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Monday, June 18, 2012

Autodesk BIM 360 - BIM Collaboration in the Cloud

Is Horizontal Glue™ a key feature of the next Autodesk BIM 360? 
Mysterious videos were posted three or four weeks ago featuring a web-based product called Autodesk BIM 360.  All of the videos have since been removed (*Please see update at end of post). The product shown in them, was a product formerly known as Horizontal Glue™ and it seemed strangely familiar. The 360 in the name hinted that it will likely be an additional web-based service in Autodesk's growing cloud services toolbox.
I soon realized that a recent article I had read on BIM and collaboration in Structural Engineer magazine was about the same technology, except that in the article it was referred to as "the Glue viewer". A bit more digging, revealed that Horizontal Systems, the original developers of  Horizontal Glue™ , was acquired by Autodesk November 30, 2011 and has been writen about as far as 2010, when for example Steve Stafford featured it in one of his posts on his blog: Revit Op-Ed with fairly positive comments from users.

A quick visit to the Autodesk BIM 360 web address that appeared in the videos http://www.autodesk.com/bim360 flashes something and then quickly redirects to a different page about collaboration and data management (Autodesk Vault Collaboration AEC and Autodesk Buzzsaw).

So although I wanted to share the videos in this post, as I mentioned, they have since been removed from YouTube. You may still want to take a look at the old Horizontal Systems YouTube channel for additional information. It looks like Horizontal Glue™ was a viewer, model aggregation (think of federated BIM) with advanced capabilities for clash detection, scheduling, RFI handling, take-off, estimating and more. The product seems very valuable in making the model and its information easily accessible to the different parties involved. What do you think this technology can do for you and how will it fit in & complement the existing BIM products from Autodesk? It seems like it would become available as a subscription benefit.

*Update 06/18: I guess Autodesk read my mind and decided to release officially this today. Although there isn't much information available yet, the BIM 360 Glue wiki page is also active. The wiki mentions that you must receive an email to activate your account and the BIM 360 page directs you to a form to be "contacted" by Autodesk regarding this offering.  So although the product has been announced, it is not released just yet. Meanwhile, you can get a head start and download the Glue extensions for Revit, AutoCAD and Navisworks. Here is the playlist of features: