New BIM 360 Features: Unify, Review, Integrate and Share
For those fortunate to be given a paid leave pass by their employer, the annual Autodesk University (AU) conference in Las Vegas represents an opportunity to share your achievements, learn from others, meet vendors, and of course talk with Autodesk staff. There is a little something for everyone. And after the conference if you are unable to come away with even a few bite sized nuggets of information for improving your business, then as the saying goes, 'you're doing it wrong'.
Being an Autodesk-driven event, one of the more exciting aspects is understanding Autodesk product features which have just been released and what's coming up in the future. Forward-looking statements of upcoming features (under the Autodesk Safe Harbor), has historically been a delicate topic. But this is the new Autodesk. One that is now far more open and transparent about their development path without signing an NDA, so that they can provide product roadmaps, and more detailed information throughout their AU sessions. And there’s no product talked about more than Autodesk's BIM 360 at both the AU main event, and the Design & Construct Summit pre-conference event.
A2K was there to capture many of the juicy details, with the following as a high-level summary from the sessions.
*Note, as per Autodesk's Safe Harbor policy, any future-looking features noted below come without a timeframe for release and are also subject to change.
The Document Management (DM) module is the bedrock of the BIM 360 platform, i.e. a common data environment (CDE). With the primary purpose of storing documents, other modules can leverage the DM repository thereby expanding data access to all other project members throughout the entire project delivery process.
The week prior to AU three, new features were released. These include:
- Unified Issues - The formally separate 'design' issues and 'field' issues have now been merged into a single feature, making the creation and reviewing of issues a consistent experience.
- Approval Workflow (i.e. Reviews) - Facilitates the automated review and distribution of drawings and other documents.
- Bluebeam Integration - This is a less formal announcement; the Bluebeam integration allows BIM 360 users to create a Bluebeam Studio Prime Session for PDF review and marking up. Note that A2K is also a Bluebeam partner.
BIM 360 Bluebeam App
The Design Collaboration module, as the replacement for the older Collaboration for Revit, enables the Revit user Work-sharing features from a BIM 360 project. It uses the Document Management as the CDE to store the design files.
Shown off at AU was the above-mentioned Unified Issues to capture design-related issues during the Design Collaboration review process.
The Project Management (PM) module contains a number of features for, you guessed it, assisting with general management of the project delivery between the design office and site.
Furthering this, here are some expected future features:
- Meeting Minutes - Record meeting minutes alongside other the project data.
- Email Communication - Better email notifications, and the ability to reply directly to those notifications from the email client.
- Further Bluebeam Integration - Bringing this integration into the Submittals process. We were told that this is Stage 2 of development for this feature.