In Focus: Tools4Revit
Developer: AGA CAD Ltd, based in Vilnius, Lithuania with resellers in a number of countries
Info & Pricing: http://www.tools4revit.com/Modes-of-Purchase-T4R/
Add-in to: Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2012, Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2012 and Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2012
Additional Requirements: Depends on Product
Used by: Architects, Structural and MEP Engineers
Highlights: Productivity tools geared specifically to Revit users and a BIM workflow. Solutions range from the simple productivity app to small vertical solutions on top of Revit.
This company has been developing add-ins for Revit since the 2009 family of products and has been very good at both continuing to extend and upgrade their existing products as well as developing new product. The reason I decided to highlight them is because they released their add-ins that are compatible with Revit 2012. I am always impressed anytime a company does that within 30 days of the product release. Even though companies have had access to early versions of the API for many months it still takes effort to carve out the time to upgrade the application and fully test it with the final release candidate.
They have a lot of tools that they develop. Some could be called general platform solutions and some are very specific to an industry. I will highlight some of them and let you explore the rest. You can also find links to videos of the product in use on the left side of each product page.
For all versions of Revit:
I find this a very interesting tool because it creates schedules with images in them. Something that has been a long standing request for Revit and is required in many countries for their construction documentation.
For Revit Structure
There are a number of applications that generate wall and roof framing. I am not really qualified to evaluate them but I sure am impressed when the model is leveraged to generate the wood framing and perform preliminary costing.
For Revit MEP and Architecture
They have a number of solutions related to sustainability. This one looks like a good candidate for AVF. Also like with other solutions they have some interesting UI elements and visualization methods.
Check out the products and tell me what you think
I thought it would be fun to do an e-mail interview with Gitana Cerniauskiene the International Sales Manager at AGA CAD Ltd the developers of Tools4revit for this post which you can see (unedited) below:
Emile - Your company has been developing Revit Add-ins for quite some time. I am interested in what development the company did before starting development for Revit?
Gitana - AGA CAD Ltd. is the supplier of design software and data management solutions in the Baltic States, operating since 1991, when one of the company founders has brought AutoCAD into Lithuania. We were the first reseller of Autodesk products in the Baltic States. After establishing the company and starting to resell Autodesk products we have had a small development department that has been working continuously on integrated solutions in order to help companies work more effectively and reach the desirable results as fast as possible. So, we are not a newcomer in a product development business; before we started to work on applications we have practiced on KitchenDraw and Autodesk Inventor integration development as well as integration module of Autodesk Revit and ERP system.
Emile - Why did you start developing Add-ins for Revit and what version of Revit did you release your first product for?
Gitana - Few years ago ArchiCAD module for wood framing has turned our attention. Revit didn’t have anything like this at that time. Talking to the customers and getting the feedback we had discovered that wood framing design was complicated process for them; so, that was the main reason why we decided to expend Autodesk Revit capabilities. The first Tools4Revit application Rafter+ was developed for Revit v2009. After it has been released we got a huge interest from the Revit users. So, the success showed us that we were in the right direction. Right after there were whole series of other productivity-enhancing products released.
All Tools4Revit products consist of applications and extensions vital for BIM, based on mathematical modeling and design standards.
Emile - What role do your users have in selecting the products you develop, defining features, testing and improving the product?
Gitana - We are working hand in hand with Revit users worldwide.
We do 30-day free demo of each tool; they are fully operational, so everybody can download them and examine. Users are free to ask the questions by mail or phone, or just request for a free live demonstration online; talk to the application engineers on their questions and needs.
Working on Tools4Revit we always try to understand and meet the requirements that have changed a lot during the last 2 years. We pride ourselves on our flexibility; if somebody doesn’t find anything suitable for his needs in our standard product range, we can create something special to meet his own exact requirement.
Emile - What has been the customer response to your products?
Gitana - Most people have been really positive about Tools4Revit add-ons. Customers keep coming back for the renewals or upgrades, lots of companies taking training courses on T4R add-on products. So this fact shows us that they are really happy about Tools4Revit products and our daily support.
Our clients appreciate the benefits can get using Revit add-ons such as increased efficiency and productivity and at the same time reduced the design costs. The benefits and built customers loyalty over the past years probably is the main reason why we achieved so positive results and growth in sales as well as increased number of our existing customers more than we expected. Over 2 thousand licenses have been sold during the last year. And we have to consider the fact that countries all over the world are just about to recover from a deep economic recession.
Emile - What is your most popular or the most proud product and why?
Gitana - All Tools4Revit apps have been developed under user needs and carrying out an extensive marketing research. Lots of work has been done and many ideas generated before we started on developing the apps.
We are very proud of each our product. And we mean that. Every application has its own advantages. Customers are different; they work in different way, they think in different way and value the different things; so the apps are different as well.
Emile - I find it interesting that you are using resellers to help sell your products worldwide? Why did you take this option? Who are the distributors and where are they located? How successful have you found this model?
Gitana - We are working through the reseller channel because we have got a big interest from Revit users all over the world. Reseller channel that is built helps us to sell and support customers more easy because of linguistic and cultural differences in separate countries and time zones.
Tools4Revit has distributors in all habitable continents.
Currently the most successful reseller works in European region.
Emile - What is the next product you would like to develop (you don’t need to answer this if you don’t want to.)
Gitana - We have many ideas and future plans. World leading design companies are focusing on a new kind of development: performance-oriented, investigative and sustainable. The facts show us that architects, constructors, engineers as well as building contractors are oriented towards solutions rather than objects. We find ourselves inextricably a part of it and ready to offer the tools to make it real. We are focusing on sustainable design tools development and support the philosophy of sensitive design. Tools4Revit pursues to create product that could help to reduce the collective environmental impacts during the design, construction and lifecycle processes.
We are just about to release the application which is called Building Energy. It enables calculation of energy use for space heating and cooling based on ISO, DIN and STR standards. Revit® MEP users can benefit using R-Heating containing the tools for radiators data base management and system data analysing and balancing. So, that is only first our step into Sustainable Design development. Looking forward to the future we have very big ambitions - to release unique tools that open new possibilities in efficiency, flexibility, calculations and data analysing.