The electronic review process associated with Autodesk Design Review is referred to as round tripping. Take AutoCAD as an example. The data starts in a drawing, makes its way to DWF, gets marked up in the DWF, gets its markups loaded into AutoCAD from the DWF, and is updated in the drawing. So the process starts with the drawing, goes around, and comes back to the drawing. If the process is applied to several reviewers, it looks like:
When coupled with an email-based process, each reviewer receives a copy of the DWF file. Each reviewer includes his markups in the DWF, working separately, and emails the DWF back to the AutoCAD user. The AutoCAD user then makes updates to the drawing, taking markups from one DWF file at a time using the Markup Set Manager, or combining the DWF sheets into one file and viewing all of the markups at once using the Markup Set Manager and the combined DWF.
On the other hand, Project Freewheel takes a different approach. Once the user uploads the design to Project Freewheel through the file open capability or the one step 3D/2D ShareNow Add-in for AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit, he is ready to start a review process. If the process is applied to several reviewers, it looks like:
The AutoCAD user starts a sharing session. The reviewers simultaneously join the session. Each reviewer sees the same view of the same copy of the DWF - at the same time. Each reviewer includes his markups in the DWF while working together. Each reviewer's markups appear in a different color. Each reviewer sees the markups of the others. If a reviewer is unable to attend the session, he can be emailed a link to the session where he can view the session, including the markups of the others, and add his own markups - all using the one DWF file. At the end of the sharing session or when all reviewers have completed their markups, the AutoCAD user can make updates to the drawing by looking at the resulting session.
In previous blog articles, I have talked about Wikis. In essence, a sharing session is like a Wiki. Multiple authors make contributions. There is an URL to the session so users can go back and look at the results now or in the future. So the collaboration process for Project Freewheel is like the construction of a Wiki in real time.
What if we completed the process with round trip?
The user would be able to request the session as a DWF file containing the markups. Interesting? Please tell us what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org. Pondering various ways to collaborate around design data is alive in the lab.