Configuration and Setup | Autodesk BIM 360 Design: Collaboration for Civil 3D

 The following is a portion of an article written by our IT Manager, Bryson Anderson, for DLT:

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Configuration and Setup

Now that you are assigned a license, and invited to a project, it’s time to setup the folder structure. This can be done in the BIM 360 Docs web portal or using the Desktop Connector folders. If you have a folder structure already created that you want to copy to this project, use the Desktop Connector as there currently is not a folder upload in the web portal. There are two default parent folders in Docs; Plans and Project Files. The Plans folder is predefined for markup, review, and a digital equivalent of printed contract drawings. However, it is not accessible through the Desktop Connector, making it also not accessible through Civil 3D. All Civil 3D project files need to be placed in the Project Files directory. Copy your project data by dragging and dropping or using the CTRL+ V keys to paste. Currently, there is no right click context menu in the Desktop Connecter for Copy/Paste etc., only ‘New Folder’.

Once you have pasted or dragged and dropped your data, a ‘Transferring Files’ window will appear to let you know your files/folders are being uploaded. You can also monitor the upload status via the Pending Actions dialog box. To view pending actions, in the System Tray of Windows, you will see the white Autodesk ‘A’ symbol of the Desktop Connector. Right click on the icon and select ‘Pending Actions’ to open the dialog box.

As you are working in the Collaboration for Civil 3D environment, it is a good idea to have the Pending Actions dialog open to monitor for sync or other issues that could occur.

Now that you have project data uploaded, open Civil 3D. Currently, only Civil 3D 2020.2 and later versions are supported. If you do not have the 2020.2 update installed, you need to install the update before continuing. The start screen for Civil 3D has a ‘BIM 360’ location where you can browse the accounts/projects you have access to. The dropdown at the top of the open section allows you to switch the account and project you want to view files from.

On the metadata ribbon, to the far right is a gear icon that lets you select what meta-data you see about the files. I like to turn on at least ‘Locked State’, ‘Local State’, and ‘Locked By’ fields. Click on the file you want to open, or right click to select between ‘Open’ and ‘Open Read-Only’.


As the file opens, the file is automatically locked so only you can modify it. (Unless of course you selected Read-Only, or it was already locked, and it forced Open Read-Only) You can also manually lock a file without opening it by right-clicking on the file in the Desktop Connector and clicking ‘Lock’.  Manually unlock files you have locked in the same way. Be careful not to unlock a file you have open in Civil 3D; another user could lock the file and cause you to lose your work. Its best to let the lock/unlock happen automatically by the software whenever possible.


To learn more about BIM 360 Design: Collaboration for Civil 3D, click here.

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