The Top 4 Dos and Don’ts of BIM 360 Collaboration
- on December 14, 2020
- Categories: Civil Infrastructure Articles and Discussions
Autodesk’s coordination platform, BIM360 Design, is fast becoming the tool of choice for Civil 3D users. With its Design Collaboration module, real-time work sharing is easy across multi-firm and multi-discipline projects within a single cloud-based repository. BIM 360 Design enables Civil 3D teams to collaborate and manage data across the project lifecycle—no more uploading, syncing, transferring or waiting on large files.
But these are highly sophisticated systems that rely on rules and processes to work effectively. Here are a few tips to ensure your Civil 3D and BIM 360 Design workflows are aligned:
Beware the Mix & Match
Do: Use a standard project folder structure
Don’t: Mix and match
Remember that BIM 360 is a real-time work sharing site—so there must be consistency in your file structure, especially when you're migrating folders or drawings.
It’s not a good idea to have base drawings on your local server and production drawings on BIM360. You don't want to have Xrefs, data shortcuts, master drawings, etc. on BIM360 Design site and on your local machine or your local server and then move them around—if you do, it will cause a lot of headaches.
When migrating folders or drawings, ensure correct paths for a speedy work sharing environment!
Set up correctly, BIM 360 Design is fast and easy. Everything from reloads to data shortcuts synchronizes and works that same as if you’re on your local server—but now it’s in the cloud.
Do: Open and close drawings within Civil 3D
Don’t: Open and close files through Windows Explorer
Get away from the habit of opening drawings through Windows Explorer as it will create errors and file bloating. Using Explorer can also confuse your programs. You could end up opening Civil 3D drawings within AutoCAD or Map3D, without meaning to.
Do: Start with a small or pilot project
Don’t: Migrate a really large project to BIM 360
BIM360 is an amazing platform, but when first starting to use it, start small to get familiar with the environment. Experience has shown that those who migrate large projects to any new software or platform have a bad experience.
If you try to push a 500 mile corridor project that is 90% complete into the system, there will be problems and you’re going to hate the platform.
A pilot project or a new project is the cleanest and most effective way to start.
Also remember that BIM 360 Design doesn't have to be used on all your projects all the time. Use the right tool for the job.
I follow this rule: Just because you have the tools, doesn't mean you have to use them all, all of the time!
Hold for Pending Actions
Do: Wait for pending actions to complete
Don’t: Rename or manipulate files while there are pending actions
Patience really is a virtue when working with BIM360—that’s especially true when it comes to pending actions. Recall that pending actions are actions that have yet to be processed by Desktop Connector.
It’s important to leave Civil 3D open until all pending actions are in work. If you try to rename, manipulate or move files while there are pending actions, the system will not sync correctly resulting in issues, errors like broken references and data shortcuts, and sometimes a crash.