Reconcile the Differences Between Parameters live in projects without Destroying Data

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

Let’s talk about Revit families. Are your Revit users pulling families from manufacturer websites, then having to spend project time individually reconciling the differences between the parameters used without destroying existing data?

Downloaded Revit family content introduces shared parameters into a project that are often times different from the parameters used in the company’s schedule. These differences often cause schedules to display incomplete or inaccurate data requiring tedious, individual fixes.
BIM Project Suite 2020’s Parameter Jammer uses a two-step process to swap the parameters in the family to reconcile the differences between the parameters without destroying your existing data, saving users time and headaches. The first step swaps parameters that can be safely identified as a match, while the second allows users to map, add or omit parameters that do not need to be swapped.
Parameter Jammer is user friendly, and was designed so that Revit users who are unfamiliar with the family editor can successfully prepare a family to be scheduled; it also:
• Uses the schedule to derive parameter needs; and
• Allows the end user to push parameters into a non-standard family.
Maximize your Revit project team’s time with Parameter Jammer and the entire BIM Project Suite 2020 by downloading a free software trial and scheduling a demo today.

CTC BIM Projct Suite 2020 – Invisibility Advisor

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

Find improperly displayed elements in Revit with Invisibility Advisor. Part of the BIM Project Suite, this tool can also identify the cause of invisibilty as well as offer useful information and links to relevant knowledgeable articles for each issue.

Common Challenges

  • Revit users may spend 2-4 hours a week on average resolving object visibility issues
  • Revit has various ways of finding objects, and users rarely check all
  • Often invisibility can be controlled by multiple factors and multiple users

Solution – Invisibility Advisor

  • Invisibility Advisor searches through almost 60 different factors affecting an object’s invisibility
  • Advice is offered to assist with understanding why the object(s) were not visible
  • In many cases, an instant ‘Fix’ option is available to resolve the visibility issue automagically
  • The Invisibility Advisor can remain on screen while you work, so visibility solutions are available at your fingertips

ROI

  • At even 1 hour per week time savings, Invisibility Advisor can save an average firm $3400/year/Revit user

For more information visit CTC Productivity Tools to learn more, and download free trial.

 

WORKAROUND: Civil 3D XREF Structures Do Not Resize

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

My friend and customer, Ben Cartmell from Koers & Associates in Parksville, has brought to my attention a method, of which you may not be aware, for working around a limitation within Civil 3D.  The limitation is when a drawing containing Civil 3D structures is XREF’d.  The image below shows two viewports in paper space with pipes and structures that have been XREF’d in model space.  The structures are annotative and they should be the same size within the viewports, but they are not.

 

There is an easy workaround for this problem.  The file being XREF’d in the example above was saved in model space.

  • Open the file.
  • Switch to paper space.
  • Save.

Reload the XREF and those structures now appear the same size in paper space.

Feel free to experiment by downloading these two drawing files.

Revit Project Cleanup – Why and How

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

As a collaborative BIM software, Revit enables multiple authors to work within the same project file. However, as projects progress files can grow rather large, often time filling up “extra stuff”. This extra data can cause model performance to slow down or lag, causing models to take far longer to open, save, or close.

Additionally, users may take more time to navigate through this extra information to find the correct view, sheet, content or other relevant data. Some processes exist to alleviate these issues inside of Revit, however they are time consuming, tedious, and incomplete.

Describing the issue

The development of Revit project files comes with a lot of work to maintain a healthy file for continued, efficient user workflows. BIM Managers must keep going through the files, cleaning up all the unneeded information. Deleting views, view templates, filters, unused sheets, link & imported elements from the file. Additionally, reviewing all views, trying to find non-standard elements that users might have created in the file. Finally, checking the model to make sure the users are following best practice of modeling correctly. These tasks and more all take time and must be done regularly to ensure that models do not break minutes before major submittals. The breaking of models, file corruption, or file slowdown may require the stopping of work for repair of a problematic model has cost that is not frequently quantified. Fortunately, there are project maintenance tools available in the CTC Software’s BIM Manager Suite that makes this entire process easy to execute, and significantly reduces model downtime, and stoppages of work.

Workflow Description

The use of Project Cleaner makes efficient use of time in cleaning up garbage views from the project. Leveraging the Import/Link Manager can rapidly allow identification and repair of the imports in the model. Intelligently running Type Swapper can save hours of model maintenance and cleanup of rogue types. Finally, Dimension Checker makes it possible to identify areas in a model where information has been faked to ‘just get it done’, but could be a liability issue, or a model fidelity issue later in the project.

Workflow Steps

Project Cleaner

  • Allows BIM manager to easily manage unwanted or unneeded views, sheets and schedules in the project without re-organizing the project browser

i. Removing user duplicated working views can frequently enable purging of unused documentation elements, reduce file size and speed model performance

  • Using ‘Options’ can enable sorting of views and sheets in meaningful ways to enable rapid decision making about view use and value

Import & Link Manger

  • All too frequently files are improperly linked or imported into production models
  • While Revit does allow minimal management of links, there is no easy way to find and fix imported AutoCAD files
  • ILM is critical to the regular maintenance of models by finding and fixing imports and update link settings in a simple interface

Type Swapper

  • If a user copies content from other projects or explodes an imported CAD file, many dimension, text, line styles and fill patterns will manifest in project models
  • Upkeep of these non-standard elements is near impossible manually, but the Type Swapper allows cleaning the model of these non-standard elements by swapping to standard types and purging those that are not wanted

Dim Checker

  • Sometimes designers and engineers do not feel they have time to properly coordinate modeled object positions

i. Too frequently this leads to overriding dimension values in very dirty ways, mimicking the days of AutoCAD workflows
ii. Unfortunately, these are rarely found and more rarely repaired

  • The DIM Checker allows these dimensions strings to be found and reports generated to allow the team to easily repair and coordinate these dimensions where appropriate

The ROI

The manual tasks to accomplish the work described above can take many hours per file, with several files within a single project. Often doing this work manually would require users to stop production and exit a Revit model, thus stopping billable work. The tools on the BIM Manager Suite can frequently be used during users working in production. Simple tasks like tracking down rogue line types can be finished in minutes. When speaking with BIM Managers, we often hear that a 1-hour repair cycle is often needed, and in these times, users are not able to be in the model, limiting production time. If the project has 3-5 people working in the model, then their time is lost during this repair effort. At $150 billable rate, this equates to ~$750 each time a repair is needed on each project. If even 2 projects a month require some attention like this, then $18000/year is thrown away to model maintenance. When using the BIM Manager Suite, often these tasks can be completed in 15 minutes, and users can continue to work in the model, so no production time is lost. This is easily a savings of over $17000. Also, since this can be done more easily, projects don’t get to critical halts due to issues. Preventative maintenance has the side-effect of helping projects run much more smoothly, saving time throughout the entire project lifecycle, and making everyone’s work in Revit more enjoyable and productive.

To download your 14-day free trial of these tools, click here or contact your SolidCAD representative to have a formal orientation on these workflows and related tools.

What’s new in Lumion 9

By Vicky Browne, Marketing at SolidCAD                                   

Lumion has always set out to define what rendering should be: fast and stress-free with exceptional results. Now, with Lumion 9, you’ll do more than feel the space. You’ll instantly breathe life into your project while capturing realistic environments faster than ever before.

Add the one-touch Real Skies to cast a new light on your scene and instantly create a beautiful, unique setting for your designs. Let realistic rain communicate cozy spaces, which you can now decorate with furry rugs and fluffy blankets. For the true-to-life garden shot, apply the new Customizable 3D Grass materials and you’ll almost feel the freshly cut lawn beneath your feet.

New streamlined scene-building tools help you create complex environments in minutes. Add to the improved workflow, Lumion’s jaw-dropping rendering speed and outstanding images and videos are within your reach, on all your projects. Use Lumion 9 to show the true beauty of your designs and form genuine connections with your clients.

Sky Light 2 and Real Skies(Real Skies are Pro only)

Instant, beautiful skies to take your breath away. With 39 Real Skies and their pre-configured Sky Light settings in Lumion 9, it takes a single click to give your design the perfect clear blue morning, stormy afternoon or unforgettable sunset.

Change the sky and your design’s entire lighting changes with it, putting you within reach of an awe-inspiring render in literally seconds.

Customizable 3D Grass(Pro only)

Spice up your landscape designs and add a variety of configurable, realistic grasses to your parks, gardens, lawns and any other surfaces with the new Customizable 3D Grass materials in Lumion 9.

Atmospheric Rain and Snow (Pro only)

Express the real feeling of your designs with the new Atmospheric Rain and Snow. With just a click, you can create everything from the light drizzle to a full-blown downpour, the winter flurry to a whiteout blizzard. The Atmospheric Rain and Snow is located under the Precipitation effect in Photo and Movie mode.

Interested in seeing more of Lumion 9? Contact us.


The touch, smell and feel of engaging architectural renders

Furry materials (Pro only)
Soft to the touch. Colorful and fluffy. For the ultra-comfy blanket or rug, the new furry material provides charm and warmth to any surface in any space.

112 realistic new materials
With 112 highly realistic, new materials in Lumion Pro, it’s easier than ever to quickly convert the blank skeleton of your 3D model into a lively scene teeming with color, depth and feeling.

From the new marble flooring to the cobblestones and bricks for heightening outdoor realism, the new materials in Lumion 9 are the secret ingredient to “touch” the smooth wooden floors, “smell” the suede sofa in the living room, and “hear” the sound of rain battering the roof tiles.

New objects in the Content Library (Some Pro Only)
Infuse your designs with the energy of real-life spaces and environments with 634 new HD objects available in Lumion 9.

While most of the new objects cater to kitchens, ranging from refrigerators to cooktops to deliciously designed cabinets, you’ll find a wide assortment of lighting fixtures, storage items, cabinets, lounge and office chairs, sports cars and 3D people. This way, you can instantly capture the lived-in look of kitchens, living rooms, hallways, bedrooms and more.

Lumion 9 also comes with highly detailed palms and broadleaf trees, as well as a plethora of various stones for achieving jagged hillsides and rough shorelines.

Ready to explore what’s new in Lumion 9? Contact us.

Quickly build believable environments for unbelievable renders

Updated OpenStreetMap
Need urban context, fast? In Lumion 9, OpenStreetMap has gone through a major update to bring you higher quality city context at faster speeds than before.

Lean scene-building workflow
The fastest rendering engine just got a boost into high gear. Natural and intuitive scene building. One-touch controls for quickly adding objects, materials, effects and more. From zero to beautiful render in record time.

Save groups
Save the perfect table arrangement, load the picturesque bedroom. Your favorite object arrangements and groups are uniquely yours, saved now and forever!

Intuitive object placement
Placing objects is now more intuitive, easier and faster. Smart object technology via easy-to-use hotkeys can help ensure the right object placement while saving you valuable time and streamlining your scene building processes.

Instant object focus
A double-click takes you anywhere throughout the scene, so you’ll never lose sight of your model again.

Updated import edges
Take it to the edge. In Lumion 9, the edges of your models can be imported as separate material assignments. Using the dedicated “Import Edges” button, you can easily create wire-frame models and highlight the outlines of interior and exterior geometry.

Updated eye-level camera
Ever wonder what your model looks like from a real person’s point-of-view? Now, as you build your scene in Lumion 9’s Build Mode, you can simply click the eye-level camera and see what your design will look like in real life, as you build your scene.

Thanks for joining us for a look at all the new features available in Lumion 9. If you’re looking to buy or upgrade to Lumion – contact us.

Making more beautiful, realistic, and detailed renders in Revit

By Thomas Morrissey, AEC Technical Consultant at SolidCAD                                   

3D visualization is an essential part of architectural illustration today. Renders allow you to communicate your vision and intent to clients and colleagues. This is why models or drawings are often sent out to be professionally rendered. This is an expensive but usually necessary process. However, it is possible to make high quality renders in-house using Revit or through the cloud.

What makes a beautiful render? Like many things, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is in the nuance of the materials you select, the lighting, the details you choose to include, and any post-production editing.

Here are a few thoughts on how to start making more beautiful, detailed renders in Revit.

I’ve wrapped them all up in a short video at the bottom of this post.

Materials

Materials are the foundation of every Revit render. They are what gives an element in Revit its color, context, and texture. They are part of the scene and should be adjusted accordingly.

The default color in Revit is grey. Leave the materials on their default setting and when you hit the render button, you will get a series of grey blobs with no information or appeal.

Luckily you can easily change this by adding texture to the material. Look in Revit’s image library or Google JPEG’s or PNG’s with your desired texture. Remember that you can also experiment with attributes like reflectivity and transparency to get the textures looking just right.

Details

It is the details that make a render feel realistic. Buildings do not sit in a vacuum. Neither should renders. The more detail you are able to add to your render, the more more realism there is to your images especially when you work with real-life details. Beautiful renders are photo-realistic. As in photos – trees, people, and other outdoor elements – create the scale and real-life feel. Real pictures are never perfect and a hundred percent clean so neither should your render be.

Sun and Artificial Light

Light is the most important aspects of a rendered image. The lighting of your building should match the lighting of your surrounding. Everything should look like it works and is meant to be together. The shadows should look good and the lux, luminous or wattage should be correct on the artificial lights you are using.

Although you can adjust the exposure afterward rendering you don’t want to be spending all your time doing adjustments. Try to set up the image correctly from the very beginning. This becomes even more important if cloud credits are involved.

Tip: It’s a good idea when trying to render your design to have lights hidden away from the building. This will add some hidden light in the hidden corner or in the back of the camera to give some illumination to the building, just make sure to delete them where they are not needed.

Editing the Render

You can adjust the render after you have rendered it. This is a good way to make minor changes without having to render all over again. You can make things darker or lighter. Change the color make it warmer or cooler. It is sometimes essential to work on some area of the scene to add some dramatic shadow or to correct some texture. You can do this within Revit without having to export to another software like Photoshop and it will hopefully save you time and money..

Walk through the rendering process with me

Energy analysis – Realize the greatest benefit of BIM

By , AEC Technical Consultant at SolidCAD                                   

Many engineers do not realize the power of Revit and prefer to trust the process of designs they have been using for years, such as Excel, manual calculations or their company templates. In fact, they have implemented Revit solely for the purpose of producing construction drawings. They miss the point that Revit can be used for improving performance and collaboration, not only for the drawings to look correct on paper.

In reality, engineers use Revit in conjunction with other third-party software. However, this disconnects the Revit model and calculations, lowers the level of accuracy and results in multiple recalculations.

In fact, Energy analysis is easier to perform in Revit than in any other program. Using Revit for heating/cooling calculations ensures that any changes that were made in the architectural model will be reflected in energy calculations. If you plan on performing energy analysis in Revit, you must define Energy settings, as well as spaces/zones at the beginning of the modeling. To do so you must verify that all spaces are set up with space elements (shafts, plenums, sliver spaces), spaces are added to zones other than the default zone and building/space settings are customized for the project.

Energy analysis runs on an Autodesk Insight subscription. To use it, you must be signed into Revit with a subscription-enabled Autodesk account. To use Energy Optimization for Revit, ensure that the user interface option for Energy analysis and tools is enabled. If not, icons will be greyed out.

Using the Analyze tab > Energy > Optimization pane, you can define Energy Settings, Location, Generate Energy Model,  and Optimize Performance:

 

You can run Energy Analysis in the beginning stages of the project using conceptual masses. However, more advanced analysis for MEP runs on building elements.

When preparing your project for Energy Analysis, you need to make sure you set up Energy Settings properly.

  • Go to Analyse > Location > Specify geographic location of your project. It is allowing to use a nearby weather station data for Analysis.
  • Select Architectural link and make sure Type properties is set to Room Bounding.
  • Go to Architecture Tab > Room & Area > in drop down click on Area and Volume computation. Set computations to Area and Volume. For Heating/Cooling, Energy Analysis and Lighting calculations, you need to calculate Volume for the spaces. When the option is set to Area, Revit will perform faster but volumes will not be calculated. If you notice that space Volume is 0.000, you need to toggle this setting.
  • Open the Energy Settings dialog. Click Analyze tab > Energy Optimization panel >Energy Settings > Other Options> Change Building Type Data from drop down options.
  • In the same window, change Building Operating ScheduleHVAC SystemOutdoor Air InformationConceptual Type.
    Set Export category to Spaces. MEP Energy analysis model runs on spaces. When it is set to Spaces, Revit passes the following information for use in the analysis: Space object name and number, Occupancy, Lighting, Equipment, and Zone.

Note: you can access Energy Settings from Manage Tab > Project information

  • Change Schematic Types from Building default, which was generated from the information in Conceptual Type. You can override Material Thermal Properties in Categories from the drop down menu to define Envelope elements U-values.

  • Create Spaces and check that all the spaces are set to room bounding elements – floor, walls, ceiling, roof.
  • Once everything is set up, you can run the Energy simulation. To do so, go to Analyze tab > Generate.

Revit will send the energy model to the cloud for simulation and analysis. It creates geometry used for energy simulation engines such as DOE 2.2 and EnergyPlus. When the analysis is finished, you will notice a pop-up window telling you the process is completed. You will be able to access the 3D Energy Model View in the Project Browser. You will also receive an email from Autodesk Insight: “Your Analysis is complete. You can access the results on Insight”.

The calculated results will provide you with a total for Energy use. It will build graphs showing how much Energy and what proportion of total Energy is used by each system. Energy and fuel consumption depend on the MEP system chosen for the building. You can visualize results in graphs and compare cost savings between different options.

You can use Autodesk Insight to understand, evaluate, and adjust design and operational factors to improve building performance.
After reviewing results, you can use Energy Optimization for Revit to create an energy model and perform energy analysis with improved settings. You can compare results based on different simulations, print Report to PDF, and compare two different models in the same project side by side. Insight also allows you to collaborate by adding other members to the project. They will have access to the Energy Model and Model Performance.

Today’s demanding business environment is pushing towards more efficient, better quality and cost-effective building design. Energy Modeling and Analysis is a complex and time-consuming process. It is usually done for a Compliance Report, where time and budget allow. With Autodesk Insight, Energy modeling can be done with high accuracy and a high level of precision because it creates an Energy Model directly from an architectural model. Use Energy Optimization for Revit at all stages of design, from schematic design to design development, in order to improve building energy performance. It can be used for projects of any size without straining the budget or delivery time.

Contact us to find out more about Revit for MEP and how we can help you get the most from it.

The 3 Main Types of Panel Schedule Templates in Revit

By Olena Kryzhanivska, AEC Technical Consultant at SolidCAD                                   

Panel schedules are an essential part of any electrical design and provide a level of coordination that ensures accurate design and documentation.

Panel schedules can be created before or after circuits are connected to the panel. Once a Panel is placed in a model, a panel schedule is listed in the Project Browser. Using the Analyze >Panel Schedule tool, you can create Panel Schedules using a default template. You can create one or multiple Panel schedules from the Panel Schedule dialog. You can also simply select a Panel in a model and the Panel Schedule tool will become available for this Panel. Keep in mind, you will need to associate each Panel with a Distribution system. This parameter is available in Instant Properties under the Electrical-Circuiting group. The Distribution System is defined under the Manage tab > Electrical settings.

Revit provides 3 main types of panel schedule templates: Branch panelData panel and Switchboard.

On the Manage tab, select Panel Schedule Templates and click Edit a Template.

Branch panel

This type of template can only be used with a Panelboard device. Devices that are assigned to the Power system type are associated with a Branch panel template.

You can specify 3 different panel configurations for Branch panels, which can be used for lighting or power systems.

Branch Panel Configuration:

  • Two Columns, Circuits Across. This is an imperial template, widely used in USA and Canada.
  • Two Columns, Circuits Down. This is another configuration of an imperial template.
  • One Column. This is a metric template configuration.
Branch panel schedule with circuits in two columns

To create a Branch panel schedule with circuits in two columns:

  1. In the Edit a Template dialog, select the template type. The template type determines the options in the Templates pane.
  2. If you select a branch panel template, also select the configuration by choosing one of the drop down options.
  3. Select the template to edit and click Open.

The template displays in Edit Template mode. Use the commands on the Modify Panel Schedule Template tab to edit the template. Here you can set the total width of the schedule, number of slots shown as variable or fixed number, format of displaying loads, etc.

  • Click on Set Template Options
  • Define General settings
Set General settings

Set Circuit table
Set Loads Summary

Revit panel schedules are highly customizable. You can add Electrical Equipment, Electrical Circuits, and Project Information categories to a panel schedule template. For example, you can add electrical equipment and project information to the header and footer parts.  Only electrical equipment parameters can be added to the loads summary. Circuit parameters are automatically pulled to the circuit table part from the model. You can also insert a Notes parameter in the template so that the Notes information can be entered and saved in the panel schedule.

Modify Panel Schedule Template

You can modify the Panel Schedule Template in order to customize it to your company’s standards. Use the commands on the Modify Panel Schedule Template tab to edit the template.

• Remove a parameter – select a cell, then click Remove Parameter. The column is cleared of parameters.
• Combine parameters – select a cell and click Combine Parameters.
• Freeze or unfreeze the height and width of all rows and columns – click Freeze Rows and Columns. You can continue to resize frozen rows and columns using Resize Column and Resize Row, but you are prevented from resizing them using grips.
 Insert a column – select cells, then select either Left of Selected or Right of Selected from the Insert Column drop-down menu.
• Insert a row – select one or more rows, then select either Above Selected or Below Selected from the Insert Row drop-down menu.

You can insert text notes in Schedule Header Notes and Schedule Circuit Notes. These are instant family parameters. They can be edited from the Property palette or from the Panel schedule itself. However, if you just type text instead of associating it with a Notes parameter, this text will be lost when you are updating the schedule.

Data panel

This type of template can only be used with a data panel device. The primary purpose of a Data panel is to identify circuits and data outlets and associate them with telephone numbers. Data panels can be connected to anything except power devices. Typical devices connected to a data panel include telephones, fire alarms, and security devices. Data panels display a single circuit column.

Data panel schedule with one circuit column

Switchboard Schedule

This type of template can be used with a switchboard. Switchboard schedules display information about the Switchboard and the connected Panelboards or other devices.

Switchboard panel schedule with one circuit column

You can customize Circuit Tables for Switchboard panel schedule.

Circuit Tables options for Switchboard panel

 

As you can see, you have a lot of flexibility in producing Panel Schedules in Revit. Using the Rebalance Tool you can redistribute loads with one click in order to make the loads as equal as possible on each phase. You can move circuits up and down within the Panel Schedule without effecting any other circuits. You can assign open slots in a panel as  spares or spaces. Also, a spare, space or specific circuit can be locked/unlocked to the slot. You can create multi-pole circuits by grouping a single pole circuit and spare together.

You can change the circuits description, as needed, from the Panel schedule. This allows you to create a Schedule Template which will comply exactly to your company standard or create a unique template to match a client’s standards. It will make creating and managing electrical systems and schedules in Revit easy and efficient, saves design time and reduces possibility of error.

Are we beyond BIM?

If everybody is so proficient with the change to a BIM process, then why aren’t building projects embracing it more widely? Why aren’t those firms who have embraced it finding the efficiencies that it promises? Why are our buildings not being constructed with less problems? Most importantly, why are those people who build those buildings still not convinced that the move to BIM has improved the quality, capability, efficiency and functionality of their products?

BIM has been around for over 15 years and still many architectural firms are struggling with how to actually leverage its potential. Engineering firms are not utilizing the information in the data-rich models being created. Contractors are spending valuable time remodeling the digital information created by their design teams so that they can utilize them for their purposes. Finally, these models are not of much use to the owners and even more work needs to be done for them to get a true digital repository of the structures they have created.

What has gone wrong? Why can we not create a true digital model of a building that can be used for design; then passed onto production of construction documents; then passed onto the contractor him/herself to build and extract useful data from; and finally passed to the owner to utilize throughout the building’s life-cycle. Along the way, why isn’t this data-rich model used for a myriad of additional benefits? A true building information model should exist throughout the life of a building.

The answer is that WE CAN! The secret is that all of these participants have to want to work together to achieve a set of common goals. The only person who can define what these are is the person paying the participants; yet that person does not have the experience or knowledge to do what is necessary. Until we can get together as one team pulling for that elusive set of common goals, the building process and the resulting building will be a disparate set of activities producing a result that reflects that lack of cohesiveness.

It is time that we got together and came up with a better way to use BIM so that everybody in the process can benefit.

BIM 360 Design – the next gen of Collaboration for Revit

By Vicky Browne, Marketing at SolidCAD                                   

As of April 9, 2018, Collaboration for Revit is available as BIM 360 Design – Autodesk’s next-generation cloud work-sharing, data management, and design collaboration product.

This is part of several changes to the Autodesk BIM 360 portfolio of products.

Collaboration for Revit (C4R) background

Collaboration for Revit (better known as C4R) was one of the most successful products from Autodesk. It was a simple product, but it provided a service not available affordably through any other means.

Collaboration for Revit gave users on project teams, not in the same office, the ability to work together in one model. Prior to its release, Revit worked well within an office; not so well between offices. With the arrival of C4R, in one fell swoop, those barriers were eliminated.

What has changed?

BIM 360 Design is the next generation of Collaboration for Revit (C4R). It enables the cloud worksharing you’ve come to love in C4R but connected to the next generation BIM 360 platform.

With the new changes, everyone will have more seamless access, whether in BIM 360 Docs or Design (C4R) as they will both sit on the new Autodesk BIM 360 platform.

You will have access to the Design Collaboration and Document Management modules in BIM 360, in addition to the existing C4R functionality.

The following table describes the modules included in each product:

BIM 360 Docs BIM 360 Design
  • Document Management
  • Insight
  • Project Administration
  • Account Administration
  • Document Management
  • Design Collaboration
  • Insight
  • Project Administration
  • Account Administration
  • Access to Revit Cloud Worksharing
  • Access to Classic C4R
  • Access to BIM 360 Team

What does it mean for you?

  • Current Collaboration for Revit subscribers:
    • Can activate access to BIM 360 Design via a link in their Autodesk Account; and,
    • Will be eligible to renew to BIM 360 Design with access to BIM 360 Team.
  • Current BIM 360 Team subscribers will be offered access to the new BIM 360 platform via Autodesk Account.

What about compatibility between the two environments?

Because BIM 360 Design (C4R) will be running on the new BIM 360 Docs, files stored in the old – “Classic” version of C4R will not be compatible with those on the “New Generation” version. Therefore, it is crucial that one has the proper number of Classic licenses before upgrading.

In addition, if you will be sharing a project with other firms, it is also important that they have adequate licensing.

 

Q & A for the Next Generation BIM 360 Platform

The following are some key questions based on Autodesk’s FAQ for the BIM 360 platform.

1. Can classic services and next-generation BIM 360 modules be utilized on the same project within a customer account?

No. BIM 360 Glue and BIM 360 Build subscribers must select whether to activate next-generation BIM 360 modules, or to activate classic services, when setting up a new project.

BIM 360 Team projects and data will remain separate from the BIM 360 platform. Projects and data created in one will not be visible in the other.

2. How will renewals be handled for Collaboration for Revit?

Collaboration for Revit subscribers will be eligible to renew to BIM 360 Design.

Collaboration for Revit customers that maintain active subscriptions to BIM 360 Design will retain access to their projects and data in BIM 360 Team and will also have access to the BIM 360 platform with new and improved features and workflows including greater file- and folder- based access controls, unlimited storage, facilitated model exchange, and change visualization.

3. How will renewals be handled for BIM 360 Team?

Existing BIM 360 Team subscribers will be eligible to renew their BIM 360 Team subscriptions at the same price. Customers that maintain active subscriptions to BIM 360 Team will retain access to BIM 360 Team projects and data and will also be provided access to the new BIM 360 Platform.

If BIM 360 Team or Collaboration for Revit customers decide to NOT renew, upon the end of a subscription, all project files can be downloaded. Project data will be maintained in customer accounts after the end of the subscription for a period of time as specified in the Autodesk Trust Center.

4. Will current C4R subscribers be able to continue to use the product as they do today?

If you are an existing Collaboration for Revit subscriber and you maintain an active subscription of Collaboration for Revit, you can store, access, and manage project data and perform cloud worksharing in either BIM 360 Team or the new BIM 360 Platform.

5. Which Revit versions will work with Collaboration for Revit and BIM 360 Design?

  • With Revit 2015 to 2018.2 and earlier versions, you can cloud workshare in Collaboration for Revit.
  • With Revit 2018.3, you can cloud workshare in both Collaboration for Revit as well as BIM 360 Design.
  • With Revit 2019, cloud worksharing will be exclusive to BIM 360 Design.

6. Where can I find more technical information?
The Autodesk Knowledge Network has published this guide to BIM 360 DesignContact our Support Desk if you need more information.