One of last year’s hot topics was the famous open letter from the AEC industry to Autodesk criticising the lack of improvements in the latest versions of their software. In response to the impossibility of covering all users’ needs, many tech companies are emerging in the AEC industry to fill these gaps. One is making a different and unparallel journey by giving out some of the best Revit add-ins on the market for free
Traditionally, Autodesk developers have fulfilled these gaps with some expensive products that most SMEs couldn’t afford. Not much great alternatives were available until 2017 when DiRoots arrived to disrupt the market by developing outstanding free add-ins for one of Autodesk’s most popular product.
In the last three years, the digital technology company DiRoots developed and released eight Autodesk Revit add-ins. Each one can offer massive time savings compared to the traditional workflows relying on the native Revit functionalities. These tools have become essential for many Revit users.
Although all free DiRoots tools available are for Autodesk Revit, their development scope is not limited to it. They provide other custom software solutions, such as plugins for Bentley and Bricsys products, cross-platform apps, custom scripts, proofs of concept and research and development (R&D) on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, like machine learning and deep learning.
Becoming more productive
These Revit plugins are covering some of the real needs of all Revit users, helping them to perform their daily tasks more quickly and efficiently.
All the plugins developed by DiRoots are extremely easy to use and have a pleasant User Interface (UI), providing a seamless User Experience (UX). The success of the add-ins, both in terms of functionality and frontend design, is backed by in-depth market research and the users’ inputs in all stages of development.
Starting in chronological order, here are the tools that they have after three years of development.
It is the ultimate model data management tool. SheetLink allows the users to export the model data to Excel or Google Sheets, edit it in a more manageable way and import it back to update the model. It allows seamless collaboration between the different team players, including non-Revit users. SheetLink has been considered by many the best tool of its kind.
This Revit add-in still receives updates and improvements regularly. In February 2021, a new enhanced version will bring unique new features, a refreshed UI, and an improved UX.
It is designed to help the user on the management of Revit families and worksets within a project. The power of this tool resides in three major features: export families in an organised way to specific folders and subfolders (without backup files); quickly rename Revit families accordingly to BIM standards (eg BS 8541-1); and assign worksets to Revit elements by categories or setting up custom rules.
It is a plugin to quickly find Revit families in the model. Its most basic functionality is the ability to filter by categories and by parameter name/value.
For more advanced users, it allows them to create complex rules and sets of rules to narrow down the filtered model elements and even find model elements contained within Areas, Masses, Rooms, Spaces and Zones.
OneFilter can also colourise the model elements based on parameter values and create section boxes around them. It is perhaps the most advanced filter for Revit.
It is an add-in to batch export views/sheets to PDF, DWG, DGN, DWF, NWC, IFC and images (JPEG, PNG, TIFF, etc) using customised filenames. The filenames can be built using sheet parameters, project information parameters and even static custom fields. These allow the users to effortlessly generate project deliverables that are compliant with the BIM standards.
Manually performing these tasks is very time-consuming, the reason why ProSheets became one of the most popular plugins of its kind.
It has been developed to import Excel tables into Revit as legend, schedule or drafting views. TableGen allows the users to import non-BIM data into Revit while keeping their Excel formatting (eg fonts, alignments, borders, images, charts, etc).
It allows users to batch create sheets and views, place views on sheets based on a pre-defined template and easily manage revisions. SheetGen and ProSheets together make the ultimate drawing production toolset. They tackle one of the most repetitive and time-consuming workflows in Revit. SheetGen’s popularity is skyrocketing among Revit users.
A simple but very handy add-in to quickly renumber instance Revit parameters using a prefix, a suffix and a multiplier (manually or following a path/detail line).
It is designed to manage Revit parameters inside project and family environments. It allows the users to create and delete parameters, modify existing parameters, export/import parameters to/from Excel and Shared Parameters files. All in a more user-friendly and efficient manner.
What to expect in 2021
In 2021, DiRoots will stick to its values and mission. Jose said: “We have now developed eight multidisciplinary apps to optimise several time-consuming workflows for Revit users, such as data management and drawing production. We’ll continue to update these Revit add-ins and make them of best of his kind. We also have other plans, and we will release new tools for different products like AutoCAD, Navisworks and BriscCAD.”
DiRoots has other projects in the roadmap and although they have not been disclosed.
Due to DiRoots contributions to many companies they have been considered the first truly “social-technological disruptor” of the AEC industry.