April 26, 2012

Navisworks 2013 – My First Impressions

For an overview of the new features and enhancements for Navisworks 2013, see the link: http://usa.autodesk.com/navisworks/features/
My Favorite New Feature
Grids and Levels from Revit
In the past we had to do a lot of setup to get grids and levels to display in Navisworks, particularly difficult to acquire from Revit.  3D Grids were introduced as a Family that helped to go from Revit to Navisworks.  Now in the new 2013, standard Grids and Levels will pass over to Navisworks.  The only specific setup that I have found to have this feature work: The grid must be native to the project; you cannot just have the grid displayed from a link.  Also, to get the Level information, you need to have at least one grid line.

Revit Grids and Levels show up now in Navisworks 2013

My First Bug Find

Navisworks Revit File Reader
With 2013 you can now read a RVT file just like you can read an AutoCAD DWG file.  Fortunately, the folks at Autodesk did not take away the Revit Plugin so that we can export from Revit to NWC.  I write ‘fortunately’ because I have discovered that the Reader doesn’t read some objects in Fine detail, while the Exporter does.  
I tried the main two ways the Reader looks at a RVT file: Navisworks Named View and Whole Project.  My Navisworks Named View is set to Fine display.  
With the Reader, Pipe and Conduit fittings are single-line.
Cable Tray is Medium Detail level
With the Exporter: Pipe, Conduit, Cable Tray and
Duct all come in at Fine detail
I have only tested RMEP objects and specifically just Duct, Pipe, Cable Tray and Conduit.  Duct seems to be OK either with the Reader or the Exporter, but I wonder if this is because Duct is the same when displayed in Medium detail as with Fine detail.  Cable Tray, in my test I used the Ladder type, the Reader brought it in equivalent to the Medium detail level, while the Exporter shows it as Fine.  Pipe/conduit fittings do show up with the Reader, but they are shown as the coarse/medium detail level, single-line display.  In contrast, the Exporter exports out the fittings as Fine detail (oddly though, the fittings come in NW a different color from the pipes themselves).
Consequently, I recommend for you RMEP folks to continue using the Exporter until a fix gets applied in an Update.



  1. Hi,
    Very good blog post I love your site keep up the great posts..........

    epub or pdf

  2. Hello,

    I work for a mid-size A/E firm in VA. We have been using Revit MEP and Navisworks for some time. I am currently exploring the RVT link direct into Navis 2013.

    Here is my problem, I cannot get any of our MEP models to load into Navisworks. The process seems to take FOREVER! I have tried with several models small and large with different system types.

    So, here is what I experience. . .the link starts to import, it shows the progress indicator is "churning" through all the stuff in the model. I walk away from the computer and 20 min. later it's only at 7%. What gives?

    I have to link several models into one Navisworks. This will never work if it takes this long!

    Have you experience anything like this? Please help.

    James Kobus

  3. @ JamKo:
    You are experiencing, what seems, to be a universal problem with the Navisworks direct reader of the Revit file format. RMEP seems to be particularly challenging. What you describe is also noted in the Autodesk Discussion Groups for Navisworks, see the link below. In the thread, Jon Lipp of Autodesk gives a couple of "try this, try that". Maybe they will help you as well. Keep me posted with what you find.


  4. This is great! Thanks for sharing the info. This is a useful tool in planning a Cable Tray project model.


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