Clearing Up the Titles | BIM 360 Collaboration for Civil 3D

Our IT Manager, Bryson Anderson, wrote an article for the February 2020 edition of AUGI World. Here is a portion of that article:


BIM 360 Collaboration for Civil 3D


Autodesk’s BIM 360 platform connects project teams with a suite of products, from design to construction, all working from centralized project data. This unified platform, centralizes data in BIM 360 Document Management, where BIM 360 products can utilize the data across the project lifespan. One product, BIM 360 Design, has been connecting Revit teams for seamless cloud collaboration. The cloud collaboration tools in BIM 360 Design has now been extended to Civil 3D!

Project teams can now collaborate in the cloud with both Revit and Civil 3D through BIM 360 Design. Though the methods for collaborating are different in Civil 3D and Revit, both enable Realtime collaboration, Anytime, Anywhere. In this article, we are going to focus on the new tools for BIM 360 Design, Collaboration for Civil 3D.

CLEARING UP THE TITLES 

When it comes to BIM 360, there are quite a few product names and titles, many of which sound the same. It can be quite confusing. Before we dive into the nuts and bolts, lets clear up some of this naming.

First, BIM 360 is the name of the platform, a collection of products for different areas of the project lifecycle. As of December 2019, these products include, Docs, Design, Build, Coordinate, Plan, Layout, and Ops. The name of each is typically appended with ‘BIM 360’. Think of it like a car, which is typically called by its make and model name. BIM 360 is the ‘make’, and the product name is the ‘model’. Each product is a toolset, containing several sub tools or modules. The two products we will focus on, are Docs and Design.

The core of the BIM 360 platform is the Docs, or Document Management product. This is the Project Setup, Administration and Document Management modules.

The Account Admin module is where anything BIM 360 gets started. This is where projects are created and configured, companies and members are added, analytics are reviewed, Etc. The Project Admin module is used to configure and administer an existing project, and the Project Home dashboard gives you quick insight into project status and information.

The Document Management module is the data repository, where all project files are stored, folder access is granted, file viewing, markup and issue creation occurs, etc. You can subscribe to BIM 360 Docs by itself and take advantage of these modules, or by subscribing to any other BIM 360 product, access to the Docs product is included with that subscription.

BIM 360 Design extends the project data to Revit and Civil 3D for cloud collaboration and work-sharing. As mentioned earlier, a seat of Design grants that user access to all the modules of BIM 360 Docs, as well as the collaboration modules of Design.

This is where naming can really get confusing. The predecessor to Design, built on A360 Team, was called Collaboration for Revit. This enabled cloud work-sharing for Revit 2015-2018.3. Access to this legacy product is included with Design. For Revit 2018.3 and beyond, the module is called Revit Cloud Worksharing. This enables Revit real-time collaboration and co-authoring for Revit versions 2018.3 and later.

The Design Collaboration module, who’s name often gets confused with the Revit Cloud Worksharing module or the entire BIM 360 Design product, enables organization and control of each project team’s data and how other project teams can see and consume one another’s data. I wish Autodesk would have named this module differently as they used very similar wording in marketing and help material about the BIM 360 Design product. Don’t be surprised if you see material from, Autodesk or otherwise that use the term ‘Design Collaboration’ for more than just this module.

The next module and focus of this article is Collaboration for Civil 3D. Using the Desktop Connector, a desktop service that connects Windows File Explorer with your BIM 360 data, extended project teams can collaborate on Civil 3D projects, with automated file locking, XREF and Data Shortcut support.



As the BIM 360 platform has evolved, names have been changed, and in some cases, very similar names used for different things. This has created quite a bit of confusion. This hopefully clears up some of the confusion with BIM 360 product and module naming.

To learn more about BIM 360, click here.

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