Plan Production Workflow with CTC Tools: Sheet Sets

Technical Consultant Infr/GIS  at SolidCAD

 

Creating sheets has always been a time-consuming process and needs to be addressed quite early in the design for preliminary submissions.

While sheet sets can help us with global information updates across sheets with the use of fields, they cannot alter or create layouts and viewports.

Civil 3D does offer a solution for creating multiple sheets in one fell swoop. But, where these tools fall short is in flexibility and updating.

CTC Software has come up with a set of tools to bridge this gap in flexibility and updating. This workflow can integrate seamlessly into a company standard with only the addition of 3 blocks and a few designated layers.

Sheet Generator ties in with sheet sets for information updating, and has the power to update Plan & Profile sheets if the alignment or scope change throughout a project.

Instead of View Frames spliced by matchlines, Plan Viewshapes inserts blocks as viewport area extents and closed polylines representing the actual shape of the viewports in layout sheets.

Profile Views takes advantage of native tools to split up profiles for each sheet.

Networks to Views adds all desired networks to profile views, but only assigns parts to the views they are visible in.

Adjust & Move on Profiles allow for efficient tweaking of the profile views to best line up with Plan Viewshapes.

Profile Viewshapes overlays the extents of the profile viewports onto the profile views for designers to make any last adjustments.

Create Layouts takes the plan viewshapes and profile viewshapes, adds matchlines to either depending on settings, adds north arrows, and creates sheets that can be added to a new or existing sheet set.

The true power of this tool set is the Update layouts command. As plan viewshapes change or shift this tool can write that change out to the affected layouts. It will adjust viewport shapes, north arrows, matchlines, layout names, and ripple through the sheet set.

CTC also has great tutorials for all their tools on their Youtube Channel.

Gravity Pipe Network Editing Best Practices using CTC Tools

SolidCAD, A Cansel Company

 

Today’s blog post will be focused on revealing the industry’s best practices for Civil 3D – Pipe Networks.

Explore the techniques to build Civil 3D gravity pipe networks and edit them using the new CTC Pipe Designer, Part Tagger, and Part Swapper all from CTC’s CIM Suite.

CIM Suite will help you to:

  • Improve sheet production with automated labeling, dynamic plan and profile sheets, and automatic legends
  • Create better grading models with dynamic site grading, corridor target automation, corridor splitting, and merging
  • Work more efficiently with pipe networks using a dynamic pipe run designer, multiple part swapping, and manhole schedule automation
  • Effectively manage multiple survey code standards, improve survey database workflows, and automate data prep for construction staking

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Blog to stay up-to-date.

Plumbing Code Calculations With Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL – Part 2

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

Result

When the workflow is developed and implemented, the entire building occupancy can be calculated in a minute, and the code validation table can be filled out. With one more step, that same table can be linked back into the Revit model for use on sheets. Any user, on any project, at any time can leverage this workflow to get updated numbers and update the tables on the sheets. Revit data-entry frustrations and quality control issues are gone, since you can leverage the power of computers to do what computers were designed for by automating the repetitive tasks that creative human minds are not great at completing.

Savings/Benefits Users do not need to know the formulas that are running automatically. They do not need to depend on Dynamo scripts that can be volatile after updates. They can simply walk through a simple workflow that is stable and repeatable. The manual, error prone process can be eliminated, allowing users to focus more on design and documentation more than focusing on basic calculations and manual data entry. Time savings can be found every time that print day approaches. Design time can be extended since this time-consuming manual process is now automated.

Conclusion

Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL from the CTC BIM Project Suite can help automate calculations. This example of occupancy and plumbing code calculations can be automated nearly 100%. There are many other areas where this type of automation can save hours of time consistently throughout the design and documentation process. Whenever you or your team are pulling data from the Revit model, transferring to a spreadsheet environment, running some calculations then manually transferring data or graphics back into Revit, think about how this can be automated by the BIM Project Suite. Manual, repetitive tasks are not enjoyable, often error-prone and should be eliminated where possible. Let the tools generated for you by CTC Software augment your workflow to allow you and your team to be more creative for longer periods.

CTC Tools for Civil 3D Best Practice Series: Grading

SolidCAD, A Cansel Company

 

This week’s post is all about the best practices series that is focused on revealing the industry’s best practices for Civil 3D Grading tools. It has been designed for Civil 3D 2020 users.  After watching the recording, you will be able to apply industry best practice techniques to the following Civil 3D features:

  • Feature line geometry and elevation editing
  • Feature Line from alignment and profile
  • Grading criteria and objects
  • Slope transitions
  • Sloped-bottom ponds
  • Grading from corridors
  • Parking lots

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Blog to stay up-to-date.

Plumbing Code Calculations With Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL – Part 1

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

The Issue

Revit® has trouble with complex calculations and the ability to run cross-category math. This can be frustrating when design calculations need to be run. In the case of plumbing code calculations, we need to take the occupancy of a defined area (floor, smoke compartment, etc.) and use these totals to derive the number of different plumbing fixtures that are required by code to be designed into these areas. Many firms run these calculations manually, but this can be done far more efficiently. This white paper will describe how a re-usable workflow can generate occupancy, calculate plumbing fixture counts and generate graphics for use in Revit to present this information in a live model.

Typical Workflow

In manual workflows, some Architectural firms will use either fake calculated values in a Revit schedule, then sometimes copy those values across to a real parameter for display in a tag, a schedule, and on the actual room object. Some firms may also use a calculated value in a tag to reduce some of the manual data transfer. Other firms will export schedules to Excel®, and run calculations there, but then must manually copy the values back into Revit. In all cases, the process is very manual and extremely error prone.

This is also rather time consuming, reducing potential production time. Regardless of how we get the room occupancy, we always must manually transfer the occupancy to a spreadsheet for our code checks, present the information in a meaningful way and return this information back to Revit. This is also entirely manual and error prone. Nothing keeps this information up to date with the Revit project model. There needs to be a better, more efficient way to do these types of calculations, and return the result of our efforts to the Revit project model and include the information on the construction document set.

Solution

This entire workflow can be heavily automated using the Spreadsheet Link and Schedule XL tools from the CTC BIM Project Suite. Your current spreadsheet can be incorporated, and the values entered far more automatically. Even the room occupancy calculations can be tuned to your liking, entered directly into the room/area/space elements you are using in the Revit model. Further, the spreadsheet graphics can be directly linked into the model, avoiding any manual image or CAD file workflows.

  • Establish predictable, repeatable workflows for all Revit users
  • Leverage existing spreadsheet layouts so formatting in Revit aligns with company graphic standards
  • Implement the power of spreadsheet formulas to drive calculations and graphics
  • Import spreadsheet graphics directly into the Revit model for use on sheets

Program Validation with Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager – Part 2

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

End Result

When the workflow is developed and implemented, the entire special program can be added to the Revit project in a matter of minutes. Design area versus actual modeled area can be compared and analyzed ondemand. Content for each space can be placed per room specifications, whether the families are loaded or not. If layouts change, or if equipment needs to be replaced, the process ca be completed in minutes instead of hours. Any user can utilize this workflow to import the program requirements into their projects, update the models, import the content and finish the design. This process speeds up a task that takes lots of time and removes lots of potential user error.

Savings/Benefits

Time savings can be applied to several different aspects of the project. Planners can continue to use Excel to generate the lists needed for the room import, pulling from defined lists of data instead of guessing or looking up the data themselves. They never have to open Revit if they do not want to. The manual, error prone process of reading data from one source, and entering it into another source can be eliminated. This allows the designers and Revit users to focus more on the actual design and layout of the project more than focusing on the data they have been retyping.

Conclusion Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager from the CTC BIM Project Suite can help import the building program and assist with data comparison and with design changes. The process above is intended to be the starting point of a template that can be expanded upon to include additional information, making the process fit the needs of the project and the team. If taken a few steps further, most of the data and content needed can be managed with just a couple of Excel files. Both Revit users and non-Revit users can take part in this process, and still have their designs imprinted on the project.

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