Getting Setup in BIM 360 | 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.


Before getting into the nuts and bolts of Collaboration for Civil 3D, there are a few things you need to do in preparation. The first step is to ensure your Autodesk User Account has a BIM 360 Design license assigned to it. BIM 360 products are single named user subscriptions. This means a subscription, or seat of the product needs to be assigned to your Autodesk User Account, so when you login, the system recognizes you are licensed to use the product. Licenses are assigned by your Autodesk Account Administrator via the Autodesk Account.

Before you can start uploading files, you need a place to put them, a BIM 360 project. If you are a BIM 360 Account admin, you can create a new project, or if you are joining an existing project, you will need to be invited by an admin of that project. This project could be on your company’s BIM 360 Account, or a different company’s BIM 360 Account.

The BIM 360 Account is the overall storage container for a company’s BIM 360 projects, and configurations. You will likely be invited to projects on multiple accounts. Projects in both Desktop Connector, and the BIM 360 Web interfaces are listed under their associated account name as the parent folder. When someone invites you to a project they have setup on their Account, and you accept the invitation you receive via email, you will then see that account, and any project(s) from their account you are invited in your project list.

A quick note on BIM 360 Design licensing. A seat of BIM 360 Design assigned to your Autodesk User Account allows you to use the BIM 360 Design tools on any and all Accounts/Projects you are invited to.

The last step is to install and sign into the Autodesk Desktop Connector. You can download the Desktop Connector from: The installation is simple, run the .exe file that is downloaded, and click Install. Once the install finishes, sign in with your Autodesk account. This will put a ‘BIM 360’ location in ‘This PC’ in your Windows File Explorer. You will then be able to access any BIM 360 accounts, and projects you are invited to via Windows File Explorer.

The Desktop Connector functions in a ‘Files on Demand’ method. This means though you see the entire set of files/folders, they are not all stored on your local system. When you access a file, it is then downloaded to your system and cached locally until it has been unused for 15 days, after which it will be automatically removed from your local cache.

Now that you have Desktop Connector installed and connected, a license to BIM 360 Design, and are a member of a BIM 360 project, you can get started with setting up and using Collaboration for Civil 3D.

To learn more about BIM 360, click here.