The fact that I'm posting about it means that it probably isn't really that easy, right? There are a few challenging pieces of the puzzle that all need to come together to get C4R or Collaboration for Revit working on a real project. I just went through this process with a mechanical firm so it is all pretty fresh in my mind.
Firstly, note that A360 Team has been rebranded as BIM 360 Team and will be migrated, more details at this post.
Secondly, Autodesk really wants your whole team (like everyone, every consultant, every Revit link) on Collaboration for Revit. However, out in the real world it is just happening bit-by-bit, and in the meantime some hacks and workarounds can make the process a little bit easier.
A Quick Overview
Ok, so Collaboration for Revit runs on on top of BIM 360 Team. What this means is that you need to have an active BIM 360 Team license if you wish to run projects. Then, you need a Collaboration for Revit license for each Revit user who will be connecting to that BIM 360 Team site. You still with me? This also means that persons outside of your firm may connect to your projects, provided they have their own Collaboration for Revit entitlement applied to their Autodesk account.
Once you have the BIM 360 Team license, and the Collaboration for Revit licenses, you then need to "Assign" the Collaboration for Revit licenses out to the users (using their Autodesk login details).
Finally, you need to actually do some stuff, like:
make a BIM 360 Team project,
invite the users,
initiate Revit models, and
get the links working.
Its a lot to take in, so you can see that the blog title is actually a half-joke :) However, we were able to get all this up and running in about 4 hours for one firm, so you can too. Hopefully. Something that will help
Given that there are a lot of moving pieces, I turned to my favourite research and documentation tool, OneNote. I have created a public notebook that you can view at this link: Revit Collaboration Public Help
Basically all of the steps involved in getting the licensing setup, inviting users, installing the addin, and initiating models onto Collaboration for Revit are in the notebook linked above. I will continue to update and add to this over time.
Just comment to this post and I will endeavour to answer your question in the notebook, or point you toward the answer.
Now, here are a few other bits and pieces that may be useful, if the notebook doesn't answer your questions...
When working in 3D in Revit, you *can* use the normal dimension tool *if* you first set the Workplane. However, this can get annoying. Why not make a 2 point adaptive family, with a reporting parameter, so that you can just place the family (two clicks) and then check the instance parameter as shown below?
If you view a lot of IFC files in Tekla BIMsight, you may find that the cache or storage folder fills up quite quickly. If this is in its default location of %localappdata%\Tekla\Tekla BIMsight\ then you could use up valuable space on your SSD.
We can easily move this folder using symbolic links. In the script below, we:
check the default directory exists, and if so rename it
make a symbolic link to a new target directory, in this case I have used E:\TeklaBimSight
make the new directory if necessary
copy existing contents to the new directory
To use the script:
Close Tekla BIMsight
Copy text from the script into Notepad and save as CMD. Modify the target directory to your preference
Save the script with CMD extension
Right click and Run As Administrator
Open BIMsight and confirm all is working ok
Optional: delete the bimsight.old directory to cleanup
if exist "%localappdata%\Tekla\Tekla BIMsight" rename "%localappdata%\Tekla\Tekla BIMsight" bimsight.old mklink /d "%localappdata%\Tekla\Tekla BIMsight" E:\TeklaBimSight if not exist E:\TeklaBimSight MD E:\TeklaBimSight robocopy /mir %localappdata%\Tekla\bimsight.old\ E:\TeklaBimSight\
The new sheet overlay feature in Revizto is one of the coolest things I've seen this year. Now, we can directly view the drawing sheet (which is typically the contract document), in context with the live federated 3D model. This is hugely powerful in terms of understanding and explaining the design.
The feature itself works nice and easy if you have everything in Revit. You just tick 'export sheets' when you export the model, and you will have that sheet attachment ability.
However, if you import a 'dumb' PDF directly to the 2D space in Revizto, you don't get the attachment capability.
So... in the workaround below, we take a PDF, make it into an image file, locate that image file accurately in Revit, put it on a sheet, then export to Revizto. Initially, I thought this wouldn't work as we are essentially using Raster Data. However, it seems that the Revizto exporter and / or overlay feature uses some sort of alpha transparency to fade out the white stuff (paper), so it all still works!
Things you will probably need:
blank sheet title block family that matches sheet size of pdf
"No Title" viewport type
View Template that only shows Raster Images and Grids
Important note: Shared coordinates should be set up across all of your Revit models and Navisworks files if you want to get this working reliably.
Initial Conversion and Import:
Convert all PDFs to PNGs. I used Bluebeam to open the PDF and Save As PNG, but there are ways to batch process this part.
Make Floor Plans at required levels
Place PNGs in Floor Plans and align to Grids (scale if necessary)
Make 1 sheet for each PDF
Place Floor Plans on Revit Sheets (you now have the PNG at scale on a sheet). Switch Viewports to "No title".
Number and name the Revit sheets to match the PDFs
Export to Revizto:
Link the Revit project with these 'PDF sheets' to the Revizto 4 project using Revizto 4 - Link Settings (as per note above, Shared Coordinates should be consistently used throughout)
Open any 3D view
Revizto 4 - Export to Revizto, Append as a new model
Choose desired Sheets only (untick 3D model)
After export is complete, Sync to cloud.
Using in Revizto:
After export, you will see the sheets in the 2D space in Revizto.
When you open each sheet, you can click on the green scissor icon to create a sectioned 3D view with the plan view overlay.
Then, you can save that view overlay with the Pin (Viewpoints) icon.
Finally, any Issues or Viewpoints created with a sheet attachment active should automatically adopt that sheet. Very nice.
Here's how you could update the dataset when you get new PDFs:
Replace the updated PNG
Use Manage Images in Revit to Reload
Re-export the sheets to Revizto
Use a Guide Grid in Revit to accurately locate the sheet elements consistently
You can turn off all Revit model and annotation elements aside from Raster Images in the export views
In the above example I work with Plans, but the same principles could be applied to Section and Detail views, provided you cut them at the right place in Revit before importing the image
Enhanced 2D and Sheet Features, like:
- Ability to import sheets (from Revit) directly, and then overlay them into position in 3D! Very nice feature... Tip: once you have added a Sheet to a 3D section view, you can save that Viewpoint and it will keep that Section Cut / Sheet relationship stored in the Viewpoint.
- Ability to import any PDFs directly (not from Revit)
Ability to export multiple models separately and 'merge' into one master model
Enhanced tablet features, including better Touch support and Camera support for issue creation
However, I would have to say that for the most part this page and the associated pdf seems to be written by someone without a very deep or perhaps current knowledge of Revit?
PDF embedded here:
And I really have to object to some of these antiRevit sentiments, as per my notes below:
Last time I checked Revit was creating and storing the majority of multidisciplinary BIM information (at least that is true in some of the local markets here). Am I missing something and more information lives in Tekla in other countries?
Obviously, once we hit LOD300 in Revit maybe we should just stop, transfer all of that information into Tekla, and keep going from there :) Ah, I kid...
In closing, beware of biased hype directed against products by people without a wide-range view...