The Ultimate Guide to
BIM 360

History

A360 Collaboration for Revit with BIM 360 Team were the first collaborative products Autodesk released to address cloud collaboration for dispersed project teams. The first set of additional modules for collaboration included BIM 360 Field and BIM 360 Glue. Both were used as construction tools: Field for field management and Glue for model coordination. The next product on the docket was BIM 360 Docs, used for project document management. As of April, 2018, the Collaboration for Revit and Team products are found in BIM 360 Design.  

The version of Revit you’re using on your project determines which platform you can use:

  • Revit 2018.1 and prior – BIM 360 Team and A360 Collaboration for Revit are the only options. 
  • Revit 2018.2 – You can choose to use either BIM 360 Team and A360 Collaboration for Revit or BIM 360 Design. 
  • Revit 2018.3 or later – BIM 360 Design is the only option.

Eventually, “BIM 360” became an official Autodesk registered brand, and the product line now contains multiple modules and products that are used during design, pre-construction, construction, commissioning, and handover.

Currently, there are four major options to BIM 360: 

“Classic” versions of BIM 360 Field and BIM 360 Glue are still available and in use. Additional products include BIM 360 Team, BIM 360 Layout, BIM 360 Plan, and BIM 360 Ops.

All of the BIM 360 products are used for collaboration on construction projects using the building information modeling (BIM) process. Collaboration involves organizations working together to resolve issues and deliver successful projects. The collaborative process leads to a better end product, with less effort and money spent on avoiding risk. It also brings teams closer to completing a project that’s on time and within budget. 

Some of the BIM 360 products have overlapping functionality. Following is a summary of each product.

Note: Glue has been renamed Coordinate.

Clashes and conflicts get resolved before construction begins, thus reducing RFIs and confusion among the players. With a collaborative process, you have a “single source of truth” – everyone is working on the current project files. The data is more timely, and everything is up to date.

BIM 360 Product Matrix

Source: Autodesk

The Autodesk product matrix can be expanded by clicking on the “explore” link at the bottom of each column to show details of each product’s capabilities.

BIM 360 Docs - The Foundation

The BIM 360 Docs document distribution workflow ensures that trades are building from the correct versions. Documents can be controlled and stored in one place, allowing trades to download the current sets, while document managers can track document views and downloads.


With BIM 360 Document Management, construction teams can manage blueprints, 2D plans, 3D BIM models, reference materials, specifications, and other project documents. The module is designed to streamline document management processes. Sheets and designs can be consolidated, and standard templates and workflows can be set up to maximize efficiency.
  • Share, view, markup, and manage construction drawings, documents and models.
  • Get anytime-anywhere access to project information in one place.
  • Reduce errors, make more confident decisions, and improve project outcomes.

With BIM 360 construction documents and the rest of project information are available in real time to owners and other stakeholders without requiring extra time for the project team to furnish it.

3D modeling software offers the ability to manage clash detection in the model before work is done. It also allows contractors, owners and other stakeholders to visualize the project’s details: geometry, piping, ductwork, cable tray, and other things which 2D drawings can’t convey. But 2D drawings can still be created from the 3D model if desired.

  • Sharing of information is controlled across the entire team.
  • Constructability reviews can be performed with 2D and 3D markups.
  • The risk of rework is reduced through the use of versioning and permissions.
  • Contract documents can be managed and project activity tracked.

Digital photography, drones in construction, and mobile devices have resulted in an upsurge of documents and file management needs. Captured images need to be organized and accessible to team members. BIM 360 lets users capture photos in the field, associate them with project checklists and issues, and maintain the photos as part of the complete project record. Team members have instant access to specific images when needed.

Repository:

Unlimited storage

Version control and rollback

Single viewer for 2D and 3D files

Control:

Project- and folder-level access rights

Access defined by role, company and user

Five permission levels available for assignments

Navigation:

List and thumbnail views

Version control and rollback

Single viewer for 2D and 3D files

Modification:

Create, view, assign, and track project issues

2D and 3D markups with thumbnail views

Assign custom attributes and properties

Publishing:

Extract document sets from design files

OCR title block data for automated naming

Separate multi-page PDF files

Viewing:

Online/offline access on all devices

PDF and model viewer

Modules, apps and tools:

  • Document Management – Store and collaborate on all the files related to a project. Available on mobile app.
  • Project Home – View important, relevant and actionable information from across the BIM 360 services.
  • Account Administration – Manage account level details, projects, companies involved, and member permissions.
  • Project Administration – Manage project-specific details including services, companies and members.
  • Insight – View account and project analytics to assess risk, quality and safety metrics.

BIM 360 Design

Securely co-author a Revit model within one firm or across multiple firms with BIM 360 Design. Coordinate deliverables, visualize design changes and track project progress. BIM 360 Design is the Autodesk cloud worksharing, collaboration, and data management product that helps deliver projects faster. With BIM 360 Design, teams can collaborate in Revit anytime from anywhere with the inhouse team or with external firms.

bim 360 design context image

Revit data exchange can be coordinated and managed in a project timeline between teams, with easy navigation from 2D to 3D views of the same location in the hyper-model. Changes can be visualized between deliverables in aggregated models. WIP (work in progress) report creation and data exchange can be controlled by setting the correct user/project/folder permissions. 

Files can be viewed, reviewed and marked up. Issues can be assigned and resolved on mobile devices and tablets. Users can even schedule a time for teams to automatically publish their files to BIM 360 via the cloud.

BIM 360 Design is...

Next-gen design collaboration with a focus on authoring, collaboration and detailing

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Revit cloud worksharing

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Desktop Connector 

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Next gen Document management

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BIM 360 Team (for projects on legacy Revit versions)

Enhanced workflows are possible with design collaboration and Revit cloud collaboration. To learn about setting up a collaborative project, access the Applied Software on-demand webinar How to Keep Your Job Using Revit.

It covers setting teams and permissions, using “packages” to effectively control when others have access to your data, and controlling when data from other teams is updated in your model. Included are common troubleshooting techniques and BIM 360 site setup.


BIM 360 Design is based upon the Forge platform and BIM 360 Document Management. While users still have access to the legacy BIM 360 Team technology, BIM 360 Design provides enhanced collaboration workflows, more control over file permissions, and much tighter integration with BIM 360 Docs for use in “downstream” collaboration workflows during the post-design phases of a project.

  • Real-time Revit cloud worksharing and design collaboration software.
  • Securely co-author a Revit model in real-time across one firm or multiple firms.
  • Improve productivity and efficiency, reduce rework, and accelerate project delivery.

Significant Differences Between BIM 360 Team & BIM 360 Design

BIM 360 Team BIM 360 Design
High trust environment
Configurable permissions
Minimal notifications
"Issues" with email notifications and "subscribed to" folders with email notifications
Standalone - no connection with BIM 360 Docs
Includes the Document Management service (next generation BIM 360 Docs)
Sharing of data is automatic
Data sharing and consumption are controlled through the design collaboration workflow

The differences between BIM 360 Team and BIM 360 Design involve control. In BIM 360 Team, any project member that can edit one Revit file can edit all Revit files. There is no way to control access to files and folders on an individual or team level.

In BIM 360 Design, however, users are assigned to teams, which have specific permission levels in the project folders based on their role and their relationship to the folders. While these permissions are completely configurable, the use of teams allows for them to be simplified and automated.

Modules:

  • Document Management
  • Project Home
  • Account Admin
  • Project Admin
  • Insight
  • Design CollaborationUse project timelines, packages and changes to keep up to date with other teams and companies.
  • BIM 360 Team (Classic) – BIM 360 Team provides a central workspace in the cloud (hub) for your projects and is used to: create projects, add people to projects, share and manage project data, view 2D and 3D designs within the browser on any device, mark up designs within the browser, review and comment on designs individually or as a group, have discussions, manage a project calendar, and track project updates.

BIM 360 Coordinate

BIM 360 Coordinate is for pre-construction, and the focus includes scope, cost/schedule and constructability.

A cloud-based BIM management and collaboration product, Coordinate has a social networking feel that connects the entire project team and streamlines BIM project workflows. It works in over 50 different industry file formats. Coordinate also helps loop in stakeholders that are less technically-oriented.

With anywhere-anytime access to the most recent project models and data, Coordinate accelerates project reviews and streamlines virtual design and construction (VDC) and BIM workflows.

boston tech center pre construction

With model coordination and clash detection, communication delays are minimized, so multidisciplinary teams can quickly identify and resolve issues.

Cloud-based construction document management eliminates the problem of working from the wrong set of drawings. It provides a simplified way to record issues directly in the plan documents and notify the correct people immediately. The improved communication ensures that everyone is working on the same issues and solutions in real-time from any location. BIM 360 Coordinate and Autodesk Navisworks® software – used in spatial coordination and clash detection – are complementary products.

Markups can be made directly inside the plans (or 3D model), and cloud-based document management makes the latest data immediately available to everyone on the job, no uploading or downloading required. Markups can even be done by hand on an iPad or smartphone and automatically linked to the file and version in which it was created. Open markups will carry over from one version to the next. Markups always match up with the correct file version.

Modules:

  • Document Management
  • Project Home
  • Account Admin
  • Project Admin
  • Insight
  • Model Coordination – Publish, review and run clash detection on the latest set of project models.
  • BIM 360 Glue (Classic)

Autodesk made a branding change in June, 2019, and changed the name of BIM 360 Glue to Coordinate. The change only impacted the subscription name, not the products or subscription entitlements. BIM 360 Coordinate replaced BIM 360 Glue in Autodesk Account.

The BIM 360 Coordinate subscription includes:

  • Model Coordination, Document Management and Insight modules of the BIM 360 platform.
  • BIM 360 Glue (classic).
  • BIM 360 Layout iOS app at no additional charge.
  • BIM 360 Layout Android app (beta) at no additional charge.
  • Access to Navisworks and Point Layout (per BIM 360 entitlement terms).

BIM 360 Build

BIM 360 Build is for field execution and is used by contractors and construction project teams. The focus is quality and safety, progress tracking and work coordination. It is a cloud-based construction project management solution that connects project information and workflows, keeping the office and field teams in sync.

Visibility into project performance can be gained by connecting the office and field with an integrated construction project management platform that supports quality and safety programs, RFIs, submittals, and daily reporting. bim 360 build context Use Build if you need to connect project drawings, models and documents with key workflows that take place leading up to and during construction execution processes.

BIM 360 Build combines mobile technologies for onsite data collection with cloud-based collaboration and reporting to manage quality, safety, project controls, and commissioning.

  • Improve construction quality control and safety programs.
  • Create, assign, and manage issues, RFIs, and submittals.
  • Track field performance with dashboards and reports.

Build enables onsite use of tracking and logging RFIs and submittals. Teams can gain insights into reporting to manage field processes – quality, safety and commissioning.

Build allows teams to stay up-to-date with less paper and access for document management at any time. As soon as the assigned person updates the central files, everyone knows about the changes. Checklists can be created to expedite inspections and make them more consistent and thorough.

Everyone can access and update a unified set of plans from mobile devices, tablets, and laptops, so the project team has the latest data to work from no matter where they are located. Build connects project management workflows and project information on a common data platform, keeping all project team members informed and up to date.

Modules:

  • Project Home
  • Account Admin
  • Project Admin
  • Insight
  • Document Management
  • Project Management – Collaborate with your project team using RFIs and submittals. Available on mobile app.
  • Cost Management – Integrates project management with accounting.
  • BIM 360 Field (classic) – BIM 360 Field is a construction field management software app that combines mobile technologies at the point of construction with cloud-based collaboration and reporting. It includes a document library, checklists for QA/QC, safety and commissioning, and issue creation and sign-off functionality for tracking issues—including work-to-complete or punch list issues—in the field. 
  • Field Management – Manage onsite communication of checklists, issues and daily logs. Available on mobile app, it is more robust than Field and includes: automatic sync; account level library; user-level issue and checklist dashboard; mobile-Android; creation of issue templates; user-defined custom attributes.

Build includes the iPad (iOS) app at no additional charge.

The nine trackable Build project tabs include:

Overview – Track issues, companies on the job and progress.

Issues – Create, log and track issues by date and monitor resolution.

Tasks – Track tasks chronologically on a calendar.

Checklists – Assign tasks, add to a calendar, and track.

Daily updates – Create reports on daily site activity.

Equipment – Log and monitor equipment on site.

Library – Create multiple folders to categorize reference material.

Photos – Store photographs in multiple formats by category in chronological or alpha order.

Reports – Generate reports and view those by others.

BIM 360 Plan

Autodesk BIM 360 Plan is a cloud-based Lean Construction production planning product that connects the entire project team. Plan is designed as a software version of the “sticky note” planning process. It helps construction teams develop reliable work plans by following Lean Construction principles. A BIM 360 account admin can create projects and assign project admins in each BIM 360 web service, including BIM 360 Plan. A project admin can set permissions and invite project team members. As a cloud service, BIM 360 Plan enables everyone working on a project to access and update schedules from anywhere.

  • Take a mobile-first approach to production planning.
  • Build reliable work plans using Lean Construction principles.
  • Reduce waste from overproduction, excess inventory and rework.
  • Access the iPad (iOS) app at no additional charge.

How it Works: 

Using BIM 360, an account admin creates a project and assigns project admins in BIM 360 Plan. The project admin sets permissions and invites project team members. Team members click a project link in the email invitation to launch Plan. Using an Autodesk ID, members sign in to access their Plan projects. As a cloud service, Plan enables everyone working on a project to access and update schedules from the job site, the trailer or the office. 

The project is set up with its own set of companies, contacts, location sets, and work schedules. Teams add the activities they are committing to complete. As the plan proceeds, teams can view the scheduled activities in List, Swim Lane, and Gantt views. Activities can be viewed, added and edited from the field. Performance is tracked as each team records completed activities. The root causes for incomplete activities can be determined. Reports are generated to track the team’s planning reliability.

BIM 360 Ops

BIM 360 Ops is for post-construction operations and focuses on commissioning, handover and maintenance. Ops helps building owners realize the operating potential of their buildings.

Ops is a mobile-first asset for maintenance management that enables general contractors and building owners to realize and utilize the value of BIM in building operations. bim 360 ops General contractors can use Ops to improve the handover process by connecting the BIM asset data that was created during building design and construction to post-construction building operations. Owners can begin operations on day one with a mobile-first solution and the information they need.

BIM 360 Ops is available direct from Autodesk. As of January 31, 2020, the first 100 service tickets are provided by Autodesk at no charge.

The Ops solution helps provide closure for the final interaction between general contractors and building owners. Instead of the prolonged time that can be required to get building operations running smoothly using a set of PDFs and notebooks containing warranties and operating manuals, Ops streamlines the handover experience and enables owners to have turnkey asset management and maintenance on day one. It provides building owners access to the relevant equipment information and building operations data from BIM 360 Field in a responsive mobile-first solution. Ops also helps contractors improve service for warranty requests and reduce expenses from equipment maintenance when needed.

  • Mobile access gives the building owner’s teams the ability to access and update asset information while in the field without need for paper tickets or hard copy manuals.
  • BIM-ready asset management provides the potential for improved building performance and operations.
  • Simplified interface and setup can bring maintenance teams up to speed immediately.

BIM 360 Layout

Autodesk BIM 360 Layout is available only as a mobile app for iOS and BIM 360 web service. It provides vertical construction contractors the ability to connect the coordinated model to the field layout process. This helps increase job site productivity and enables more accurate staked or installed building components. The app synchronizes with the BIM 360 account to download and upload project models with point location coordinate detail. Once paired with a total station, BIM 360 Layout on an iPad guides the user to the exact location of those points on the job site for field staking and/or location verification.

Key Features: layout flat image

  • Free iPad companion application with BIM 360 Coordinate.
  • Upload models with layout points created in Autodesk Point Layout directly from Autodesk AutoCAD®, Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Navisworks into BIM 360 Glue and sync with the BIM 360 Layout app.
  • Seamless connection to total station hardware. Models with robotic total stations can be used for site layout.
  • Control the total station remotely utilizing guide and point-turn functionality.
  • Using known point and resection workflows for total station set-up, the app provides intuitive, step-by-step configuration.
  • Real-time model navigation for conducting layout, QA/QC and as-builts on the job site.

The project manager can find the exact images, points or models needed while discussing options with project teams and stakeholders. The app makes explanations and descriptions easier by providing visuals, thus giving a clearer understanding on which to base decisions.

How it Works:

BIM 360 Layout provides field layout personnel with the most up-to-date coordinated model to conduct layout activities. It eliminates the manual process of preparing and transferring point coordinate detail to field data controllers for layout. Layout allows users to communicate and share issues collected in the field directly in the coordinated model for action by the VDC team. The intuitive 3D-model-based app interface lets users navigate and locate point coordinates on the job site, and the app analyzes layout productivity data to determine best practices for planning and execution.

For compatibility of the BIM 360 Layout app, see the Applied Software eBook “The BIM 360 Family Tree.”

Autodesk links:

About BIM 360 Layout

Site construction layout

360 Sync – Synchronizing Your Library


One of the most frustrating and least favorite workflows of project managers can be handling data, especially the same data in multiple locations:

  • Downloading files
  • Updating the server
  • Updating the document management system
  • Updating BIM 360
  • Emailing the team

Applied Software developed 360 Sync software especially to automate the file updating process. This non-intrusive, resource-easy product leverages Autodesk Forge and other APIs to automatically update Windows and BIM 360 libraries. In addition, it can be run at the click of a mouse or set up to run automatically on a schedule. The goal of 360 Sync is to eliminate the double (or triple) entry of data at the company-wide and enterprise levels. It will automatically update projects, saving time and effort through automation of the file transfer process and elimination of double data entry.

360 Chart Update 1500x950 1

Using 360 Sync with Windows:

  • Sync the BIM 360 Library with server or computer.
  • Easily set up all BIM 360 projects.
  • Migrate the File Library from Field to Docs.
  • Save time and eliminate double entry of data.
  • Works with Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, ShareFile, and others.
  • Custom integrations with ViewPoint, SharePoint, Autodesk Vault, and Procore will sync Coordinate/Glue models and automatically upload after every save/export.
  • Automatic email notification upon completion of sync.
  • Sync can be run on a daily or hourly schedule, or data can be pushed at the user’s convenience.
  • Easy to use – takes 30 minutes to set up and run.
  • Enterprise solution – sync all projects.

Using 360 Sync with Docs:

  • Sync the Docs Library with server or computer.
  • Migrate File/Model Library from Docs to Field or Coordinate.
  • Works with Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, ShareFile, and others.
  • Currently the only way to extract project photos from BIM 360 Docs.

Using 360 Sync with Field:

  • Sync the Field Library with server or computer.
  • Automatic email notification upon completion of sync.
  • Set up all projects quickly.
  • Works with Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, ShareFile, and others.

Using 360 Sync with Coordinate:

  • Sync models with Coordinate.
  • Automatic email notification upon completion of sync.
  • “Glue/Coordinate Button” for non-Autodesk-centric authoring programs (ie. Tekla, Rhino).
  • Works with Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, ShareFile, and others.

Time saving and easy-to-use 360 Sync is a product of the Applied Software application development team.

For an explanation of how 360 Sync helps users avoid double data entry, watch this Bridging the Gap segment with Michael Reuter.

For blog articles, you can check out the September, 2019 Applied Software blog article, A Ton of 360 Sync Updates and the February, 2019 article, 6 Things You’re Forgetting About Data Sync.

When trying to decide which BIM 360 products to use, you don’t have to go it alone. The industry-experienced experts at Applied Software can help you create the BIM 360 scenario that best fits your firm.