Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Free Tools in CTC BIM Batch Suite

Last week I used a few CTC Express Tools to save a ton of time and thought I would share that process here. What's better, two of the three tools I will discuss are free!

I needed to get a few hundred families out of a large project, add, change and delete some parameters (plus add formulas and a lookup table) and then load them back in. Per the image below, it is possible to simply export all the families from a Revit project, but for a large project with hundreds, if not thousands, of families, that would take a long time.

Enter CTC BIM Batch Suite for a more surgical way in which to harvest content from a Revit project.

  • FYI: When installing this Revit add-in, you have the option to install a free PDF writer as seen in the iamge below. This shows up in all programs, such as Microsoft Word.

The add-in has two free tools; Family Exporter and Family Loader. These are the two I will be talking about. The other two commands require a license.

The Family Exporter allows you to select which categories to export. Plus you can search, add prefix/suffix and more as shown below. I just needed the electrical content, so that is all I selected.

Notice, we can also segregate the exported content into sub-folders.

Several of the CTC tools provide a "results" dialog as shown below. The trick is to look for anything red on the right... that means something did not work.

All the content is now available via Windows Explorer!

Now, I needed to add, delete and modify parameters in all of the exported content. I used the Family Processor from the CTC BIM Manager Suite. This tool is not free, but it can be purchases as a network licenses and shared within a firm. I also replaced a lookup table and added formulas as seen in the image below.
  • FYI: these settings can be saved to a file... in fact, these settings were prepared by Blake Guither, from the MEP firm Gausman & Moore, who I am working with on this project.

Finally, to get the content back into Revit, I used the free Family Loader tool. Notice the "Suppress overwrite dialog" check box? Huge time saver!

  • FYI: I wish this tool had a "use current project" option. You have to browse for the host project to load content into... this is tricky when the project is in C4R; the local file is in a obscure location.

Good stuff!