Avoiding Common Mistakes Using BIM 360 Design Cloud Collaboration

19 June 2019All, BIM 360



We all know the reason we collaborate with our design team is to reduce risk on our project. Collaboration is not new, but using cutting edge technology, such as cloud collaboration, is now all the rage. You’ve no doubt heard horror stories about collaboration gone bad. Sometimes it might make you wonder if all this collaboration stuff is worth it. Take it from the experts, cloud collaboration is a good thing when it’s done well, with the right tools and the right plan. You can avoid your own collaboration horrors by knowing about the most common mistakes and avoiding them. Here’s our top list of common mistakes:

Wrong Revit Release

Whenever a new project is started in BIM 360 Design, the first model/file dictates the “Revit release” of the project. For example, if I were to start a project in Revit 2018, ALL the other users should be also using Revit 2018. If a user opens Revit 2019 and tries to browse to the project, they will not see it. This is to prevent others from accidentally opening and updating older releases of the software.

Can’t open project in Revit but can view it online in BIM 360 Docs

There can be several reasons for this, including:

  • User has not purchased a seat of BIM 360 Design.
  • The service of BIM 360 Design has not been assigned to the user.
  • User was invited to the project, but their email Revit login does not match their invitation from the other company.
  • Wrong Revit release or not on the same service pack update of the Revit release.
  • “Autodesk Desktop Connector” is not installed, has been paused, or is corrupt.
  • User did not click on the “invite” email allowing them access to the project.
  • User was not given the correct permissions by the Project Admin on the BIM 360 Design project.
  • The folders found in “Document Management” have not been linked to the “Teams” by the Project Admin.
  • No Internet connection.

Not Publishing

Another common mistake I see ALL the time is that users on a project only “Sync” and never publish to BIM 360 Docs. Without publishing, the user is in jeopardy of not having any backups and will not be able to create accurate “Packages” to share with the other teams. NOTE: Applied Software recommends that a version be “published” at the end of every day as a minimum.

Wrong Workflow

Users may incorrectly try to open and use their local Revit files and then try to sync to BIM 360 Design.


Users may not be familiar with how to “consume” packages. This is a common mistake, because the workflow for BIM 360 Design is different. This can easily lead to design teams working on the wrong or older versions of the models from the other design teams.

Next Gen

Users who are not familiar with Next Gen BIM 360 Design may be using it like the older BIM 360 Team. The workflow with this new application is 110% different from the previous cloud sharing “Team” environment. NOTE: For workflow, consuming and next gen mistakes especially, watch tutorials, participate in webinars and/or get training on how to use the BIM 360 products correctly. I’m not sure any of us can know too much about the software we use in performance of our job.  

Central File

A file uploaded onto the website directly cannot be used as a central file. This error occurs all the time. Users need to create a“CLOUD Central” file from Revit into BIM 360 Design, instead of uploading a local file to BIM 360 Docs. The files “uploaded” to BIM 360 Docs are meant to be used to bring in content, such as AutoCAD drawings, that are not part of the BIM 360 Design environment.

Common Origin

Another mistake is not establishing a common “origin” for the models. If a ‘Shared Coordinate” system is being used, it needs to be established prior to creating the cloud-based files. Once a shared coordinate is established on BIM 360 Design, it can NOT be updated.

Sloppy Revit Workflow

Although it doesn’t involve BIM 360 Design, sometimes users will not be working on the correct workset. 

Syncing.  Or Rather, Not Syncing.

In order to send and receive the latest changes from their own team, users MUST SYNC . . . NOT SAVE! I recommend performing a sync every five minutes.

Collaboration on projects among architects, engineers and other stakeholders has become popular worldwide because it works. If you need a partner who knows how to help your firm connect and collaborate, contact Applied Software. Whether you’re just getting started or need to elevate your processes, the right tools and the right plan will go a long way toward your success.

Parent topic: BIM 360



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