Autodesk Desktop Connector and Collaboration for Revit
I am now getting seriously excited about BIM 360 Team. The new Desktop Connector is amazing! If you are not using it yet, check out the link below, which explains it in detail.
Essentially, if you have BIM 360 Team then one can use the Autodesk Desktop Connector (it’s totally free!) to synchronize the entire BIM 360 Team or Fusion 360 Team hubs to one’s local hard drive. Although the Folder and File appear in Windows Explorer, the files are only downloaded (synchronized with the desktop) once they are opened in the application of choice.
For a Revit user, the greatest advantage is that any files may now be directly linked into a model from the cloud. The most commonly used links would probably be DWG and Point Cloud formats. Previously one had to first download these files from BIM 360 Team to one’s hard drive and link them in. In addition, one would constantly have to check whether there are new files uploaded onto the BIM 360 Team hub. Now, these files will show up on the user’s desktop.
The Desktop Connector will not allow one to use the files as central files on the HUB. For that, one would still have to use Collaboration for Revit, which allows one to follow the sun.
Now as I travel on public transport I don’t really like carting my laptop around. The great thing is that I always have the files on my common data environment on my desktop even when I get home to my desktop! Wonderful!
There are some things to get used to with the new technology, and in time these will probably get fixed, however, one can manage files pretty easily if one used the BIM 360 Team web interface for functionality not yet included on the windows interface.
Please note that it is recommended one be connected to the internet when using Desktop Connector, but if one has used a file, then does have the ability to edit the file for 72 hours after disconnecting. Just right-click on the Desktop Connector icon and choose “Work Offline”
The changes can be synchronized back to the cloud afterward provided that the file has not yet been altered in the meantime.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, unless the application in which the file was opened is not first closed down, the Desktop connector will not look for a new version of the file on the internet. So remember to close down the applications you are using before opening up files again if you are collaborating with others on the same files.
I think Desktop connector needs two more advancements:
- Permission settings on a folder level (BIM workflows will be made easier). Vote for this idea here: https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/a360-ideas/permission-management/idi-p/4802055
- Vault functionality on the HUB (will prevent two separate users modifying files at the same time). Vote for this idea here: https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/bim-360-ideas/vault-behavior-for-desktop-connector/idi-p/7707020
Please let us here at Micrographics know if you need help starting to use Autodesk Desktop Connector or if you need to understand how your workflow may be enhanced by it.