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Up and Running with Revit
Illustration by Richard Downs

Opening a collaborative team project


From:

Up and Running with Revit

with Paul F. Aubin

Video: Opening a collaborative team project

In this movie, I want to talk briefly about what we do when we have a multiple user team. In Revit, your entire project lives in a single project file. This raises a problem when you have more than one person on a team because only one person can access the project file at a given time. So this would not make it very practical for teams to work together. So what Revit offers is a feature called work sharing. With work sharing, you have a central file. And this file is typically stored on a network server, can be any network server, any map drive will do the job.

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Up and Running with Revit
3h 58m Beginner Jun 20, 2013

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Autodesk Revit is one of the most popular building information modeling (BIM), solutions today. This course covers the differences between the various editions of Revit and shows architects and engineers who are new to the software how to use them. Learn how to choose a template; set up the basic levels, grids, and dimensions; and start adding walls, doors, and windows to your model. Author Paul F. Aubin also shows how to create views and documentation that clearly communicate your plans, import files from other CAD programs, and produce construction documents.

Note: The techniques shown in this course will work with any version of Revit, but due to backwards compatibility issues, the exercise files for this course will only work with Revit 2014. Unfortunately, we cannot downsave the files. Please see a Revit 2013 course for usable files.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the different editions of Revit
  • Setting up levels and grids
  • Adding doors and windows
  • Loading families
  • Working with 3D views
  • Dimensioning a plan
  • Adding a schedule view
  • Importing CAD files
  • Linking to another Revit file
  • Creating sheets
  • Plotting a set of documents
  • Generating a cloud rendering
Subjects:
Architecture BIM CAD
Software:
Revit Architecture Revit Structure Revit LT Revit MEP
Author:
Paul F. Aubin

Opening a collaborative team project

In this movie, I want to talk briefly about what we do when we have a multiple user team. In Revit, your entire project lives in a single project file. This raises a problem when you have more than one person on a team because only one person can access the project file at a given time. So this would not make it very practical for teams to work together. So what Revit offers is a feature called work sharing. With work sharing, you have a central file. And this file is typically stored on a network server, can be any network server, any map drive will do the job.

And then, each user on the project team creates what we call a local version or a local copy of this file that they actually do the data they are working. The local copy is created literally on the local hard drive. And it maintains a connection back to the central file. And what happens is every so often the users on the team will synchronize with the central file. That will take their changes and publish them to the central file and any changes made by their colleagues and bring them down and update their local copy. In so doing, everybody is able to work together on a project team and all make changes to various parts of the project.

Now, I should also mention that if you're using Revit LT, the worksharing feature is not available in Revit LT. So, Revit LT was designed for single person offices. You know, where one or two people work there, and they're working on there own stand alone projects. So, if you're working with Revit LT, you're basically going to follow the steps that we did in the previous movie over the project. Now, the challenge we have is, in a video course such as this, it's a little difficult for me to demonstrate and certainly to provide a exercise file for you to work in on this. So what I'm going to do is simply demonstrate the process that you follow to open and create a local copy.

But I definitely recommend that you talk to your IT professionals or your BIM or CAD manager, and get the details of how things are done in your firm. Think of this as really just an overview of the concept and a tool to help you get started. So, what I've done is setup sort of a simulated network here on my system and I've created a file called Workshare. And let me show you how you would access that if it's a worksharing file. So, I would use my Open link or I could go to my application menu to get there and go to my network server. In this case, it's on my D drive.

And I've just created a file called Your Office Network to simulate this location. When I open that file and I select the central file. In this case, it's a file called Workshare. The most important setting is down here at the bottom of the screen. There's this Create New Local checkbox. And we want to absolutely make sure that that's checked. Now, it's checked by default, so you shouldn't have to do anything here. It should already be that way. But you want to just double-check before you click open that that's checked. And what that will do is, instead of opening the central file, which we don't want to do, that would be considered a bad thing, we want to make sure we're creating a local copy. Let me show you what that looks like, if I restore this down here. Here's the file called work share.

And notice that at the end of that file, it's added my username Paul Aubin. So I'm now working on a local copy of this work share enabled project. I could go about my work, make whatever changes I want to make. And then when I'm ready, I would go the Collaborate tab or the Quick Access toolbar and use my Synchronize with Central command. And you can see it located right here and right here. This would maintain the location back to the central file, it knows were that file lives and when I click OK, it would update any changes that I've made to the central file and if any of my colleagues had made any changes, it would pull those changes down, and update my local copy as well. That's the way most teams are working together using a Revit environment. Now, for the remainder of the course, we're going to work in stand-alone projects.

I definitely recommend you talk to some of your colleagues and your CAD and BIM manager and make sure that you've got the process down for what you do there at your firm. But that's the basic steps that are involved in opening and creating a new local file.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with Revit.


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Q: Will Revit 2014 files work in a previous version of Revit? Will the exercise files for this course work in Revit 2013?
A: Revit file formats are not backwards compatible. A new file format is introduced with each new release. Newer versions of Revit can open older version files without issue. However, files will be upgraded to the latest file format during the initial open. Once saved in the current version, there is no way to save them back to a previous version. Therefore, it is important to consider this issue carefully and discuss it with all project team members before beginning a project. For example, it is not possible for the architect to use a newer version of the software than the consulting engineers and vice-versa. All members of the team must collaborate using the same version/file format. This course was authored using Revit 2014. Therefore, its exercise files can be used with any flavor of Revit (Architecture, MEP, Structure, or LT) 2014 and later. Files cannot be opened with versions 2013 and prior.
 
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