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!

Uncover CTC’s Project Cleaner tool from BIM Manager Suite

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

In case you were unable to attend SolidCAD and CTC’s webinar last week here is what you need to know…

When working through general project cleanup, there are many tedious tasks. Deleting unused views, removing imports, cleaning working schedules… the list goes on.

Instead of doing this all manually, perhaps a free tool that can help automate this process. These are tasks we all should be doing in project models on a regular basis, and when sending or receiving models from others. Who has the time to do this without automation?

Project Cleaner 

  • Removing user duplicated working views can frequently enable purging of unused documentation elements, reduce file size and speed model performance
  • Allows BIM manager to easily manage unwanted or unneeded views, sheets and schedules in the project without re-organizing the project browser
  • Using ‘Options’ can enable sorting of views and sheets in meaningful ways to enable rapid decision making about view use and value.

 

Join SolidCAD and CTC’s Shawn Zirbes to explore Project Cleaner from BIM Manager Suite. This webinar will demonstrate how Project Cleaner from BIM Manager Suite can speed up this task for free with a simple to use toolset.

Click here to Register

Introduction to BIM Project Suite

By Daniella Delgado, Marketing & Communication Manager at SolidCAD

In case you were unable to attend SolidCAD and CTC’s webinar last week here is what you need to know…

Shawn Zirbes, a Guru for everything CTC, uncovered how the BIM Project Suite allows Autodesk Revit users to automate routine tasks, manage large numbers of content files, generate database information and much more in a lot less time, all within the Revit environment.

BIM Project Suite is meant for everyday users of all skill levels and used by firms of all sizes. To learn more about the some of key functionalities of the suite, watch the full webinar on our YouTube Channel.

Reconcile the Differences Between Parameters live in projects without Destroying Data

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

Let’s talk about Revit families. Are your Revit users pulling families from manufacturer websites, then having to spend project time individually reconciling the differences between the parameters used without destroying existing data?

Downloaded Revit family content introduces shared parameters into a project that are often times different from the parameters used in the company’s schedule. These differences often cause schedules to display incomplete or inaccurate data requiring tedious, individual fixes.

BIM Project Suite 2020’s Parameter Jammer uses a two-step process to swap the parameters in the family to reconcile the differences between the parameters without destroying your existing data, saving users time and headaches. The first step swaps parameters that can be safely identified as a match, while the second allows users to map, add or omit parameters that do not need to be swapped.
Parameter Jammer is user friendly, and was designed so that Revit users who are unfamiliar with the family editor can successfully prepare a family to be scheduled; it also:

• Uses the schedule to derive parameter needs; and
• Allows the end user to push parameters into a non-standard family.

Maximize your Revit project team’s time with Parameter Jammer and the entire BIM Project Suite 2020 by downloading a free software trial and scheduling a demo today.

CTC BIM Projct Suite 2020 – Invisibility Advisor

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

Find improperly displayed elements in Revit with Invisibility Advisor. Part of the BIM Project Suite, this tool can also identify the cause of invisibilty as well as offer useful information and links to relevant knowledgeable articles for each issue.

Common Challenges

Revit users may spend 2-4 hours a week on average resolving object visibility issues

Revit has various ways of finding objects, and users rarely check all

Often invisibility can be controlled by multiple factors and multiple users

Solution – Invisibility Advisor

Invisibility Advisor searches through almost 60 different factors affecting an object’s invisibility

Advice is offered to assist with understanding why the object(s) were not visible

In many cases, an instant ‘Fix’ option is available to resolve the visibility issue automagically

The Invisibility Advisor can remain on screen while you work, so visibility solutions are available at your fingertips

ROI

At even 1 hour per week time savings, Invisibility Advisor can save an average firm $3400/year/Revit user

For more information visit CTC Productivity Tools to learn more, and download free trial.

Revit Project Cleanup – Why and How

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

As a collaborative BIM software, Revit enables multiple authors to work within the same project file. However, as projects progress files can grow rather large, often time filling up “extra stuff”. This extra data can cause model performance to slow down or lag, causing models to take far longer to open, save, or close.

Additionally, users may take more time to navigate through this extra information to find the correct view, sheet, content or other relevant data. Some processes exist to alleviate these issues inside of Revit, however they are time consuming, tedious, and incomplete.

Describing the issue

The development of Revit project files comes with a lot of work to maintain a healthy file for continued, efficient user workflows. BIM Managers must keep going through the files, cleaning up all the unneeded information. Deleting views, view templates, filters, unused sheets, link & imported elements from the file. Additionally, reviewing all views, trying to find non-standard elements that users might have created in the file. Finally, checking the model to make sure the users are following best practice of modeling correctly. These tasks and more all take time and must be done regularly to ensure that models do not break minutes before major submittals. The breaking of models, file corruption, or file slowdown may require the stopping of work for repair of a problematic model has cost that is not frequently quantified. Fortunately, there are project maintenance tools available in the CTC Software’s BIM Manager Suite that makes this entire process easy to execute, and significantly reduces model downtime, and stoppages of work.

Workflow Description

The use of Project Cleaner makes efficient use of time in cleaning up garbage views from the project. Leveraging the Import/Link Manager can rapidly allow identification and repair of the imports in the model. Intelligently running Type Swapper can save hours of model maintenance and cleanup of rogue types. Finally, Dimension Checker makes it possible to identify areas in a model where information has been faked to ‘just get it done’, but could be a liability issue, or a model fidelity issue later in the project.

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