How to combine BIMcollab ZOOM and Solibri in a project

How to combine BIMcollab ZOOM and Solibri in a project

Construction projects are always a complex endeavor, and project teams often use a multitude of softwares. In this article we will show a workflow where both BIMcollab ZOOM and Solibri are being used within the same team. To manage IFC models and point clouds across a team, a file sharing utility (i.e. Dropbox, OneDrive...) can be used to keep all models in sync. Even when some team members need Solibri and others are satisfied with the features in BIMcollab ZOOM. 

1. Collect the IFC files in a project folder 

We advise to create a folder structure on a shared location, like a server or through a file sharing application, to collect and organize all IFC files from the project. In both ZOOM and Solibri you can open the original IFC files, but each offers special functionalities to setup an easy workflow for your team members to keep the federated model in both applications up-to-date. 

2. Create a project on BIMcollab Cloud

In order to collect all communication about the project in one location, set up a project on BIMcollab Cloud. You can connect to this project from both BIMcollab ZOOM and Solibri, and issues can be easily exchanged between both applications, and any other BIM tools that are being used within the project team.

3. Create and maintain a federated model in BIMcollab ZOOM

BIMcollab ZOOM offers two possibilities to work with model files from a shared folder. The first, where files in a shared folder are linked to a project in BIMcollab Cloud,  offers an automated workflow and also offers the possibility to easily share Issues, Smart views, Clash rules and Lists. This workflow is recommended, so that everyone working in the project has access to the most up to-date files. 
The second possibility is a file based approach, which is useful when you don’t work with BIMcollab Cloud but has limited automation. 
In ZOOM you have the advanced option to link a shared project folder to a BIMcollab project. When you connect to this BIMcollab Cloud project from BIMcollab ZOOM, all IFC and point cloud files found in the shared folder will be shown in the model tree of the 'Navigation' tab. 
  1. Open BIMcollab ZOOM and click on the 'Connect to BIMcollab' button:  
    Consult the article Connect to BIMcollab Cloud from BCF managers (or BIMcollab ZOOM) for more information.
  2. Connect to the preferred space and project
  3. Go to File > Project folder...

  4. Click the [...], navigate to the project folder you created in step 1, and click on Share.

The structure of the model tree, as well as prefixes and move/rotate settings are the same for all Team members. Whether files are loaded or unloaded is personal. For more information consult  this article about different colors of model names.       
For more information about the Project folder, consult the article Set up the Project folder to link shared files to a project.
Because this setup is folder based, all changes in the connected folder are recognized automatically when a user connects to the project for the first time after the change. Replace updated models, add new models and delete outdated models from the shared folder. It is important to make sure the new files have the same name as the previous version, so they are recognized as the same models.

B. File based project-setup (share via BCP file)            

If you are not able to use BIMcollab Cloud, it is possible to work offline with BIMcollab ZOOM. Setup a federated model in BIMcollab ZOOM and add the shared IFC files to a ZOOM (.bcp) project. 
  1. Go to File > Add to project to open all IFC and point cloud files you want to add to the federated model

  2. Choose File > Save project as
  3. Save the project at the top of the shared project folder in which the IFC and point cloud files are located
Team members can open the BCP file from the shared folder to work with the federated model.
For a more detailed explanation about this workflow, go to the article    IFC and Point cloud sharing in BIMcollab ZOOM without using BIMcollab Cloud

4. Create and maintain a federated model in Solibri

When you have team members working with Solibri Office (or Site) for Model Checking this is the way to integrate Solibri in your BIMcollab workflow: 
  1. Load the shared IFC files into Solibri with Open Model from the File tab
  2. Save the project as an SMC-file into the shared project folder
How to keep the SMC file up to date:
  1. If a model contains multiple files, they can be updated from the model tree. Select any model you would like to update (multiple files can be selected at the same time). Right click and choose ‘Update Models…’.
  2. In the window that opens, you can choose which way the models should be updated. By choosing ‘Automatic’, models will be updated automatically in the SMC file when a new version of the IFC files is detected in the shared folder. In this case it is important to make sure the new files have the same name as the previous version, so they are recognized as the same models.
  3. When the file-names do not match, you also have the option to update the models manually, by choosing ‘Update’

Now you can use the SMC file to check the models and create issues: 
  1. From Solibri 9.12
    1. Connect to the project on BIMcollab Cloud in the BCF Live View. The issues will automatically be synchronized between BIMcollab and Solibri
    2. Import issues from checking results in the BCF Live View

  2. In Solibri 9.10 and earlier versions
    1. Create a new presentation based on the results of the checks
    2. Connect to the project on BIMcollab Cloud and synchronize the results in the presentation to the project
Consult the article How to deal with issues found in Solibri for the optimal workflow.

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