“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
— Buckminster Fuller
The electronic review process has been around since Brian Mathews invented the DWF format in 1995. Using AutoCAD as an example:
Today, the AutoCAD user publishes a DWF. He then shares that file with one or more people who each review its contents. The reviewers do not need to purchase AutoCAD. Instead, they use Autodesk Design Review. Each reviewer marks up his copy of the DWF and returns it to the AutoCAD user. The AutoCAD user loads the markups from a DWF file and makes the changes to the DWG. This process is repeated for each DWF file that the AutoCAD user receives. On the last save of the modified DWG, the electronic review process is complete.
For the future, Autodesk is working on replacing this process with a cloud-based one.
Existing customers are free to use Autodesk Design Review until a new process meets their needs.
The replacement process basically looks like:
The new process like BIM 360 or Project Quantum (that we announced at #AU2016) offers the advantages of:
- The data stays in place. There is no need to email, ftp, or courier large data sets to reviewers. The process leverages the Forge Viewer (a.k.a. large model viewer) to display 2D geometry, 3D geometry, and associated markups.
- There is one source of truth. Today, with the evolving nature of most projects, a published DWF soon becomes out of date from its parent DWG even before the electronic review process has been completed.
- There's no need to process markups from different users individually. If desired, one reviewer can see another reviewer's comments. All of the markups are based on the evolving single source of truth that is stored in the cloud.
Another benefit of the new process is that it is device independent. Autodesk Design Review is Windows-only. As a cloud-based solution, it is available to Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, and tablet users alike. This is present in BIM 360 now and will be extended via Project Quantum. It's also present now in Fusion 360.
As of today, in pursuit of a new process, here is how far BIM 360 Docs has progressed:
To see what is possible with BIM 360 Team, check out this video:
Our current plan is to update Autodesk Design Review to support Windows 10. We are coordinating the update with Inventor, Vault, and Buzzsaw where corresponding changes need to be made to mate with the updated Autodesk Design Review. The plan, though this can change, is to have the Autodesk Design Review update out by the end of January 2017.
Slow but steady evolution is alive in the lab.