Tech Blog

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Shared Views – A New Feature in AutoCAD 2019

There are several new features for AutoCAD 2019. This is an introduction on one of those new features, Shared Views. The Shared View gives people on a project access to project drawings with out having to go through the process of eTransmitting the .dwg’s or sending .pdf’s with the latest version. With the move to subscriptions and user controlled access, AutoCAD has included this new feature based on your Autodesk user account. It is also available with AutoCAD LT subscriptions and AutoCAD vertical products. There is a 10 minute video without audio that gives a tour for using Shared Views.

Let’s get started:
1. Open up a drawing in AutoCAD, go up to the ribbon and click on the “Collaborate” tab in the ribbon. The Collaborate Contextual Tab opens.
2. Move your tool tip/curser over to the “Shared Views: button to to open the Shared Views palette. The palette opens up on the left side of your drawing area.
3. With the Shared Views palette open, you can either open an existing Shared View or create a new Shared View. In the video, the New Shared View button is selected. The Share View dialogue box opens. At this point you can name your Shared View and choose the options. When finished, click on the Share button.
4. The Share View processing notification opens. It is notifying that it will process in the background. Click on Proceed. There is an icon in the Status Bar to show that it is processing. This can take several minutes based on the size of the file. You will get a notification balloon with a link to the location of your Shared View. You can click on it or click on the link in your email to access it.
5. Once the link has been clicked on, The Autodesk Viewer opens up in you internet browser and begins loading the model. This can take several minutes due to file size and internet.
6. In the Autodesk Viewer, a user has a lot of tools available. For Instance: turning layers and Xref’s on or off, orbiting, panning, zooming, measuring, section views, explode views and marking up the model for additional updates and modifications.
7. Additional tools a user can apply are comments, print, screenshot or share links to additional collaborators and/or stakeholders for the project.
8. When finished, save the markups and comments and go ahead and exit the browser.
9. The Shared Views Palette can be accessed anytime in AutoCAD. A user can can come back to the shared view drawing by selecting the view in the palette. They can be sorted by date, title and expiration date. The expiration date can be extended. The Shared View can also be deleted.

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Four Ways the Latest Civil 3D 2019 Features Will Improve Efficiency

WRITTEN BY: Annie Phan

1. Connecting Architects and Engineers – Civil 3D topography data in Revit

This is kind of a big deal. Site collaboration introduces unprecedented interoperability between Revit and Civil 3D New workflows and will save time and improve accuracy when you are transferring site information and project location data between project teams. You can easily link topography from Civil 3D into Revit using Autodesk Desktop Connector and BIM 360 Docs and will also be able to interact with this topography in Revit with surface hosting, tagging and scheduling.  Civil 3D is included in the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Collection, which is also a great way to access Revit along with other essential tools at a great value.

Revit 2019.1

Civil 3D Publish to Revit:

The site collaboration feature connects architects using Revit and engineers using Civil 3D via the BIM 360 document management module. When publishing Civil 3D to Revit, the workflow focuses on topography only. Engineers in Civil 3D can publish topography from Civil 3D, view the resulting data in BIM 360 document management, and then link the published data into Revit. Here’s how it works:

  • In Civil 3D, from the tool space, select the surface for publish via Desktop Connector.
  • Use BIM 360 to check the topography in a 3D view and verify the correct data has published from Civil 3D.
  • You’ll need to use the latest version of the free Desktop Connector to publish to Civil 3D surfaces for synchronizing the local files in BIM 360 Document Management.

Revit 2019.1

Revit publish from Civil 3D:

In Revit, you can easily link topography, which will help you to collaborate more effectively with civil engineers on the project.

  • Browse to BIM 360 and link to the Civil 3D export.
  • Civil 3D geolocation will try to place the model appropriately in Revit, but you also have the option to specify coordinates from Revit to update.
  • It is possible to spot dimension, add a building pad on the topography link, and create a topography schedule in Revit with name, projected area, and surface area.

This workflow also supports subregions and hosting railings. Subregions are good for changing the surface material in Revit. It is also possible to place elements on the topography – this will function as a link. Updates must be made in Civil 3D and edited and published again for use in Revit. To work best, this workflow will require a strategy for efficient navigation and linking. We recommend developing your BIM execution plan accordingly.

Revit 2019.1

Making updates to the topography:

This enhancement vastly improves the workflow for topography transfer from civil engineers to architects. You can make changes in Civil 3D and then upload as described in the previous process to BIM 360. In Revit, use “reload” or “reload from” and link the topography again.

Revit 2019.1

2. Enhanced performance

As you take the newest version of Civil 3D for a spin, you’ll experience notable improvements to production efficiency. We hope these upgrades will help drive quality and make workflows more efficient as your projects grow in scale.  

For example, now you can create a data shortcut to a sample line group and then reference only a subset of the sample lines into a consumer drawing. The entire data reference framework is more efficient, synchronizing references only when the referenced object itself changed.  Learn more about creating sample line group references.

When you are modeling a gravity pipe network, you can now connect pipes to structures that support multiple connection points. Civil 3D 2019.1 includes a variety of new structures that have multiple connection points, and you can add multiple connection points to your custom structures using the Infrastructure Parts Editor. 

We also included a number of other enhancements to make designing your projects more efficient. From enhancements to the best fit and profile layout tools to resolutions to known issues, Civil 3D 2019.1 is a significant step forward. 

3. Best Fit alignment for complex geometry

Civil 3D allows you to create a best fit horizontal alignment utilizing blocks, feature lines, or COGO points. The best fit alignment tool supports complex curve geometry and several types of transition spirals. With this tool, Civil 3D is able to quickly perform a regression analysis to create a center line alignment. You can then evaluate the results of this analysis and adjust the alignment as needed. You can also create a best fit profile based on blocks, feature lines, COGO points for surfaces. Civil 3D gives you the option to create a profile above or below existing grade. Once the profile is created, you can adjust the vertical curves as needed to optimize your design.

4. Just for rail workflows

We’ve made several improvements to enhance the workflow for rail projects, including: 

  • Adding a dedicated rail tools tab to consolidate rail-specific tools and rail options on relevant contextual tabs. 
  • New rail subassemblies including single, dual, multiple-track and single and dual platforms. These subassemblies allow for the design of track and platforms off of a rail centerline alignment and cater for CANT.
  • LandXML CANT support for alignments allows users to exchanged rail alignment geometry with other design tools.
  • Rail CANT support allows users to use the powerful offset alignment to design dual track scenarios.  
  • Improved alignment interchange with InfraWorks. All spiral types can now be interchanged between the two products.

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Revit Update Release: Improving Design and Construction Workflows via BIM 360

WRITTEN BY: Tristam Wallace

The Revit team has just released Revit 2019.1, including a host of new capabilities that help you create, optimize and connect. The new features in Revit 2019.1 bring some exciting new capabilities for contractors and BIM for construction projects, and we wanted to share what’s new here at Connect & Construct.

With preconstruction tasks forming the foundation for successful construction project execution, enabling digital workflows between design, engineering and construction teams can pay huge dividends on overall project success. The more aligned all of these stakeholders are – and more efficient the information sharing between them can become – can pay huge dividends in the speed and quality of the project.

Cloud-based construction management software like BIM 360 allows collaboration to occur across all disciplines within the project. The BIM 360 ecosystem allows teams to share project models and coordinate planning, ensuring all design stakeholders have insight into the project.

A set of new capabilities in Revit 2019.1 makes this collaboration even more effective by tying together authoring tools and BIM 360 like never before.

New Revit Home screen

With Revit 2019.1, it is much easier for you to open your BIM 360 Design models directly from Revit Home. You can now access a workshared cloud model directly from the Revit home page, selecting from a list of BIM 360 projects in the left panel of the home UI.

Quite simply, this means that once you are storing your models in BIM 360, we are making your Revit workflows easier – sharing data across Autodesk tools and helping teams work together.

revit-body-3Revit Home is a new way to navigate and access your Revit models, no matter if the file is local, on Revit Server or in the Cloud with BIM 360 Design.

Site Collaboration with Civil 3D

The Site Collaboration feature introduces unprecedented interoperability between Revit and Civil 3D.  Using the Autodesk Desktop Connector and BIM 360, you can now easily link topography from Civil 3D into Revit.

What’s this mean for construction project teams? BIM 360 becomes the connection point for Revit & Civil 3D. Engineers in Civil 3D can publish topography and view the resulting data in BIM 360. Once the data is verified, the export can be linked to the Revit model and Civil 3D geolocation will place the model appropriately.

It gets better. When updates are made to the topography in Civil 3D, the process can be simply repeated and the linked Revit model will be updated. This dramatically speeds the process of keeping teams up to date when preparing for site work.

revit-body-4The Site Collaboration feature introduces unprecedented
interoperability between Revit and Civil 3D.  You can easily link
topography from Civil 3D into Revit using Autodesk Desktop Connector
and BIM 360 Docs. You will also be able to interact with this topography in Revit with surface hosting, tagging and scheduling.

Link IFC files to Revit in BIM 360 with the Desktop Connector

With Revit 2019.1 IFC files can be linked in Revit using Desktop Connector and they will maintain their links. This feature will open doors for new IFC collaborative workflows.

revit-body-1With Revit 2019.1 IFC files can be linked in Revit using
Desktop Connector and they will maintain their links. 

Free Form Rebar Aligned Distribution

For construction project teams working in Revit 2019.1, the Free Form Rebar tool can now be used to create rebar sets with planar bars distributed along the faces of a structural element and aligned to a distribution path.  This new type of the free form rebar distribution increases 3D rebar modeling versatility and helps you define accurate reinforcement for standard and non-standard shapes of concrete elements.

This means that when working in Revit, teams can address Rebar coordination in 3D to verify design and construction.

revit-body-2The free form rebar aligned distribution increases 3D rebar modeling versatility and helps you define the accurate reinforcement.

There’s lots more to see in Revit 2019.1 as well, with features to help teams create, optimize and connect

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Help Improve Revit with the Revit Ideas Board

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With the 2018 and 2019 releases of Revit, Autodesk has finally begun adding features that users have long requested. They have also added major improvements that help users overall, even though they weren’t a request. While it seems this is a hit and miss scenario, there really are two approaches.

Autodesk’s current approach is to include features and enhancements that they find useful. They have also opened up the API for editing using Dynamo. There are also a good number of add-ins, free and paid, to handle some very common features that Revit still does not include.

There is, however, a way for users to band together to have their suggestions heard which is the Revit Ideas Board. This is a central place for users to submit ideas and get other users to vote on ideas for approval. Just under the most voted section are two ideas that were actually implemented in 2019:

With a six month window to gather enough support, a lot of ideas die quickly. Here are some tips to get the most traction:

  1. Post one idea at a time rather than multiple ideas. This ensures that a specific idea gets voted and approved rather than 5 ideas getting passed over.
  2. Be specific. Don’t just say “make this like AutoCAD” when some users may not be aware of that AutoCAD feature. Provide detailed info, screenshots, and backup documentation, anything to get the idea across the first time
  3. Share with other users, user groups etc. and put a reminder to visit the site at least weekly to look at new ideas. The more users actively reviewing and voting the better chance your ideas will be heard



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Stay Updated with Autodesk Health Dashboard

When working with Autodesk Cloud services, it’s uncertain when any one of these services might stop working for  period of time. Whether it’s C4R, BIM 360 Design, Autodesk Drive or others, you need to be in-the-know when users run into a connection issue.

Fortunately Autodesk has provided the Health Dashboard to stay informed on service outages:

Additionally, any user with an Autodesk account can sign in and subscribe to e-mails to get immediate notifications on these outages. The services a user can subscribe to vary based on the access they’ve been given

Don’t be in the dark when Autodesk Cloud services are down. Get immediate notifications to help minimize lost productivity.

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Civil 3D 2019 – Backward Compatibility

Civil 3D 2019 is backward compatible with Civil 3D 2018!

This functionality is limited to objects shared between the two versions… and anything that is “enhanced” in 2019 won’t go back… but, you can see these objects in 2018, and when you open the file back up in 2019, everything is back and working.


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Change an Autodesk Product from Network to Stand-Alone or Stand-Alone to Network

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To change a product which has already been installed from network to stand-alone, or stand-alone to network – you’ll modify the file with Notepad. Ensure the product you wish to modify is closed.

To find the appropriate file for your application, you’ll start with C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\CLM\LGS\

From there, you’ll be looking for the product version first, and then the key.

The folder names are structured so that the product key comes first, and underscore, and then the version. It will look like this:


That happens to be Autodesk Vault Professional 2019. In that folder, there is an file. Select it, right-click on it, and pick Open With…

Select Notepad from the list of options.

Change the file. If it’s a network currently, you’ll see _NETWORK. You want that to be stand-alone? Change it to _STANDALONE

If it already says _STANDALONE and you want it to be a network license, you’ll change it _NETWORK

Save the file.

Launch the product. It should now take you through the process (network or stand-alone) for obtaining a license for your product.

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What is Autodesk BIM 360 Design?

Autodesk has announced the introduction of BIM 360 Design. So, what exactly is this and what does it mean?

To start, a little history… The BIM 360 platform is not new, and it’s forever changing. Autodesk is positioning BIM 360 as the one place for cloud collaboration. For Revit users, cloud collaboration meant Collaboration for Revit. That was the tie-in to Autodesk’s BIM 360 Team, where project files for Collaboration for Revit resided. You created a “Hub” which was where all of your projects would be created and managed. When you bought a new seat of Collaboration for Revit, you would have gotten a prompt to set up this hub when you signed into your Autodesk Account. From there you’d set up projects and assign users and their access.

That process went something link this:

  • Buy Collaboration for Revit
  • Give end-users access to Collaboration for Revit through Autodesk Account
  • Create and name the Hub.
  • Create a Project
    • Create Project Members and assign their Access Level

Each seat of Collaboration for Revit came with a BIM 360 Team entitlement, as Team was the necessary component for Collaboration for Revit.

Today, you’ll buy a seat of BIM 360 Design. If you owned Collaboration for Revit, it’s now BIM 360 Design. Set-up is a little different. Where Collaboration for Revit needed BIM 360 Team, BIM 360 Design needs BIM 360 Docs.

(It will be interesting to count up the number of BIM acronyms that are in this post.)

So, you’ll need to sign-into BIM 360 Docs to create and manage projects.

From here, you’ll create a company (yours) and then you can create projects under that company. You’ll have the ability to create as many companies as you’d like, and when someone from outside of your organization shares a project or file with you, you can categorize it under any company in your Docs account. Nice and tidy.

Lots of other features too for user permissions, and a plethora of features and tasks you can perform with Docs. Make no mistake, moving away from Team and moving to Docs is an upgrade.

To wrap up… BIM 360 Design IS Collaboration for Revit. It’s important to mention that when you install Revit 2019, it will have BIM 360 Design already in it. When you installed Revit 2018, it already had Collaboration for Revit in it, too. If you choose to install Revit 2018.3, you’ll have access to both Collaboration for Revit projects and access to BIM 360 Design.

The BIM 360 button is still there, but now, you’ll see two options.

BIM 360 Document Management – which is BIM 360 Design Projects

BIM 360 Team – which is Collaboration for Revit Projects

You can access both in Revit 2018.3, but in Revit 2019, you’ll only have access to BIM 360 Design Projects.

As you can see, instead of the options, I’m taken directly to my Project home, or my company page.

We’ll have more info soon, and more introductions into Docs and it’s functionality, so stay tuned!