I have been chatting with one or two industry insiders over at Autodesk recently, and there are some pretty big changes coming to the BIM360 fraternity of products. For the most part, it seems like these will be very welcome improvements. However, it may have an impact on how you run projects through BIM360, and so it might be advisable to check out the upcoming BIM360 webinar (link). Details below:

Stay up to date with everything new in BIM 360. Each month, join us and the BIM 360 Product Team to find out how you can take advantage of the most recent and upcoming product updates.
• Learn how BIM 360 can help you improve project delivery
• Stay up to date with the newest features
Get early insights into what’s coming in the next updates
• Participate in Q&A with the BIM 360 Product Team
• Get the resources you need to be successful

If you are new to BIM 360, check out our product overview before the webinar and bring your questions.
Copy & Paste the following url into your web browser:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4bDXLJzga8&feature=youtu.be

Image result for bim360 autodesk

The whole C4R thing with link files is a bit of a challenge at the moment. It will get better, but for now, there are at least two things that don’t match typical desired project delivery:

  • We essentially have a ‘high trust’ environment, which applies to everyone who is invited to a C4R project. High trust in this context means anyone can edit anything, if they have Editor permissions for the project.
  • Also, we don’t have folder structures for Revit files that have been initiated on C4R – they are all in the root folder. However, we can store Revit files in subfolders as a kind of dumb link file (not a collaborative model).

So, until it does get better… how do we use the Desktop Connector to link files from a non-C4R folder structure, into a C4R initiated file?

Basically, you take these steps:

  1. Use Windows Explorer and the Autodesk Desktop Connector to manage your files and folder structure. Navigate to your BIM 360 Team project, add folders, and drag and drop Revit files into those folders.
  2. Then, in Revit, in the Import / Link dialog, you can select the ‘BIM 360 Team’ link from the drop down list. You will notice some special things happening after you link one of these files.
  3. Finally, you can observe the new ‘cloud’ pathed Revit models in the Manage Links dialog box. The saved path should start with Autodesk Drive:// and the Path Type is Cloud.

What does this all mean? Really, it just means the workarounds are getting slightly better. We don’t need to maintain a separate cloud storage repository for Revit models (like Box) just for the link files. And we shouldn’t need to go through too much pain to update the link models. Just drag-and-drop the new Revit link model into the correct folder in the Desktop Connector to update the link for everyone in the team.

 

This feature also works with things other than Revit files. So you can use the same process to store DWG files on BIM 360 Team and link them into your Revit model.

And the same process can be used for things like:

  • Keynoting Settings
  • Shared Parameter files
  • Assembly Code Settings
  • Material Libraries

Pretty much any project-linked resource can now be stored in the cloud, shared with a team, and linked into Revit.

Over the years, Autodesk has provided various means for us to access, sync, backup and share files. Most recently we used “A360 Desktop” (see end of this post) and more recently “A360 Drive“. Autodesk recently released the Autodesk Desktop Connector, which allows you to:

  • Manage remote files from your desktop
  • Connect to Team Hubs
  • Work offline or online

Desktop Connector gives you access to your production A360 data. Using Desktop Connector  to modify files that reside in production A360 will automatically sync changes, updating your production file in A360.

You will see a link on your BIM 360 Team hub like this:

You can install from here which links to these downloads (Help page for install here).

x64

x86

mac

 

You need to sign in:

You should now see a BIM 360 Team link in Windows Explorer:

You can use the tray icon to “Work Offline”.

More Information

Release notes here

Getting Started guide here

Some notes about A360 Desktop retirement

A360 Desktop older versions will get this message:

A360 Desktop current versions:

  • A360 desktop Windows Updater: All users except 2018 AutoCAD products
Windows 32-bit installer – A360 desktop Version 7.3 (exe – 362MB)
Windows 64-bit installer – A360 desktop Version 7.3 (exe – 409MB)
  • A360 desktop Windows Updater: For AutoCAD 2018 product users only
Windows 32-bit installer – A360 desktop Version 9.5 (exe – 373MB)
Windows 64-bit installer – A360 desktop Version 9.5 (exe – 409MB)

 

A360 Desktop Expiration link:

Recently I had an issue sharing colour overrides from Navisworks to BIM 360 Glue. This has been ok for a while, but something broke. After some investigation, it turns out that one of the sub-Models in the Glue merged model was causing the problem.

I typically convert IFCs using the Link method, which results in DirectShape objects. It seems that one of the Architectural files that I converted this way from ArchiCAD to Revit and then to BIM 360 Glue was stopping the colours from getting baked into the BIM 360 Shared View.

To workaround this issue:

  1. Determine what problem model/s you have (possibly those converted from IFC)
  2. Open your Merged Model in Navisworks for BIM360
  3. Hide these problem models in Navisworks scene
  4. Run Appearance Profiler or otherwise apply colour overrides
  5. In the BIM 360 Shared Views pane, click New to make a new Shared View on BIM 360 Glue with the colours ‘baked in’
  6. Go to Glue desktop app and confirm the colours are working
  7. Then, Unhide the problem model here…
  8. And then make a new view in the desktop app
  9. This new view should have all models you want showing, and the colour overrides working ok.

On a related note, you may have seen this warning:

 
View in model is still processing and some items may not be overridden

It seems that this might put your Glue merged model in a dirty state? Try deleting all views with this message before trying to create Shared Views from Navisworks with colour overrides.

The fact that I’m posting about it means that it probably isn’t really that easy, right? There are a few challenging pieces of the puzzle that all need to come together to get C4R or Collaboration for Revit working on a real project. I just went through this process with a mechanical firm so it is all pretty fresh in my mind.

Firstly, note that A360 Team has been rebranded as BIM 360 Team and will be migrated, more details at this post.

Secondly, Autodesk really wants your whole team (like everyone, every consultant, every Revit link) on Collaboration for Revit. However, out in the real world it is just happening bit-by-bit, and in the meantime some hacks and workarounds can make the process a little bit easier.

A Quick Overview
Ok, so Collaboration for Revit runs on top of BIM 360 Team. What this means is that you need to have an active BIM 360 Team license if you wish to run projects. Then, you need a Collaboration for Revit license for each Revit user who will be connecting to that BIM 360 Team site. You still with me? This also means that persons outside of your firm may connect to your projects, provided they have their own Collaboration for Revit entitlement applied to their Autodesk account.

Once you have the BIM 360 Team license, and the Collaboration for Revit licenses, you then need to “Assign” the Collaboration for Revit licenses out to the users (using their Autodesk login details).

Finally, you need to actually do some stuff, like:

  • make a BIM 360 Team project,
  • invite the users,
  • initiate Revit models, and
  • get the links working.

Its a lot to take in, so you can see that the blog title is actually a half-joke 🙂 However, we were able to get all this up and running in about 4 hours for one firm, so you can too. Hopefully.

Something that will help
Given that there are a lot of moving pieces, I turned to my favourite research and documentation tool, OneNote. I have created a public notebook that you can view at this link:
Revit Collaboration Public Help

helpdoc.png

Basically all of the steps involved in getting the licensing setup, inviting users, installing the addin, and initiating models onto Collaboration for Revit are in the notebook linked above. I will continue to update and add to this over time.

Any Questions?
Just comment to this post and I will endeavour to answer your question in the notebook, or point you toward the answer.

Now, here are a few other bits and pieces that may be useful, if the notebook doesn’t answer your questions…

new help documentation:
https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/Revit-CAR/files/GUID-5A7EA270-AE79-447B-B12C-4C6B59D2F894-htm.html

moving models to folders:
https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Collaboration-for-Revit-How-to-use-and-access-subfolders-on-A360-Team.html

You can move projects from A360 Free to a paid BIM360 Team hub by using the Transfer function:

transfer.png

Taking models offline and replacing later:
https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/a360-collaboration-for-revit/learn-explore/caas/simplecontent/content/how-to-work-c4r-when-others-are-not-using-it.html

using local linked files
http://www.revitforum.org/worksharing-revit-server-c4r/28351-c4r-updating-links-6.html

Download links:
Collaboration for Revit 2017
Collaboration for Revit 2016

Collaboration for Revit 2015

Recent chat with Autodesk

Sometimes in Glue addin for Revit will fail with the message One or more gluing errors occurred“.

You may be able to workaround this problem by following these steps:

  1. After receiving the error, immediately browse to your Temp directory. To do this, open Windows Explorer and type %TEMP% in the address bar.
  2. Sort by Date Modified
  3. Look for a DWF or NWC that matches the View Name that failed to Glue in Revit
  4. Grab that file, and remove the suffix (usually a few digits) so that the DWF Filename = View Name = Glue Model name
  5. Using the Glue desktop app, upload that model manually
Renamed model ready for upload

This process opens up an interesting possibility… usually when exporting a DWF using plain Revit, it will always use Project Internal coordinates. However, the Glue addin can actually export DWFs with Shared Coordinates (if you choose that in the Glue export More Options dialog).

Using the above steps 1-5, you can ‘find’ this DWF with Shared Coordinates and use it wherever you please… such as in Navisworks.

BIM360 Docs site is now live at:
http://bim360.com/docs/

Previously known as Project Alexandria, the official media release can be read here. And the ‘announcement’ video can be viewed here:
https://bim360.wistia.com/medias/nr7oymwogp

Interestingly, there is some talk of a completely free offering, after the free preview:
Autodesk is now accepting reservations for a limited release and free preview version of Autodesk BIM 360 Docs at www.bim360.com/docs. The product is expected to come to market in early 2016. In addition to the free, limited version of BIM 360 Docs, Autodesk will offer the option to subscribe to additional capabilities that scale to meet more advanced needs of construction firms. The product will initially be available in English only. 

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Click Reserve your spot here and then fill out the form if you want to get access to the Preview:

reservation.png

Details:

  • Publish and manage all project document file types in a single system with support for unlimited users and unlimited storage.
  • Maintain control and secure project data with folder-level, permission-based access.
  • Easily extract and organize individual project documents from multi-sheet files & 3D models, featuring title block OCR for organization.
  • Ensure that the entire project team is working with the correct documents with version control and online/offline access on mobile devices.
  • View 2D PDF drawings with optimized zoom capabilities to quickly review details.
    Create and share markups for collaborative design reviews with the team.
  • View and navigate 3D models, access object properties, use sectioning tools and explore models with gravity-based walk throughs.
  • Quickly navigate between 2D plans and 3D models on any device, without having to close the viewer.

Imagery:

3DObjectView.png

 

Markups4.png

 

Mobile.png

 

Permissions.png

 

PropertyExtraction.png

 

Thumbnail%2BView.png

 

VersionControl.png

 

Viewer2d3d.png

 

Viewer%2Blandscape%2BiPhone.png

Logos:

bim-360-docs-badge-400px-social.png

 

bim-360-docs-badge-2048px.jpg

 

bim-360-docs-lockup-stacked-no-year-scre