v3.0 – Multi-format is Here! (plus a lot of other really cool features)

Yes, it’s true, you can now use UNIFI as your single source for all of your digital content including Revit, Bentley, AutoCAD and SketchUp files not to mention jpg, pdf, xls, doc, even movies! Now, as you work on various phases of a project, you can have easy access to all of the content in one place.  In future releases, we will be creating add-ins to popular design software solutions which will further enhance our multi-format capabilities. In addition to multi-format, we were very busy adding additional features:

  • …and More about Multi-Format – If an item can be saved as a file, it can be stored, searched and found on UNIFI. All previous features that dealt exclusively in Revit files will now work with all file formats.

In addition to multi-format, we were very busy adding additional features and bug fixes to this release:

  • Content Requests – files will now live within the context of a Content Request and can be inserted directly from a content request or added to a library.
  • New Preview Image Picker – we updated the custom preview image picker to work with multi-monitor workstations and have a better workflow.
  • C4R Support – we now support inserts & exports from C4R projects.
  • Embedded PDF Viewer
  • Non-Revit Files Will Open in File Extension Associated Program – if user does not navigate away from the file a watch is placed on it and saved changed will automatically be queued for upload to UNIFI as a new revision of the file.
  • Protected Libraries – company admins can designate a library as protected.  Content in a protected library will not be updated unless approved by a company admin.
  • More Type Catalog Upload Fixes
  • Batch Insert Improvements – several bugs with batch insert have been resolved.  Project Browser docked state no longer matters and communication with Revit has been streamlined.
  • Easy Edit is Now Available to Non-company Admin Users
  • Use F5 to Refresh Search Results, File Details, Notifications, etc.
  • Most Text Labels are Now Selectable and Can Be Copy/Pasted to External Programs
  • Project Name Will Be Included in the Connected Program Picker

When you upgrade to 3.0 – you gain access to all of these features above plus high quality manufacturing content via UNIFI Connect which is available in the Subscriptions area of the app.unifilabs.com.  We’ve got several new manufacturers on board, here are a few.

UNIFI Labs Teams Up with ENGworks to Connect Building Product Manufacturers with AECOs

UNIFI Connect to Provide Content Hosting Solution to BIMXchange Users

UNIFI Labs, the global leader in cloud-based BIM content management and creation, is excited to announce a strategic content hosting partnership with ENGworks, an internationally recognized Building Information Modeling (BIM) service and solutions provider. The partnership will support the ongoing growth of UNIFI Connect as the building industry’s premier source for publicly available, quality controlled manufacturer content for architectural, engineering and contractor (AEC) firms.

As a member of UNIFI’s strategic partner network, ENGworks will leverage their strong relationships with leading global manufacturers to help add the highest quality and most in-demand manufacturer products to UNIFI Connect. “ENGworks is a well-respected content creation partner in the building product manufacturing community. We are thrilled to be working with their team to connect the high-quality content they create for leading manufacturers with our AEC customers through UNIFI Connect,” shared Michael Rolnick, UNIFI’s CEO.

As part of the partnership, ENGworks will be retiring their BIMXchange content management system by the end of 2017. All active BIMXchange users will be provided with a nine month complimentary trial of UNIFI’s cloud-based content management, as well as receive support in migrating their content over to the UNIFI platform. Christopher Di Iorio, ENGworks’ CEO, stated that, “We are excited to take our expertise in content and tools and push it to the world’s users through a robust UNIFI platform that services the end user needs.”

About UNIFI Labs

UNIFI is the essential cloud platform to create and manage digital building content. The UNIFI content creation team utilizes a unique blend of industry knowledge and proven expertise to create BIM assets of the highest quality, which are used by the world’s leading design firms. The UNIFI content management platform ensures data consistency and anywhere access to BIM content that is directly integrated into Autodesk Revit workflows. Learn why leading architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing organizations trust UNIFI as the complete solution for their building content management needs at www.unifilabs.com or contact us at 702.527.6460.

About ENGworks

For almost three decades, ENGworks has continuously developed new processes, tools and services for Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Trade Contractors, Construction Managers, Manufacturers, as well as Owners and Operators. Today, ENGworks is an internationally recognized Building Information Modeling (BIM) service and solutions provider.

Our Goal is to help our clients design and build better projects by saving construction costs and time through implementing the full potential of BIM; we have taken cutting edge technology, sharpened it, and then applied it to everything we know about BIM technology and the AECO Industry.

For more information on ENGworks, and the products and services they offer, please visit: http://www.ENGworks.com/

Media Contacts:

ENGworks: Lance Gardner, lance.gardner@engworks.com, 918.406.5924

UNIFI Labs: Dana Marotto, dana.marotto@unifilabs.com, 415-722-9775

V2.3 Release Notes – Revit 2018 Support & More!

The UNIFI Team has been hard at work to release a new version of our content management solution that’s compatible with Revit 2018 and over 60 new features and bug fixes! We call it v2.3, but we know you are most interested in what’s included – here are a few highlights:

New Features/Enhancements:

  • Support for Revit 2018 as well as previous Revit versions.
  • Batch Insert from Search – You can now insert multiple items into a family by multi-selecting (via shift-click or control-click) from the search results page, right clicking and selecting Batch Insert from the context menu.
  • Insert into Families, not just Projects – we now allow you to insert a family from UNIFI into another RFA.
  • Open Families into the Family Editor – we’re hoping to cut down some steps when editing a family by allowing users to click an Edit button in the file details that will open a family directly in the Family Editor of Revit.
  • Pending Batch Upload Details – We’ve added a little bit more detail to the pending batch upload screen. Thank to Kristina for the suggestion!
  • Inserting Type Catalogs – Added more horsepower behind inserting type catalogs. You should notice a difference when inserting type catalogs of significant size.

Bug Fixes:

  • Bubble burst – In some cases, there was a little bubble shown when hovering over a preview image. Thanks Kenny for pointing that out!
  • Details – We’ve had issues where type catalogs with thousands of types created a poor user experience. As a short term solution, we’ve decided to show a max of 40 types in the file details page.
  • Warning messages – There have been some cases where type catalogs have been dropped from a RFA when uploading a new revision of the RFA and the txt file is not included. We now warn you before uploading to make sure this change is intended.
  • Catalog viewer – Previously when there are existing types in the project that weren’t inserted from UNIFI, we weren’t showing that in our type catalog viewer. We’ve fixed our type catalog viewer to now show those types.
  • Overwriting preview images – Previously when a custom preview image was set for a file and a revision was made, the custom preview image would be overwritten by the revision’s preview image. We’ve fixed it so the custom preview image remains even after a new revision is made.
  • Inserting type catalogs – Added more horsepower behind inserting type catalogs. You should notice a difference when inserting type catalogs of significant size.

Known Issues:

  • Revit 2018 steals focus when using UNIFI 2.0.4 – so be sure to upgrade!

Remember, when you upgrade – you gain access to all of these features above plus high quality manufacturing content via UNIFI Connect which is available in the Subscriptions area of the app.unifilabs.com.  We created a short video to walk you through how easy it is to get this content into your libraries.

We're Hiring

We’re Hiring – BIM Content Developers

UNIFI Labs Employment Opportunities

UNIFI Labs is currently hiring dynamic individuals to join our company!  Do you enjoy the challenge of 3D modeling? Do you like to experiment and push the limits of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies? Do you wish there was more quality manufacturer content out there for designers to use? Then this is the right job for you!

BIM Content Developers Needed!

Job Summary – Work with a team to develop large amounts of Revit content (families) with the ability to complete projects within strict deadlines.

Open Positions – BIM Modeling Developer

Job Requirements – Candidates must be able to demonstrate ability to:

  • Prepare 3D product models to be used in the BIM authoring tool Autodesk Revit
  • Ability to understand product cut-sheets and CAD files

Knowledge, Skills and Required Abilities:

  • Novice or Intermediate level Autodesk Revit, 3D Studio Max, Inventor, Solidworks, or Pro-E
  • Must have a strong working knowledge of Boolean Operations, Sweeps, Revolutions and other typical 3D modeling techniques
  • Intermediate level Microsoft Office Suite
  • Novice or Intermediate level ACAD experience
  • 3D ACAD experience a plus
  • Architectural design background a plus
  • MEP design background a plus
  • AutoLisp or other Programming language experience a plus
  • 3DS Max or Maya rendering experience a plus
  • Dynamo visual programming experience a plus

Location – This position is on-premise in Las Vegas, Nevada at our corporate headquarters.

UNIFI labs offers employees and their dependents health, dental, vision and group term life insurance benefits. We offer supplemental insurance and a 401k plan. Paid holiday, sick, vacation and personal time is available and professional memberships and licenses are paid on behalf of the employee. Our salaries are very competitive.

Contact info@unifilabs.com if you are interested – we look forward to hearing from you!

Miele Australia – Forever Better BIM Content

Miele is known for its premium brand of appliances produced in Germany and sold globally.  The company motto, “Imer Besser” translates into “Forever Better” which is a philosophy Miele applies across its entire organization, including the creation and distribution of BIM content.  With the release of UNIFI CONNECT, Miele found that UNIFI was not only able to create superior BIM content, but also deliver this content directly into the hands of designers.

Presentation is Critical

For AEC firms to consider adopting a manufacturer’s content library, consistency in creation is vital, especially for an extensive library like Miele’s Residential and Commercial Product Ranges which encompasses 11 product categories, 137 Revit families and 206 Miele products. Miele turned to UNIFI as a partner to create BIM content that fully captured the functionality, attention to detail, reliability and overall quality inherent to these products. “Miele is well known to have an unwavering commitment to quality in all things we do. Based on our interaction with the UNIFI team and research we did with our clients, it’s clear to us that UNIFI share this ethos and they are capable of delivering products and services in line with our standards,” says Ben Curmi, Head of Project Sales Australia/New Zealand for Miele.

Early on in UNIFI’s engagement with Miele, we identified it was important for the content to incorporate valuable features that provide assistance to designers in arranging, coordinating and validating their designs. These features include:

  • Clearance zones: door swings, rangehood clearance heights
  • Spatial requirements for installation: niches, ventilation zones, cut-outs
  • Reference planes for placement: easy alignment and guidance for cooktop burner offset standards/ building codes
  • Parametric families: models adjustable within actual product tolerances for design flexibility
  • Data access: embedded ‘deep links’ to SKU-specific, online technical information

Appliances are ‘big ticket items’, both when it comes to design and when it comes to BIM content. Building elements like these need to present well in visualization outputs, but just as importantly, the content needs to document well and perform efficiently in a project environment. For example, in high rise, multi-residential projects there may be hundreds of each kitchen and laundry element (cooktops, rangehoods, ovens, dishwashers, microwaves) so models for these fixtures have the potential to have a big impact on how easy the project model is for designers to work with. Although it is standard practice for UNIFI when creating Revit content for architectural elements, it was particularly critical to build Levels of Detail (LOD) into the Miele Revit library with careful thought given to what should be shown at each level in both 2D and 3D based on how the content would need to document and how the content needs to perform from an efficiency perspective.

Following the completion of the Miele Revit library, UNIFI and Miele embarked on a ‘roadshow’ of exclusive launch functions attended by designers and BIM leaders from over 200 of Australia and New Zealand’s most prominent design firms. “During our series of events to launch our new Revit content library, we consistently heard from clients that what UNIFI had created was the single best resource of its type they’d seen to date,” says Ben.

UNIFI also created a ‘Content Overview and User Guide’ for Miele which allowed Miele to communicate the more technical elements of their Revit content directly with their clients.

A Direct CONNECTion from Miele to Designers

As a way of ensuring their Revit content library is easily accessible to designers, Miele made hosting their content on UNIFI CONNECT a major component of their BIM content management and communication strategy. “As a highly innovative manufacturer, Miele frequently develop new products. Being able to communicate updates to our BIM library in real-time with the design community through UNIFI CONNECT is extremely valuable to us,” says Ben.

“Our relationship with UNIFI is key to ensuring we stay at the forefront of innovation as it relates to design technology and providing the right design tools to specifiers. UNIFI’s strong, direct ties to our A&D clients means they acutely understand their needs and how we as a supplier need to be creating and communicating our BIM content.”  UNIFI is committing to ensuring that Miele’s motto of “Forever Better” is carried out through the creation and distribution of its BIM content.

View the pdf of the Miele Success Story and read how other UNIFI customers are achieving success in our Success Stories area.

HASSELL Scores Big with BIM Content Management

HASSELL is a leading international design practice with studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the United Kingdom.  Architects and design professionals are brought together in virtual teams to assemble the best group for a project, regardless of physical location.  Many projects involve collaboration with other firms and consultants, adding an additional layer of coordination and complexity.  All of these factors add up to HASSELL employing a culture built on collaboration, creativity, and innovation in design thinking and delivery.  This multi-pronged culture drove HASSELL to deploy UNIFI as its single source of BIM content management for its design professionals and beyond.

The Perth Stadium – Multiple Firms, A Single Source of Collaboration

HASSELL has an impressive and exhaustive list of projects where they have put the UNIFI solution to good use – including projects involving only HASSELL employees as well as joint efforts with outside firms.  The Perth Stadium is a collaboration among HASSELL, Cox and HKS to design a 60,000 seat multi-purpose sports facility in Australia.  The stadium’s revolutionary design requires state of the art technology to ensure a free-flow of ideas and collaboration across the project team, managed by Perth Stadium builder, Multiplex, while also maintaining strict controls over the access and use of the BIM content.

A big question with any joint undertaking of this magnitude is how will all the libraries be shared?  The answer – UNIFI library sharing.  UNIFI’s library sharing feature enables project specific content to be securely shared with the globally distributed, multi-firm project team.  A Perth library held only relevant project content and was shared across the project teams at HASSELL, Cox and HKS, making it simple for the team to have a single source of approved building blocks for the Perth Stadium.

Security was another key concern with so many people involved in the project in distributed locations and firms, but HASSELL and its design partners could rest assured with UNIFI.  “The cloud is more secure than file-based solutions,” says Michael Ruehr, Revit Application Specialist for HASSELL. “We have total visibility on downloads and usage.  We were in the dark before UNIFI.”  No more Dropbox, no more email – UNIFI made it simple to share a single source of content that was approved and vetted by the design teams.  “UNIFI avoided a logistical nightmare,” says Michael.  Additionally, when people roll on (or off) the project, access is easily and securely managed through UNIFI’s administrative console.

“UNIFI allows us to work smarter,” says Julia Allen, BIM Manager in the HASSELL Melbourne studio.  Prior to UNIFI, Julia and the other BIM Managers were constantly being asked for content – whether it be a door, window or light fixture.  Julia estimates that 9 out of 10 people now easily find what they need by searching on UNIFI.  There’s an added benefit to these successful searches – less duplication of effort rebuilding content that’s already available.  “We don’t have people screaming for content because it is already in being shared across the company using UNIFI,” says Julia.  “It allows us to have a more efficient and refined library, since we aren’t letting any rogue content in.”

A Winning Formula

HASSELL’s website says, “We judge the success of the buildings and places we design by the way people use and enjoy them.”  At UNIFI, we measure success by how our customers use our solution to meet their goals.  In the case of HASSELL – they’ve pulled off a hat trick using UNIFI — enhancing project collaboration, improving workplace efficiency and deploying a single source of BIM content – which secures them an honorary position on a premier cricket team in the Perth Stadium.

View the pdf of the HASSELL Success Story and read how other UNIFI customers are achieving success in our Success Stories area.

Actionable Analytics

Analytics are only as good as the actions they prompt.  As content experts, we regularly provide actionable analytics to help our customers achieve the greatest success with their content.  Take a look at what analytics are available to you on UNIFI, the only cloud-based BIM content management platform:

Search Trends

Do you want to know what content your users are searching for and then what happens when they find it?  UNIFI provides analytic reports that details the most common terms searched for, libraries used, etc. and what the ensuing actions were.  “Which searches resulted in insertions?” or “how far down in the results were insertions made from?” are just a few key questions we provide answers to.  This ultimately allows you to influence the meta-data for better search results which you can modify through UNIFI’s Rename and Batch Tag Management features.

User Activity Reports

UNIFI is completely user based which allows you to understand who your most active and least active users are.  Users office locations can also be set, allowing you to identify locations or specific users that need more attention. You can even identify who may be using “rogue” content by their lack of downloads to the system.

 

Project Insertion Reports

It’s one thing to have a single source of content, but another to understand where that content is being used.  UNIFI provides reports that indicate all content inserted and into which projects.  Additionally, you will see which revisions were inserted compared to what the current revision is.  This allows you to know which projects require updating as you make improvements or critical fixes to content. Also, which projects aren’t receiving any of your standardized content!

Content Insertion Report

Content Insert Report:  This report allows admins to see what projects need content updates and perform damage control when bad content has been inserted into projects.

Content Usage Reports

The average UNIFI customer stores roughly 5,000 elements in the cloud and only about 25% of those have been used.  Are you wasting time maintaining content that isn’t ever used?  With UNIFI, you will understand what content is not used in addition to which content is used the most.

Not all content that isn’t used is bad.  It may just appear bad to your designers or not appear at all!  With UNIFI analytics, you can understand what content hasn’t been appearing in search results or if content is consistently showing up in results but isn’t being used.  This allows you to adjust your meta-data (influence search), preview images, naming, etc.  In some cases, you will also recognize truly irrelevant content and purge out of your library.

Content Quality Analysis Reports

All UNIFI content is stored in the cloud – which allows constant monitoring of key quality aspects – even while you sleep! Our cloud is capable of understanding and reporting parameter, category, imported CAD, etc. information.  This information can then be measured against your own standards.  Understand if you have unused Shared Parameters or how many shared parameters of any given name you have in your library that don’t match the shared parameter from your SP file.

 

Content Quality Audit

Content Quality Report: Details which categories contain imported CAD geometry – never a good thing!

Content Requests

Designers can easily make requests for new content AND changes to existing content directly within UNIFI.  Over time, the reports of these requests will allow you to know what categories of content you have the greatest need for.  Additionally, who your most proactive users are.

Content Ratings

You are busy and need to focus your efforts.  Content ratings in UNIFI allow your users an easy means to provide feedback to your content.  Monitoring the applied ratings helps you know where to spend your time when making improvements to content or creating new content.

Security

Ever wonder how much of your content is walking out the door as employees leave your organization?  UNIFI tracks not only who inserts into projects but batch downloads to local drives as well.  Reports on these downloads allow you to know who and how much content is being downloaded so you can identify individuals wanting to abscond with content.  Additionally, every element stored in UNIFI is embedded with an invisible watermark.  We can help you identify your content if you discover it in the public domain. We know that your content libraries are a significant investment and UNIFI allows you to protect that.

We’ve listed out the top 8 actionable analytics using UNIFI…there are many more and we invite you to add yours to this list in the comments section below.

Learn more about UNIFI Insights here.

And, if you’re not using UNIFI, sign up for a free trial today!

Multi-format Support is Coming!

Yes, it is true! Multi-format support will be coming soon – we’re expecting it to arrive this summer. What does this mean to you? If you can save an item as a file, then it can be stored, searched and found on UNIFI.  That means UNIFI can be your single source for all your digital content – whether it be AutoCAD, Bentley, Civil 3D, SketchUp and more. Here’s a sample of the design platforms and content types that we will be supporting.

Stay tuned for more details!

Release Notes

V2.2 Release Notes

The UNIFI Team is more than ecstatic to release 2.2! This was a jam-packed version filled with over 120 new features and bug fixes. Here are some of the big ticket items:

New Features/Enhancements:

  • UNIFI Connect – We are very excited to introduce a brand new product, UNIFI Connect, which is included as part of the UNIFI platform at no charge. UNIFI Connect provides access to high quality manufacturer content leveraging the proven workflow of the UNIFI platform. Manufacturers host their content in UNIFI as channels and UNIFI users subscribe to them making the content available to the entire organization for search and insert into models. Click here to listen to the webinar and read more about Connect on our website.
  • Office Locations – Company admins can now create Office Locations in our UNIFI Portal and set users to those locations.
  • Schedules in Batch Tag Manager – Schedules are now visible in the Batch Tag Manager in the UNIFI Portal.
  • Structural Icons in Saved Search – We’ve added a set of structural icons in our Saved Search in the UNIFI Client.

  • Batch User Import – Company admins now have the ability to specify security groups when batch importing users from excel/csv in the UNIFI Client.

Bug Fixes:

Our team continues to squish those pesky bugs. Here are some notable mentions:

  • Library Admin Filter [UP-181] – The library admin filter is now correctly filtering the users list in the UNIFI Portal. Thanks Tammy for pointing this out to us!
  • User Details Delete Button [UP-404] – We made the delete button on the user’s detail page of the UNIFI Portal actually delete the specified user.
  • Accents on letters mess w/SSO [ULA-215] – Fixed an interesting issue where having accents in your username caused issues when logging into SSO.
  • Double clicking when inserting [UC-517] – For all the fast clickers out there, we found an issue where if double clicking to insert a file from the file details page would can an error. We’re happy to have resolved that issue!
  • Downloading type catalogs from Browse/Search [UC-500] – We are now including the txt file when downloading a type catalog from browse or search.

As always, if you have questions – please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to delivering many new exciting features in upcoming releases, including….drumroll please….Multi-format Support in Q2!

Attn UNIFI Customers: 5 FREE Licenses to Share with Your External Partners

In today’s connected world, no organization is an island! The design-build-operate framework requires you to work with various firms across the building lifecycle and share information, including BIM content.  That’s why we are offering existing UNIFI customers a unique opportunity to promote collaboration and enhance productivity – 5 free UNIFI partner licenses that you can share with your partners across the building lifecycle.

Already, many of your fellow UNIFI users are sharing access to their libraries with their external partners to make collaborating more efficient than ever – whether it be two firms working together on a joint project, an AEC firm working with an owner/operator who want to speak the same “BIM” language, or a dedicated channel between an AEC and manufacturer to get custom BIM content. Are you ready to join them and put your 5 free UNIFI partner licenses to work?

As you identify which of your external partners you’d like to share UNIFI with, here are some questions you may be asking:

1. Who qualifies for a free partner license?

Any external partner you collaborate with during your design projects. Internal team members at your design firm do not qualify (even if they are based in a separate office!) as you can already invite them to set up a UNIFI account and start accessing your libraries!

Think about AECs who you collaborate with during the design process. Or perhaps the owner/operator you are delivering the final BIM model to. Some of our clients have even established a shared library with their favorite manufacturers so that receiving/requesting new content is easier than ever before.

2. How many free licenses do I get?

You get up to five licenses to share with your favorite partners, but you don’t have to give them all out at once. Feel free to shoot just one or two our way to start with!  You can give one license to each partner, and since we provide you with an open license – multiple people can access that one license (just not at the same time).

3. This sounds great! How can I get my partners signed up?

It’s easy – just contact us at sales@unifilabs.com with their names and email addresses or click the “share your licenses now” button and fill out the form.  We’ll take care of setting up their accounts and help you enable sharing of content libraries. If you’re interested, we’ll also schedule a quick 30 minute UNIFI traning session with you and your partners to help them get started!