Applied Software

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News on the latest in design, manufacturing, fabrication, construction, and engineering technology.


I've been working for Applied Software for about 2 years now. As I reflected on that milestone, I thought about all of the places I've gone, people I visited, and things I've done to help people in Construction. Things I'm most Proud of: There are a few things that I have done that have really made me proud. I'll share two of those stories: Problem 1: The first month I was on the job, I went to Orlando to visit a major theme park client. They had a big problem on their hands - they were building an insane new experience where everything in the park lit up, moved, and/or was (or at least appeared to be) floating in mid-air, and almost every piece was unique. They needed a way to track & quickly identify every piece and part in the park & confirm the exact spot where it needed to go. Our Solution With the help of their Theming Subcontractor, COST of Wisconsin, we barcoded everything in the park. We trained their factory team to track the shipment of each item and came up with ...

I ran into a nasty issue with a customer the other day while helping them get set up on BIM 360 Team and A360 Collaboration for Revit. Once I had them set up, they began initiating collaboration on several Revit projects. Initially all seemed to go well, until they started opening up the recently uploaded files. In every single file, once they opened it in Revit 2017 (as well as Revit 2017.2), the first thing they clicked on in the file (whether an element, a view,  or a ribbon) resulted in a irrecoverable error and Revit would crash.  Google is your friend. I quickly found a thread on the Autodesk Revit Forum where it was explained that this has been recently identified as a problem for some people, but not all. In fact, this was the first time I had seen it. Autodesk does not have a fix for it yet, however, there is a temporary workaround until they do - it involves disabling Communicator.  If you are experiencing frequent irrecoverable errors when working on A360 Collaboration for Revit files, follow these ...

Applied Software® announced today that its proposal to custom-develop an add-on for BIM 360 DocsTM was selected by Autodesk as part of a recent "BIM 360 TechBox" competition. The Autodesk® program tasked Autodesk partners with building tools on the BIM 360 platform that solve business challenges specific to the construction industry. Only two proposed solutions were chosen.    The new Applied Software tool, "360Sync for BIM 360 Docs," is anticipated to be available in May and will synchronize files to/from local servers/computers with Autodesk's BIM 360 Docs.    "Construction projects require an enormous amount of document and file management," said Applied Software President Richard Burroughs. "While cloud-based services such as BIM 360 Docs have emerged as a great way to make these documents available on-demand, there is a challenge in how to keep the files hosted on these services up-to-date with the latest available version. 360Sync for BIM 360 Docs will simplify this issue, making it much easier to create and maintain a 'single version of the truth.'"   With 360Sync for BIM 360 Docs, users can simply leverage what they're already doing and push ...

A new release to BIM360 Field is has been much anticipated and seems to solve a lot of problems people have had in the past with tracking different equipment types. See the release notes here. 

The BIM360 Field development team has been working hard on making improvements to the Daily Updates module over the last few months and it shows. They have added many new features that have been requested by there users. Here is a quick list of updates.  New permissions for Daily Updates include: none, view your own, view your company, view any daily update Subcontractors now have access to complete daily updates Attach Library Documents to Daily Updates  Add templates to Daily Update General Notes They have also added an audit history to the daily updates so all changes will be captured.  Read more about the release notes here.  http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/bim-360-field-release-notes/mobile-release-version-4-14/ba-p/6547604 http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/bim-360-field-release-notes/web-release-daily-update-ui-improvements-and-raw-excel-exports/ba-p/6547798  

Those of you who have been a BIM 360 Field administrator, understand that you have little control over the notifications that your subcontractors receive when first signing up for BIM 360 Field. You have also likely  learned that the default notifications are set to receive immediate notifications for : Issue Changes Issue Comments Task Changes Task Comments  Library Updates This can create an overwhelming amount of emails for many subcontractors. It is important to show your subcontractors how to modify their email notifications. If your subcontractor decides to opt out of all notification this will not prevent him from receiving a scheduled report. We recommend always setting up scheduled reports so that you can ensure they get the exact information they need when they need it.  Here is a link you can share with your subcontractors if they need assistance in changing there email settings. https://youtu.be/Xl_fIDEdCcE  

Autodesk just recently released an Android version of BIM360 Docs to the Google Play store. This is a first product on the BIM360 Platform to release an Android version. I know many contractors have been asking and hinting at this for years and it looks like they will finally be receiving android support just in time for Christmas.  We hope that this is a continued trend among all of the BIM360 products as it will often eliminate hardware as a reason to refuse adoption. Support of more platforms opens up more possibilities for collaboration on the site.  Read more here. 

I'm excited to announce 360 Sync for Glue - Applied Software's new app that seamlessly syncs your desktop or server (or Dropbox, Box, Egnyte, etc. cloud service) with BIM 360 Glue. We've had this planned for a while & finally got the time to build it. What does 360 Sync with Glue do & why did we create it? Quite simply, 360 Sync automates the upload process from your computer to BIM 360. We created it specifically with the non-Autodesk user in mind: the Tekla / Bentley / Cadworx / QuickPen / Rhino users who use Glue, and don't already have a Glue button built in to their software. We wanted to eliminate the process of manually uploading your model to Glue - it's essentially double-entry & is a waste of time. You're already saving it to your computer or server, so why not have it upload to Glue as well? How does it work? First, you upload your model manually for the first time to BIM 360 Glue. Next, you open up 360 Sync & create a new configuration. You select the model on ...

We have recently revised our A360 Collaboration for Revit and BIM 360 Team white paper to include some late-breaking details in the set up and operation of A360 Collaboration for Revit and BIM 360 Team. You can get your updated copy here.

Trying to use an Autodesk Cloud Service and something not working as expected? Is it you? Is it your computer? Is it.... Autodesk? Click the following link and you will know for sure if it's Autodesk Cloud service or not! It's too easy! https://health.autodesk.com/. Click the Health Subscription button in upper right corner and receive health status changes and maintenance plans to your email address! We will send you health status changes, maintenance plans to your email address  

It seem like at least once a week, we are asked about how to improve or optimize the size of Navisworks & BIM 360 Glue models - teams Confederated Merged models are getting larger & larger as more data is added to each element. We created 360+ in part to help with this problem. What is 360+? 360+ is a Revit Add-In, created by Applied Software, that helps optimize the viewing & creating of models for Navisworks & BIM 360. We originally created it to help BIM 360 Layout users better utilize their models in the field - we received feedback & learned through experience that most people like laying out points using a 2D system, and sometimes 3D visualization sometimes isn't helpful. But for the purposes of today's blog, we are going to review the use cases for BIM 360 Glue & Navisworks. The Red Button: Create 2D & 3D Views in Revit for Export Always start with the red button. It sets you up for the remainder of the project. Just click on the button, choose a View Template (you can ...

One of the cooler things about my job is the optimism that's associated with it. People come to us with problems everyday, and we solve them. Sometimes we solve a complex workflow problem. Other times, we help teach a client how to better use software. We might even help Autodesk fix a bug in their software. My favorite thing that we do is create something completely new to solve a problem. That's what we did when we created 360Sync with Windows. The Problem People kept coming to us, saying that they really hated updating the BIM 360 Field Library, especially when they had already updated their server, "why can't the Field Library just Sync with our server?" That's why we created 360Sync - to solve this very problem. I've said on just about every blog that I've done that the Construction World is filled with redundancy & double (sometimes even triple or quadruple) data entry, and it is one of the biggest sources of frustrations in the industry. We are aiming to eliminate as much of this as ...

Every so often, one of our clients gets an error in their BIM 360 Field Library with one of their uploaded files. The file is either corrupted or won't upload. There could be any reason as to why this happened, but one of the more consistent issues that pops up is with "Restricted Text Characters." This blog will set the record straight for what characters should & should not be used when making BIM 360 Files.  I would also use this blog as a Rule of Thumb for any computer file, whether on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, the web / HTML, etc. Also, for sake of argument, use this blog for all devices Windows 8 / Mac OSX or greater. USE THESE: It should come as no surprise that upper-case letters, lower case letters, and numbers are OK. Other safe characters include parentheses, underscores single spaces & dashes. You can safely use any and all of these characters in BIM 360 Field and almost all operating systems & web locations. USE CAUTION: Depending on the language of your computer, special characters, characters with accent ...

 Last month I did a post about gathering information for Quality Assurance / Quality Control & how it really revolutionized the way I managed & organized my data (it can be viewed here). This month I'm going to talk about how BIM 360 really saved me a ton of time by reporting on the data that you collect  The Old Way Before BIM 360 Field, I used an Excel file & a marked up 11x17 floor plan as a QAQC reporting tool. It was cumbersome - the data was extremely difficult to sort & custom reports required a ton of extra work. Also, the company responsible, location data, description, pinpointed location (on a floor plan) were in 2 separate reports, so I had to essentially pull double duty whenever updating my QAQC report. It took forever & was confusing & somewhat unhelpful to my team. I was looking for something - ANYTHING - to improve this process. With BIM 360 Field With BIM 360 Field, my process greatly improved. I was already gathering the information in the field, ...

BIM 360 Field has been regularly releasing features which you may have missed here are some of the features we felt were most noteworthy.   1.       You can add a pinpoint to issues regardless of what module you are in. Prior to this release you could only add a pin when in the Issues Module and with By Location selected. Now you can add a pin directly from any issue whether it is originated in a checklist, equipment ect.. The one caveat is you need to have the location selected and documents linked to that location prior to placing the pin. a.       The below is an example of an issue generated from a checklist. You will notice there is not a location set.     b.      After the location is set there will be a new button appear on my issue form.    Tap this button and provided you have your drawings linked it will automatically drop the pins on the plan for you.   2.       View the source in which an issue was generated and quickly navigate to that source. For instance in the above example ...

Before coming to Applied Software, I worked for Walsh Construction, and I was tasked with implementing BIM 360 Field midway through our project. I was working on BIM Coordination & QAQC at the time, so I was pretty happy to get away from our old QAQC workflow which consisted of the following:  Printing out an 11x17 floor plan or floor plans of what I planned to walk Printing out our excel sheet that kept track of all of our Discrepancies (it reached 300 at its apex) and sorting it by location & subcontractor manually Bringing my phone or iPad out to the field to document & take pictures After the walk, come back in & make my chicken scratches on my 11x17 presentable, attach the photos & send it to all parties Fight with the subcontractors about scope of work and location of the discrepancy I hated this workflow. Every week I had to rewalk the issues. Every week I had to take new pictures ...

One of the most common questions we get from our Fabrication clients & our Construction clients is "BIM & modeling is great. But how can I take that knowledge & information and apply it to construction?" This blog will attempt to tackle that question. View the video above to see a demo of this workflow. Step 1: Model & FabricationLet's start in Fab CAD MEP. You'll want to design & model your system like usual, leveraging your materials database along the way.  Once you have modeled everything and in most cases completed coordination of a floor, segment, or building, you'll likely start creating spools and creating shop drawings for your pipe spools, duct systems, mechanical equipment (VAVs, AHUs, Pumps, etc.). So far your workflow hasn't changed at all - this is how you're already doing things most likely. Once you have setup your pipe spools, duct systems, etc., that's where our Fab2BIM360 add-in comes in. It's quick and easy to use. Just click on the button in your Add-Ins ribbon and hit "Prep for Spooling." The tool automatically ...

The Current Workflow: When I first started doing BIM Coordination 4 years ago, the typical workflow went like this: The subcontractors created a 3D model using design or fabrication software The subcontractors uploaded their model to an FTP site at a designated time The BIM coordinator downloaded the design / fab models & created a federated Navisworks model The BIM coordinator ran clash tests using Navisworks & generated clash reports The Coordination Team met & discussed the Clashes The process repeats. The Problem: When I ran coordination meetings, this process was pretty successful, but it was slower than it should be. For the most part, coordination moved along, but there were often times where clashes would go untouched for weeks at a time - multiple weeks. The most common answer I recieved about why the clashes weren't promptly fixed, "I didn't know what the <other coordination team member> was going to do with this clash. I was waiting on him." ...