Navisworks – An Introduction


It’s been almost a decade, but I remember my introduction to Navisworks.  Like most people, I envisioned it having much more power than it does.  After all, it can “append” files from many different platforms.  For example, files from AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, Microstation can be assembled in Navisworks.

Once everything is assembled, you can move virtually through a building and see where all the different trade models will be when the building is finished.  You can move things around and change their color.  You can even change their size.

The purpose of Navisworks is to bring the 3D models of every building trade together in one place.  Then, we can see how well they fit together.  Fitting together is coordination.

So, we have everything in one place.  And we can change things around.  Therefore, we should be able to coordinate the location of all of the parts and pieces.  After that, we should be able to spit out drawings that the trades can use.  Trade use drawings to put their stuff into buildings.  Just print the drawings from Navisworks.  Then construction can begin.

Not so fast.  Navisworks is a one way street.  Information goes in.  You can see it in there.  But you can’t get it out.  Not in the same way it went in.  You can take pictures of it.  You can make movies of it.  However, the trades want drawings.  You can’t get drawings out of it.

So what does Navisworks give you?  It gives you the ability to find clashes between trades in seconds.  Then it gives you a list with hyperlinks to each one in the “model”.  Thousands of hyperlinks.  One pipe/duct clash may produce a dozen hyperlinked clashes.  You look at  Or do you?  There’s a better way.

Corey McDermott has been using Navisworks for a while.  He’s created several videos showing us how to use Navisworks efficiently and effectively.  Subscribe to his YouTube channel here.