AutoCAD Plant 3D 2018 – Cloud Collaboration is here!

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New Features in Plant 3D

If you have been in the loop with AutoCAD Plant 3D over the past year, you have probably heard of Project Calgary which was the beta of Collaboration of Plant 3D Projects in the Cloud.  Why is this an important feature for AutoCAD Plant 3D?  It centralizes your project for multiple sites and still allows you to work locally as if you were on Vault.  Look at it like using Vault in the Cloud, because that is precisely what it is!

How does this work?  Today, I created a new project, local using SQLite.  I called it “Cloud Project Demo.” I did not reference any other projects.  I just wanted to start from ground zero and go from there.  I created one P&ID drawing in the project called 1001.DWG.  Upon creating the first DWG, I was able to go to the new “Collaboration” tab in the ribbon and selected “SHARE PROJECT” after which I was shown the following dialog box:

Pretty simple so far!  After selecting “GET STARTED!” you will be prompted to close any DWG you have open in the project if you left one or more open and then you will be prompted to select a BIM 360 Team project folder you have already created.  If you haven’t created one, you will need to do that first.  By the way, the ribbon option to “Share Project” will not highlight unless you have a drawing open.  Also, I have found that if you upload to Fusion 360, the projects will not be seen by your team.  Make sure it is a BIM 360 Team Hub.

After selecting the folder, sit back a minute or 2 and let the project upload to the cloud…

Next, you need to determine who is going to work on this project with you.  It is collaboration, after all.

After the “INVITE MY TEAM” takes you to the site, invite your Project team by entering in their email address.

Back in AutoCAD Plant 3D 2018, you can go to the Project Manager, right-click on a drawing and see the new “Project Collaboration” commands, such as Check Out.

If you have used AutoCAD Plant 3D with Vault in the past few releases, you will quickly start to see some of the familiar icons for files checked out to you and files checked out by others.  You can even set it up to notify you by email when DWGs have been updated by others.

Give it a whirl!  This is good stuff and highly requested technology!  Kudos to the Autodesk Plant Development Team!

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