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Blog: BIM 360 Coordinate- Set Up and Getting Started Info

We have seen quite a few questions about the differences 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. This blog contains more information that will hopefully clear that up and show you how Navisworks and BIM 360 Coordinate (Model Coordination & Glue) work, and how to set them up.

Licensing

The software/license that is now called “BIM 360 Coordinate” includes the ability to use both 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 want (I am not sure that this was Autodesk’s intention, but it can be done at this time).

Download Links for Install Files

Navisworks Manage install files can be found in your Autodesk portal, under “all products and services” or here: 

https://ava.autodesk.com/modular/?module=download

Autodesk Glue Desktop App install file is here: 

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/bim-360-glue/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Where-to-download-the-BIM-360-Glue-desktop-App-from.html

Desktop Connector install file is here:

https://www.autodesk.com/bim-360/desktop-connector/

BIM 360 add-ins for Navisworks, Revit, AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D are in your Autodesk portal here:

https://manage.autodesk.com

BIM 360 Issues app can be found on the Autodesk app store here: 

https://apps.autodesk.com/NAVIS/en/Detail/Index?id=5155805354033590972&appLang=en&os=Win64

Glue-  There is just one installer for “Navisworks Manage”, and that 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 that is 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 (BIM 360)”, users of BIM 360 Coordinate are able to 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 also 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 BIM 360 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 their 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 problems relating to clash and coordination problems or changes to the project in the cloud.

License Agreement

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 BIM 360 site, based on the account ID provided when the license was ordered. The license gets assigned in the BIM 360 site, in “project admin,” after the “service” is activated on the project.

If you have a BIM 360 site with BIM 360 Coordinate linked to it, 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 your BIM 360 site that is associated with the BIM 360 Coordinate license here: https://admin.b360.autodesk.com/
  • If the project is not created yet, then create a new project from the “account admin” page, click “add”. Follow the prompts on the screen to do so
  • Once the project is created, and you are in the “Project Admin” tab, then go into the “Services” tab, and activate your services needed on the project. To activate services, including Glue or Model Coordination, you will 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 the Glue service was activated:

  • The admin will want to go into the “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
  • The admin will then go to “Project Admin” > “Members” and make sure all users have the appropriate permissions to each module needed, including Glue

If the Model Coordination service was activated:

  • The admin go to “Project Admin” > “Members” and make sure all users have the appropriate permissions to each module needed, including Model Coordination
  • The admin will also want to create at least one coordination space. This can be created by going to “Project Admin” > “Services” > click on the “Model Coordination” service from the lower left menu > then click “create” and follow the prompts to save it and link it to the appropriate folder
  • After all of this has been done, the admin will want to go back to “Project Admin” > “Members” and make sure all users have the appropriate permissions to each module, including Model Coordination
  • Once this has all been done, and project members have the correct permissions to view and upload models to the coordination folder, they can then upload the models and check for clashes. Please note that permissions have to be assigned to the folder(s) where coordination models are stored.

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 BIM 360 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 BIM 360 coordination space folder
  • You cannot append Revit projects directly from the cloud in Navisworks Manage
  • All work in Naviswork Manage would need to be done locally and would not be available to others in the cloud.
  • May require everyone manually exporting an NWC then opening the NWC to save an 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 comes with a BIM 360 tab which can connect directly to “Glued” Projects and append models from it.
  • It was built with Navisworks in mind so has full Navisworks functionality.
  • It is much easier to retrieve models from Revit straight from the cloud.
  • There is a Glue Desktop app that 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 need to have the free BIM 360 add-in installed and need to regularly “Glue” their models (though it is very easy to do).
  • The person who actually builds the models in Navisworks will need 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”

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