Understand ACC / BIM 360 for Revit Cloud Projects

acc revit Jun 20, 2024

Understanding Autodesk Construction Cloud for Revit Projects

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, using the cloud has become a standard for Revit projects. However, users and companies face complicated procedures, confusing user interfaces, and complex licensing models.

The goal of this guide is to help you understand everything you need to know about Autodesk Construction Cloud in the simplest and most straightforward way.

Take note that we are not affiliated with or sponsored by Autodesk. This is an independent guide.

 Watch the video:




1- What exactly is ACC?

Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) encompasses all Autodesk cloud tools. For design professionals, it is often known for the ability to work with Revit on the cloud.

ACC includes multiple products with different subscriptions. This guide focuses on using ACC for Revit Cloud Workshared projects. First, let's review the pros and cons of this solution.



2- Benefits of using ACC for Revit models

  • Distributed team: work from anywhere in the world.
  • No local network required: No more central/local on your local server.
  • Easier for collaborators: Consultants and collaborators can easily access live projects.
  • Smoother collaboration: No more FTP files management.
  • Markups: Project managers can access sheets, use markups and assign issues on the cloud without opening Revit.
  • Clash detection: Better clash detection than Revit “Interference Check”, similar to Navisworks.
  • ACC apps: Get access to the whole collection of ACC cloud apps.
  • Permissions: control over what users/teams can see and modify.
  • Backups + versions: Automated backups and versions of Revit models and other files.
  • Single source of truth: Access "federated" models that are always up to date.
  • Web access: Get up-to-date data from your phone or any browser.



3- Cons of using ACC for Revit projects

  • Cost: You have to spend more $$$ on extra licenses.
  • Training: Users must learn to use ACC on top of Revit.
  • Confusing Autodesk Jargon: Navigate complex licensing options and product names (although we are to help😉)
  • Internet dependency: You always have to be logged in to the Internet.
  • Data security: Potential concerns for confidential projects (data breach).
  • Outages: Servers might be down for a few hours.
  • Vendor Lock-in: Even more reliant on Autodesk, difficult to switch to other solutions.
  • Interoperability: Data can be "stuck" inside of Autodesk cloud.



4- ACC will replace BIM 360

BIM 360 and ACC are extremely similar. Both of them are available with the BIM Collaborate Pro license and allow you to work with Revit workshared cloud models. They both include the same key products: Autodesk Docs, Design Collaboration, and Model Coordination.

When you create a new cloud project, you can pick between ACC and BIM 360. After a project is created, it cannot be switched from one to the other.

In your list of projects, BIM 360 projects appear with the B icon, while ACC projects appear with a sphere.


The key differences between ACC and BIM 360:

  • ACC includes extra products for contractors: Takeoff, Build, PlanGrid, and others.
  • ACC includes "Bridge": Bridge allows you to link Revit models from different projects.
  • BIM 360 isn't developed anymore: Autodesk is focused on improving ACC.
  • ACC has better UI: ACC user interface feels slightly more modern and fresh.

Overall, you should create all new projects on ACC. This guide focuses on this specific solution.



5- These products are part of ACC

You may be familiar with Autodesk Construction Cloud for the Revit cloud features.

But ACC is a vast ecosystem encompassing multiple tools, apps, and services, catering to both professionals and contractors. The products include:

  • Docs
  • Design Collaboration
  • Model Coordination
  • Insights
  • Build
  • Takeoff
  • PlanGrid
  • Assemble

ACC also includes 3rd-party tools, similar to an App Store.



6- These are the critical products for Revit Cloud Projects

For Revit cloud projects, the crucial ACC products are:

Autodesk Docs: Manage files and folders.

Design Collaboration: Control Revit model permissions, packages, and transmission.

Model Coordination: Clash detection and other coordination tools.

The ACC interface has a dropdown menu for each project, allowing you to select which products to use.




Free Live Masterclass about ACC

Want to learn all the steps to create your first ACC project? Want to learn how to manage teams, permissions, and get tips to work with Revit on the cloud? Join this live event.

📅 July 3rd 2024, 1 PM EST

👨🏻 Instructor: Nicolas Catellier

Click here to register



7- What is Autodesk Docs?

Autodesk Docs is a web app to control the files and folders in your projects. It is similar to Google Drive. It allows you to:

  • Manage folders and subfolders
  • See each version of the files.
  • Visualize the files on the web.
  • Add comments and markups on the cloud.
  • Assign issues inside documents.
  • Share documents with the team or create direct links.



8- What is the Desktop Connector?

The Desktop Connector is a Windows desktop app. It lets you see the Autodesk Docs files without using a browser. This is similar to installing "Google Drive Sync" or Dropbox. Files placed in the Windows folder will automatically be synced in the Autodesk Docs web portal.

Key feature: This allows you to link files without getting warnings about broken links, including CAD, IFC, SKP, etc.

 Installing Desktop Connector is optional but very helpful for Revit users.



9- What is Design Collaboration?

Design Collaboration is essential for collaborating with teammates and other profesionnals on Revit cloud workshared projects.

Design Collaboration includes these features:

Timeline: See all published Revit models by collaborators.

Permissions: Control who can see, view, modify, and create models in each folder.

Approve models: Verify and approve models from collaborators, use them as linked files.

Packages: Prepare "packages" including Revit models and PDF files

Federated Model: Visualize federated models, including all disciplines.



10- What is Model Coordination?

Model Coordination is primarily known for its ability to control clash detection. It includes a "matrix" of clashes between different models and views:



11- Get the BIM Collaborate or BIM Collaborate Pro licenses

ACC includes multiple products, bundled in different subscriptions. Here are the possible options:


For design professionals using ACC for Revit projects, the necessary licenses are:

  • BIM Collaborate: $690/year
  • BIM Collaborate Pro: $990/year

These licenses provide access to essential modules such as Design Collaboration and Model Coordination, along with Revit workshared cloud models.

BIM Collaborate vs BIM Collaborate Pro: BIM Collaborate and BIM Collaborate Pro are not the same thing. The only difference is that the Pro version allows Revit users to work on Revit Cloud Workshared models (sometimes called design co-authoring).



12- A Revit User needs these subscriptions

To work on ACC, a Revit user needs:

  1. Revit: Available as a standalone option or with the AEC Collection.

    • Revit Standalone: $2,910/year
    • AEC Collection Subscription: $3,560/year
  2. BIM Collaborate Pro: $990/year

Total cost:

  • $4,450/year (with AEC Collection)
  • $3,990/year (Revit only)

BIM Collaborate Pro gives you access to the Design Collaboration and Model Coordination products and the ability to work on Revit workshared projects.



13- Project Managers need this subscription

Project managers who don't need Revit but want to visualize and annotate models on the cloud can choose between:

  • Autodesk Docs: $500/year
  • BIM Collaborate: $690/year

Difference: BIM Collaborate includes Design Collaboration and Model Coordination, useful for package transmissions and clash detection. BIM Collaborate might be the better option given the small price difference.



14- Understand the difference between "Revit Cloud Model" and "Revit Workshared Cloud Model"

ACC can be used for Revit projects that are not workshared, meaning they don't have worksets and are used by a single Revit user at a time.


Revit Cloud Model:

Users: a single user can open and work inside the model.
Save: the project is saved but never synchronized.
Worksets: the Revit model doesn’t include worksets.
Licenses: BIM Collaborate Pro is not required (although it can help).
Autodesk Docs: You need Docs to use cloud models. It is included with a Revit license, but not with Revit LT.
Access to products: can still be used with Design Collaboration and with Model Coordination, if you have BIM Collaborate Pro license.


Revit Workshared Cloud Model:

Users: multiple users can work in the model.
Save: the project is both saved and synchronized.
Worksets: the project includes worksets.
Licenses: BIM Collaborate Pro is required.
Products: full access to Docs, Design Collaboration, and Model Coordination.

Solo practitioners and teams doing small residential projects might not use worksharing. Revit LT users cannot access worksharing features but can still use the cloud for small, non-workshared projects. 

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