Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Revit To Navisworks

Through the emergence of technology the dynamic of the design process has been changed for the better. These technologies allow us to put the right tools into the right hands to create better design documents and better products for the user. Since the dawn of man we have been striving to improve our dwellings and our quality of life through technology.

In recent years there has been a pivotal change in the way contractors and construction managers coordinate their projects. Due to contract language there are positioned against the design teams, which can create a poor product for the owner. The old way of coordinating documents “the light table method” has been thrown out the window and replaced with 3D documents that can be reviewed with efficiency and speed. This new way of thinking and documenting is allowing the Architect to become the master builder they are meant to be.

This new mode of thinking called Building Information Modeling or BIM is transforming the modern Architects back into the “Master of all Trades”. With the object oriented BIM models we can now fully visualize a building and its contents in a virtual setting before anything is in place. This allows us to mitigate the large lose time changes orders before any piece of the building is erected. This allows the design team to tighten up drawings before their drawings have been signed and sealed.

Navisworks is the coordination key that brings all the BIM documentation into a like setting to be compared. It allows the users to coordinate in ways we have needed for many years.

The information below are my accounts, tips and tricks I feel can be useful for anyone starting to learn Navisworks. With over 3 years of Navisworks experience and over $250 Million in BIM projects coordinated in place I have discovered systems to simplify the process. Remember Navisworks is only as good as the information you put into it, so it is important that all information in your drawings are “validated” in some form.

A.      Exporting for Revit – “What you see is what you get”

We use the term “what you see is what you get” because when exporting from Revit the model and the state in which it is shown is how it is exported into a .NWC (Navisworks model) or 3D .DWG file from the 3D view the user is currently viewing. See example below.

In the above example the file which would be exported would contain all items shown such as exterior walls, interior walls, ceilings, structure, and etc.. The problem with exporting all construction systems in one file is once exported into Navisworks the project becomes cumbersome but this will be explained in the next section.

                When exporting from Revit keep you project simple and keep in mind you will be comparing each construction system to another so the cleaner each file the more efficient your Navisworks navigation will become and this will lessen the possibility of an error in your Navisworks clash report.

                You can define you 3D view in many ways to get the desired trade or items you would like to have coordinated.

1.       Use work sets to view certain trades with in the 3D view.

2.       Or use your phasing with work sets to view a certain trade and its correct phase of the project (see below).

Now there are two recommended ways to export information from Revit into Navisworks. The first way is to use the Navisworks NWC export tool in the add-inns tab of the Revit user interface. This method is the most widely used and recommended from Autodesk.

When exporting with the Add-Inns tool we have to double check some key items within the Navisworks exports Add-Inn tool. Once the export to Navisworks is opened select the “Navisworks Settings” button to check the current settings, please see the picture below.

Once you select the “Navisworks Settings” button the Navisworks settings for opening Revit files within Navisworks will be opened. Most of the default setting will remain the same but there are 2 important setting to make sure you check. The first is the “convert linked files” is checked if you are exporting linked files this setting is most important if you are including linked files in you export. The second setting that needs to be reviewed is the “Coordinated” this needs to be set to “Shared” to make sure our files come over in the right X, Y, Z location.