Navisworks: What Is It and How Can It Completely Change the Way You Work?

Navisworks: What Is It and How Can It Completely Change the Way You Work?
By regionaleducationalinstitute | December 2, 2020

Working in the AEC industries but new to Navisworks? Here’s a beginner’s guide to how it works and the benefits it can bring, as well as what to look for in a good Navisworks training course for your personnel.

What is Navisworks?

In the simplest of terms, Navisworks is software that is able to combine models created in a range of other design software, like Autocad and Sketchup, into one integrated model for review purposes. 

It is designed to be used right across the AEC industries (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) as a way of working collaboratively on projects. It is an extremely useful tool for pre-construction review that often enables much better project outcomes, especially thanks to its schedule modeling and clash detection tools. 

Read on to learn more about Navisworks and its different versions, and find out how you might use it to significantly benefit your work. 

What can Navisworks do for you?

Navisworks software can help you combine design files from multiple file formats. You can then review and share detailed 3D designs. It is therefore an important tool for architects, interior designers, engineers and all those involved in the construction industry because it improves collaboration and communication between these agencies.

Navisworks is compatible with many different programs including AutoCAD, Sketchup, Revit and Tekla. It is often apparent on large projects that different contributors will be using different design software. For example, in a single project, architects may be using Sketchup, whereas those designing the electricals and plumbing may use AutoCAD. This results in different models in different formats, often some 2D and some 3D.  

Navisworks enables stakeholders to view a holistic model that combines everyone’s efforts. There are three different versions of the software, however, that offer different additional functions. 

Navisworks Freedom

This is a free tool and the most basic version. It only allows you to simply navigate and review a model. The range of tools on paid versions of Navisworks is far more sophisticated. However, Navisworks Freedom is useful for clients since they can use the free version to walk through the model and take some basic measurements. 

Navisworks Simulate

This version allows you to merge models from different stakeholders into a single file so that accurate renderings and animations can be produced. A timeliner tool can simulate construction from beginning to end. The quantification tool measures areas and makes material estimates. 

Navisworks is also cloud-based which makes it very useful for collaborations.

Navisworks Manage

This is the most advanced version of Navisworks. It offers all that Navisworks Simulate does plus the clash detective tool. This allows for inspection and testing for possible clashes between objects, even between clearances around objects. This is probably the most useful tool offered by Navisworks. 

What difference can Navisworks make to projects?

Using the full version of Navisworks, Navisworks Manage, offers these distinct advantages.

  • The collaborative review stage is streamlined, allowing for construction to begin sooner. 
  • Using the clash detection tool pre-construction reveals problems at a time when they can be more easily resolved. Stakeholders can work collaboratively to find solutions. Waiting until construction begins for problems to naturally reveal themselves can result in much more costly and frustrating hold-ups.
  • Pre-construction simulation of the building process helps parties better understand the construction schedule and keep the project moving on time. 
  • Presentation is improved for clients and other stakeholders who are better able to visualize and understand the final version. 

Collectively, the tools offered by Navisworks can make a huge difference to the construction speed and cost, as well as the communications between the client and all parties involved. Using the software can sometimes avert possible disasters and will frequently iron out small problems before they become big issues. 

How can I learn how to use Navisworks?

Navisworks Manage and Navisworks Freedom are fairly complex programs that benefit from users receiving thorough professional training. 

Enrolling in a Navisworks training program means that you will quickly be able to use the program most efficiently and effectively. The best courses will have an immediate impact on all your projects. They’ll help you get great results for your clients and improve your communication and collaborative workings with all other stakeholders. 

An effective course should offer the following outcomes.

  • Know how to integrate the relevant software into a Navisworks model.
  • Be able to present models confidently to clients.
  • Be able to use the clash detection tool including knowing how to customize clash tests so that all potential issues are detected. 
  • Understand how to create animations of the construction schedule. 
  • Complement other professional development, such as Revit training or professional Autocad courses, as a way of broadening the professional skill sets within your company. 

If you are not already familiar with Navisworks but think it may benefit your company, get in touch to find out how your personnel could soon be using this exceptionally useful program very effectively.