BIM 360 Blog

Yes, BIM 360 Docs Really is Free!

24th February 2016
Posted by Tristam Wallace

BIM 360 Docs Free

Our Construction Document Management Software really is FREE!

For months, we have been promoting BIM 360 Docs as Free Construction Document Management.  With our release of the product this month, we’re delivering on this promise.  This has spurned quite a few questions, so we wanted to cover this offering in a bit more detail.

Why are we offering BIM 360 Docs for free?  

Three simple reasons:

1. All construction project team stakeholders need access to up-to-day, accurate information – anytime, anywhere.

Construction project teams are made up of many, many stakeholders.  Placing limits on the number of users who can access that information limits collaboration and often results in the use of a mix of apps to get information to non-licensed users — which creates a whole set of other problems.  With BIM 360 Docs, invite as many people to your projects as you need to.

2. Construction projects required the creation and modification of A LOT of documents.

From initial concepts and designs to estimates, schedules, RFIs, specifications, checklists and so on, a single project generates hundreds if not thousands of pages of documents.  Limiting how many documents or amount of storage just doesn’t make sense.  So load up all the files that you need.  BIM 360 Docs will keep them all organized and available.  

3. Construction projects range in scope and size

BIM 360 Docs is built for construction projects and project teams and can be used as the single source of truth from project inception through handover.  You’ll be able to access and manage your project centrally from Autodesk BIM 360 HQ – your project administration portal.  BIM 360 HQ provides you with project aggregation of details by user, trade type and project type – helping you to operate a more efficient business.  And this is all included as part of your BIM 360 service.

BIM 360 HQ Dashboard

BIM 360 HQ Dashboard

How long can I use BIM 360 Docs for free?

The project and content that you create during your trial can continue to be used at a free-tier feature level for the duration of your project. 

What do I get with a paid subscription?

Subscribing to the paid tier will allow you to continue to use some of our advanced features, such as folder-level access control and the ability to publish and work with file types outside of traditional design file formats like PDF, DWG, DWF and RVT files.  The paid tier subscription can also be used to add new projects to your BIM 360 Docs account and manage those new projects within BIM 360 HQ.

The paid subscription to BIM 360 Docs is priced at $249 per project, per month.  We believe strongly in the value of our paid subscription, but it is not a requirement.  At the completion of your trial, upgrading to the paid subscription is an optional.

Why did you decide to price per project?

Most simply, the construction industry is fundamentally a project-based business. So project-based pricing is a simple way for customers to allocate budget for the product into their project costs.  And, keeping the project at the center makes it easier to predict technology costs over the course of the project duration by eliminating variables that may arise.

Secondly, as mentioned earlier in this post, user limits and storage limits can run counter to the value of a document management and collaboration solution.

Let’s look at a couple of examples of how our project-based pricing model compares to other approaches to cloud-based document management software.

User-based pricing: can you put a price on your team members?

User-based pricing offerings look very attractive from a per month basis.  For example, let’s say you have to collaborate with 20 people during a project.

User-based (low end): $10/user/month X 20 users X 12 months = $2,400

User-based (higher end): $40/user/month X 20 users x 12 months = $9,600

BIM 360 Docs: $249/project/month X 12 months = $2,988


Easy to compare if the math stays simple.  But two factors typically come into play:

1. Project teams often change from project to project, and it is not always easy to predict who will be involved at the beginning of a project.

2. Low-cost, user-based products often only offer capabilities for a single aspect of document management – cloud-based file sharing, for example.  If you need to address more that one capability, you may find yourself having to subscribe to multiple apps.

When considering an app with a user-based pricing model, ask yourself:

“Do I want to have to make a decision whether someone on my project team is worth the investment in a service so they can have the information they need?” 

Storage-based pricing: can you predict your file needs?

Storage-based pricing is a very common pricing model for file sharing and document management products — making it free to add a few files, then sharing for higher storage capacity or file size uploads.  Storage and file limits may seem reasonable at first…particularly if you can accurately predict how many files you typically use.  The reality is, however, that all of your project documents will likely go through a number of revisions.  Each of these revisions will count against limits, leaving you with two options — upgrade your pricing plan, or remove older versions to keep within your predicted number of files.  Increasing your storage limit is costly, and removing old versions carries a number of risks.

Ask yourself:

“Can I accurately predict how many documents will be created – and how many changes to those documents will be made – during the course of my project?” 

So, yes…BIM 360 Docs is available for free.  Unlimited users and unlimited storage – all delivered with project visibility and reporting via the BIM 360 HQ project administration portal.

And when it comes time to decide whether to move your projects to a paid subscription, we are providing a project-based pricing model that is predictable and does not place limits on the most variable elements of document management — how many people need to access information, and how much information is stored.  BIM 360 Docs is document management, purpose-built for construction projects and construction project teams

Sign-up today to start using BIM 360 Docs…for FREE.

Do you have questions about BIM 360 Docs?

Post them below!

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