Program Validation with Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager – Part 1

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

Issue

When working on medium to large buildings, how are you managing your program requirements? How are you checking the intended design area? In what way do you capture the number of required elements in a specific space? How can you assist the designer with room layouts and making sure the required equipment is used in the correct space? What happens when the design or the requirements change? Is there a way to compare data and assist with these changes? This session will demonstrate a process that will answer these questions, using tools you may already have at your fingertips: Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager. These tools can be powerful assets when establishing building programs.

Typical Workflow In manual workflows, many architectural firms will use an Excel® spreadsheet containing all the special requirements needed for the building. Occasionally, some firms will have a process to export the data from Revit® and linked directly into this spreadsheet. Most firms will export the room data from their Revit design models, and manually enter the data in their spreadsheets. But what happens on the return side? How this data gets back into Revit almost always is another manual process. There are a handful of Issue When working on medium to large buildings, how are you managing your program requirements? How are you checking the intended design area? In what way do you capture the number of required elements in a specific space? How can you assist the designer with room layouts and making sure the required equipment is used in the correct space? What happens when the design or the requirements change? Is there a way to compare data and assist with these changes? This session will demonstrate a process that will answer these questions, using tools you may already have at your fingertips: Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager. These tools can be powerful assets when establishing building programs. Dynamo workflows and paid Revit plugins that are meant for this process specifically, but they either take dedicated professionals to create and maintain, or they cost a lot of money to purchase. Unfortunately, these tools are not commonly used. Then what about the content required to be placed in each space? Often, a designer is reading from the spreadsheet, browsing through their Revit library and manually placing the content into their projects. If the design changes, or the requirements change, it all becomes a manual process, updating both the spreadsheets in Excel, and updating the models in Revit.

Solution This entire workflow can be simplified by using a couple of tools that many firms already have: Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager, both from the CTC BIM Project Suite. A template can be created for the type of project and spaces that are being used, to assist with populating special data obtained in the building program. This data can be pushed into the Revit models, and a back-and-forth design process can begin. For the content to be placed within the rooms, Room Family Manager will help with defining the list of equipment required by each space, and help with populating each space with the defined list, and again another back-and-forth design process can begin.

Subscribe to SolidCHAT blog for part 2.

Parameter Jammer using Revit MEP and CTC Tools

By Patrick Siemek, Technical Consultant AEC at SolidCAD

 

Parameter Jammer

Are you a Revit MEP user and frequently download Revit content from manufacturers or sources like BIM Object? Once that content is loaded into the project, is there a struggle to get the family properly to work with your schedules? Well than the CTC Parameter Jammer tool is the one to help solve these problems.

Downloading Revit family content regularly brings along shared parameters to your project that are different from your company’s standards. This will give inconsistent information within the schedules. Use Parameter Jammer to deal with those problems.

Here is a schedule with a family loaded into a project but does not have information populated because of the inconsistent parameters from the family to the project.

Run Parameter Jammer

With a simple user interface, there a couple steps needed to map the loaded family’s parameters to match the project.

  • Select your companies shared parameter file
  • Select the schedule that the family will be residing in
  • Select the family/families that the parameters need to be modified

In the next window, you will get a list of all the Shared Parameters from the selected schedule along with the family parameters. From the family parameter list, you will apply what needs to be done to the family. Parameter Jammer will also find same named parameters and automatically map them. When you select the drop-down list, you specify a family parameter to match the ones in your schedule. It will only show parameters that have the same units. You can also create a new instance or type parameter for the loaded family.

A final report will be displayed to show what has been done.

As you can see, downloadable content being used in a project does not need to have much modification for it to work properly in your current projects. Parameter Jammer gives you the ability to quickly grab information from the new loaded families and map those parameters to meet your company standards. Your schedules will be up to date and have no missing information in a matter of a few clicks using Parameter Jammer.

CTC 2021 Revit Product Updates!

This article was created by CTC Software

 

CTC Software was actively preparing to release updates to our AEC tools for Revit 2021. This release took place on May 4th and affected all of our AEC offerings. HIVE has undergone a massive update, streamlining all aspects of user interaction and management. Our software suites have all been built to work on the new Autodesk 2021 platforms, and the SuperDoor Configurator and Casework Configurator content packs have been upgraded for 2021 as well.  All of these tools will continue to support the 2017 versions of Autodesk products and newer, so they will also fit into your workflows for any version from the last 4 years.  Additionally, the Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Productivity Pack content files have been upgraded to 2019, containing hundreds of updated families and a lot of new features and improved workflows.  These tools are purpose-built to support your entire workflow from beginning to end, putting the right tools in the right hands so all team members gain efficiencies every day.

Contact CTC or one of our partners for more information about the 2021 updates to our tools!

HIVE

HIVE specifically has had major changes to the user interface of the content management system (CMS).  Many of you have provided feedback after extensively using the currently released HIVE system.  We listened!  The new HIVE has a major facelift, and the HIVE management portal on the web has been overhauled to make management easier, and to provide you with analytics for organization-wide use of CTC tools, project performance metrics and insights into how your teams are searching for content in the CMS.  As always, we strive to develop our tools alongside you, so you and your teams can work efficiently.  Feel free to share your experiences and ideas for how we can continue to improve.

 

The other productivity tools in the software suites are all updated to work on the Autodesk 2021 platforms as well. This year we have decided to make sure that we support 5 version of Autodesk products, since we know many of our clients have projects with long lifecycles.  While Autodesk may not officially support 2017, we felt that we should continue to make our tools available for that release since some of you have let us know that your projects are still being managed in that version.  This new 2021 release of our tools will have the ability to communicate with the HIVE management portal so you can have a better understanding of the return on your investment this next year.

 

CTC has 3 major Revit-based content packs.  The two that install into the ribbon are the SuperDoor Configurator and the Casework Configurator.  These, like our other suites, will be supported on Revit 2017-2021.  The other content pack, the Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Productivity Pack (MEPPP), has been heavily updated in its latest version. It will be supported on Revit 2019-2021 with the actual content delivered in Revit 2019 format.  We made this choice since most of the projects starting fresh in your firms will be on 2019 and later.  We did not see value in building on older versions, as existing projects in production do not see huge benefits in transitioning standards mid-production.  This MEPPP update has seen further standardization of the parameters used to help align our pack with metric users.  The first release will be in Imperial units of measure, but a metric pack will be coming soon.  This release saw heavy formula updates and further removal of unit dependencies.  The lighting fixtures, electrical equipment and mechanical equipment have seen major updates, improving face-based and level-based hosting in a single family, and general ease of use.  Many other categories have been touched as well, to ensure a uniform workflow and general consistent use.

As always, we encourage you to contact us or our partners for more information on these workflow-improving tools.

In the United States you can contact Applied Technology Group (ATG) at sales@ATGUSA.com

If you are are based in Canada, please contact:

Mughees Altaf

Account Manager — AEC Productivity Tools

mughees.altaf@solidcad.ca 

Finally, plan and profile sheets that update after design changes

CTC CIM Productivity Tools fro Civil 3D –  SolidCAD

 

Plan production tools in Civil 3D are great for creating plan and profile sheets, but what about when the inevitable design changes come and you need to update your sheets? You either update them manually or recreate all new sheets. With CTC Software’s Sheet Generator, you can create plan and profile sheets that update after designs change, including refreshing of viewports, north arrows, matchlines, sheet names and numbers, sheet set data, and more. Sheet Generator provides better control on Profile Views, more flexible sheet management workflows, and easily dovetails with your company standards.

For more click here

Create custom legends and QTO with Data Wizard

CTC CIM Productivity Tools fro Civil 3D –  SolidCAD

 

Tabling, legend creation and QTO workflows leave a lot to be desired in Civil 3D, forcing to use many different subpar tools, or worse, performing the work manually. With Data Wizard you can scan any number of drawings for AutoCAD and Civil 3D objects to generate legends, tables, QTOs, and more, all to company standards, and all automatically. When drawings change, refresh tables to automatically incorporate updates. Save out templates for quick recreation of custom tables and legends.

 

For more click here

Keeping Your Revit Model Healthy by Utilizing CTC Express Tools

By Mughees Altaf , Account Manager — AEC Productivity Tools at SolidCAD

 

Keeping Your Revit Model Healthy by Utilizing CTC Express Tools

Many firms struggle to fully keep their Revit models healthy. There are manual, and tedious workflows that can be error prone.

Do you want to do a thorough health check of your model prior to sending it out? Exhausting time checking to ensure information is correct, accurate and consistent across the project team, and projects can be tedious. Let’s look at a few tools from CTC Software that can help you make this process quicker and more effective project to project.

 

  1. BIM Manager Suite – Dimension Checker, Project Cleaner*, Type Swapper, Shared Parameter Manager, Family Processor, Import Link Manager
  2. BIM Batch Suite – Family Loader*, Family Exporter*, Plotter & Exporter
  3. BIM Project Suite – Model Compare, Spreadsheet Link

Problems We Face

  1. We need to have, and should have standards
  2. Standards can be hard to maintain
  3. Standards can be cumbersome and tedious
  4. Consistency can be hard to track manually

Workflow Process with 3 CTC Tools

Shared Parameter Manager – Much easier way to manage your shares parameters compared to the out of the box method. Browse your master shared parameters file and compare to a source file. Filter differences between the master and source file, and add, modify, delete, move, duplicate, and find/replace.

Family Processor – Able to make multiple changes to multiple families in batch to ensure the content’s schedules are consistent and accurate. Powerful when you are building a library, adding new content, or downloading content from manufacturers. Builds a summary health check file of each family so the BIM Management team is able to track new or changed content.

Family Loader* – Once the content is up to date and standardized by using Shared Parameter Manager, and Family Processor, you can batch load those specific fixed or new families in a project.

*Free Tools

Contact SolidCAD to discover and evaluate your current workflow in Revit and let us find the right solution for you.

Design better Pipe Networks with CTC Software

CTC CIM Productivity Tools fro Civil 3D –  SolidCAD

 

While Pipe Networks are a great toolset in Civil 3D, they fall short as a true design tool. With CTC Software, we can edit pipe runs through a design-oriented, dynamic interface. We can swap multiple parts, both pipes and structures, in plan or profile. We can also auto-populate properties across multiple parts at once, aiding in proper labeling or tabling.

 

 

For more click here

BIM Project Suite – Free Valuable Tools for AEC

By Mughees Altaf , Account Manager — AEC Productivity Tools at SolidCAD

 

BIM Project Suite – Free Valuable Tools for AEC

Quick Select

Gives users the ability to build or filter selections of Revit objects by specific categories or parameter values.

For more click here

Revit Filter Tool

                                    vs

                    Quick Select Tool

 

 

Renumbering

Provides a fast and simple way to renumber your rooms and doors. Auto-swapping avoids duplicates. Alphanumeric sequential numbering. Add separators and suffices to room and door numbers.

For more click here

Project Analytics with CTC Software

By Mughees Altaf , Account Manager — AEC Productivity Tools at SolidCAD

 

Project Analytics

Need for data analytics is growing rapidly within the AEC industry. I have clients that tell me about the work, effort, time and most importantly money they have lost because they did not understand the reasons behind a project or a model being corrupted.

CTC Software makes tools to make sure these errors don’t occur. Specifically, a tool that logs data; Project Activity Logger.

There are some challenges to become a data driven organization, and CTC has the solution.

Common Challenges

  • Aggregating statistics and data of activity in on-going Revit projects
  • Detecting problems encountered as projects progress
  • Generating accurate and complete reports of current workflows, resources and expertise

Solution – Project Activity Logger (PAL)

  • Lightweight background capture of key performance indicators for Revit projects
  • Real-time availability of data on work-shared projects
  • Data stored allows easy connection & visualization with popular business intelligence software

Source of ROI – Return on Investment Realized

  • Flexible licensing & highly competitive pricing- get up and running with lower investment than similar products
  • Proactive and ongoing project analysis- make informed improvements before problems escalate
  • Optimize workflows, schedule resources and identify training opportunities for future projects

If you are a data driven firm or looking to get there. Contact SolidCAD to assess your current Revit workflow and understand what other firms are doing in the industry to get ahead.

Common Uses of Productivity Tools by Contractors

By Mughees Altaf , Account Manager — AEC Productivity Tools at SolidCAD

 

Model Compare, in the BIM Project Suite. This tool can compare to iterations of a Revit model. Very useful to see “what’s changed” in very great detail. Thus if they are estimating, or looking for coordination issues, model compare is an excellent tool that many of our contractors use.

 

Spreadsheet Link, in the BIM Project Suite. This tool can push and pull data to and from Revit and spreadsheets. Very useful in estimation processes, and also if they ever need to push commissioning/installation/facility management data back into Revit objects in a project.

 

Fab Sheets, in the BIM Project Suite. This tool was actually created specifically for contractors who self-perform concrete work. If they do, or create any type of construction sequencing drawing/pour sets, this tool could be a huge time saver.

 

Project Cleaner, in the BIM Manager Suite. This tool is free. It helps to clean up models coming in from other parties, blowing away things like working views, or “all views, not on a sheet” which is a common desire of general contractors. This solves a few things. One, it makes the Revit project file faster performing. Two, by blowing away all the “junk” the designers left behind, it makes navigating the project in Revit easier.

 

Dim Checker, in the BIM Manager Suite. This is a really cool tool. It finds out where designers might be “lying” in a dimension.

  1. Sometimes designers and engineers do not feel they have time to properly coordinate modeled object positions
  1. Too frequently this leads to overriding dimension values in very dirty ways, mimicking the days of AutoCAD workflows
  1. Unfortunately, these are rarely found and more rarely repaired, and can cause HUGE headaches for contractors and increase risk.
  1. The DIM Checker allows these dimensions strings to be found and reports generated to allow the team to easily repair and coordinate these dimensions where appropriate

 

Plotter & Exporter, in the BIM Batch Suite. This tool runs on a nightly, or specified schedule to do all your exports for you. NavisWorks, PDF, DWG, whatever else you might need, automatically.

  1. Sure, generating PDFs can happen from Bluebeam, but what about everything else
  1. DWGs, Navisworks files and others often must be exported for other consultants and partners
  1. Instead of doing this from multiple places, use Plotter/Exporter to single click export all the needed files
  1. Have them exported where you want, named how you want with the exact settings you want.
  1. Instead of manually triggering exports, try scheduling this so it can happen after hours and be ready for you when you walk in the office

 

Last but not least:

Import & Link Manger, in the BIM Manager Suite. Loading, and reloading links and imported files for coordination happens all the time. Waiting for Revit to link in everything, or to find where a link or import may, or may not be working is a pain.

  1. All too frequently files are improperly linked or imported into production models
  1. While Revit does allow minimal management of links, there is no easy way to find and fix imported AutoCAD files
  1. ILM is critical to the regular maintenance of models by finding and fixing imports and update link settings in a simple interface

To watch our previous webinars on BIM Project Suite click here!