On Friday, January 30th beginning at 5pm PST the A360 Collaboration for Revit (C4R) service will be updated to version 3. The service will not be available during this time and a notification on this blog will follow when the service has been restored.
Due to some necessary security enhancements, previous installations of C4R will stop working after this update. C4R team members will be required to apply Revit Update Release 6 and install the new v3 C4R addon. Users will be alerted via the Autodesk Application Manager when these updates become available, as well as the C4R download page. We always try to avoid “blocking updates”, but in this case we decided that the security improvement warranted the situation.
-C4R Product Team
One of the very cool new features in the A360 Viewer is the ability to upload Composite Designs. What is really nice about this is that you can upload a file that references other files. Here is a direct link for working with uploads including Composite Design.
A composite design enables you to store, view, share, and manage designs as a single item. A composite design is a set of files that contains connections, references, and links to supporting files necessary for working with the design properly. For example, 3DS, DWG, IAM, OBJ, and RVT files can be composite design files. To maintain these connections and upload the supporting files, use this upload method:
Tip: You can also drag files into the Upload box. If you're using the Google Chrome browser, you can drag entire folders for uploading. The Select Folders option isn't available in other browsers currently. A360 recognizes composite designs and provides Upload Options.
Tip: Downloading a composite design, a folder, or multiple files provides a ZIP file of all the files.
Now that we have read the help, let’s take a look at how it works and some limitations that you will want to know about. We can start with an Inventor design that has multiple parts in it. This is one of the sample parts that you can find on the Autodesk WEB site for Inventor.
Once you have the samples download and extracted let’s take a look at how you can upload the composite design to A360.
TIP: The main files and all reference files need to be in the same folder or sub folder locations for this to work. A360 is a WEB Based and browsers are not going to know where to find your reference files.
Let’s start by prepping your project for the Composite Upload. Go to the DATA Section and create a new folder. I’m starting with an Inventor sample file of a Computer, so let’s create a folder called Inventor and then a subfolder called Computer.
TIP: Keep in mind how you want to track your data when naming the folders or sub folders for in the DATA section of A360.
We have extracted the files and know where they are and have created the folders to upload the files to. Now let’s start a composite upload.
Click on Select Folders.
TIP: After clicking on the “Select Folders” you will get a “Browse For Folder” dialog. You already know the path for the Composite upload, so copy and paste in the path to the folder.
Once you click on OK it will bring up the “Select files to upload” dialog. It’s very important that you click on the “Composite Design” option. By default it’s going to be pointing at the “Individual files” option. Once you select “Composite Design” you will see a new option - “Parent Design”. In the case of this example, there are both DWG and Inventor “.iam” files.
Click the dropdown and select the “Personal Computer.iam” file.
Here is what the entire folder structure looks like after extracting the Inventor sample file. Note that everything is in the folders needed to view the computer as a Composite Design.
Now that we have everything selected, click on the Upload button. This will start the process of uploading the files to A360 into your Inventor/Computer subfolder. You will also bet a nice progress bar showing that the files are all being uploaded. This does not take very long.
Once the files are all uploaded, you will see the Inventor icon showing you that the files are uploaded as a Composite Design.
TIP: At this point we are doing our magic behind the scenes to make this file viewable to you. You don’t need to stick around for this part, go ahead and do something else while these files are doing what we internally call translation. Once this is complete, you will see a thumbnail view of the computer.
Now you can see what this looks like after the file has been uploaded and translated. What is nice about this is that you can open up this file on both WEB and Mobile and see all the parts. You can rotate it, isolate the parts, and even comment on the design.
Give this a try with your files and let us know how it goes! You can also find more about this in the help for A360.
TIP: Be sure to spend some time in the A360 Help, there is a lot of great information there.
Whether you’ve just started using A360 for iOS or you are already on board, here are some tips & tricks to help improve your work.
Don’t have an A360 account? Go ahead - sign up for free and create your first A360 project!
A360 supports over 100 formats including AutoCAD, Revit, Navisworks, Inventor, Fusion 360, SolidWorks, PDF and more.
Want to be able to view all these formats on your mobile device? No problem!
Most of your email, data access and photo apps let you open files in other apps using the common iOS “Open In” dialog. In the "Open In" dialog, click "Open in A360" (for supported formats). Tap to open the file using A360 and upload it to your project.
Open In A360
Need to annotate and share your feedback quickly? No problem!
You can take a snapshot instantly, add quick markups and share via email, save to your device or share with other apps installed on your device. A360 supports various markup tools which include freehand, text, arrows, rectangles and measurement.
Step 1: In the viewer, tap the share icon (on the top-right corner) to take a snapshot.
Step 2: Tap the “Add Markups” button.
Step 3: Choose how you'd like to share your markup - email, save to library or open in other app.
How to Snap, Markup and Share
Also, you can markup photos taken from camera or selected from your photo library when you upload a photo (using the “+” menu).
No network connection? No problem!
You can make your files available even when you’re offline by opening them when online. Any sheet that is opened when you’re online is automatically available locally for offline viewing. You can view which files are available for offline under the “Offline” menu. To clear all offline files stored on your device, tap “Clear offline data” under “Settings”.
Planning to go on site?
Make sure to open required files before you leave the office, to make sure they’ll be available for viewing offline.
iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite introduced Continuity to pick up your work right where you left off.
Viewing a file using your iOS 8 device?
Once you get back to your desktop (Mac OS X Yosemite and above), note the Handoff icon will appear on the Dock. Tap it to instantly open same file on your browser.
Note: Make sure your iOS device and Mac support Continuity.
Hope these tips & tricks are helpful for you. Stay tuned as we have some great new features coming soon! Want to learn more? Sign up here for our free webinar on Wed, February 4th to learn more tips & tricks.
Please let us know what you think about A360, as we're always happy to hear your thoughts in an effort to make the product better for you!
Are you a user of Fusion 360? Want to see your designs come to life? Check out A360 Interactive Rendering – this new feature lets you create photorealistic renderings of your designs in real-time! Just drag and drop lighting environments and materials onto your project, adjust your camera, and then click the render button. No more guesswork – what you see in the viewport as you work is what your final rendering will look like.
Want to learn more? Join Senior Software Architect John Hutchinson for a webinar on using Interactive Rendering in Fusion – you’ll learn about streamlined workflows for creating beautiful images, and turntable animations using next-generation cloud rendering. This session will teach you how to:
• Prepare a Fusion 360 model for A360 Interactive Rendering
• Maximize the benefits of cloud rendering
• Use the real-time interactive viewport to view your results in ray-traced mode
• Find, apply and evaluate physically-based materials
• Assign and adjust IBL lighting environments
• Create stunning shots with advanced camera effects like depth-of-field
• Render and share presentation images and animations
The webinar happens on Tuesday, February 3rd at 4PM EST. Sign up here, before spots fill up!
Keep eyes out for future posts, where we’ll share with you how you can share designs and collaborate with others using A360.