One of the best ways to work smarter is to use the right tool for the job. While I often preach this here on ArchSmarter, I don’t always follow my own advice.
Case in point – I recently put together a swing set for my kids. They were super excited so I was under some pressure to get it down. Fortunately I like building things so I wasn’t too stressed. I got my tools together, rolled up my sleeves and got to work.
It started off easy enough. The swing set required lots of deck screws and conveniently came with a driver bit for the screws. When I put the bit into my drill, I realized it was too short – only about a 1/4 inch of the bit extended beyond the edge of the drill’s chuck. “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just make it work.” I didn’t want to waste time going to the hardware store. I wanted to get right to work .
Three hours later, I was only half way done. My kids initial excitement had turned into outright frustration as my pace slowed to a crawl. “When are you going to be done???” was their chorus and they sang it over and over and over.
The tiny driver bit was a huge problem. It was slowing me down. After banging my finger for the third time as the bit skipped off the screw, I’d had enough. I hopped in my car and drove to the hardware store.
I was back in twenty minutes and had the swing set together in less than an hour. While my kids cheered and played away, I stepped back to admire my work. I’ll admit, I was a bit chagrined. I didn’t wanted to spend the time to go to the hardware store but it would have saved me time in the end. The right tool can make a huge difference.
The 10 Revit Apps You Should be Using in 2016
A few months ago, I asked ArchSmarter readers what tools and apps were helping them get their work done. The response was great! I sifted through the results and picked the 10 most recommended Revit apps. There are some old favorites from my previous round-ups (which you can read here and here) as well as some newcomers. Here’s this year’s list of 10 Revit apps you should be using.
This was by far the most recommended app. This cool tool enhances the already super-useful Section Box tool. Though Revit 2016 introduced the somewhat-similar Selection Box, many ArchSmarter readers far prefer this app. FREE.
Do you use Excel frequently? Want to import and export Excel data to and from your Revit model? Try Ideate’s BIM Link. This tool creates a link between Excel and Revit for easy data extraction and editing in Excel. Explorer is a tool to review and query your model’s data. Use Sticky to import Excel tables directly into Revit. This is useful when you need to include non-BIM data in your Revit drawing set. BIM Link starts at $850 USD while Explorer and Sticky retail for $395 USD.
These collections of tools will help you automate tasks, access BIM data and better manage your model. The BIM Project Suite focuses on tools for everyday Revit users while the BIM Manager suite includes tools specifically geared toward, you guessed it, BIM management. BIM Project Suite sells for $495 USD. The BIM Manager Suite will set you back $1,250 USD.
A suite of time-saving productivity tools including Parameter Transformer and DraftXL. $99.99 USD.
This simple but effective tool helps you manage and arrange all your open windows in Revit. FREE.
Filter selected elements in greater detail using the Detail Filter. You can filter by category, family, family type, or part. Super useful! FREE.
Use eTransmit to package up your Revit model. This tool will copy your project’s RVT and linked files all to one folder. It’s useful when sending models to outside parties. The Worksharing Monitor is essential for workshared projects. This tool will tell you what’s going on in the model such as who’s currently in the model, what borrowing requests are outstanding, and when your Save to Central operation will complete. Both tools are available for free to Autodesk subscription customers.
Xinaps’ Spatial Requirements Assistant ensures your design meets its functional requirements. The spreadsheet-like interface brings the power of Excel directly into Revit. Use rules to calculate area, plumbing fixture counts, and parking. Want to see the app in action? Check out this video walk-through I created for Xinaps. All of Xinaps’ apps are available on a monthly subscription. The Spatial Requirements Assistant costs $19.99 a month.
Want to access product data without leaving Revit? Check out the free Sweets app for Revit. This app lets you search the Sweets product database and select products directly from Revit. Super convenient! FREE.
OK, this is my own add-in but it’s a good one. I took seven of the most popular free macros from the ArchSmarter Toolbox and combined them in a convenient app format. Rather than loading the individual macro files, you can access the tools directly from the add-in ribbon. I just changed the pricing for Power-Pack so you can now name your own price for the app!
Open Source Apps
CASE’s Revit apps ranked highly on last year’s lists. Sadly, since CASE was bought by WeWork, the apps are no longer available in their original form. However, WeWork has made the source code available on GitHub. Here’s a link to the code repository, CASE apps – code.
How about you?
So what apps are you using? Am I missing any good apps from the list? Leave me a comment below!