True Collaboration: Document Management & Model Coordination with BIM Collaborate Pro
Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro (formerly BIM 360 Design) is part of the Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) platform, a bundle of cloud services around collaboration, cloud hosting of models, cloud coordination, and project management. ACC (called BIM 360 before 2020) enables nearly seamless transfer of data among tools on the platform.
The objective of BIM Collaborate Pro workflows is collaboration, and it helps users achieve that with coordination tools to avoid misalignment, catch errors early, track issue resolution, and monitor project specifics using dashboards.
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BIM Collaborate Pro includes three services:
- Design Collaboration with Cloud Collaboration for Revit and Desktop Connector
- Document Management with Autodesk Docs
- Model Coordination with Insight
Autodesk Docs is the foundation for document management, but it can often be overlooked and underutilized.
Key benefits include:
- File/folder management
- Markups – Users can mark up/redline views of models and drawing files, privately or so they are available to the entire team.
- Issue management – Users can create issues and assign them to a specific user or company, internally or externally. An email notifies them they’ve been assigned an issue and a link to it is included. The status of progress in resolving the issue can be tracked. There is a special Revit Issues add-in that can be downloaded from Autodesk at no charge.
- Versioning – Every time you publish your Revit model, it is saved as a new version. Older versions are kept online in case something like corruption happens to your live Revit model, enabling you to restore to the previous version.
- Document compare – Multiple versions can be compared to determine the differences between them – either side-by-side or as an overlay.
- Document viewer
This module’s functionality has been refined to the point where you can have nearly automatic clash detection. Of course, you may end up confronted with thousands of clashes, some of which are relatively unimportant or not true clashes. By setting up “clash views,” you can specify that the tool focuses solely on specific clashes, for instance pipes vs. ducts or pipes vs. structural framing. You can also flag certain acceptable clashes (like plumbing installed on the floor) as “not an issue.”
For valid clashes, issues can be created and assigned to someone for resolution. Then resolution can be tracked. The Revit Issues add-in can locate a clash, and the user can go into the model at the specific location of the clash and edit it. The issue would then be updated within Revit and recorded instantly in the ACC project.
Model Coordination is tightly integrated with Design Collaboration. When users share models using the design collaboration workflow, clashes are automatically updated from the changed models. The best part about this is users don’t even have to know that model coordination is happening. As soon as data is shared with other teams, clash detection can be set to take place automatically every time models are updated.
The entire workflow begins with the sharing of models in Design Collaboration. Clashes identified in Model Coordination are turned into issues during a clash management session. Users resolve the issues in the authoring software (Revit, AutoCAD, Navisworks). Then the updated models are shared again, which will update the clashes in Model Coordination.
With the project dashboards in Insight, panels can be customized to display the information you want to track. The dashboards provide a high-level overview of critical project data, including which models have recently been shared and the status of all open issues.
All the services in BIM Collaborate Pro work with seamless data transfer among themselves and various workspaces. Users just navigate to the service that best fits what they’re trying to accomplish. You won’t need to move your data; it’s going to be there for you.