Remote working with Revit

Emily Bisaga Dunne Emily Bisaga Dunne March 26, 2020

7 min read

Written by Emily Bisaga Dunne and Lance Coffey

Key Contributors: Harlan Brumm, Lainie Ransom, Chris Aquino, Sasha Crotty, Joy Stark

It’s a difficult and challenging time for us all. We’re being asked to do new things, including working remotely. Autodesk is committed to supporting you and your teams during this time of unprecedented change and uncertainty. To help you stay more connected and productive, we’re sharing our best practices about how to use Revit remotely —in a variety of situations— including working from your kitchen island.

For more information on Extended Access Program for Cloud Collaboration Products, review this link.

Understanding your options

Let’s review the basics of working remotely with Autodesk products. Basically, you can bring the Revit project data to you, or you can “go” to the Revit project data where it is stored.  Here’s what you need to know:

There are three main approaches for working remotely in Revit.

  1. Revit cloud worksharing (think BIM 360 Design)
  2. Accessing your office system remotely (Remote Desktop)
  3. Working offline

The image above is a conceptual diagram showing the two main options for staying connected to your work with Revit – connecting to the cloud and remote desktop connection.

Revit cloud worksharing – bring your project to you.

This is generally seen by end users as the most seamless way to transition to remote collaboration.

This environment has the following requirements:

When you have a laptop or desktop with Revit installed, you can use BIM 360 Design to access your files from anywhere with an internet connection because your central models live in the cloud. You can also use a tablet or a phone to review published project data in BIM 360 Document Management without Revit.

If you don’t have BIM 360 Design, check out this helpful article  called “Helping You Stay Connected for Collaboration.” The article covers what BIM 360 Design is and how you can get started, along with additional learning resources to get your projects going.

If you do have BIM 360 Design, or are new to using it remotely,  this post covers how to be successful when working remotely.

The most common setup we see for this workflow when working from home is a laptop with both Revit and BIM 360 Design access. If you have a workstation at your office that already has Revit and BIM 360 Design access, then you could take that home as well.

Accessing your computer remotely – go to your Project

If Revit cloud worksharing doesn’t seem to be an option, then remote desktop may work for you.

In summary, how this works is where you (or your IT support) sets up a remote desktop solution, where you are essentially creating a portal through which you view your office machine. Your keystrokes and mouse moves on your machine at home are replicated in real time on your machine at work and you are effectively working on the machine in your office, and should have all the same access to all of your data and systems just like you would if you were working at your company.  This option works well when you don’t have the hardware on-hand capable of running Revit, but you do have access to that hardware located somewhere else – like your office.

Special considerations and frequently asked questions:

Working offline

If you are the only one that needs to work in the Revit model, then you can make changes while offline, and then transfer the updated model when/where an Internet connection is available.

If multiple people will be working in the model (worksharing) and you can’t be online, you can try working at risk.

This is a far less preferable scenario for working remotely. When you are working at risk, you have essentially checked out a copy of the local model file and are working disconnected from your Revit central model file and any network.

Here are some best practices to mitigate issues if you must work at risk to stay productive:

Common Scenarios and Recommendations

There are a lot of unknowns on our end as we come up with strategies to help you with worksharing from home – we don’t know your internet bandwidth, hardware, etc. Hopefully these common scenarios will help guide you through the process of getting started with remote worksharing.

Scenario: Your desktop computer is trapped in your office and you don’t have a system you can install Revit onto locally.

Recommendation: Remote Desktop

Scenario: You brought your desktop computer home from the office, you have a laptop from your company, you have a personal laptop that can run Revit, you have a personal desktop that can run Revit

Recommendation: Cloud worksharing

Scenario: You don’t have anything

Recommendation: Balance the cost of not working versus purchasing hardware / services to continue working.

Scenario: You have an iPad or similar tablet device

Recommendation: Acquire a physical keyboard and use remote desktop


In conclusion…

We recognize that this is a challenging time and that worrying about remote work setup isn’t a stress you need right now.  With either BIM 360 Design or Remote Desktop, we hope that these solutions will support your workflows, help you collaborate with your teams, and lead you to greater productivity.

Best wishes for health and project success in 2020!

Emily and Lance

Emily Bisaga Dunne
Emily is the Industry Outcomes Lead for Building Design at Autodesk, a global and strategic position in which she leverages her expertise from experience in the industry to help Autodesk understand key business outcomes for architectural and engineering technology customers.

About Lance Coffey
Lance is a Product Support Specialist at Autodesk, with 11 years of experience troubleshooting Revit.

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