With the new release of Civil 3D 2020.2, we’re all seeing some slight changes in the appearance of Civil 3D’s Start page (Blog Post Part 1) and some new options available for file save locations. Since the 2020.2 update introduced the capability of creating and hosting Civil 3D Projects in the cloud via BIM360 Design and BIM360 Docs, let’s take a look at how we can create new project files directly in BIM360.
For the most part, if you are starting with a Civil 3D template (.dwt) file, the worklfow that is used to create new Civil 3D drawings will not change much. The big difference will be selecting the location where files are saved, and the sort options that appear for existing BIM360 files. This is also the option you’ll use to create new files in BIM360 instead of your local or network drive locations.
If you are copying and pasting existing Civil 3D drawing (.dwg) files, the BIM360 functionality is not ideal for that (copying an local file and pasting to BIM360 folders), and you are likely to encounter some inconnsisties or functionality related issues when usign the online tools like Version Compare and Markups. When using BIM360 for Civil 3D, the currently reccomended best practice is to start your Civil 3D projects in the cloud and keep them in the cloud for the life of the project.
Once you’ve launched Civil 3D and made your way to the new Start page, all we need to do is click on the “New” option as usual. The drawing template (.dwt) file can be selected from any location and does not need to be saved to BIM360, although if you are working with outside consultants, it’s a good idea to post a project template file so everyone starts off with the same styles and settings.
Continue to work as usual, assigning a coordinate system and adding any additional file setup information that you typically do. Once the file is ready to be saved, use the SaveAs (or QSAVE if the file has not been saved before) to get to the Save dialog box.
Since the 2020.2 update and BIM360 Desktop Connector add access to the BIM360 from Civil 3D, you’ll now see that your BIM360 Hub is available as an option for file save locations, similar to one of your system drives.
Navigate your way to the BIM360 project folder location where your new file belongs and give it a name and click Save.
In Civil 3D, there will be no noticeable difference outside of navigating to a BIM360 folder instead of your local or network drive, and a little bit of sync time for files to update when saving. Back on the Start tab, you’ll notice that your new file appears under the BIM360 sort filter with a status listed as “cached” along with version (V1 for the initial save) and the Author and Date information.
Working on the drawing file is business as usual after the file has been saved to BIM360. Accessing the file in the future will also be a similar (to current) workflow, navigating to the BIM360 hub location to find the file.
In the background, saving the project files have also opened up the ability to use BIM360 Online to access the enhanced BIM360 features like online Markups, RFI’s, Issues, and Version Compare. Logging in to the BIM360 online platform and accessing your project files from there will enable these features.
Now you know how to start a new project drawing using the BIM360 for Civil3D options that were released with the Civil 3D 2020.2 update. Anytime you work in the file and use the QSAVE option to save your changes, a new version will appear in BIM360.
Even an extra QSAVE without making any changes will generate another version, so be mindful of that and try to manage your saves accordingly. Currently, there is no way to delete a single version of the file without deleting the entire drawing from the project, so your version history will keep track of all changes, big or small.
Now you know how to start a new project drawing using the BIM360 for Civil3D options that were released with the Civil 3D 2020.2 update.
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