The smarter way to exchange DWG files across disciplines

April 15, 2021 Esther Dsouza

Screenshot of RVT and C3D file in Design Collaboration's project model viewer

We’re excited to announce that the .DWG file is now supported as a primary file format in Design Collaboration module*. This means that your AEC teams can fully manage design projects in one environment – whether building design, civil engineering, or multidiscipline in nature – helping to streamline project delivery.

(*Available for both BIM 360 and Autodesk Construction Cloud projects)

What’s the Design Collaboration module?

Design Collaboration is a web-based product module included in our cloud offerings BIM Collaborate (for project reviewers) and its Pro version (for design authors). Our Revit-reliant customers have been using Design Collaboration to manage the exchange of design data between teams ever since BIM Collaborate Pro, formerly “BIM 360 Design”, was launched.

By making use of separated data structures in the form of ‘folders’ that turn into visually distinct ‘swim lanes’, Design Collaboration helps distinguish work-in-progress design work from completed, ready-to-share design work. Your team benefits from the rich and structured presentation of project data in one location – Design Collaboration – accessible in a web browser.

  • The Project Model Viewer aggregates multidiscipline visualizations of 3D model information so you can click around the model to understand what’s changing across elements, disciplines, versions, levels, and more.
  • The Project Timeline is another visual aid that shows logs of all shared data between teams inside of curated “packages”, helping to maintain accountability and transparency for deliverables and deadlines.

What DWG file support in Design Collaboration means for you

If your team relies on DWGs for day-to-day design and detailing work, collaboration with others can mean jumping from one app to another or repeatedly downloading and re-uploading your work just to make a quick design edit.
These disconnected workflows cause serious issues of their own – version control, broken references, lack of visibility into other team’s inclusion of your work, and just overall confusion.

Now, you can now make use of Design Collaboration’s holistic project-based collaboration workflows, benefiting from better control over how designs are exchanged, cross-referenced, and co-created.

This also opens up the door for your team to be included in ongoing projects that manage RVT models in Design Collaboration. This update is especially beneficial for civil engineering, multi-discipline design, and contributing consultant firms like environmental or landscaping. Multinational AEC firm GHD got to test out this feature in development as part of our beta program and said this:

“The inclusion of .DWG support in Design Collaboration was a missing piece of the BIM 360 [and Autodesk Construction Cloud] puzzle. With full .DWG support, including external references, Design Collaboration should now be part of everyone’s delivery workflow.” – BIM Manager at GHD

Being able to organize cross-industry teams in one location – the Design Collaboration module – gives teams:

  1. The opportunity to establish proper exchange practices on a project
  2. Better access controls for intra versus inter-team collaboration
  3. Package-based data exchange, with the ability to curate only the necessary 2D or 3D data that’s ready to send to other teams
  4. Explore” and “consume” features give project managers the ability to browse before committing to accept other team’s data into their team’s data structures
  5. Versioning and issue management in a central location for DWG, RVT, and IFC file types
  6. Seeing all teams’ models contextually in one combined view, with information about changes to model elements
  7. Track deliverables shared throughout the project on a common timeline

How to find it inside of product:

  1. In Team Home, you can now view and manage DWG as a primary file format, in addition to RVT and IFC.
  2. In the Project Model view, you can see a combined view of your team’s models, both in your Team folder and the Consumed folder, for all primary file formats (DWG, RVT, IFC)
  3. When working with packages, share and consume DWG models in combination with other primary file formats (RVT, IFC) and other types of supported document files.
  4. When working with references, you can display reference information for DWG files and see all references in a list with detailed information like name, path, version. You can also share references in a package, including any linked x-refs if needed, and make sure references are consistent as work progresses on the project.

How to use it in your workflows:

  • Civil 3D & AutoCAD-using teams on AEC projects can participate in the package creation, explore, and consume process
  • They can share and consume DWG models in packages with RVT, IFC, and other file types
  • See contents of all packages shared throughout the project, promoting transparency and accountability.
  • See previews of the DWG model with 2D Views / Layouts and 3D views
  • Toggle on XREFs* for package creation, with detailed reference info (name, path, version)
  • Intelligent XREF path management for package consumption

Known limitations:

  • Not available for DREFs. Users can manage DREFs on their own. Stay tuned for DREF support in the future.

> Check out the Help Content for more details
> Sign up for a free 30-day trial of BIM Collaborate Pro here

The post The smarter way to exchange DWG files across disciplines appeared first on Convergence.

No Previous Articles

Next Article
What the new offerings mean for you: BIM Collaborate Pro, BIM Collaborate, and Autodesk Docs in AEC Collection
What the new offerings mean for you: BIM Collaborate Pro, BIM Collaborate, and Autodesk Docs in AEC Collection

We recently announced new cloud offerings for our AEC customers, including an exciting upgrade to BIM 360 ...