UNIFI Implementation – First Steps

The purpose of this post is to outline some first steps for implementing Unifi.  If you are a new customer or using the trial to justify the use of Unifi to leadership these steps should help.  The organization, state and quality of content varies firm to firm, read on and make a plan.

Collect your content.

Your firm probably already has one standard location and naming convention for content, so you are already halfway there, good job!  If that is not the case, then you got some work to do 🙁.  One way to collect content is to create a project from your standardized company template.  Load all the standardized content that you can find scattered across the network (Loadable families of all categories, system families, anything and everything you can get your hands on).

Once content is loaded, use the out of the box Save As -> Library -> Family to export your content.  This exports the content to one folder.  There are several free add-ins to export content to folders base on categories, which Unifi will use as tags.  Since you can upload content to Unifi from the project and already have a naming convention, exporting content may not be necessary.  If there is content that uses Type Catalogs, export those and don’t forget to find all of the Type Catalogs and place them beside the family!  You will drag and drop that content to Unifi to upload the Type Catalog.

Standard naming convention.

I highly recommend a standard naming convention.  It can be as simple as adding your abbreviated firm name as a prefix or suffix: #ADSK-Overhead-Rolling.rfa or Overhead-Rolling-ADSK.rfa.  I prefer a convention similar to this: < Identifier >_< Units >_< Category >_< Type >_< Manufacturer >_< Descriptor> _< Host/Size >   There are several benefits to a naming convention and I will assign that as homework.

Content can be renamed with free software.  I prefer this bulkrenameutility (don’t forget to donate).  Yep, new software to learn!  It won’t take long, maybe 30 minutes of practice on practice files on your C drive.  Don’t practice on critical production files!  Renaming 11,000 files in 7 seconds is pretty darn cool!

Upload content.

Here is the easy part.  After content organization is complete; loadable families, system families, model groups and drafting views can be uploaded from the project with the Unifi add-in.  Content stored in folders can be dropped into Unifi where it will store them in the libraries that you setup.  Tags are created from the folder names and you can add any tags you want.  For more details on uploading, the help file and tutorials are great!

You can do it!

In between all other responsibilities and duties, I was able to collect, organize, rename, upload and train users in a lunch and learn in less than a month.  Make a plan and implement it!  You will be glad you did.  Your users will be as fast as mine, 2.1 times to be exact.

Thanks for your time.

Chris Ridder – BIM Manager – GBD – LinkedIn – @cridder_

This is a post by a guest contributor not affiliated with INVIEWlabs. The opinions expressed are that of the contributor not INVIEWlabs.