AutoCAD Tips | Edit Attributes in Excel: Export and Import Attributes [Video: 5.13]

AutoCAD Tips | Edit Attributes in Excel: Export and Import Attributes [Video: 5.13]

In this tutorial, we’ll walk through how to use the Import and Export Attribute tool within AutoCAD to easily export block attribute data to a .txt file that can be quickly edited in Excel. This can save a ton of time if you need to modify multiple attributes of your blocks at one time. It can also come in handy when needing to create parts lists, take offs and quantities.

Using blocks with attributes allows you to export the parameters to a text file that can be manipulated in Excel. The updated parameters can then be loaded into the blocks again. This can only be done if you have the full AutoCAD license with the express tools. Express tools are capabilities that other people programmed but that are included with the full AutoCAD license. Explore and use them to your benefit.

Continuing Education Works as a Retention Technique

Continuing Education Works as a Retention Technique

With employee turnover rates reaching all-time highs, companies are making employee retention a priority as older employees are set to retire within the next decade. Holding on to current employees is less expensive than hiring and training new ones. One way to retain employees is to offer opportunities to employees to continue their education, training or certifications.

The facilities management industry in particular is facing a challenging workforce outlook. Continuing education is an effective way to enhance the skills of the next generation, says Jake Smithwick, Ph.D., MPA, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

For example, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers a 100 percent online construction and facilities engineering master’s degree designed to help working professionals earn a master’s degree on their own schedule. The program also covers some of the industry’s most relevant topics, including RFP development, safety, BIM, sustainability, team development and more.

“Technology will undoubtedly play a role in overcoming workforce challenges, but it can’t replace the ingenuity and innovative value that individual facility professionals bring to their organizations,” Smithwick says.

The university is also launching a new research project to better understand the personality profiles of facility professionals to assist in the hiring process and identify future leaders in the field, he adds.

Training and educating staff is a strong tool for employee retention, because it helps employees stay current in the industry, learn new ideas and implement those ideas to benefit the organization and their team, says Alana Dunoff, president of AFD Professional Services and instructor in the facilities management program at Temple University. Having a staff that is continuously growing is an asset to the entire organization, she adds.

Employers can help employees continue their education by offering opportunities to earn education credentials, attend conferences, webinars, programs and events, earn degrees and licenses (associate, bachelor, master, doctorate, etc.), participate in training, get access to resources, whether financial or otherwise, get access to memberships and more.

“Employees that have the opportunity to learn, earn a credential, attend conferences etc., often feel highly valued by their organization and if they are also recognized for their success that continues to build on a sense of belonging and appreciation – which is a terrific way to encourage retention,” Dunoff says. “If we feel valued, we will return that with loyalty. Regardless of where you are in your career, we all want to feel valued for your contribution and appreciation for the knowledge and expertise that we bring to work each day.”

Continuing education opportunities are a relatively inexpensive way to invest in the growth and professional development of employees, and it is also a strong recruiting tool, says Dunoff.

“If a potential hire knows they will be able to continue their learning, that may be an additional incentive to accept an offer,” she adds.

There are numerous ways that offering education opportunities to employees can benefit employers and employees, and prioritizing them can help organizations grow internally and externally and keep their employees along the way. Retaining employees saves money and helps build stronger relationships, which leads to more success.

Happy to Announce Robotech CAD Solutions, Inc. is M/WBE-Certified in NYC!

Happy to Announce Robotech CAD Solutions, Inc. is M/WBE-Certified in NYC!

Robotech CAD Solutions, Inc. is thrilled to announce that we’re now certified as a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) by the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). The M/WBE certification verifies that Robotech meets the criteria defined by the SBS, which requires the business to be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or women. This certification represents our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It also reflects our our ongoing efforts to provide exceptional services to our clients. As a M/WBE-certified company, we are excited to expand our partnerships and contribute to the growth and success of the communities we serve.

See our certification here.

About Robotech CAD Solutions, Inc.

Robotech is a ARCHIBUS and Autodesk reseller has been providing system integration and implementation services for CAD, BIM, CAFM, IWMS, CMMS and EDM applications since 1983. We offer computer automated solutions for Building Design with Autodesk products and Facility Management solutions with ARCHIBUS Web Central applications.

Our mission is helping you be successful with your design-automation and facility-management operation using Autodesk and Archibus technology. Our experienced and friendly technical staff consultants, developers, trainers and tech support engineers will help maintaining and improve your CAD, BIM or CAFM operation. Robotech’s customer satisfaction rate is consistently perfect score according to Autodesk’s monitoring analytics.

Follow us on LinkedIn, @Robotech CAD-BIM-FM Solutions
Follow us on Youtube, @robotechcadsolutions3050

BIM Clash Detection: A Quick Guide

BIM Clash Detection: A Quick Guide

Clash detection is one of the most critical steps teams can take to identify and mitigate potential design conflicts before breaking ground, thus preempting construction issues and rework.

Clash detection has been around for some time. And while you can technically carry out the process manually—i.e., by reviewing details in design drawings or using a light box overlay —the advent of BIM tools has made the process easier and more accurate.

That’s why BIM clash detection has now become the standard in commercial construction, and it’s implemented in a project’s earliest design and preconstruction stages.

In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of BIM clash detection. We’ll shed light on the best practices and top tools you can use to avoid construction clashes and elevate overall project quality.

What is BIM clash detection? 

BIM clash detection is a process that identifies and addresses conflicts among at least two construction models in a virtual environment. These conflicts, or “clashes,” arise when different design components, such as structural elements, HVAC systems, or electrical conduits, intersect or interfere with the buffer zone of another object.

Architects, MEP engineers, and structural engineers often independently create models during the design process. As such, when these separate models are aggregated into a single project model, there’s a risk that the individual components would inadvertently overlap or interfere with each other.

BIM clash detection highlights these clashes early in the preconstruction or design process, which helps prevent costly adjustments and delays during the construction phase.

BIM clash detection determines where design aspects may overlap and creates constructability issues so teams can resolve them before moving to the next stage.


What is automatic clash detection?  

Automatic clash detection can be implemented in one of two ways. First, a more manual version of automatic clash detection is when a BIM expert sets up a series of tests using several conditions, and the process is repeated for every new version.

Another way of approaching automatic clash detection removes the initial setup process and the need for specialized expertise. This second method works by simply adding relevant models into a cloud-based file where they’ll be aggregated and clashed automatically. Since this method clashes everything together at once, BIM experts and non-BIM experts alike can then use filters and groupings to narrow in on items they’re interested in. The resulting benefit is an immediate clash result and accessibility to all team members, regardless of their level of expertise or role. This immediacy makes it possible to pick up clash information directly in the authoring tools. So once a design decision is made, architects and engineers can see the impact of the change in real-time.


What are the benefits of BIM clash detection? 

Harnessing the power of BIM clash detection comes with several advantages that can revolutionize how your construction projects are managed. Consider the following.

Save time and money 

Since clashes can be identified and resolved before work onsite gets started, project teams save time and money by staving off the costly impacts of wasted materials, labor, and reworking physical properties. Teams can confidently move forward into the construction phase instead of worrying about what a new setback tomorrow might bring.

Beyond this, BIM clash detection reduces the stress and logistical complications of last-minute changes, allowing the project team to focus on delivering positive project outcomes for their clients and their partners.

Outcomes like jobsite safety. By reducing the risk of unexpected issues, on-site incidents are mitigated, and project leaders can manage their teams with safety at the forefront.

Minimize risk and waste 

In addition to mitigating budget and schedule overruns, clash detection can improve productivity through smarter scheduling, material waste reduction, and installation efficiency.

As project stakeholders eliminate potential issues early on, project managers have the insights they need to drive toward timely delivery and exceed client expectations.

BIM clash detection can also minimize material waste. It allows teams to be more precise with their project planning, so they can order and utilize materials more efficiently and eliminate waste.

Enhanced collaboration 

Projects undoubtedly see better outcomes when teams work together seamlessly. BIM clash detection paves the way for enhanced collaboration between different disciplines (architecture, structural engineering, MEP, etc.).

When clashes are identified, all relevant parties must work together to resolve them, ultimately promoting better coordination across stakeholders.


Types of clashes 

Optimizing BIM clash detection involves familiarizing yourself with the various clashes that can occur in a construction project. Let’s break them down below.

Hard clash 

A hard clash occurs when two systems and components take up the same place or intersect.

For example, a structural beam might be positioned where an HVAC duct is intended to go, or a plumbing pipe might be designed to run through an electrical conduit. These are physical conflicts in the design that, if not corrected before construction, could lead to significant rework.

That said, hard clashes are the easiest to identify—though they’re incredibly costly if you miss them.

Soft clash 

A soft clash (sometimes called a clearance clash) occurs when a building element or component has not been given enough space or buffer to operate effectively and safely. This might involve maintenance access, safety clearances, or operational spaces.

One example could be if the AC unit doesn’t have enough buffer space to be serviced by a professional. This could hinder routine maintenance and lead to extended downtimes, affecting the building’s comfort and efficiency.

Similarly, safety issues like a high-voltage wire being too close to a plumbing line could constitute a soft clash. Any leakage from the pipe could lead to an electrical short circuit or, worse, pose an electrocution risk to maintenance personnel.

While soft clashes don’t involve physical overlaps, they still pose significant challenges that could compromise the building’s safety, functionality, and maintainability. Fortunately, these issues are flagged early on with the right BIM clash detection tools, so you can resolve them before hitting the jobsite.

Workflow clash 

A workflow clash, known as a 4D clash, involves a scheduling conflict or project management misalignment. For instance, if the installation of electrical conduits is scheduled at the same time as pouring a concrete slab in the same area, it could result in work stoppage, rework, and delays.

Or, if large equipment is delivered to the site before the area is ready for installation, it could lead to space constraints or damage to the equipment.

Workflow clashes can hinder jobsite productivity when they’re not caught on time. As such, identifying and addressing them through BIM paves the way for optimal scheduling and sequencing.


How BIM clash detection is evolving 

While BIM clash detection has undoubtedly been a game changer for construction pros, there’s still room for improvement, particularly regarding clash management.

Today, BIM managers do a lot of pre-coordination meeting work, getting the whole project team to discuss and resolve issues. However, many of these meetings often focus on low-impact matters—e.g., fixing simple clashes and double-checking that previous issues were resolved.

And while this level of granularity is necessary, teams need to develop a hybrid approach to clash management—one that involves continuous model coordination between engineers, architects, and trades.

Accomplishing this requires a shift in mindset and practices. It means getting the entire team involved in clash detection and ensuring they collaborate throughout the week to find, prevent and fix design conflicts and misalignment.

When issues are resolved on an ongoing basis, meetings can focus on high-priority issues, freeing BIM managers to devote their expertise to resolving more significant challenges. This optimizes everyone’s time and encourages a more proactive, collaborative, and efficient approach to BIM clash management.

All to say that a streamlined approach to clash management allows you to uncover the full potential of BIM technology, so you and your teams can further drive project success.


Top clash detection software 

Speaking of streamlining BIM clash management, the best way to unlock efficiencies in your processes is to leverage clash detection software—ideally, one that’s cloud-based.

The right tools automate repetitive tasks, reduce the set-up time to near zero, and work with the tools people use daily. That way, teams can spend less time manually searching for conflicts and devote more energy to resolving clashes.

To that end, here’s a look at the top clash detection software for your construction projects.


Navisworks is one of the most powerful tools in the market for coordinating construction projects. With its advanced clash detection capabilities and quantification tools, Navisworks helps users ensure that models are ready for construction.

On the scheduling and budgeting side, Navisworks’ 4D and 5D simulation lets you animate and interact with objects and create schedules directly from models. You can also import schedules and cost items from third-party project management applications to ensure the smooth coordination of all project components.

Beyond just detecting clashes, it also allows teams to validate and collaborate on proposed resolutions in a shared environment.

Autodesk BIM Collaborate 

Coordinate teams and models from one place using Autodesk BIM Collaborate. The software enables project members to upload models, detect clashes, and resolve issues in real time. Enjoy unlimited projects and file storage, and rest easy knowing that all your info is secure and accessible.

And with mobile-friendly tools, stakeholders can view models from anywhere, so decisions can be made sooner rather than later.

Navisworks + Autodesk BIM Collaborate = a match made in construction heaven 

Navisworks and Autodesk BIM Collaborate are powerful tools that work even better when used together.

Combined, these solutions massively benefit multiple teams and stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle.

Let’s start with BIM Managers. BIM Managers can use the Navisworks Coordination Issue Add-In to monitor the status, responsibility, and resolution of every issue across multiple projects. And since files are saved in the cloud, users in Navisworks can work on those files simultaneously, fostering real-time collaboration and promoting a seamless workflow from clash detection to resolution.

On the VDC side, teams can decide where to carry out clash detection for a specific project or phase.

Autodesk BIM Collaborate also lets users deactivate clash detection in certain coordination spaces. This feature offers rapid access to complex files in Navisworks while ensuring stakeholders can use essential workflows like Issue Management and Model Aggregation online.

Moreover, BIM Managers can create custom views in Autodesk BIM Collaborate, which means they can develop views for individual objects, disciplines, categories, or types from multiple models. This gives VDC teams more control over project information, so they can deliver only the most critical construction data to stakeholders in the field and across other companies.

In Autodesk BIM Collaborate and Navisworks, clashes can be organized into groups, enabling users to quickly review and generate batch issues from these grouped clashes. These groups serve as templates for clashes that share similar attributes, empowering users to address multiple errors simultaneously.

And the best part? All of these things take place on the Autodesk platform. In addition to offering a single source of truth, project stakeholders can work collaboratively in a shared environment, facilitating seamless communication, improved coordination, and streamlined decision-making throughout the project lifecycle.



Experience the future of BIM clash detection 

BIM clash detection is vital in modern construction, enabling project teams to identify and resolve design conflicts before construction begins.

And by leveraging BIM clash detection tools like Navisworks and Autodesk BIM Collaborate, construction professionals can streamline the clash detection process, saving time, reducing costs, and increasing the project’s overall quality.

Robotech CAD Solutions can help you find the best software to fit your needs. For over 30 years, we have been an Autodesk Reseller, implementing Autodesk Solutions. Contact us to learn more.

Introducing Revit 2024

Introducing Revit 2024

Revit 2024 has just been released, and with it are a lot of exciting new additions and improvements to existing features. We’ve highlighted several of the latest features you’ll come across.

To see all this in video format, click here: [link coming soon!]


Design productivity

  • My Insights in Revit Home
  • Dark Theme
  • New Imperial and Metric Templates
  • New sample model
  • Modernized Project Browser with new Search
  • Height parameter in scope box
  • Color Books browser
  • Textures visual style
  • Revit to Twinmotion enhancements
  • Site design – Icon reorg for Massing and Site
  • Site design – Create Toposolid
  • Site design – Generate Toposolid from Toposurface
  • Site design – Linked Topography enhancements
  • Site design – Contour Display settings per Types
  • Site design – Cut geometry enhancement & Mass Cut excavations
  • Site design – Solid Sub-divisions 
  • Site design – Cut & Split Toposolids
  • Site design – Graded Regions
  • Site design – Show shape-edit control points
  • Site design – Floor-based families and Slab Edges on Toposolids
  • Site design – Exposed Toposolid API
  • New path alignment options for free form rebar
  • Stirrup orientation for aligned free form rebar
  • MEP fabrication ductwork stiffener
  • Pipe Wall thickness as a built-in parameter
  • Elevation parameters in visibility filters
  • Hide insulation with hosting duct and pipe
  • Parameters sorting in type/instance properties
  • Export ‘Family type’ parameter

Simulation & analysis

  • Sun Settings in the ribbon
  • Run Solar Studies with seconds intervals
  • Sun Paths in perspective views
  • Generate energy model by view
  • Enhanced structural analytical loads
  • Structural area loads with color coding
  • Custom physical-analytical association
  • Detailed results for connection automation rules
  • Non-coincident loads for electrical analytical components
  • Flow and pressure calculations added to MEP fabrication network
  • Network based calculation for design ductwork
  • Demand loads for electrical analytical components
  • Flow and pressure drop calculations

Cloud data & interoperability

  • Link coordination models from Autodesk Docs
  • Manage links dialog for coordination models
  • Access properties of coordination model objects
  • Point snaps for coordination model objects
  • Collaboration cache relocation for cloud models
  • Link and Import PDF in Revit LT and Design Automation API
  • Revit to Robot Link enhancements

Design optimization

  • Dynamo for Revit 2.17 upgrade
  • Dynamo Player & Generative Design updates
  • Dynamo Player & Generative Design samples
  • Improved steel connections SDK documentation
  • Revit additional resizable dialogs
  • Revit Macro security improvements
  • API enhancements for developers

Documentation efficiency

  • Place multiple views and schedules on a sheet
  • Move aligned to sheet enhancements
  • Open sheet directly from drawing area
  • Schedule revision clouds
  • Align patterns on shaped-edited surfaces
  • Bar bending details on reinforcement drawings
  • Bar bending details in rebar schedules
  • 2D element draw order in 3D families
  • Resize all schedule rows
  • Enable removal of unit symbol for fraction inches

My Insights in Revit Home

  • New My Insights tab in Revit home page
  • Get personalized insights based on how you work and the work you do
  • Learn valuable information (new features, commands and workflows)
  • Display through cards
    • React to the cards
    • Learn more through the link in cards

Fresh from the Factory, Revit 2024 is rolling out globally! In this release, Autodesk has combined eagerly anticipated additions, like Site Tools for landscape designers, with highly requested enhancements from the community, like Dark Theme and a more modern user interface.

Here are three of the highlights from the new version:

Introducing Site Tools for Revit & Revit LT.

This new toolset supports the design and documentation of richly detailed landscapes. You can use Site Tools to:

  • Collect and rationalize existing conditions data from CAD Imports, CSV point files, and more.
  • Model your design intent freely and easily, with versatile site and massing tools for modeling topography.
  • Populate schedules, sheets, and views and calculate material quantities. Cut, fill, join, and run phasing scenarios. Use the design-to-documentation engine of Revit to save time and improve design quality when modeling landscape and site conditions.

Save time in concrete detailing.

Structural engineers and rebar detailers have new capabilities for creating, scheduling, and documenting rebar. Use the new bar bending details to:

  • Create reinforcement drawings and schedules with detailed fabrication instructions. With this new tool in Revit, when the model changes, the details adapt along with it.
  • Add and customize rebar bending details so that your views and sheets respect your typical practice.
  • Reduce errors and omissions in your document sets.

Evolve work together.

Link Coordination Model from Autodesk Docs into Revit makes it easier for project teams to sync and coordinate design deliverables. Keep project files light and teams on the same page.

  • Link models and views from any of the 60+ formats supported by Docs and the Autodesk Construction Cloud directly into Revit.
  • Underlay the coordination model as visual reference when designing in Revit.
  • Reduce the need for interpretation when coordinating up-to-date design deliverables with partners and project teams.   
How Autodesk Training Can Optimize Your Engineering Team

How Autodesk Training Can Optimize Your Engineering Team

In a competitive market, any amount of inefficiencies can do a lot of damage — it can hurt your bottom line, sacrifice your market share to your competitors, and result in wasted time. To get the most out of your team, you should consider Autodesk training. How does training help? Let’s discuss how Autodesk training can optimize your engineering team.

Learn Shortcuts

One of the best skills to learn in any Autodesk software is how to quickly call a command, go through the prompts, and do so correctly. Trying to create a model view in AutoCAD’s paper space might take a few minutes of trying to find the right buttons and clicking everything. Using shortcuts to create the same window will only take seconds, if you know the right shortcut. The same case is true for every Autodesk software on the market — knowing key shortcuts and alternative commands can dramatically expedite your full design process in AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, and more.

Expedite the Learning Process

Like everything else, Autodesk software has a pretty steep learning process. Learning the commands on your own could take hundreds or thousands of hours before you’re truly proficient. With an expert Autodesk instructor in your corner, that can be greatly expedited to just tens of hours. Now, you have more time to dedicate to your customers.

Avoid Learning on the Job

It’s tough performing duties as an engineer or designer while simultaneously learning how to use your CAD software. Autodesk is one of the more user-friendly options on the market, but there’s still a lot to learn. Without training, your staff will be learning how to use the software while trying to hit deadlines and deliver exceptional work. If your team goes through training first, the workflow will be optimized since your team won’t be splitting their efforts.

Reduce Staffing Costs

An added bonus of training through Robotech is that you don’t need to hire Autodesk experts for your engineering team, so you don’t have to pay expert-level salaries. A lot of our previous clients had a staff of entry-level or intermediate-level CAD users who became experts after our training course. Structuring your team this way can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Get the Most Out of Every Hour

As an engineering team, you’re probably used to tight timelines with very little wiggle room. There are only so many working hours between the start of your project and its deadline, and Autodesk training can optimize each of these hours. Your team will get more done each day once they’re deeply familiar with the Autodesk software you’re using. This results in fewer missed deadlines, and more confidence in every project.

Quickly Get Everyone on the Same Page

If you have a team of 10 engineers that all “know” Autodesk, you might notice some big rifts in their functional knowledge. Knowing how to use Autodesk Inventor is very different than knowing how to use it in the most efficient way. There are plenty of ways to adjust your rotation in Revit — one designer might take 5 minutes trying to figure it out, but another designer can finish in 30 seconds with the “R3” shortcut command. By putting your team through Autodesk training, your full staff will establish the same baseline of knowledge. This means that your team can tackle more challenging projects with the confidence that they need. Knowing how to use your drafting, construction, electrical, or civil software will help with each project.

Elevate Your Designs

Learning parametric modeling or how to associate dimensions can create much more functional designs. The parts can automatically adjust as your assemblies change, and you’ll save even more time in the future. With Autodesk training, functions like this will be taught to your whole staff.


As you can see, Autodesk training can help your staff learn shortcuts, make the most out of every working hour, and gain a deep understanding of the software they use every day. If you want professional help to train your engineering team, consider Robotech.
We are an award-winning training and support company that’s been helping companies like yours for 30 years. We will bring your staff up to speed and convert your team into CAD experts that can deliver exceptional results. See our course list and sign up today.

Send us a message or just call us at 201-792-6300

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