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BIM360 Design/Docs/Glue the Ultimate Combination for Design – The Power of Three!

Stephan Gumpert
January 6, 2019

Autodesk has the BIM360 Platform and you may or may not have heard of it.

If you are a Revit user, for sure you would of heard or C4R / BIM 360 Design / Design Collaboration and you may or may not be using it.  Regardless if you have seen it, used it or nonoe of the above and are totally new, the content of this article is applicable to all.

For those who don’t know, the BIM360 platform is a cloud based platform for all your design execution needs and only gaining more complementing features every month.

From a Revit perspective (in this particular article), the BIM360 platform has soo much more to offer the standard Revit user it really is quite amazing.  Let’s explore this a little…….

In the Beginning…

Lets look at the platform as a starting pont.  The BIM360 Platform for those who don’t know, is broken up into 4 bundles and for the purpose of today’s article we will look at BIM360 Design / BIM360 Docs / BIM360 Glue.

 

The key take away from the above diagram is that the BIM360 Doc Bundle, that can be purchased on its own, is also an entitlement as part of BIM360 Design, Glue & Build.  The main reason for this is because the BIM360 Docs platform is the base (storage of data) for all the other bundles. But I will elaborate a bit more on this….read on. 🙂

 BIM360 Docs

BIM360 Docs is a great platform to do soo many things with (as it suggests) your documents / models / files.  Essentially inside of BIM360 Docs you can create folder structures to store your data.

These folder structures can be permission controlled, meaning information that is placed in these folders can have access limited to them, by who ever you like (User, User Company or User Role in your project) and or course the permissions are controlled in a central location.

Once the data is stored here, you can view, review, markup and share.

The most important features that people enjoy to hear from me when demoing/discussing this product is the aspect that there no IT infrastructure is required to host the data, your not reliant on people being inside your local network (i.e. can include people from outside your organisation), information is central / portable to all parties involved on the project and a zero software install (unless you use mobile device).  4 very good points with there being soo many more of course.

With industries sharing work loads, projects using distributed teams and people working more collaboratively than ever before.

The system can be used as just a basic file sharing system for viewing & marking up or conducting Design Review Sessions or even conducting structured Document Approval Workflows just to name a few features.

Design Reviews

The fact that the system has Configurable Issues (problems) for comprehensive design reviews, a Dashboard to review these issues gives your project the flexibility to make all project stake holders accountable and traceable.

Meaning that spreadsheet designers usually keep on the server to keep records of all the design problem found during design reviews (with all those columns of data) can now be kept in the cloud.

This data is of course reportable, allowing you to create static reports to share with others, if required, while still maintaining a live record in a central location in BIM360 Docs. (Both all Individual Issue Reports and Issue Summary Report )

“The Single Source of Truth”

Document Approval Workflows

Being able to create your own customization multi step workflows (Reviewer & Approval) for documents / models is another key to this platform.  Simply selecting the files and submitting them to the workflows setup by your projects admins for the project.

The system as an overall is applicable to CAD/BIM Users and non-CAD/BIM Users meaning the audience of internal or external people to your project have all the information at their fingers tips and can submit the information as required in one central location.

BIM360 Design

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article – BIM360 Docs is the base for all the other modules in the BIM360 Platform. So this leads me to the next module to discuss being BIM360 Design.

In one short sentence this module gives the “Revit Users” the mechanism to share and collaborate on a project across multiple regions / time zones / offices or even internally inside of Revit.

THE BIM360 Design project can be set up to be either Low Trust (LT), High Trust (HT) or a hybrid (HT) of the two.

Once your project is setup this system allows user to share data like you would in traditional sense.

Traditional File Sharing

So traditionally when talking about file/model sharing on projects with multiple teams we talk about the 30/60/90% review, as an example.

Normally at the particular milestone or interim milestone the Model / Drawing / Files would get collated, packaged in ZIP File and through means of email/ftp etc you would share you files with the other project teams.

The team that received it would then review what was sent and determine if the files need to be shared with the other team members from their point of view in regards to the project and this would of course take copious amounts of time to do. (including coping, printing, marking up etc)

At any point in the project, to be able to see who sent what and when was always a complex task to retrospectively find, as you would have go through old emails or scourer the server to fine the communication / files in a folder that may or may not be in the right location anymore. Records were kept with Doc Control just harder to correlate with the actual files on the server.

BIM360 Design Packages – Work Sharing in the Cloud

In BIM360 Design the same workflow has been emulated, allowing you to Create Teams (Work in LT or TR, HT Environments), Create Packages for sharing data with the other Teams on the project and there is a central historical record to show you all this information in an easy to access location.

In the example below you can see the different teams (5 in this case) with every package that was shared by each team from a specific time line.

Filled circles meaning package was consumed by other teams, empty / dashed circles meaning not consumed and circle with a number next to it meaning multiple packages were shared in succession in small time and could not be displayed on the current time line (Reduce time frame to see detail with slider)

“The Single Source of Truth”

One of the pain points of the traditional file sharing was the time line analysis of who sent what and when, which by looking at the above show it to be very simple.

But the other problem was the comparing of one package to another. Again this is very easy, in that you simply Click on a circle (in the time line) and you can review that particular package, but you can also compare it to a previous versions (digitally inside the web browser with in seconds) giving you everything that was Added, Modified and Removed visually and of course the data in a CSV File can downloaded too.

More Examples of why you would use BIM360 Design like being able to a “Set of Documents” (BIM360 Docs Feature) from all teams so you could review the project documents at a particular milestone. Very handy right.

BIM 360 Design Collaboration Update – Dec 12, 2018

BIM360 Glue – Model Coordination

To me this module is the most underrated / spoken about module, but one of the most valuable features when it comes to using the BIM360 Platform.

So far we have spoken about work sharing using BIM360 Design which obviously utilizes the the BIM360 Docs platforms for file storage and additional features for Design Reviews etc.

The aspect that needs to be talked about when running large projects with multiple models is “Clash Detection”.  And the obvious answer is to use Navisworks to do this.  You would be right, especially if you have non-Revit files to clash against. However…..

If you have only Revit Files and AutoCAD Dwg Files on a project (Revit for design of your project and Advance Steel for the Steel Detailing as one example or Plant3D and Advance Steel for Plant Design is another) you could us BIM360 Glue – Model Coordination to analyze the project models for clashes in the cloud.

Once again this utilizes the power of BIM360 Docs for the File Storage component.  Essentially you can specify a particular folder in BIM360 Docs and any files within that folder or sub folders will get aligned together and clashes recorded in a central location.  Unlike in Navisworks where you need to configure what gets clashed against what, you simply only need to specify that folder.  Everything is clashed against every and return in “Clash Groups” in a model by model basis.

Then when you click on the click on any of the cells in the matrix the system will load up the 2 models in question to show you the clash groups and if you click on the clash groups it will highlighted.

 

Now just like BIM360 Design we can then utilize the “Configurable Issues” to be able to create Model Clash issues that can be assigned to people in the various teams to get resolved. Again the tracking of the issue, when it was created / found to when it was fixed and all the backwards and forwards communication about that issue is captured at a project level in one central location to all project state holders creating transparency and accountability.

“The Single Source of Truth”

In The End…..

The seat count of each bundle is different to each other.

Project Example could be:

  • 7-8 Non CAD/Revit Users
  • 10 – Revit Designers

You could utilize:

  • 10 – BIM360 Design to work collaboratively in the cloud.
  • 1 – 25 Pack of BIM Docs for the “non-Revit user base / People”, inside or outside of your organisation, who want to “consume / share data”
  • 2/3 – BIM360 Glue users to do the Clash Detection on the Project.

The Power of Three!!!!

 

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https://blogs.autodesk.com/bim360-release-notes/

Stephan Gumpert

I have been working for Autodesk since Nov 2014. I am a Technical Specialist for Advance Steel both in Steel detailing and Steel Design Drafting, Revit Structural Steel & Concrete and MEP space. I have a strong knowledge in Concrete and Steel Construction, Design & Fabrication. I also have experience in programming / automation in AutoCAD / Advance Steel and other windows applications. During my last 20 years of being in the workforce, I have worked in many fields from Mining to Commercial and even worked for an Autodesk reseller at one stage. During this time I have also used a variety of software from many different vendors. The roles I filled included Design Drafting, Steel Detailer, Automation Developer, CAD Support and Trainer. I strongly believe in working smarter not harder.

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