Work from Home Strategy for the Civil Discipline

Start with Civil 3D with BIM360 Collaboration

One of the biggest challenges for any Civil 3D user is when they want to collaborate on a project with an outside source.  This is due to the data shortcut project folder being stored on a local drive or company server, which makes it difficult to share.


With the Desktop Connector, a bridge has been made with Civil 3D 2020.2 (or later) and BIM360 Design. What the desktop connector does is it allows the option for the Data shortcut working folder to be created directly in BIM360. This eliminates the need to allow users outside the company access behind your firewall to the project’s server. This also helps with workers no longer needing to VPN into the network.


  1. Civil 3D 2020.2 (2020.3 is recommended)
  2. BIM360 Design (Uses a Design license file)
  3. Autodesk Desktop Connector
  4. Utilizing Tool Palettes – Organize your block library into Tool Palettes and use a Batch File to create a local copy on your C drive. This will assure the latest blocks are loaded every day into the quickest and most efficient location, your local drive.  (4-hour Training Course)
  5. Bluebeam Revu – Use Bluebeam to mark up all your PDFs.  It works great with BIM360 and can be used at home or in the field.  (4-hour Training Course)

ATG can provide Training for all of the above in an 8-hour Training Course.  Please contact ATG to see how we can help you get started today.

BIM360 Collaboration for Civil Workflow. Start by Creating a Data Shortcut:

Before the connector


After the connector






Note: The option to point directly to BIM360 is now available.

Inside BIM360

Project Admin

    1. Required rights to create folders
    2. Required right to share folders with others
    3. Required right to add permissions for users


As Project Admin, I can create new folders under the ATG-BIM360-Civil 3D project folder. However, I still need the Site Admin to create that original folder ATG-BIM360-Civil 3D folder.

Inside Civil 3D- Save Location

Saving the file directly to BIM360 is a valid option


Start tab

Will distinguish between files saved locally and one saved to BIM360

Data Shortcuts

Save locally or to BIM360


  1. Autodesk Desktop Connector needs to be running. There is no need to directly interaction
  2. If you move the Data shortcut working folder… the shortcuts will need to be re-created. Just like moving the folder locally
  3. Subscribing to the project folder inside BIM360 will notify you if there has been an update to an external reference (XRef)
  4. Allowing access to BIM360. First – invite a user to the project folder in BIM360 (Share). Second – Set the users permissions
  5. Upload times are around 10-20 seconds (Pending connection type and file size)
  6. Files locking and unlocking are around 15-30 seconds. One person at a time editing the file (Like normal)


Can I keep my original file stored on our network location as normal?

Answer: No, you should remove them to avoid someone from editing them by mistake

I still use Civil 3D 2019, can I use the Desktop Connector Solution?

Answer: No, you will need to have the latest version of Civil 3D installed.

If I upload a drawing file with the Desktop Connector, will this allow the user access to everything else on my server?

Answer: No, they will only have access to the drawing file and associated data shortcuts.

I store my files on my local drive, not on my server. Can I still share the drawings using the Desktop Connector?

Answer: Yes, you can upload it using the same methods.

What if multiple people try and open the drawing in the Desktop Connector at the same time?

Answer: When someone opens a drawing file, it puts a lock on it as it checks out the drawing until the user closes the drawing and makes it available again for someone else to check it out.

Can a user who has multiple BIM 360 Design licenses share a cloud model with another user who does not have a license?

Answer: Yes, A user who has multiple BIM 360 Design Collaboration licenses can share a cloud model with another user who does not have a license. For this, the user that has multiple licenses has to assign a BIM 360 Design license to the new user.

I want to share a file using the Desktop Connector, but I only want them to be able to View the drawing file.

Answer: Yes, you can assign different levels of permissions. From Full control to read-only

Please let us know how we can help or what questions we can answer by contacting sales@atgusa.com. 

Applied Technology Group is a Platinum Autodesk Business Partner. Founded in North Little Rock, Ark., in 1992 as a local computer services company, ATG has grown to become a leading design technology partner with the purpose of assisting customers in maximizing the value and adoption of advanced technologies so they can perform competitively in the AEC sector. ATG collaborates with customers across the Gulf South, Midwest and Southwest through partnerships with 3DR, Autodesk, Leica, Microsoft and Panzura. Learn more about our company at www.atgusa.com. Autodesk and the Autodesk logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

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