How to increase the output and speed of your MicroStation design team

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  • By Rick DeWitt, Senior Technical Officer
    CLEARWATER, FLORIDA — For over ten years, I have been working with MicroStation users to help them solve problems they routinely encounter while managing the many projects they deal with day in and day out. These problems slow down projects and reduce the profits firms make. Luckily, in almost every case, MicroStation Productivity Toolkit contains a quick and easy-to-implement solution that solves their problems. What problems am I talking about? Read on to see if anything similar to these instances has ever happened at your shop.

    By automating tedious processes using MicroStation Productivity Toolkit, MicroStation shops can dramatically increase their production.

    Problematic design files
    Whether you’re using MicroStation 95/SE/J or have upgraded to MicroStation V8, corrupt design files or design files that behave oddly (a symptom of corruption) find their way into almost every MicroStation site around the world. These files have elements that are impossible to select, or have elements that don’t show up on plots or have “H-RESULT=” errors (virus-like design file corruption). Problematic design files can cause client dissatisfaction, slowed project completions, unhappy management and work that has to be redone. These are all things that drain project budgets and dissipate valuable production time.

    For over a decade and a half, FileFixer has been the fastest, safest and easiest way to handle any type of design file corruption MicroStation users might run into. FileFixer is so reliable that many companies require that files pass a FileFixer check before acceptance and recommend that FileFixer be used routinely to guarantee corruption-free design files.

    How simple is it to use? If you can select a file from a dialog box and click a “Start” button you are well on your way to becoming a “Design File Repair Expert”. How effective is it? With the delivered default settings, FileFixer will correct your corrupted design files in a single pass over 98.7% of the time.

    Non-standard cell libraries
    One of our customers had 400 design files in a project where a non-standard set of cells was used throughout the design process. They had to replace thousands of instances of multiple cells throughout all 400 drawings. They were looking at hundreds of man-hours to fix this and a late delivery of the project. However, using MicroStation Productivity Toolkit’s Global File Changer, they were able to update all 400 drawings with the “Replace Cells” function” in a little over three hours, which was only 1% of the time the design team estimated they would’ve spent making the changes by hand.

    Here’s another example: In one large project, just before submittal, a CAD manager was told that the customer would not accept the files because they did not use the client’s custom color table and level names. This required re-mapping levels and colors in every design file in addition to attaching the new color table and level name resource. Using Global File Changer, he remapped all necessary levels and colors and attached the appropriate level name resource and color table. The total time to use Global File Changer to correct 850 design files was just under six hours, mostly comprised of computer processing time. The customer was happy and the deadline was met.

    References? What references?
    One Axiom customer’s IT department set up a new server with a different drive letter on their network and moved all the active project directories to this server with a new root directory. Literally thousands of reference files came up missing. Using another component of MicroStation Productivity Toolkit, RefManager, the customer was able to update all their reference file attachments by pointing to the new drive letter and root directory in a batch process that handled all the missing attachments. This entire process took only a few hours.

    Got a problem? We have a solution.
    The list of things you can solve with MicroStation Productivity Toolkit is almost limitless. And we are always looking for a new challenge! If you have a problem and need a solution, give us a call. Let us show you how fast it can be solved.

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