What's a Sticky?
Did you ever want to link an Excel file into a Revit project? Ideate Sticky is the answer.
The name "Sticky" harkens back to the ancient (i.e. late 20th century) technique of duplicating printed tables or details onto translucent adhesive-backed plastic film ("sticky back paper") and applying it to a drawing sheet.
Why did we create Ideate Sticky?
Back in 2009, we had an inkling that many of our clients were using or trying to use Microsoft Excel as part of their BIM toolkit.
Researching our past support issues, we confirmed that many of our clients were looking for tools that could connect an Excel spreadsheet with a Revit project. Looking closer, we realized that there was two broad use cases for these tools.
In late 2010 we released Ideate BIMLink , which handles the first use case - linking data in an Excel spreadsheet to the data in a Revit model. Think of this as using Excel to extend and edit the Revit building information model.
Newly released Ideate Sticky handles the second use for connecting Excel and Revit - linking formatted text in an Excel spreadsheet to formatted text in a Revit project. Think of this as creating and formatting tabular text in Excel, then displaying the results on a Revit sheet.
Creating and linking a Sticky is somewhat akin to linking a DWG drawing into a Revit model - the information is created and stored in a file external to the Revit project, but the results are linked and displayed in the Revit project.
What will you Sticky?
Ideate Sticky can be used to display many types of non-BIM tabular text in Revit including:
- Building codes specifications
- General notes
- Consultant data
- Abbreviation lists
- Document issue records
How did we do it?
With lots of hard work! Ideate Sticky has been over a year in development and builds on all the technology and knowledge gained by the Ideate Software team over the past 8+ years of developing add-ins for Revit.
Under the hood, a Sticky is actually a Revit schedule - with a twist. The Ideate Sticky add-in creates an empty Revit schedule (i.e. a schedule with no body text) and then manages the cells, formatting, and text within the schedule header. The result? A lightweight, native Revit object that supports formatted tabular text as in Excel.
What are the features?
- Excel spreadsheets rendered with native lightweight Revit schedules
- Excel formatting preserved with high fidelity
- Revit updated automatically or manually when Excel spreadsheet changes
How can I learn more?
For more information on the software solutions, training, and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.
Senior Software Developer
Ben has been a software engineer for over 25 years. With a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, he has worked at several software companies developing applications for the AEC industry including Sage Timberline (construction accounting and estimating) and ArchT (architectural drafting for AutoCAD). He also worked at Microsoft creating AEC and other diagramming solutions for Office Visio. Ben has been with Ideate Software for over 8 years developing add-ins for Revit including Ideate Explorer and Ideate BIMLink.
This article was originally posted on the Ideate Software blog.