking regions were not hiding any of the drafted details on the underside of the masking region. If this happens to your details you may want to use the following trouble shooting items:
 

1. Verify that the Region is at the “Front” of the detail. Select the masking region, and in the Modify|Detail Items tab pick the Bring to Front tool.


2. Verify that Visual Style in the View Control bar is set to Hidden Line.

3. Access the Visibility Graphics dialog box and verify that Transparency is set to 0%.

4. Select the Masking Region, right-click and select Override Graphics In View>By Element. In the View Specific Element Graphics dialog box ensure that the Surface Transparency is set to 0%.




Ron Palma
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Ron has over 24 years of experience in the architectural industry as a drafter, designer, lead project designer, trainer, and a CAD manager implementing Autodesk Architectural Solutions for a residential design firm. His instructional background includes being an Autodesk Certified Instructor, trainer, support technician, educator at Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges, as well as a U.S. Army certified instructor where he was a senior instructor at Ft Lewis Washington. Ron is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard and platoon sergeant, training and mentoring soldiers in their careers. Ron is a published writer and continues to author professional technical training manuals and shorts for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor, Ron provides Revit Architecture training and support for AEC firms. Follow Ron @RonPalmaAEC.

Get it. Know it. Use it.

November 15, 2012

eLearning – 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: 
11.20.12::Revit 201:
Design Options
11.27.12::Revit 201:
Scheduling 201
12.4.12::
Revit 201:
Converting Blocks to Families
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

November 14, 2012

Part 1: Loaded Type Has Been Renamed… to Protect the Innocent

Copy/Monitor Quirkiness Between Revit MEP and Revit Architecture

While researching an issue for an Ideate BIMLink customer, I ran into some quirky issues with the Revit MEP Copy/Monitor tool as it pertains to the copying of the “Architecture” families into the MEP project. 

Major Problem: My copy/monitored Revit Architectural families that show up in the Revit MEP project is not in the exact same location, nor does ALL of my parameter information come across and it does not get updated if I make a change!

To properly answer the above question we need to separate it out into its individual problem statements. 

Problem 1: Families are not in the same location. 

The reason for this is twofold. One is this statement from the Revit MEP help file itself: When copied, the host-based fixture type is automatically converted to a face-based fixture type in Revit. (The geometry of the original fixture family is copied to a face-based family in Revit.) This conversion enables easier hosting of these fixtures on surfaces in linked models. 

Family Changed From Ceiling to Face


The second has to do with how the Revit family itself was built. Most, if not all of the out of the box Revit MEP families were created with reference plans that are set to “act” or “define” the origin. Whereas not every Revit Architecture family has reference plans set that way. This is very apparent when a Revit Architecture family is swapped out for a Revit MEP family, as shown in the following video:

Family Changed to Type Mapping
 

As you notice in this particular video the height of the Revit Architecture outlet is 9.75" - which does carry over to the Revit MEP outlet, however, due to the way the Revit Architecture and Revit MEP families were built, the heights cannot be relied upon to match.

Problem 2: All of my Parameter information does not come across from the Linked model. 

This issue is a bit more problematic. One would assume that if a parameter exists on a Revit Architecture family then the information will come across into the Linked family. Alas, it is not to be, as demonstrated:

Family with Custom Parameters Copied


Problem 3: Parameters do not get “updated” when changed in the Linked model. 

When parameters are changed regardless of copy/monitor or type mapped – those changed values do not come through at all – only the initial copy/monitor will transfer the parameters and only those that are “type” and “system” – as noted. If the offset value (which is a parameter) is changed in the Revit Architecture file while item is copy monitored it does not cause the Revit MEP linked project to consider the fixture moved when using the Copy Monitor feature. Only if the fixture is “physically” moved (in the xyz) then Revit will generate a coordination warning.

Stay tuned because in December we’ll share information about using Ideate BIMLink as a way to push this instance data from the Revit Architecture to the Revit MEP file.



Bill Johnson
Ideate Senior MEP Application Specialist

Bill has over 20 years experience in applying AEC design solutions for large commercial companies. A graduate of Pasadena Institute of Technology, he has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill has also had the opportunity to act as Lead AutoCAD Designer for multimillion dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.

Get it. Know it. Use it.

November 13, 2012

Classroom Training – Open Revit 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:
11.28-30::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
12.10-12::San Francisco
Revit Structure Fundamentals
12.11-13::Seattle
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

November 12, 2012

Quantifying Reinforcement in Revit Structure and Ideate BIMLink

One of the benefits of modeling reinforcement in your Revit model is that you can quantify it via a schedule. However, it is common practice for rebar schedules to typically include element cross-sectional geometry mixed with the actual rebar specification. As you know, in Revit Structure these two types of data can be extracted into separate tables i.e. – host element table and Structural Rebar table. The two can have relational parameters but cannot be combined into a single table.
 

Ideate BIMLink exposes this data and lets you extract information from the host object that the rebar is placed in, thus allowing you to create a schedule that contains both rebar information as well as information about the elements it is placed in. Creating such a schedule using Ideate BIMLink is easy:
 

1. Launch IdeateBIMLink from the Add-Ins tab

2. Create a New Link with Structural Rebar as the category

3. In the Properties dialog box, notice how you can add data about the objects that the rebar is hosted in

You can export this data to Microsoft Excel, Edit it if need be and bring it back into the Revit Model.


Shruti Harve, LEED AP

Ideate Senior AEC Application Specialist

Shruti holds a Master of Science degree in Architectural Computing from University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom and is LEED accredited. Her experience includes working in Architecture and Construction firms in India and the United Kingdom as well as Structural Engineering firms in the Bay Area providing design, 3D modeling and drafting services. At Ideate, Shruti provides training and support for Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, 3ds Max, Ecotect and AutoCAD Architecture.

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November 8, 2012

eLearning – 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: 
11.12.12::Navisworks 201:
Clash Detection
11.20.12::
Revit 201:
Design Options
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

November 6, 2012

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:
11.13-15::Portland
Revit MEP Electrical Fundamentals
11.13::San Jose

AutoCAD 3D Drawing and Modeling
11.28-30::San Francisco

Revit Architecture Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

November 1, 2012

eLearning – 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: 
11.12.12::Navisworks 201:
Clash Detection
11.20.12::
Revit 201:
Design Options
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

October 30, 2012

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:
11.6-8::Portland
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
11.13-15::Portland
Revit MEP Electrical Fundamentals
11.13::San Jose

AutoCAD 3D Drawing and Modeling
11.14-16::Sacramento

Revit Architecture Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

October 29, 2012

Working Together - Revit + Showcase

At Ideate, we often are asked about the 'other' products that are included in Building Design Suites. One of the un-sung products is Autodesk Showcase.

PROBLEM: How do I show my Revit model in a more realistic environment? Plus I want to not show the whole model; How do I show a section cut through the model to illustrate how the architectural spaces interact?

ANSWER: Use interoperability within the Building Design Suite – with the use of Autodesk Showcase. Section Box functionality within Revit and interoperability with Showcase gives AEC firms new workflow options.

A section box can be used in Revit to limit the visibility of objects, especially useful in a large project! As part of the Autodesk Building Suite with its new workflow options, you can now use the section box to quickly cut through a model, take it into Showcase and produce fast renderings. Very cool!

Watch the following video for an example:




Jim Cowan
Ideate AEC 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 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 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). Check out Jim's YouTube Channel: MrJimCowan

Get it. Know it. Use it.

October 25, 2012

eLearning – 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: 
10.30.12::Revit 201:
Making Titleblocks
11.12.12::Navisworks 201:
Clash Detection
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

October 24, 2012

Windows 8 and Autodesk Products

Each time a new operating system arrives, customers ask us at Ideate about compatibility. As some of you know, Microsoft is releasing Microsoft Windows 8 on October 26, 2012.

The new operating system has many changes, a new user interface, and a lot of features that will be geared toward customers using tablets. Also, new computers purchased will be able to be pre-loaded with Windows 8.

QUESTION: Will my Autodesk products be able to run on Windows 8?

ANSWER: An unqualified kinda/sorta! Officially, as of October 22, 2012, Autodesk does not support Windows 8 Operating System. What does that mean?

  • It does not mean that you cannot load, or run certain Autodesk products. 
  • It means that any technical support questions, whether to Autodesk or Ideate, could not be answered due to an unsupported operating system.
Ideate has done some testing on the consumer preview beta of Windows 8 and found that Revit 2013 would load (after SP2 was installed), however, Navisworks Manage 2013 would only load as far as the splash screen – so definitely user beware. Ideate’s recommendation, for now, is to hold off any production implementation of Windows 8 and Autodesk products.

Stay tuned to this blog and Twitter for further late-breaking news.



David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech

Get it. Know it. Use it.

October 23, 2012

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:
10.29-30::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
11.6-8::Portland
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
11.13-15::Portland

Revit MEP Electrical Fundamentals
11.13::San Jose

AutoCAD 3D Drawing and Modeling
Know your software. Sign up now!

October 22, 2012

Ideate, Inc. Tech Team Members Awarded Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI)

SAN FRANCISCO, California, 10/22/2012 - Ideate, Inc. (ideateinc.com), an Autodesk Gold Value Added Reseller, today announced that Ideate AEC Application Specialist Ron Palma was awarded Autodesk Instructor Certification (ACI) upon completion of the three-day ACI Workshop in Lake Oswego, Oregon, August 13-15, 2012.

Ideate AEC Application Specialist James Cowan is also an ACI, and these two ACIs on the Ideate team more than fulfill this year’s Autodesk requirement for ACIs at Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs).

The ACI program, a cornerstone of the Autodesk Professional Excellence Program, provides professional instructors with the highest level of training on the use of Autodesk software and gives them globally recognized accreditation. The program requires each candidate to have at least two years’ teaching experience before application and admission. It is designed to ensurethat students leave the classroom competent and confident.

ACI certified instructors must meet standardized requirements in order to teach Autodesk solutions. The program also provides an in-depth evaluation of an instructor’s proficiency with Autodesk solutions and the instructor’s ability to train others.

“We congratulate our ACIs on their achievement,” says Bob Palioca, President of Ideate, Inc. “ACI certification shows how expertly equipped our AEC Application Specialists are to help our customers use fast-evolving technology to its maximum advantage.”

About Ideate, Inc.
Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk solutions provider, offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting and 3D printing services to AEC professionals. Established in 1992 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Ideate is recognized as a Gold Partner for Architecture, Engineering and Construction, one of Autodesk’s highest levels of authorization. Ideate, Inc. operates five Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATC): San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose, California; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington. Ideate facilities are Autodesk Authorized Certification Centers, providing globally recognized certification courses for professionals who sell, service and support Autodesk products and solutions. For more information visit www.ideateinc.com.

Ideate, Inc. is also an Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM). Ideate BIMLink lets users pull data from an Autodesk Revit file into user-friendly Microsoft Excel, and push Excel data into Revit with equal ease. www.ideatebimlink.com

The Ideate Explorer for Revit is a simple, powerful Revit add-on to help explore, quantify and manage the 10,000+ building elements in a Revit model. www.ideateexplorer.com

Autodesk and ATC are trademarks or registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
 

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October 18, 2012

eLearning – 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: 
10.30.12::Revit 201:
Making Titleblocks
11.12.12::Navisworks 201:
Clash Detection
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 education@ideateinc.com

Get It. Know It. Use It.

October 17, 2012

Autodesk Revit Database Management and Ideate BIMLink

A customer recently asked us for information about using Ideate BIMLink in conjunction with MS Access. Before I share information about how this can be done, I’ll outline some important information about how Revit can connect, out-of-the-box, with an Access database. Revit is a database of building information and this information, or at least a portion of it, can be exported to ODBC which can in turn be opened within Access. You can learn more about this process in the Wiki.

This process is one-way, meaning that the data can leave Revit via Export, but there is no corresponding import. This is most useful as a way to manage data that can logically remain separate from the building objects, such as construction cost data or for managing HR data relative to spatial data.

For people who are interested in a more fluid, two-way data exchange, Autodesk also provides a free tool for subscription owners, called Revit DB Link. This tool permits both an import and an export and can be used for a wider variety of tasks. A common usage might include editing volumes of Room- or Space-based parameters within Access and then importing the changes back to Revit. I should clarify that this tool does not permit a “live link” between Revit and Access, meaning that both the import and the export processes within Revit are manual. It should also be noted that for 64-bit users, the setup for the MS Access will require a 64-bit ODBC driver which wasn’t provided by Microsoft until the release of Office 2010. You can learn more about the setup on this 2010 Typepad Blog (recent Autodesk posts imply that this information is still valid).

Ideate BIMLink also provides and import/export capability but is aimed at the average user who does not want to setup an Access database or who has found that the Revit DB Link tool cannot manage the volume or type of data needed for a specific task. Excel provides a simple and elegant way to manage the large volumes of data within the Revit project. This chart explains some of the differences between Revit DB Link and Ideate BIMLink.

Now, back to the question at hand… can you use Ideate BIMLink with MS Access? You can, here’s how: http://www.screencast.com/t/ayYInfVSg. I think the primary reason you might consider this workflow is that Ideate BIMLink lets you deal with smaller chunks of data and, again, does not require Access knowledge. The Revit user or consultant can manage a small chunk of the database within Excel. For example, they could fill out important COBie-related fields for specialty equipment items then handover that chunk of Excel-based data for incorporation into the larger, Access database. Ideate BIMLink uses the Type and Instance IDs as the database “key” to help coordinate the information between the Building Model and the database model. It’s the right tool for keeping it simple and fast.



Glynnis Patterson is a registered architect and the Director of Software Development at Ideate, Inc. In a previous life Glynnis spent many hours looking at blueprints with a scale, highlighters, and a scratch pad to develop detailed cost estimates.

October 16, 2012

Classroom Training – Open Revit 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:
10.22-24::Sacramento
Revit MEP Electrical Fundamentals
10.23-25::
Seattle
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
10.29-30::San Francisco

Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
10.29-31::San Francisco

Revit Architecture Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now!

October 15, 2012

Setting a View as the Default View When Opening a Revit Project

The other day I was creating some training datasets and I wanted to be able to open the dataset to a predefined view. I remembered that beginning in Revit 2012 this was possible but for the life of me I could not find it in Revit 2013. I knew it had to be in the Manage tab somewhere. After looking at each tool icon I found the tool under the Manage tab>>Manage Project  panel>>Starting View Tool.


Once this tool is selected the Starting View dialog box is displayed. The default view to be opened is the Last Viewed. So whatever view was last opened when the file is saved is the first view that is opened. Depending upon the view this may cause Revit to take some time opening the file. For example a Realistically shaded view with shadows  turned on will take longer to open than a drafting view with some text.



In the Starting View dialog box, pick the drop-down list and select the desired view in the model to be opened by default each time you open the project. Many companies will create a Drafting View that includes the project name, and specific criteria about the project and perhaps brief instructions on how the Revit file is to be used, then set the view as the starting view. This drafting view does not include any graphics and serves two purposes.
  1. If set as the starting view, it enables Revit to load the view quicker when opening the project.
  2. If the file is saved with this view current, the file size of the Revit project will be smaller as the preview does not include any graphics. You would be amazed at the file size difference from saving the file with the drafting view current compared to a 3D shaded and shadowed view current.
So be sure to set a default view that will be opened up when starting a project. This may give you the benefit of being a little efficient when working with Revit.


Ron Palma
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Ron has over 24 years of experience in the architectural industry as a drafter, designer, lead project designer, trainer, and a CAD manager implementing Autodesk Architectural Solutions for a residential design firm. His instructional background includes being an Autodesk Certified Instructor, trainer, support technician, educator at Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges, as well as a U.S. Army certified instructor where he was a senior instructor at Ft Lewis Washington. Ron is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard and platoon sergeant, training and mentoring soldiers in their careers. Ron is a published writer and continues to author professional technical training manuals and shorts for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor, Ron provides Revit Architecture training and support for AEC firms. Follow Ron @RonPalmaAEC.

Get it. Know it. Use it.