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.

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

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:

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

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. 

FREE.png

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

A recent Youtube upload gives us a teaser-style look at what some of the features of Project Alexandria may be, including:

  • part of BIM360 platform
  • handling 2D documents like plans, drawings etc
  • ability to create and assign issues
  • iPad implementation, possibly able to attach photos to issues etc

This is a competitive market now… Revizto has a good head start on some of this, and FieldLens has a nice mobile implementation. So, the question is, will Project Alexandria (BIM360 Docs??) be compelling enough?

Screenshots:

Video:
 

If you are having trouble getting a particular NWC uploaded to Glue, here are some steps to try:

  • you can open it in Navisworks, export to DWF and try Uploading that using the Glue client
  • you could open it in Navisworks 2015 and then Glue It from there. Unfortunately, there is no ‘Glue It’ addin available for Navisworks 2016. As I understand it, the new Glue sync features in 2016 mean that a simple Glue It button for Navisworks will not be available in Navisworks 2016.

Also, there are new addins available today (11 May 2015):

Go to this link to download BIM360 addins (you will need to sign in to Glue first, then use the link below):
https://b2.autodesk.com/downloads/unknown

More at: To Install BIM 360 Add-Ins | BIM 360 Glue | Autodesk Knowledge Network

BIM360 Revit 2015 Add-in link:
http://download.autodesk.com/SWDLDDLM/Updates/BIM360Addin/2015/4.35.1209/B3AddinRvt.msi   

Recap 1.4.2.2_to_1.4.2.8 link:
http://download.autodesk.com/SWDLDDLM/Updates/ReCap/1.4.2.8/AutodeskReCap_1.4.2.2_to_1.4.2.8_SP_x64.msp

If you forget to close Revit before trying to install the Glue update, you might get this error. Just close Revit, remove the BIM360 addin and then reinstall it.