How to Set Up Your First Project in BIM 360
With some of the exciting new changes coming to the BIM 360 platform, I’ve been receiving many questions about getting started on the platform. That’s why I’ve recorded a short 18-minute video (see below) that outlines the full setup process as well as some best practices for setting up a project in BIM 360 for the first time. I would highly recommend watching the video below to see the full details and see the step-by-step process. Otherwise, you can follow the outline listed below to get started.
Steps to Setting Up Your First Process
So, this is a fairly simple process. There’s just some basic information you need to input and you’ll need to activate the services that you’ll be using. So let’s get started.
First, if you have never accessed your BIM 360 account before, you’ll need to activate your license. Unfortunately, you can’t activate your license through the usual URL of manage.autodesk.com. Instead, you’ll need to do it via a special email. This email is generated when you are invited to join a project or are assigned as the Host for a project. The email usually comes from BIM360ent@Autodesk and looks like this.
After you’ve activated your license, you can go ahead and sign in to admin.b360.autodesk.com. While most of the services that we’ll be using will run off of docs.b360.autodesk.com, for this particular case, we’re going to start off at admin.b360 so that we can get to the Administrator level. Once you sign into the Admin portal, you can see a list of all your projects, all of your members, and the member companies that belong to your projects.
To create a new project, go to the top of the Projects section and select Add. So, this is one of the reasons why we’re inside the admin.b360 portal: you can’t add a Project from anywhere else. Enter a project name and indicate what type of project it is.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the fields you’ll need to complete to set up your Project Profile. While some of these fields aren’t required, the information here does populate in your Analytics section, so fill out as much as you can in this section.
- Project Name – Insert a name for your project.
- Project Type – Indicate what type of project this is.
- Construction Type – Choose one of the options from the drop-down.
- Project Value – Estimates are fine; again, these metrics are used mainly in your Analytics.
- Contract Type – Choose one of the options from the drop-down.
- Project Start/End Dates – Enable a start and end date. In the video above, you’ll see that I selected the week of the video recording.
- Project Job Number – If you have an internal project number, you can go ahead and insert it here.
- Business Unit – If you have separate business units, select the appropriate one. For example, in the video, I selected the Hawaii business unit since I work out of the Honolulu office.
- Project Time Zone – While this isn’t a required field, you should definitely pick one that’s closest to your project. Why? Well, I worked on project that was on the wrong time zone, so we were having really strange time stamps applied to our projects. It turned out that it was due to an incorrect time zone issue.
At the next screen, you’ll determine what services you’re going to be using for your project. If you’re a BIM 360 Design user, this is where you’ll see Design Collaboration listed here. You don’t have to activate all of the services for your project right now, but the Project Management service runs on BIM 360 Document Management (aka Docs), so Docs needs to be activated first.
To enable BIM 360 Docs, assign at least one Project Administrator for that service. Since my information is in the system, I simply select myself from the drop-down and leave the Company field blank (the system will auto-populate this field later). On the left side of this section, you have the ability to copy the settings from another project. If you have a template project with all your folders, permissions, companies, members set up, or if there’s an exemplary project that’s already underway, go ahead and just copy those settings. Once you’re done, click Save and wait for the yellow Inactive sign to switch over to green.
You’ll go through a similar process to activate the other services that you need. One thing to be mindful of: With Design Collaboration, Glue, Field, and Plan, you’ll have an option to choose the “version” you want to activate. For example, for Glue, you can select Model Coordination or Glue Classic. In this case, the main reason to select Glue Classic is that it integrates with Navisworks. If you’re not a big Navisworks user, then Model Coordination might be the better option.
Once you’re done activating the services you’re going to be using on your project, go ahead and click Finish. Next, find your project and click on it. You’ll then see the Project Members page below.
To add more Project Members, click on the blue Add button at the top of the page. In the Add Project Members section, you’ll have the opportunity to indicate Roles and project access level. Both of these settings can be changed after the fact as well, so don’t worry if you need to adjust those later.
One important thing to note about adding new members is that to add members to Glue or Plan, you actually need to go into Glue or Plan and send an invitation from there. An invitation email will be sent to the new members, so ask them to keep a lookout for that email.
Once you’ve invited your project team, you can click on the Companies tab at the top to see which companies are included in this project (in my example, everyone is from U.S. CAD). Then, go to Services to see what services you’ve activated. One of the things you’ll want to do inside the Services tab is set up your workflows for RFIs and Submittals. To do that, go to the Services tab, select Project Management from the left-side menu, and then fill out and fix all of the fields that are highlighted in red.
The last tab to check out is the Profile tab. Here, you’ll have the ability to edit all of the information that you entered when first creating the Project Profile.
Finally, let’s talk about how to switch between the different services (Model Coordination, Field Management, etc.). In this example, we’ll go to Document Management (Docs), and set up the subfolders (if you haven’t set up the project to copy any previous settings).
That’s it! You have successfully set up your first project in BIM 360. There’s a lot more details that I cover in the short 18-minute video linked above, so definitely watch that to see the full step-by-step process and some additional tips.
What other BIM 360 tips would you like to see me cover in future blog posts? Leave your comments below!