Design Automation is a key focus area for Jasmax and our Digital Innovation Strategy. Generally, when I talk about Design Automation in the context Jasmax operates, I split it into two camps, the design phase and the delivery phase of a project.
Jasmax is leveraging Design Automation in both. We have two dedicated developers who are building custom tools that bring greater capability and efficiencies to the way we design and deliver our projects. This article will focus on the later, discussing how Jasmax is strengthening our Digital Delivery through one particular tool, the Jasmax Toolbox.
The Jasmax Toolbox is a plugin we've developed to automate many of the repetitive and mundane tasks in Revit, to allow the designer/technician to focus on the higher value work. While not as glamorous and showy as some of our tools used in the front end of projects, the Jasmax Toolbox is delivering real, quantifiable time and cost savings to the business; it's saving us real dollars.
At its launch, the Jasmax Toolbox consisted of over 1200 lines of code and offered users seven main tools. Over half of our Revit operators had used the tool in its first two months, which translated into a total of 890 individual uses. The great thing about a tool like this is the metrics we can capture as its used. We can report its user-ship accurately and report this back to management ensuring the business is getting an appropriate return on its investment.
We created our own customized tool after doing market research. Yes, similar tools to the Jasmax Toolbox are available out there in the wild, but we found many were lacking in features that were important to us, or they had existing features that could be expanded to achieve greater time/cost savings.
The Toolbox paid for itself (development time cost) in its first three months of use, and we are now working on version 2, which will expand its capability even further. It has been a powerful demonstration of the value of architects not just being the users of code, but the creators of code.
While we built this tool for our internal benefit, we are interested to see if the wider industry sees value in it, if so, let us know as we could look to make it available in the near future.
A detailed list of its current features and what they do is below;
1) Quick Links
Access to the standards and information commonly used when working in Revit, eg. CBI Coding, Naming Conventions, and Drawing List Assembly.
2) Make Sheets
Make multiple sheets by quickly specifying a list or range of sheet numbers
3) Duplicate Sheets
Duplicates selected sheets. Select one or more sheets in the project browser and click on Duplicate Sheets. Sheets can be duplicated with or without views. Duplicating the sheet(s) with views will copy all the views on the sheet and place them on the new sheet in the same location. If there is a legend on the sheet a new instance will be placed on the duplicated sheet - the legend will not be copied.
4) Auto Hide North Arrows
Corrects North Arrow visibility on selected sheets. Select Sheets in the project browser and run Auto-Hide North Arrows. Arrows will be hidden on sheets that do not contain plan views, or where plan views have been rotated. Arrows will be made visible on sheets with plans.
5) Renumber Views
Renumbers viewports on a sheet based on the order of selection.
6) Quick Place
This is a two-step tool to quickly place a view on a sheet
7) Update Stamp
Updates the stamp on all sheets in a saved print set.
8) Add Milestone Revision
Adds a revision to all sheets in a saved set. This tool is useful for milestone drawing issues when a revision needs to be added to the whole set.