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BIM 360 Coordinate: Set Up and Get Started

The ATG support team receives many questions about the difference between BIM 360 Glue and BIM 360 Model Coordination (both included with BIM 360 Coordinate licenses) and how they work with Navisworks. There is also some confusion about what to download and install to work with these products. The purpose of this blog is to clear that up, show how Navisworks and BIM 360 Coordinate (Model Coordination & Glue) work and how to set them up.

BIM 360 Licensing

The software/license that is now called BIM 360 Coordinate allows you to use the Glue (legacy) and the Model Coordination (next generation) services on projects. There are pros and cons of using Glue vs Model Coordination services in the project, but you can activate both the Glue and the Model Coordination services on any project if you desire (I am not sure that this was Autodesk’s intention, but it can be done at this time).

Download Links for Install Files

BIM 360 Glue

There is just one installer for Navisworks Manage. This will install both the regular Navisworks Manage that comes with the AEC Collection, as well as Navisworks (BIM 360), which works with projects that are set up to use the Glue service. The icon called Navisworks (BIM 360) is specifically for users who have been assigned to a project in the BIM 360 site that has the Glue service activated/assigned to their user ID.

In addition to Navisworks, users of BIM 360 Coordinate can download the optional Glue Desktop App, which works with projects that are using the Glue service.

Users who have Autodesk Navisworks, Revit, AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D can choose to install BIM 360 add-ins, which enhance the BIM connectivity with the Glue service. After you install the add-in, you can directly share (glue) the latest project models to your project from the source application.

With the add-ins, you can take advantage of the PinPoint feature in Revit, AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D (not available in Navisworks). When you glue a model to BIM 360 Glue, Pinpoint can isolate clashing elements. To coordinate Revit models with models in BIM 360 Glue, use the Revit add-in and use the Glue It feature to add Revit models to Glue.

Those who download and install the optional Desktop Connector can open cloud models from BIM 360 Docs inside of Navisworks Manage, as well as upload and download files from the site right in Windows File Explorer.  

Model Coordination

For those who work on projects using the Model Coordination (next generation) service, instead of the legacy Glue service, they would do clash detection work in the cloud. The Model Coordination service in the cloud essentially replaces Navisworks Manage’s clash detection features specifically. Please note that Navisworks Manage still has much more functionality built in than Model Coordination offers.  

Those who download and install the Desktop Connector can open BIM 360 cloud models in Navisworks Manage via the Open dialogue box.  

Another optional installation for those assigned to projects with the Model Coordination service would be the BIM 360 Issues app for Navisworks Manage (or Simulate) 2019 (all updates must be installed as well) or 2020. This add-in is used to track and resolve issues relating to clash and coordination problems or changes to the project in the cloud.

License Assignment

BIM 360 Coordinate users are not assigned in the Autodesk account management portal, like other BIM 360 products. BIM 360 Coordinate licenses are linked up to a specific site, based on the account ID provided when the license was ordered. The license gets assigned in the site, in project admin, after the service is activated on the project.    

If you have BIM 360 site with Coordinate linked, the admin can follow these steps to set up a new project and assign permissions to the end user:

  • The account and/or project administrator should login to your BIM 360 site that is associated with the Coordinate license.
  • If the project is not created yet, create a new project from the account admin page, click add. Follow the prompts on the screen.
  • Once the project is created and you are in the Project Admin tab, go into the Services tab and activate services needed on the project. To activate services, including Glue or Model Coordination, you need to specify an admin of that service.
  • Proceed below based on the service that you are using (the process is different for Glue vs. Model Coordination)  

If Glue service was activated:

  • The admin needs to navigate to BIM 360 Glue Project Admin (BIM 360 Site > Project Admin > Services > BIM 360 Glue [lower left/side bar]) to assign Glue permissions to the user.
  • Next, the admin needs go to Project Admin > Members and ensure all users have appropriate permissions to each module needed, including Glue.

If Model Coordination service was activated:

  • Go to Project Admin > Members and ensure all users have appropriate permissions to each module needed, including Model Coordination.
  • The admin also needs to create at least one coordination space. This can be created by going to Project Admin > Services > Model Coordination service (lower left menu) > create. Then, follow the prompts to save and link it to the appropriate folder.
  • Once this is complete, the admin needs to go back to Project Admin > Members and make sure all users have the appropriate permissions to each module, including Model Coordination.
  • Once this is complete and project members have the correct permissions to view and upload models to the coordination folder, they can upload the models and check for clashes. Please note that permissions have to be assigned to the folder(s) where coordination models are stored.

More information about BIM 360 administration:

More information about BIM 360 Glue:

More information about BIM 360 Model Coordination:

Model Coordination Service Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • This was initially built for clash detection in mind. It does automatic clash detection using native Revit Models in the cloud.
  • Clash detection is available in the cloud to all working on project in BIM 360, and does not require a Navisworks license.
  • The clash detection is all integrated on the platform with no need to install a Desktop app (or have a Glue license).

Cons:

  • Navisworks Manage is not designed to natively open files directly from the coordination space folder.
  • You cannot append Revit projects directly from the cloud in Navisworks Manage.
  • All work in Navisworks Manage needs to be done locally and is not be available to others in the cloud.
  • May require everyone manually exporting a NWC then opening the NWC to save a NWD weekly – or mass downloading of native files to create the Navisworks file. Note: Once a Navisworks file is created and saved in the cloud, people can still view it in the cloud or download it.

Glue Service Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • With the BIM 360 add-in for Revit, users can Glue their model. Once their model has been Glued, they are prompted to save the glued model in the cloud.
  • Navisworks Manage includes a BIM 360 tab that can connect directly to “Glued” Projects and append models from it.
  • It was built with Navisworks in mind, so it has full Navisworks functionality.
  • It is much easier to retrieve models from Revit straight from the cloud.
  • The is a Glue Desktop app connects to the cloud to Merge Models all on the cloud. The merged models also still live in the cloud so multiple people could help with Navisworks.

Cons:

  • All Revit users require the free BIM 360 add-in and need to regularly Glue their models (though it is very easy to do).
  • The person who actually builds the models in Navisworks needs a BIM 360 Coordinate/Glue license and will need to use the Glue Desktop App.
  • Autodesk expects that BIM 360 Glue will eventually be phased out but only “once Model Coordination has all the same functionality”

Conclusion

In Conclusion, setting up and getting started with BIM 360 can be confusing, and this blog should help you know what to download and install to work with these products.

For more information on other Autodesk products, please visit our Autodesk Products page.

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This blog is written by Sr. Technical Support Specialist Angela LeFae. If you have any questions or need help with your support needs, please email us at support@atgusa.com.

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