BIM 360 Blog

Getting more out of your data rich construction model with BIM 360 Glue

27th February 2014
Posted by Thomas Schwaiger
You’ve probably seen videos and demos showing how to explore the model in BIM 360 Glue (BIM 360 Glue Workflow – Reviewing the design). You’ve probably also seen how BIM 360 Glue can help you avoid costly clashes (also read this post on The cost of clashing) and communicating changes uses markups on both desktop and mobile. Can you dig deeper than that? Let’s say you wanted to understand how the design has changed over several iterations, or to quickly find all the components of a mechanical system, or to prepare views that highlight certain aspects of the model so everyone on the project can look at the same information. Read on, and I’ll show you how this can be done in BIM 360 Glue.

Reviewing changes and old model versions

BIM 360 Glue keeps a record of all model versions ever uploaded. Typically you’re interested in the latest and greatest. However sometimes there is a need to review older versions. Maybe because you are considering reverting to a previous option or because you need to understand why a change has been made. Because BIM 360 Glue has a record of these versions it is very easy for you to open and explore these versions. Simply go to the Models module and right click on the top node. This will give you the “View versions” option. This works for both individual and merged models. Merged models will use the individual model versions from that date. 1 Then you can select any of the previous versions from the resulting Versions dialog and double-click to view that particular version. Hovering over a version reveals more details such as who uploaded it and when. 2 BIM 360 Glue lets you know through visual indicators that you’re looking at an older version. In this case the merged model references older versions of the Architectural and Structural models. The Mechanical is already the latest. 3 When you’re done with looking at the old version you can quickly jump back to the present state of the model by hitting the Refresh button 4

Identifying objects with same characteristics

There are several ways how you can do this. Which one is best depends on how well you know the model and some personal preferences. Let’s use an example where we want to quickly see all the ductwork for the supply air system. You can use the following options to find such objects:
  • navigate the object tree in the Models module 5
  • search for it in the Models module by clicking on the magnifying glass6and using a relevant search term. In this example I want to find components for the Supply Air system.7
  • or identify and select it in the model itself.
Once you’ve identified a single component of the group you want to see, view the properties (through the context menu ‘View Properties’ and apply the “Select similar” command where appropriate. In this example I want to see the complete Supply Air system, so I right click on the System Type = Supply Air property value to select similar objects, i.e. the ones that have the same property and property value. 8 Now that you’ve selected all these objects you want to show them. Right click in the canvas and use the “Isolate” or “Hide unselected” options. 9 See below for the result of ‘Isolate’. You may need to adjust your Transparency setting in the Options. 10

Setting up colored views to highlight model areas

Now this is very useful to identify objects, by using hide or isolate you can better understand how these components fit in with the rest of the model. But you do not always want to go through the same process, and you also need to share this view with other users so they can quickly access this information. Colored views are the right tool for the job. Click on Views in the BIM 360 toolbar and use the “Add color” option. Make sure you still have the objects selected. 11 Pick a color you want to apply to the selected objects (in this case it’s green so it visually stands out), give it a name and click on Save. Now everyone on the project can access this view. 12 Also while this example uses the mechanical system for air supply you can apply this for many other areas. Whether you want to understand the types of doors or windows installed, or quickly highlight all drywalls of a certain size. These tools help you go beyond analyzing the model visually– access and utilize the rich property data that comes with the model! -Thomas  
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6 comments on “Getting more out of your data rich construction model with BIM 360 Glue”

  1. Chris Baze says:

    Can you add several colors to one view somehow? Or is it limited to one color override per saved view?

  2. Sunny Hira says:

    @Chris Baze: Thank you for following Beyond Design.
    Yes, you can add several colors in a single view. Simply select the entities you need to color in, apply the color in the Add Color dialog, select next entities and apply different color. When finished Save the view.

  3. Chris Baze says:

    OK, I go to the model tab to select elements, then I go to the view tab to add a color to the selected elements. I can manually select more elements with my mouse and assign other colors to them, but in a large model, this is not feasible. I need to be able to select another set of elements from the model tab without it clearing my colors as soon as I jump back to that tab. Hope this makes sense.

  4. Thomas Schwaiger says:

    @Chris Baze: try moving the Models and View dialogs away from their default position where they are docked to the toolbar. With that you can have both Models and Views dialog open in parallel and switch between the two without losing your color setting. Hope that helps!

  5. attitudework says:

    Nice post

  6. Sunny says:

    Thank you. :) We are happy to hear you are enjoying the blog.

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