Knowledgebase
Knowledgebase

The A2K Technologies support desk is happy to assist with all current versions of your installed Autodesk software. Software includes;

  • AutoCAD including toolsets and any vertical products
  • Revit
  • Inventor range of products
  • All licensing and installation troubleshooting
  • Various 360 services, such as BIM360 and Fusion 360.

The currently supported release versions include;

  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018 (best efforts)
  • 2017 (best efforts)

It's important to note however, that product versions 2016 and prior are no longer supported by either A2K Technologies or Autodesk. If you're currently using a legacy version of Autodesk products, we strongly recommend that you upgrade your Autodesk applications from these legacy versions as soon as possible.

Recently, we've had an increase of questions asking about how to work from home with their Autodesk software. And as either an Autodesk Software user or an IT Administrator, if you're keen to know your options then please read on.

Note that this article is discussing licensing and installation aspects of Autodesk software, but not the actual remote workflows that may be needed with your CAD applications when working from home.

30 Day Trial Mode

Firstly, understand that anyone can obtain the current version of Autodesk Software (at time of writing, we're transitioning from release 2020 to release 2021 over the coming weeks) and run the software in trial mode for 30 days. There may be reasons as to why the trial may not work immediately, but generally speaking, running the software in "Serial Number" / "Standalone" mode will grant that active user 30 days to use the software before locking them out. More on this later... but for now, most users should be able to download the software and use it in trial mode.

Downloading your software;

There are three common ways to download Autodesk software to your home computer;

Autodesk Manage Portal

http://manage.autodesk.com

And of particular interest, when using the Autodesk Manage Portal to download your software, use the "Browser Download" method that's detailed here;

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/customer-service/download-install/download/about-download-methods/browser-download-method-for-autodesk-account

Autodesk Virtual Agent

http://ava.autodesk.com

The Autodesk Virtual Agent is a chat bot that can be used to download Autodesk software (limited to current version for anonymous users) and also for its activation (more on activation below, it's only required in some situations).

Autodesk Desktop App

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/search-result/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/About-Autodesk-desktop-app.html

The Autodesk Desktop App can be downloaded, installed, and then once a user has logged in with their Autodesk ID, they'll be able to access the installer for any Single-User licenses that have been assigned to them. The Autodesk Desktop App may already be installed on your computer if you've installed any Autodesk software previously over the past 5 or so years - you'll find the shortcut for it within the Windows Start Menu.

Patching your software;

The Autodesk Desktop App will be installed with any Autodesk software installation. The shortcut for the app is found within the Windows Start Menu, and will run in the Windows System Tray as a little blue "A" icon. Load up the Autodesk Desktop App, log in with your Autodesk ID, and then the app will scan and detect any installed Autodesk products and provides for patching of each install. Of importance the App will also provide Licensing Hot-fixes independent of your CAD service packs and CAD hot-fixes, and it's very important to install any licensing hot-fixes recommended by the Desktop App as a priority.

Alternatively, you can download individual Autodesk App patches via the Autodesk Manage Portal. The list of available patches may be extensive however, so use the search bar to help find what you're looking for.

Licensing your installed software for home use;

Single-User (Term Based) Licensing

For those of us who are using an Autodesk Single User license, this method is by far the easiest. Simply download the software, install it (be it a laptop or desktop, but Autodesk do state a limit of 3 devices) and log in with your Autodesk ID to use it. If the software fails to log-in, run through these checks;

 - Are you using the correct email address that's associated with your Autodesk ID?

- Check the Autodesk Desktop App doesn't have any pending Service Packs or Licensing Hot-Fixes awaiting install.

 - Check that the products you're trying to open are listed either in the Autodesk Desktop App, or the Autodesk Manage Portal. If either of these are looking relatively empty, cross check your email address and your assigned software with your Software Coordinator.

Multi-User Network (Term Based or Maintenance) Licensing

Borrowing a Network License

Multi-User Licensing Users may open up their CAD application, clicking Help/About, and then product information where they'll see an option to borrow a license for a set period of time (6 months is the maximum default). CAD administrators may wish to either limit the borrowing of licenses to certain users, or by the maximum time which a license can be borrowed. To control the Borrowing, the CAD Administrator will need to create an Options File on the License Server. The guide below details how to create an options file;

http://knowledge.autodesk.com/search-result/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/How-to-control-network-license-access-using-an-options-file.html

Virtual Private Network

Speak with your Company IT Administrator about setting up a VPN between your home device and your office network. Once the VPN is setup and active, so long as your home computer can see/ping the Autodesk License Server in your office, you can then go about installing the Autodesk Software and upon first start up, select the "Multi-User" option, enter in your company servers name, and the software should start up as expected. If however, you encounter errors please be sure to first check the VPN is setup correctly with your IT Administrator. Following that, ask them to reach out to A2K Support for help, as we'll need to check;

 - The client side error message, take a screenshot of it.

 - The LMTools log file, Status Enquiry and Options file

 - Network Latency (how long it takes your home computer to communicate with the office license server).

And as always with a Network License, remember that once the user requirement exceeds the license pool, users will be rejected from obtaining a network license.

Home User Serial Number

Your software coordinator can log into the Autodesk Manage Portal and generate a "Home Use Serial Number" which can be issued to any user who needs to install and run Autodesk products from their home computer, yet is unable to run a VPN. There are limitations to Home Use Serial Numbers, such as;

 - The Software Coordinator may only issue the same amount of licenses as per the maximum licenses held within the license pool of their active Autodesk contract, on a per product basis. So if you have a 10 seat Multi-user network license of AutoCAD, then a Home User serial number may be generated for that product, and then issued to a maximum of 10 users for install and activation on their home devices.

 - The installation must be activated (and for troubleshooting on this, please see below).

 - The license will expire, typically 12 months after activation. It can be renewed, however, often users prefer to install and re-activate their newer version of Autodesk software, and uninstall last years version.

Legacy Standalone Licensing (Maintenance)

Install your software and activate your install using the same serial number that's been used on your work computer. If activation fails, use the Autodesk AVA website to assist with manually activating your product. It's important to understand however, that Autodesk will only allow home use activation on active maintenance contracts. If you're maintenance contract has since expired, Autodesk will not activate your product for use at home.

Activation Troubleshooting;

If using either a Home Use serial number, or your Maintenance perpetual serial number, the software should automatically activate via the internet. If that fails, try using the Autodesk AVA website to generate your activation code manually.

Activate your product directly using the AVA website:

http://ava.autodesk.com

If you're still continuing to have activation complications, then please reach out to A2K Support for further assistance, noting that we'll require;

 - Name of Installed Product

 - Product Serial Number (the issued home use serial, or your maintenance serial number)

 - Product Key

 - The Request Code generated when the software attempts to activate (you can use the mouse cursor to select this code, and copy/paste it)

Email those details through so that we can work with Autodesk to manually generate an "Activation Code" for use with your home install. However, keep in mind that you should be able to use the software in 30 trial mode whilst awaiting your Activation Code.

Project data, saving and sharing files, accessing work network drives, etc.

The aim of this particular document is to cover frequently asked questions on Autodesk Licensing and software install during Work From Home situations, but for tips and tricks regarding remote workflow related questions, please log a new support ticket via the A2K Support Portal so that a product specialist can review and discuss your workflow questions. Use the below link to log a support ticket with the A2K Technologies support desk;

 - https://support.a2ktechnologies.com.au/

Autodesk Media Release;

Autodesk have release the below media release which also contains a few official handy links that you may refer to if needed, regarding Home Use Licensing;

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/search-result/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Best-practices-for-using-Autodesk-software-when-working-remotely.html

The License Manager is not functioning or is improperly installed. Revit will shut down now.

Many users have been encountering this error that's preventing them from launching their Autodesk CAD applications (such as Revit, AutoCAD or Inventor).

More often than not, this error seems to be occurring for users who have not recently run the Autodesk Desktop App, nor patched either their installed Autodesk CAD application, nor installed any of the provided Autodesk Licensing Hotfixes provided via the Autodesk Desktop Application.

To correct this problem, please run the Autodesk Desktop App (found via the Windows Start Menu), log into the app with your Autodesk User ID, and then run all available Autodesk CAD App Service Packs, patches and licensing hotfixes.

If the problems persist, work through the troubleshooting steps listed on the below Autodesk KB article;

 - https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Error-The-License-manager-is-not-functioning-or-is-improperly-installed-with-ACAD-2020.html

However as these steps are extensive, you're more than welcome to log a support ticket with the A2K Technologies support team for further assistance on this issue.

Email: support@A2KTechnologies.com.au

Web: https://support.a2ktechnologies.com.au

Phone: 1800 223 562

For Revit users working from home, there are four main options recommended by Autodesk for those users who are working with a Revit workflow (more on Central Files later). 

Options will include: 

 

BIM360: 

Autodesk BIM360 is a cloud solution which enables users Revit file access whilst working remotely through the internet. BIM360 Design unlocks the worksharing capability in Revit, by hosting the central files within the Autodesk cloud servers, which gives users a lot of flexibility as models are accessed from anywhere with internet connectivity. Please note, a Revit installation is still required in order to perform changes on these files. However, for those users only needing to simply review models, they can jump into the web browser and start reviewing geometry information without having Revit installed. Autodesk BIM360 is a great tool for teams of users to collaborate with.

 

Remote Desktop Access:

Remote Desktop Access allows users to access their work computer from a different device. Remote Desktop Access can be achieved either through the built-in Windows Remote Desktop application, or alternatively, through other 3rd party applications such as like Chrome, Team Viewer, etc. The downside of Remote Desktop Access, is that the workstation computer must be switched on for the remote desktop client at home to connect with it.

 

Revit Server:

Revit Server enables multiple office locations to work collaboratively through a WAN. Whilst this may sound like a good solution (as Revit Server is available free of charge), it may not be ideal for remote access across multiple locations such as when individuals are working from home.

 

Citrix:

Citrix allows a centralised server for virtual machines and software access, which enables users to work remotely. This work environment requires specific hardware and is heavily reliant on an IT Administrator in order to configure and ensure users can access and work in this environment. On the plus side, updates and software installations are centralised, ensuring that everyone is using the same updates and versions of software, graphics card, etc. 

 

While many are looking for the best solution to work from home using Revit, a few key points may be considered: 

 

1. Internet connectivity speed - https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/bim-360/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/ENU/About-BIM360/files/GUID-FCC9F18A-1CBE-4318-9EEA-2DD826A3D8AE-html.html

2. Hardware – minimum system requirements to run Revit - https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/System-requirements-for-Autodesk-Revit-2020-products.html  

3. IT support  

Before deciding on an option, please read through the below Autodesk article for more details about hardware requirements, along with the pro & cons of the options listed above.

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/learn-explore/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Revit-options-for-Remote-Access.html 

And please reach out to A2K Technologies for the best advice and recommendations on your current work situation.

 

Autodesk Management Portal 

By David Gerber - Support - A2K Technologies

In 2019, Autodesk has been slowly rolling out the Sign-In activation method for all companies. The plan was to have everyone switched to this method by the end of 2019.  

What we have noticed is that a lot of users started to get licensing errors and their software working one day, but not the next. This is usually due to the switch over in activation type and an easy fix.  

 

Before, users were given serial numbers by their Contract Managers/Software Coordinators, input that during activation, and off they went. Now, however, Autodesk switched to the new Single User “Sign-In” method as a way of protecting companies so that users do not leave with their licenses. Companies can simply re-assign the license as staff requirements change.

 

Here is an in-depth article about how to assign users: https://autode.sk/2ERq2An  

  • The methods vary from company-to-company due to different licensing types, so easiest to cross-check to see what you have under your "User Management" tab in your Management Portal (manage.autodesk.com) 
  • When you see which access you have, then you can click the required article title and it'll have all of the instructions and screenshots. 

 

Users will then get an email from Autodesk saying that their “permissions have changed”, they will be able to access the Management Portal to download/install software and updates, sign into the Autodesk Desktop App to download/install updates, as well as sign-in during activation of the software (or when prompted on an already installed software) in order to sync the license and be able to use the software as normal. 

If users didn’t have an Autodesk account before, they will be able to create one after you assign them a license, it’ll be in that same email mentioned above. Please be mindful of spelling, also if users use multiple email addresses within the company. If the spelling doesn’t match, the user won’t be able to activate/use the software. 

Users can easily see if they have been switched over or not from within their Management Portal by clicking on any product (listed under “Products and Features”) and seeing the “Activation Method” in the drop-down area. 

 

From what we have been told by Autodesk, everyone should be switched over by January 2020, so there may still be some change-overs necessary in January, however, everyone should be switched over and organized by mid-January. 

It should also be mentioned that this may take some time depending on the number of seats you have, so it would be worth being prepared and assigning users a license (if you haven’t already done so) and you can see that you are still on the serial number activation method, otherwise you may have a case where users lose access to their software and it takes you a few hours to get everyone back up and running.  

Assigning BIM360 Licenses

For BIM360, licenses are a two-tiered process. First do the above, then follow the steps outlined here: https://autode.sk/30BWfpn 

New Feature - Teams; Manage Teams within the Autodesk Manage Portal

Autodesk have since added a new "Teams" feature to help align end users into Teams which may be geared based on Autodesk contracts. The idea is simple enough, but unfortunately the rollout hasn't been as smooth as we'd have hoped, especially for large, multi-contracted, multi-account accounts. If needing assistance with creating and sorting multiple users and contracts into designated Teams, Autodesk have advised to reach out to their Manage Portal helpdesk for further assistance.

More information on Teams below;

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/customer-service/account-management/users-software/user-management/manage-teams-autodesk-account

Internal Origin Point 

By David Gerber - Support - A2K Technologies

The Revit 2020.2 update by Autodesk brought about a new feature in the “Site” category called the “Internal Origin Point”. Many people have noticed a 3D gimbal appear in their projects that wasn’t there before. New projects made after the 2020.2 update will have this turned off by default, however, older projects will now have this turned on in every view.  

Ideally, you would have it turned off in your office View Templates. This would turn it off in all of your views. 

If you do not have View Templates set up, you would need to do this in each and every view, as well as new views that are created within that project. You can also use Dynamo to quickly turn off the Site Origin Point in every view without having to open each one up. 

You will need to download the “archi-lab.net” package in order to run the script. 

Once downloaded, open your chosen project/s and click “Run” at the bottom left corner. Dynamo will find every view in the file and turn off the Internal Origin Point, Project Base Point and Survey Point. If you’d like to turn them back on, either go into the individual pages’ VG settings, or change the script to say “false” instead of “true”, run the script, and all 3 will be turned on in every view. 

CAD Plotters 

By David Gerber - Support - A2K Technologies

Plot styles transfer over when you migrate your workspaces, however, there are times when you want to use someone else’s plot style or have a company-wide plot style that you would like to install onto your machine. 

This can be achieved in two ways: 

  1. Type in the command - “STYLESMANAGER” - in an open CAD drawing and the pop-up will automatically come up where the .ctb/.stb files are stored. 
    1. Copy and paste the files into this folder to install the plotter onto your CAD workspace. 
  2. You can go directly to the following UNC path and copy/paste the file there without the need to open CAD - C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx\Rxx.x\enu\Plotters\Plot Styles 
    1. Hint - Copy and paste: C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk - in the Windows File Explorer to get to the AutoCAD 20xx folder faster. 

CAD Crashing 

By David Gerber - Support - A2K Technologies

If you have noticed that your CAD is starting to perform poorly or crash during certain tasks where it worked fine one day and not the next, this is usually easily fixed. Thankfully, CAD is pretty straight-forward in regards to what is causing performance issues. 

 

Usually CAD crashes are due to 3 things: 

  1. CAD needs to be updated. 
  2. Graphics Card needs to be update. 
  3. Windows pending installs/restarts. 

 

A question to ask yourself is: Is this only happening on one file or all files? 
 
If it's one file - Perhaps it's a corrupt drawing. As a test, duplicate the file, and try the following: 

  1. Open up a new CAD drawing 
  2. INSERT - insert your drawing 
  3. AUDIT - let CAD fix the errors 
  4. PURGE - purge unused items 
  5. Save 
  6. Retest 

If it's all files: 

  1. Which version of CAD is this on? Is it updated to the latest version?  
  2. Type - ABOUT - in the command line and send us a screenshot for us to cross-check it for you. 
  3. Is Windows Updated fully?  
  4. Type Windows Update in the Windows Search Bar to make sure there aren't any pending installs/restarts necessary. 

We highly recommend using the Browser Method as described here: 

Autodesk Install Media Browser Download

This tends to be the most reliable installer of the 3 choices Autodesk provides.

  1. If this installation fails, please screenshot the error you receive in the installation dialogue box as it'll help isolate the issue further.
  2. Please also go to your Windows Temporary Folder (type %TEMP% in the Windows Search Bar) and find/attach the file named "<software_name> Setup.log"
    1. Tip: Sorting by date will be faster in finding this file.

In some cases (Browser Method still failing),