The What, Who, Why and How’s of Navisworks
By Jet de los Reyes | Applications Engineer - AEC
Confused? Don’t be! We’re here to enlighten you on what Navisworks really is and who should be using it. Navisworks is just one of the many software included in the Autodesk Architectural, Engineering and Construction Collection or what is commonly known as AEC Collection. It is considered to play a vital role in the BIM workflow and this will be tackled as we go along.
Let’s start with What is Navisworks? It is a project review software that allows Architecture, Engineering and Construction professionals holistically review integrated models and data with stakeholders during preconstruction to better control project outcomes. Here is a list of some tools and functionalities:
- Clash Detection
- 5D Project scheduling
- Construction Simulation
Navisworks is available in three versions namely Freedom, Simulate and Manage. Freedom is a free viewer for native NWD files. Simulate is the base level and includes the functionalities except for Clash Detective. Manage on the other hand is the top level and includes all features.
Similar with other Autodesk software, it comes in different file formats:
- NWC – Cache file. This is the snapshot of your current model. This file is automatically created once you load a Native file
- NWD – Use this format when you want to publish your model to coordinate with different trades. This does not contain links to any native files
- NWF – This is where you usually work and append your files. This contains the links to all appended files
Who should use Navisworks? As mentioned earlier, this software is intended primarily for professionals working within the AEC industry. It is a misconception that this software is to be used only by Builders or Project Managers. Nowadays, people involved in the said industry are becoming more and more pro-active in running a project through efficient design and document management within their company prior to collaborating with other disciplines. This reduces a lot of discrepancy and resolves possible issue within their own model thus, saves everyone a lot of time doing Design and Project Coordination work.
Next question is Why should you use Navisworks? This software offers a lot benefit in terms of Project Review and Collaboration and some of it are listed below:
- Navisworks file comes in an NWD format which is a relatively small file size that contains overall 3D project information which clients can use to review through the use of Navisworks Freedom, which by the way is FREE!
- Performing Clash Detection allows Stakeholders to resolve issues early on during the Design phase therefore, saving not only efforts but most importantly cost and time.
- Aggregated models can be analysed at a faster speed rate as compare to Revit.
- Easily manipulate how the model appears with the use of selection and search sets
- Several export options for various tools means users are able to re-use certain settings for other relevant projects
- Construction simulation aids everyone involved in the project to visually understand and relate any site movement with project schedule.
- BIM 360 Glue Integration provides access to models in the cloud.
Now that you have learned the What, Who and Why’s of Navisworks, the next thing that you might be asking yourselves is How do I use Navisworks? As with any other software available in the market, information is key to learning thus, being able to use it correctly through best practices is the right path to take. There are class trainings available which is very efficient as you will not only have your questions addressed during the training but also be able to network with professionals in the same industry and gain knowledge from their experiences. Books written by notable authors that have contributed in the development of the industry is also a good resource. Attending seminars will enhance any skills that you currently have and further develop that to learn advanced techniques. You can also actively participate and engage in Forums and discussions to check what hindrances and concerns others are having and possibly share your thoughts and any advise that you believe best works. Lastly, practice by using the software regularly. It is only through this method that you will learn from mistakes and be able to analyse processes by experiencing it first hand and successfully overcoming the challenges.
Together let us unravel the different possibilities that Navisworks has to offer in order to make our Collaboration workflow more efficient!