Building Content Manipulation – What Tools Are You Using?

As we inch closer to the Building Content Summit in July, I am enjoying some of the side conversations that are being had, about what counts as “Building Content” and what do we consider “working on Building Content for BIM?”   As we branch out to all of the BIM Platform users out there, the number of “tools” used for creating, editing, or manipulating content is bound to increase.

If you are on LinkedIn or Twitter, you probably saw this wild post, showing a workflow of

Excel > Flux > Grasshopper > Flux > Dynamo > Revit (and GRevit):
(posted by Gui Talarico on VIMEO, aka @gtalarico on Twitter, pulled from Twitter page)

In t2016-02-09_10-03-44-NBA_BLBhat video, a number of platforms are working together to edit Paneling on the facade of a Form, which is quite impressive.  When I watched it this morning, it got me thinking about all of the other tools BESIDES our native BIM platforms, that we use to manipulate Building Content and the data in Building Content.  A week ago I had a need to search through a Content Navigators database (CTC’s BIM List Browser) to look up certain pieces of data, so I could reuse them in another platform. The Golden Nugget software that helped me do it was (ironically) Notepad++, mixed in with a little PowerShell.

Now, I’m certainly not someone who knows how to script anything (I’m so jealous of those of you who can!), nor am I a coder of any sorts.  But I can copy and paste like a champion, and my Google-Fu is pretty strong on a Friday Night.  The point is, I got to thinking that sometimes, the most powerful tools I use to create BIM Content, aren’t BIM Platforms at all.

One of the reasons I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone at the Building Content Summit, is I’d love to talk about what OTHER applications people are using, and what they are doing with them.  After tweeting the image of my hideous attempts at working in Powershell to mine Content Data (shown below), I decided I wanted to start typing a matrix:  Not just a chart listing out what software’s get used (those lists always turn in to bragging-rights lists, and no one likes that), but a list of what tools get used, and for what purpose.



If you are working in Building Content Manipulation, what tools are you using that aren’t part of your mainstream BIM application?  Access?  Excel?  Dynamo? Visual Basic? Shoot me an email (if you want to share) and let me know: What you are using, and what you are doing with it?

Last year at the Building Content Summit, a brief discussion was held about how some of us use these tools to *migrate* content from one standard to another, when doing international work or having to comply with different requirements on projects.  Let’s share some of the workflows for how we do it, so we can talk about them at THIS years Building Content Summit!



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