Check out this page from Autodesk Knowledge base. Notice how it describes three different ways of linking for BIM 360 Design projects that involve Revit worksharing:

  • Method 1 – Controlled Sharing – ‘Consume’ Published Models from Packages
  • Method 2 – Controlled Sharing – Link from the Shared Folder
  • Method 3 – Live Linking

Each method requires fundamentally different sharing standards, and varying degrees of prior BIM 360 permissions and team setup.

Notice that Method 1 includes the concept of ‘packages’. The overall intention here is to try to emulate some existing workflows. While BIM files continuously change during project development, in traditional workflows a ‘team’ only interacts with a snapshot of the available BIM data from other teams (a package).

At this point, it is key to keep in mind that these different methods exist, and if you are a BIM Manager on a BIM 360 Design with Revit project, you will need to discuss and agree on the linking Method for managing the Revit data throughout the BIM creation phase of the project.

 

Interesting to see that many BIM360 services are offline right now (approx 10am Australian time, 1 June 2018):

You can always check Autodesk online service health at this link:

Autodesk Health Dashboard

 

It is something to think about as we move forward with reliance on cloud services – how important is 100% uptime with collaboration cloud products in the BIM world? Is 100% uptime even possible with current technology services, and the stacks (like Autodesk cloud) that rely on other stacks (like AWS cloud)?

I’m looking into ways to batch initialize Revit models onto the new BIM 360 Docs (Document Management) platform. It is a work in progress at the moment – in Revit 2018, I think that there is limited ability to use newer API features for creating a Cloud ModelPath for batch processing. But more on that later…

For now, I wanted to replicate a folder structure from a local network onto the BIM 360 Docs platform. To do this, you just need the Desktop Connector + Preview installed, and then you copy and paste the data.

Here are the steps:

  1. Clear Pending Actions on Desktop Connector for BIM 360 (recommended, use with care)
  2. Work Offline (recommended). Folders will appear blue in Windows Explorer.

  3. Set the folder path in the and create a CMD script using code below. It populates each subdirectory with a text file indicating the contents of the directory.
    @echo off
    chcp 65001 >nul
    for /r "C:\Your\Folder\Path\Here" %%d in (.) do dir /a:-d "%%~fd" > "%%~dpnd\DirectoryFilePlaceholder.txt"
  4. Run the script on your target directory (the local directory that you want to mirror into BIM 360 Document Management platform)
  5. Run a FreeFileSync task with filters to include only the ‘DirectoryFilePlaceholder.txt‘ as a mechanism of building the file structure. This task copies those txt documents to the BIM 360 using the local Desktop Connector path, as shown here:
  6. Then, disable ‘Work Offline’, so the sync to cloud should begin.
  7. Wait for ‘Processing’ to complete

To force the sync you may have to toggle the ‘Offline’ status in the tray.

You can review sync state with the ‘Pending Actions’ link from the system tray:

After the file structure is copied and synced, you will be able to see it in BIM360 Docs.

You can then proceed with adding Permissions or uploading other files.

Previously the Desktop Connector was built for BIM 360 Team projects running C4R. With the shift to B3D (BIM 360 Docs) platform, you need to:

From the help:

This plugin is a connector that establishes BIM 360 Docs as a recognized data source for the Desktop Connector – making it available in your desktop folder and file structure for easy file management.

As with Desktop Connector, this means your BIM 360 Docs files are replicated in a connected drive. You can manage files in BIM 360 Docs through the connected drive, just as you would any other folder on your machine. Changes made on the desktop are automatically uploaded to BIM 360 Docs.

How do you get it?

After install, you will see this in Windows Explorer:

If you are already a C4R user, for a while you can keep working as you are. But the entire platform is shifting from C4R to B3D (BIM 360 Docs), and you will eventually have to make the leap. In the long run, it will allow for more control, like folder-level permissions, so for big projects it is going to make a lot of sense. For now, there is some confusion out there (like in this Twitter thread), so here are some basic steps to activate a new BIM 360 Docs account, setup a Project, and then invite some collaborators into the project.

First, you can go to your account and use the special link to create a new BIM 360 Docs workspace. That is, if you are starting fresh in the new platform.

Here is the activation form notes (read carefully). Note: the links are different depending on how you activate it. For example, if you have an existing C4R account and you want to ‘transition’, you would use the relevant activation link for existing C4R customers :

New BIM 360 workspace

 

Transitioning from C4R

 

Once done, you should have a new BIM 360 account:

And you just have to click the activate link in your email:

After that, you should be able to login to your BIM 360 workspace and start setting up some company settings, like adding a Logo and Business Units:

Setup a Business Unit:

https://help.autodesk.com/view/BIM360D/ENU/?guid=GUID-6A8990E7-A640-4267-83AF-64003B015F98

 

Finally, you can go ahead and Setup a Project:

https://help.autodesk.com/view/BIM360D/ENU/?guid=GUID-9C991F4C-7012-4770-B8F7-A1D45F5D9197

 

 

Then,

  • add Companies to your Workspace
  • Add Users to Companies.
  • And invite these Users to specific Projects.

In Revit 2018.3, after clicking Collaborate, you should be able to choose from 3 options:

You should see this in your Open dialog (if you have both a Team and a Docs entitlement):

Finally, you should be able to access Document Management, add folders, apply Permissions, and generally start work:

 

BIM 360 has just changed in a fundamental way. The trust environment is now more controlled, and it is sharing base technology with BIM 360 Docs. So instead of talking about C4R bolted onto A360 or BIM360, we will now be talking about ‘Revit files in this Docs module in this Team Project on BIM 360 Design’ (I think).

Revit 2018.3 is required and direct download link can be found here.

I’ll follow up with some more detailed information in the coming weeks.

Here is the post from Kyle:

All,
I wanted to welcome you, on behalf of the team here at Autodesk, to the Design Collaboration forum.  This forum exists for conversations about the design collaboration workflows possible in the BIM 360 Design product, which released today.  We look forward to the conversation.  First though, I’ll try to answer some likely questions you all have.

 

What’s BIM 360 Design?

BIM 360 Design is the next generation of Collaboration for Revit (C4R).  It enables the cloud worksharing you’ve come to love in C4R, but connected to the next generation BIM 360 platform.  You can learn more about it here on our new product center, and below is an image that captures what comes with it.BIM 360 Design.png

 

 

You can see that within BIM 360 Design there are 2 next gen modules that are included, Design Collaboration and Document Management.  Together with cloud worksharing, they represent the most seamless way to collaborate on Revit data across the globe.  We’ll talk more about the new workflow in subsequent targeted posts.

 

What Happened to C4R?

C4R just became BIM 360 Design as of today.  If you’re an existing subscriber, you’ll see the branding update in manage.autodesk.com shortly.  If you have existing projects in-progress, working against BIM 360 Team (aka Classic), nothing really changes aside from the branding you see in the account portal.  You can continue to work on those projects, and new subscriptions to BIM 360 Design can be allocated to new team members, who can then start to work on those existing projects.  More detail can be found in this FAQ.

 

What Can I Do With BIM 360 Design?

With BIM 360 Design, BIM authoring teams can say goodbye to “high trust” as the only way to work, and hello to flexible dynamics between multi-discipline BIM authoring teams. Along with those improved access controls comes a whole new web and mobile experience delivered by Next Gen BIM 360.  Across Document Management and the new Design Collaboration module, teams can:

  • Quickly and easily set up teams and define the data spaces they will work in.
  • Easily understand the current state of the project, with an aggregated view of the project data that can be navigated the way they think about it, not how our beloved authoring tools structure it.
  • Exchange data between teams in a controlled way, on the back of our new currency for data exchanges: Packages. These are like transmittals on steroids, allowing teams to curate the versions of Models, 2D Sheets, and 3D Views needed to communicate process.
  • Understand how data has changed over time. Change visualization can be enabled with the touch of a button on any BIM artifact contained in a Package. No more hunting for revision clouds or exporting the 3rd party tools.
  • Provide feedback on those BIM artifacts, with Markups and closed loop Issues created in Document Management (Issues are on their way to Design Collaboration).
  • Use the Preview version of Desktop Connector to collaborate on non-Revit project data, centralizing the data platform used for all Work in Progress (WIP) project data.
  • Use those BIM artifacts downstream for construction workflows across the Field Management, Project Management, and Model Coordination modules.

How Do I Get Started with BIM 360 Design?

If you’d like to start a new Project in this new way to work, you need to:

  1. Get a BIM 360 Account
    1. If you have an existing next gen BIM 360 account, you should automatically get the Design Collaboration module enabled tonight (April 9th US time zone)
    2. If you don’t have an existing account, your Contract Manager should receive an email shortly with instructions on how to get one created.
  2. Install the Revit 2018.3 Update
    This update released today, and should be available in the Autodesk Desktop app.  A direct download link can be found here.  This is required for Revit 2018 to know how to communicate with next gen BIM 360.
  3. Start a New Project and Enable Document Management + Design Collaboration
    With these two modules enabled, along with the latest update of Revit, you have what you need to get started.  We’ll have a separate thread that walks through the process to get up in running in more detail.

Hopefully, you all are as excited about this as we are.  We’re biased though; we’ve worked hard based on lots of feedback and customer engagement to deliver this new way to work, and your continued feedback and engagement will make sure that we deliver on the needs you all have.  Look out for subsequent discussions on specific parts of the overall product experience, and we look forward to hearing from there.  Post here in this thread with general questions.

 

Cheers,

Kyle & the Team

Kyle Bernhardt
Product Line Manager
BIM Project Delivery
Autodesk, Inc.

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.