In the early days of Revit it was not easy to export data from Revit to Excel, but it was possible. Then suddenly it got difficult for the average user, but as the API matured it opened up opportunities to develop tools which could pass data backwards & forwards to between Revit & Excel once again. Now there are already various tools available on the market which do this, but the most recent addition to the Revit to Excel data party is Exceler8, part of the CASE Pro Apps. More details can be found here….
I have been experimenting with this tools for a few months & it’s a god send. It has a few tricks up its sleeve which some of the other tools on the market can’t do. But let’s start with why you might want a tool like this. Let’s be honest, filling in data in a Revit schedule can be slow, sometimes incredibly slow especially on large projects. Then there is the fact that maybe all the data shouldn’t be included in the model, a discussion for another day. So in this situation choosing a tool which is more appropriate ie. Excel for data input would make a lot of sense. As we move into a more data centric BIM workflow, the data or “information” becomes more important than just the 3d geometry or the 2d deliverables. You will hear many BIM protagonists say it’s all about the “I” in BIM. In my early days of Revit use, I would say I didn’t really recognise this. For me, it was about the ability to model & visualise your design & the produce a coordinated set of information. I recognised the ability to schedule rooms & data, but it was not a deal breaker for me. But as my experience in Revit grew, I learned that it was the data or information which was the real benefit to this whole BIM process. What Exceler8 allows you to do is pass / export data from Revit to Excel, add, clean, tidy up in Excel & then synch it back from Excel into the Revit model driving change & updating parameter information.
Take a look at this video from my colleague Don Rudder which will explain most of what you need to know.
So here is another trick, not a particularly great video explanation, all done live & rather rushed, but this example this has been shown many times at RTC. Using Exceler8 I can drive the height of instance base masses. Its not really a useful practical example, but its fun neither the less, but it does at least step you through the process of exporting & importing data to in turn drive geometry.