Check it out at OpenRFA.

There have been some similar attempts in the past. It is a bit of a challenge, because there will often be these ‘custom’ shared parameters that one company needs that are just very unique. But I’m interested to see how OpenRFA continues to grow. No doubt its success will depend on the number of contributors and their engagement.

You can request an account login at http://openrfa.org/user/register

Update use this code to get a discount on your Revizto annual purchase:
LUKEJH

Oh, and across devices too. You might say “hey, I’ve heard of Revizto before“. Someone tweeted today “”Even if we could get the model into a game engine, it would be difficult to navigate.” We can. It isn’t.”

Revizto has been providing smooth, great-looking visualizations of your Revit model for a while now. It has some very cool features, like Oculus Rift support (fun!) But its not just about the game-smooth graphics anymore.. I’m excited about something else…

Firstly, the big picture: what does Revizto do? Well, it shares your 3D model with others via the cloud, which is pretty normal these days. But over the past few months (and especially the last few days), it has added collaboration features that make it an extremely useful tool for BIM teams. Some of these are:

  • intelligent issue tracking
  • sheet and 3D collaboration attached to the same issue
  • issue reporting
  • enhanced Navisworks export, which includes overridden colours (meaning it can be useful for services visualizations where you use the Appearance Profiler in Navis)

If you like videos, maybe start here:

Revizto bridges some obvious gaps in current Autodesk interoperability scenarios, as it allows you to easily:

  • create and share viewpoints between Revit, Navisworks and AutoCAD
  • go straight to the 3D viewpoint of an issue in whatever model you have open (using the Issue Tracker addins)

Also, compared to various other collaboration services, it is relatively inexpensive, especially given the level of functionality it provides.

So how do we get started with Revizto? Here’s a quick few steps:

  1. Download and install the 30 day trial with addins
  2. Open a Revit model, or a federated Navisworks model, and upload to Revizto using the addin
  3. Choose a project name
  4. After upload is complete and your model is open in Revizto, share it with others
  5. Start collaborating! Make an issue with + sign in the top bar, then type some words, assign it to someone, start a conversation about that issue.

Once an issue is created, you can easily switch between multiple different representations:

You can also quickly create or export issues to BCF. It uses the bcfzip format, so imagery and viewpoint information is all included.

Issues can be quickly tagged to create custom lists of related issues too.

A few beginner-style tips:

  • The Viewer is different to the Editor. The Editor is mostly used to create and upload projects.
  • Go to hamburger (top left) Objects to be able to turn off and select items in the model
  • You can see the room names in the Map mode (little compass arrow in top of Viewer). When you scroll down to any level you can see all of the rooms, and by clicking to any part of the room you it will take you there in 3D
    Grids and Rooms visible in 3D Map view
  • The recommended workflow is to use a combined, federated model in Navisworks or Revit and then export to Revizto, rather than trying to federate models in Revizto itself

    What’s New in 3.4:

    • Collaboration on 2D sheets, now you will be able to mark up on top of 2D sheet and see them in 3D and all your issues made in 3D will be visible on 2D sheet
    • Ability to see the 2D sheet on top of the 3D
    • Invitation in the Viewer, now you can accept invitations to projects you have been invited to right from the Viewer
    • Revision control, now you will be able to see all your versions of the files you have synced to the cloud right from the Editor and open and review them and/or revert to the version you choose and make it master file for everyone.
    • You can see what have been updated in the project gallery in the Viewer and open the latest version
    • Great enhancements in export from Navisworks
    • ArchiCad support, now you will be able to export from ArchiCad your files and benefit Revizto collaboration
    • Grid visibility in Revizto, now you will be able to see the grid in the Viewer in 2D Map View.
    • Ability to set self-luminous material to any object in the scene to be visible in the Viewer and in the Editor after you bake the light maps

    Some more general info and screenshots below:
    Manual Introduction • Revizto Editor User Manual

    What is it again?
    Revizto is a tool that transforms heavy-weight 3D data into navigable lightweight scene in one click. The resulting scene can be opened with free Revizto Viewer on PC, Mac, iPad and Android tablets or in any web browser with Unity plugin. Revizto Workspace allows users to upload their projects to cloud storage and access them from any point of the globe. Revizto works with the most architectural and 3D-modelling software (Revit, SketchUp and any software that supports FBX export). 

    Installation screenshot (addins):

    Platform includes:

    To conclude: give the latest version a go, and feel free to comment with your thoughts.

    Update use this code to get a discount on your Revizto annual purchase:
    LUKEJH

    If you are interested in issue tracking, BCF, and multidisciplinary coordination, then the new “BIMcollab” offering from Kubus may be worth a look:
    http://www.bimcollab.com/en/BIMcollab/BIMcollab

    It looks essentially like a cloud manager for BCF issues. From the marketing spiel:

    • issues directly linked to objects in your BIM together with the correct viewpoint for quick visualisation
    • all the information needed at hand to lookup, create and solve issues within your BIM tool,
    • to save all your issues in the cloud and be able to access them from anywhere at anytime.


    BIMcollab centralizes issue management in the cloud, simplifies this process and offers a structured way of storing, sharing and managing issues. But more important: you have the information right where it’s needed most: directly within your BIM model checker and BIM authoring tools. 

    If you are already using it, feel free to comment and let us know what you think.
    UPDATE some links from the press release:

    Kubus BIMcollab® release 
    KUBUS announces the release of a new ground breaking product: BIMcollab®. This BCF based issue management system for BIM in the cloud operates across applications. It helps bridging the differences between BIM tools, and targets the multidisciplinary cooperation between companies working on construction projects.
     
     
    Join BIMcollab® Join BIMcollab®

    We are happy to invite you to try BIMcollab for free. Upload BCF files or connect to BIM applications and invite team members to view your issues. Improving communication in BIM projects starts today. Join us >

     
     
    BCF Managers for free BCF Managers for free

    With the introduction of BIMcollab® we now offer our BCF Managers for free. These add-ons for Revit, simplebim and ArchiCAD have a direct link to BIMcollab® from the before mentioned BIM authoring tools. Download >

     
     

    BIMcollab®
    Why BIMcollab?
    Features
    Developer

    Downloads:

    Quotes:

        “The industry is beginning to invest heavily in Building Information
    Modelling (BIM) to drive more efficient design, site management,
    construction methods, and asset management”,
    said Ms Scott.
        “It is also a key to driving greater productivity from supply chain
    arrangements, offering opportunities to avoid design clashes and reduce
    variations during project delivery.”
      
    “The Australian construction industry has, presently, a fragmented
    approach to BIM, and to the use of supply chains. There are significant
    benefits to be had for clients of the industry
         from the adoption and widespread use of both tools” said Mr Fardoulys.
        “Government
    as buyer in Australia could spur on the productivity gains to be had
    from both, by normalising the market by encouraging the use of BIM, and
    requiring contractors to nominate
         the members of supply chains they will use, on all Commonwealth Government projects,” said Mr Fardoulys.

    Read more:

    APCC Home – PTI

    Also:
    http://sourceable.net/australia-set-for-bim-library/

    We all want a better BIM Cloud, with smoother, faster, better team Collaboration. I know the guys behind this project – they are experienced BIM professionals who are keen to innovate, especially when it comes to using the latest technology to make the AEC world communicate more effectively.

    The whole concept of moving forward together as teams, not individual silos, is one that is very enticing.

    Its all a bit mysterious at the moment, but its definitely worth signing up:

    http://bit.ly/Rfv4fb

    I was approached by Reza Hosseini, who is currently completing his Phd, to have an interview about virtual construction. 

    It is embedded here:

    Some of the topics covered:

    • virtual teams
    • technological challenges of trying to work ‘live’ on a cloud model
    • effects of virtuality in teams
    • cultural background and project experience and the effect on teams
    • the size of teams (number of disciplines / stakeholders)
    • accountability for action items (for example, clashes)
    • Revit interoperability (including with Tekla), and using IFC
    • new roles for contractors to do model conversions (as Virtual Built is doing)
    • change management, and the instigators of change
    • is the Client or Head Contractor requesting BIM?
    • using Aconex
    • conflict creation
    • IP issues and contract rights for BIM team members
    • team identity and affiliation
    • level of importance of social interaction
    • skills shortage of BIM users
    • researching BIM, determining unique topics of discussion
    • building trust relationships
    • level of importance of face-to-face contact
    • frequency of communication
    • scaleability of BIM to small projects

    I hope the background noise and sounds of cutlery aren’t too distracting 🙂

    I worked with a Structural Engineer recently who used to model Void Forms in his Structural Columns so that he could “cut” them into walls and other geometry.

    However, this created a bit of an issue when the Structural model was linked into the Architectural – namely, orange voids would occasionally show up, because they were not cutting anything.  Obviously, this type of scenario is not ideal, but it is actually quite common to come across modelling practices that associates or other companies use that don’t really fit directly into your own workflow. In those situations, you often need to find a workaround, or perhaps discuss this issue to try and come to a compromise.

    In this case, the engineer recommended this course of action:
    I just noticed some of the columns have the yellow voids displaying, this is a Revit gremlin that creeps in overtime and needs to be fixed every few days or before issuing but I forgot. I can fix it and re send alternatively if you have started working with the file, it is as simple as editing the family changing a parameter and reloading It, essentially doing a regen. The other option is to select all rectangular columns and change the parameter ‘void offset’ to say 2.

    How do you deal with differing modelling practices?  Have you been able to solve these issues, or have they become permanent headaches?  At Virtual Built, it is our primary goal to make teams function more efficiently throughout the entire BIM process.  Do you have a problem that needs solving?  Or do you have a great workflow solution that you would like to share?  Feel free to contact us.  Let’s collaborate!

    http://bit.ly/MuT5fT

    A new challenge faced by collaborative design teams – how to work concurrently, yet not do the same thing four times?

    Consider these comments from Glenn Jowett:
    “If you look at the process of designing a steel framed building there is the potential for at least four steel frame models to exist within one design team, four models that have been built from scratch by different people within that design team.

    The design team should sit down at the start of a project and map out who owns what elements at what stage of the project

    The copy monitor tools within Revit are far from perfect, but this seems to be the only option for walls at the moment.

    In traditional 2D, drawings would be issued and revisions clouded; in the 3D model revisions can’t be clouded and drawing issues between the design teams are becoming less and less frequent.”
    via
    http://revitst.blogspot.in/2013/08/revit-collaboration.html

    Checklist:
    Finally, some great ideas of what to discuss at a pre-project BIM meeting from the same post:
    “An initial BIM or Revit meeting should take place at the start of every major project, purely from a Revit and collaboration point of view items for discussion should be:

    · File format for data exchange

    · How often are files exchanged

    · Clearly define what the model is to be used for at what stage in the design process

    · Who models what and when

    · Who owns what and when does element ownership go from one discipline to another

    · Level of development (LOD) – what level of model information should I expect to receive at what stage? And does that meet my expectations

    · How often should clash detection take place

    · Project coordinates and project north position.

    It is important that the above items (at least) are discussed before a project really starts to evolve, and the decisions on each item should be documented and set out in a BIM Execution Plan. Collaboration will be much easier to manage if every member of the design team has the same set of core principles to follow from start to finish.”

    To the above list, I would add at least the following:

    • common list of Phases
    • common set of Worksets (or at least exchange Workset lists)
    • how many models will a multi-disciplinary consultant firm be providing?  One combined?  Or multiple?
    • discuss if any particular Copy/Monitor Revit Categories will be key to the project