Kevin Breslin | ISD/RCS Services Manager
By now, most Civil 3D users have heard about the recently released Civil 3D 2020.2 which (after a very long wait) now provides the means to use BIM 360 Design for Civil 3D project collaboration. And when I say “Collaboration”, I’m not speaking in the generic sense where files (dwg, pdf, etc.) can be shared, but actual Civil 3D projects with Data Shortcuts/References, Xrefs, Images, etc…..
Yes, This IS a big deal and organizations which have previously been relegated to using either Data Shortcuts on a LAN/WAN, or Vault Professional to collaborate in actual projects now have a new and powerful third option.
My intention in this post is not to do an overview of the basics, as there’s no shortage of this to be found elsewhere. Instead, my intent is to provide some tips/observations I’ve found that you may benefit from.
The new “Start” page in Civil 3D 2020.2
To start with, if you’re new to using Civil 3D with BIM 360, my first tip is . . . . Do NOT turn off this new Start page.
Understanding that many Civil 3D experts will disable the Start page in order to get past the perceived “non-essentials” and get to work. In the case of the 2020.2 version, there are some pretty useful BIM 360 related features to take advantage of, that for the time being at least, warrants keeping it around.
At first glance, the new Start page is fairly straightforward and intuitive, so let’s jump into the less than obvious parts.
1 – The “Recent” section includes both local and cloud-based files as denoted in column 2.
3 – Picking on the gear icon gives you the ability to choose what data is visible in this section
Pretty simple. . .
Next, let’s go to the “BIM 360” section of the Start page
1 – BIM 360 section where you can see the data specifically related to projects that are on BIM 360.
2- The BIM 360 project, which can itself be the active Civil 3D project, or a location where multiple Civil 3D projects are located (more on that topic in a later blog post)
3 – The status of each file and whether or not it’s cached locally in your system in the BIM 360 Desktop Connector portion of your local drive (also. . . . more on the Desktop Connector in a later post)
4- This is the version of the file based on saves that have been synchronized with BIM 360. Pretty cool bit of data, btw.
5- Who Authored the file
6- The settings here give you a lot more options to control what data is being displayed. In fact, you need to turn on things like “Version” because it’s not displayed by default.
So, can you open, save and create new files without the Start page? Yes you can.
Does it make sense to keep this on while you’re getting up to speed on the new BIM 360 environment? IMHO.....Yes it does.
With this type of information displayed, you can more easily keep track of local vs BIM 360 files, file versions, files that are cached or not, etc.
While we’re on the topic of getting up to speed on BIM 360 for Civil 3D, I should note that IMAGINiT has developed a quick education package on this topic called the BIM 360 for Civil 3D Jumpstart
This new service is designed to get an organization up and running with Civil 3D 2020.2 (and newer) with BIM 360 to provide guidance on setting up the BIM 360 environment, projects, permissions, communications, Civil 3D workflows, Data Shortcuts/references in a quick, one-day remote session.
If you’re interested in jumping into Civil 3D with BIM 360 and you would like to expedite the adoption process. . . . . reach out to us and ask for more info