Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Navisworks Doesn’t Start or Launch

We’ve had a few instances of folks contacting support over the past few weeks saying that when they go to launch Navisworks (Review, Simulate or Manage), nothing happens.  No splash screen, nothing.
It has seemed to fall into one of two issues…
  1. Lastsession.xml
  2. Corrupt CascadeInfo.cas
For the Lastsession.xml, follow these steps…
  • Close Navisworks
  • Locate Lastsession.xml
    • (XP default location) C:\Documents and Settings\**username**\Application Data\Autodesk Navisworks **product** 2010
      • (Vista default location) C:\Users\**username**\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk Navisworks **product** 2010
      • Delete the LastSession.xml
      • Try and open Navisworks
      For the corrupt CascaseInfo.cas, see this link…
      From what I’ve seen/heard, either one of these will usually fix Navisworks from not starting.

      Friday, October 23, 2009

      Navisworks 2010 Subscription Advantage Pack

      Along with many of the other Autodesk programs, Navisworks also got a Subscription Advantage Pack for the 2010 programs.  There are 3 enhancements available for download via the Subscription Center

      • Autodesk FBX File Format Support
      • Batch Processing Utility

      And Finally…something practically everyone has been asking for since Autodesk acquired Navisworks…

      • (Shareable) NWC Export Utility

      You can find the Advantage Pack by hitting Product Downloads in the upper left corner of the site. 

      I haven’t really heard of many folks asking for FBX files, but it’s a nice addition to the allowable formats.  I watched a quick video on the Batch utility, looks like you can append files from multiple folder locations instead of just one folder at a time…so that I can see where that would come in handy.

      As for the NWC Exporter, I’ve been sitting on knowing this was coming for quite a while…it’s been hard to keep my mouth shut!!  This is great news and many, many IT personnel will be happy that they don’t have to install an entire program just to get an exporter.  The  exporter works for more than just Autodesk software, so those collaborating with folks using MicroStation or ArchiCAD can also share the exporter with those companies.

      Remember, you need to be a Navisworks subscription customer to actually download these enhancements. 

      Tuesday, September 15, 2009

      Navisworks 2010 Service Pack 1 Available

      The first Service Pack for Navisworks 2010 is now available!  You can get the service pack here - Navisworks SP1 Page.  This update applies to all versions (Freedom, Review, Simulate and Manage) of Navisworks.

      If you happen to have Navisworks for Manufacturing, there is a separate download HERE.  There is a known service pack installation issue for customers with Autodesk Navisworks 2010 and Autodesk Navisworks 2010 for Manufacturing installed side-by-side.  There is a txt file on the SP page, please read this if you are using Navisworks for Manufacturing.

      ***Please make sure you read the Readme file before installing the service pack***

      General Updates

      This service pack fixes the following defects.

      • Clash Detective. Camera now transitions more smoothly between clash results.
      • Object Animation. When adding a keyframe to the end of an animation the object movement now remains consistent.
      • Comments window. The ID column in the Comments window is now labeled Comment ID.
      • Hyperlinks and Smart Tags. Autodesk Navisworks now remembers Hyperlinks and SmartTags visibility settings between sessions. New Show Hyperlinks and Show SmartTags options have been added to the Options Editor (Interface node).
      • Sectioning. The section bar slider now maintains correct settings when user switches between viewpoints.
      • Collaboration. When using the collaborate function all window states now remain consistent.
      • AutoCAD Interoperability. AutoCAD elements are now correctly displayed on the Properties tab of the Selection Tree window.
        Installing Autodesk Navisworks 2010 no longer causes issues with AutoCAD VBA customizations.
      • Inventor Interoperability. You can now view Inventor 'surface models' in Autodesk Navisworks.
      • IFC Interoperability. Improved support for IFC 2X2 files. Missing components and misplaced Geometry issues are now resolved.
      • Revit Interoperability.
        Structural usage text designated in Revit is now displayed in Autodesk Navisworks.
        Window and door openings are now supported when exporting NWC files from Revit.
        Revit models modeled in mm now appear the correct size in Autodesk Navisworks.
      • AutoCAD Visual LISP. Visual LISP feature of AutoCAD 2008 and 2009 now functions correctly after Autodesk Navisworks 2010 is installed.


      Wednesday, August 26, 2009

      Hyperlinks From Revit or AutoCAD to Navisworks

      A few weeks ago I gave a little presentation regarding Navisworks and we got on the topic of hyperlinks in Navisworks.  We had a GC that also spoke and she mentioned that they use hyperlinks quite a bit for sending “final” models to the client.  Those NWD’s include a lot of hyperlinks to OE manuals, product cuts sheets, etc.  Someone then asked if you add a hyperlink to an object in Revit, does that come through into Navisworks?

      Great question…that I didn’t have an answer for immediately.  I figured it would, but I wasn’t 100% sure.  So I did a quick check and sure enough, if you add a URL (hyperlink) to an object in Revit, it will come through as a hyperlink in Navisworks.  I also tested adding a hyperlink to an AutoCAD Arch door and it worked as well.

      Note: I did this test from Revit Arch 2009, Revit Arch 2010 and AutoCAD Arch 2010 using the Navisworks 2010 exporter.

      Thursday, August 13, 2009

      Yes There are 4 Navisworks Programs

      Many folks think there is only one Navisworks program and are very surprised to hear/see that there are actually 4 programs to choose from.  Okay, 3 that you have to pay for and a free one.  The 3 you have to pay for are Manage, Simulate and Review.  The free one, is Freedom Viewer.  While the literature on Autodesk’s website gives you a very brief overview, some people have been telling us that they really don’t know the difference between the products.  So, I’m going to attempt to explain the differences between all 4 programs in “plain english”.

      First, starting with the free program, Freedom Viewer (FV).  FV allows you to view published files from the other 3 programs in either a DWF or NWD format.  (For more on Navisworks formats, see this post.)  You can view DWF files directly created from any program as well…not just from the other Navisworks programs.  FV also allows you to play back animations and 4D simulations, view any saved views (or viewpoints as they are called), object properties (as long as they are saved within the NWD), view comments that were made (including redlines) and be able to turn objects on and off.  What you cannot do is create a project, create redlines, measure, create animations, etc.  Basically, you can’t really create anything in FV.

      Next up is Review.  This is the lowest “cost” program in the line-up.  With Review, you can create a project…meaning you can open up and merge together a number of file formats.  You can create redlines, do measurements, create simple animations (walk-thru, fly-by), create sections, create comments and link in database info… to hit the high points.

      Next, is Simulate.  Simulate takes everything you could do in Review and adds on functionality.  This functionality includes doing 4D scheduling/animation, add materials, create renderings and animate objects (like opening a door during a walk-thru).

      Last, but not least is Manage.  This is the “big boy” that many folks seem to think is the only one.  Manage takes everything discussed above in Review and Simulate and adds in Clash Detection.  Clash Detection is the big thing everyone is talking about…being able to check objects against each other to see if they are either too close or actually clashing.

      Hopefully this clears things up a bit.

      Differences between Navisworks File Formats

      This is a common question I get…what’s the difference between the 3 Navisworks file formats - NWC, NWF and NWD?  Here’s how I typically explain the differences…

      NWC – This is sometimes also called the Cache file.  These files can only be read into Navisworks and Navisworks cannot export out or be saved as a NWC.  NWC  is the format that is typically created (exported) from products like Revit and AutoCAD, and also is created automatically when Navisworks opens up a DWG directly.  When you open a DWG, a NWC is created and is used the next time the Navisworks project is opened unless the DWG is newer.  If the DWG isn’t newer, then the NWC is used and loads much quicker.

      NWF – This is the project file.  The NWF contains all of the Navisworks data and pointers to the files that are loaded.  Think of it this way (from the world of AutoCAD)…NWF is the sheet file and that sheet file contains a bunch of XREF’s, which are the loaded (appended) files.  The content that is saved in an NWF are things like redlines, saved viewpoints, materials, etc.  Again, this is your project/working file…this is the file you use daily to update info and reload updates from the linked/appended files.

      NWD – This is the equivalent of a DWF or PDF.  Typically, you take your project file (NWF) and publish it to NWD…which removes all links and keeps everything in the NWD.  Again, to relate it back to AutoCAD…it’s like binding the XREF’s in the sheet file.  This allows the ability to share a project with someone externally without having to send all of the linked/appended files.  A NWD can be opened with any Navisworks program, especially Freedom Viewer.

      Tuesday, August 11, 2009

      Vela Systems and Navisworks Together in the Field

      The following excerpt was taken from the press release on Autodesk’s website.  The full press release can be read HERE.

      Autodesk,Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a world leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, has announced that it has collaborated with Vela Systems, Inc., a provider of mobile field automation software for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries, to integrate Vela Systems Field BIM Software Suite with Autodesk Navisworks. Navisworks is a software tool for combining project contributions into a single, coordinated 3D building information model. This technology integration extends the building information modeling (BIM) process to the field by making it possible for Autodesk Navisworks 3D project models to reflect the state of objects within the design based on field-gathered data.

      Using Vela Systems software --including bar-coding and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking technology--builders on-site can access a data-rich Autodesk Navisworks project model during the construction phase. Instead of leaving the Autodesk Navisworks model and its data behind in the office or job trailer, jobsite users can work with Vela Systems software on mobile tablet computers to access the intelligent model on-site. This makes it possible to track material production and installation, manage commissioning, conduct quality assurance/quality control inspections, do punch lists and create electronic owner-handover documentation. Autodesk Navisworks users may designate which information will be managed in Vela Systems and, as a result, the Vela Systems software enables this data to be properly managed and used in the field. The integration between the products is bi-directional and automated. The result is that the information from the field connects the "should be" state-of-design to the "as-is" state-of-construction.

      Wednesday, August 5, 2009

      Navisworks Trial Period

      This is one of those questions that comes up and with Autodesk products, it can vary…How long is the trial period?  Is it 30 days of usage or is it 30 days from installation?  For some products, like AutoCAD based products, it’s 30 days from installation.  A product like Revit though, you have 30 calendar days of usage.  Meaning if you open it up today, but don’t open it up for another 5 days, that’s only 2 days off the 30 days.

      So, where does the Navisworks trial fit in??  Well, it falls into the AutoCAD type category…30 days from installation.  So if you get the trial, don’t install it until you are ready to use it!  Because after 30 days from the installation, it’s a “dead” product.  “Dead” meaning that you have to authorize it in order to open it up.

      One thing to remember with the trial…you can install the trial and let it expire and still use the NWCOUT command in AutoCAD or the Navisworks Exporter in Revit.  I have another post in the works about this though coming soon!

      Thursday, July 23, 2009

      Civil 3D Object Enabler Only 32bit

      As I was getting ready to prep for a Navisworks demonstration, I checked out the latest dataset we get from Autodesk.  Well, to my surprise the site info, a Civil 3D file wasn’t showing properly…almost not at all.  So I of course checked the Scene Stats to see what was going on.  Well, the Civil 3D Object Enabler (OE) wasn’t installed.

      Side note: If you don’t know, the Scene Statistics will show you if you are missing an Object Enabler.  You can get there by going to View->Scene Statistics.  Here’s a little screen shot…


      Okay, so the OE wasn’t installed, no big deal.  I’ll just go out to Autodesk.com and download and install the OE…so I thought.  I get out to the site where they have the OE’s listed and I noticed that Civil 3D didn’t list 32-bit and 64-bit after the name.  So, thinking maybe it was an error on the page, I clicked the link and then I really found out that there wasn’t a mistake…it’s only available as a 32-bit install.

      Okay, maybe they haven’t made it available yet.  So I sent a message off to Autodesk and received a not-so good response…

      “…it may not be technically feasible with this release.”

      So, if you are running Navisworks 64-bit version, please be aware that you may run into trouble reading Civil 3D files.  You may want to get a NWC file (if they can) or even a DWF that you can use.

      Tuesday, July 14, 2009

      Navisworks Exporters Not Installing

      Have you ever installed Navisworks and when you go to Revit, AutoCAD, etc. and the NWC (or  NWD for AutoCAD programs) exporting option isn’t there?  Examples…In Revit 2009 it would be in the Tools->External Tools pull-down menu.  In Revit 2010 it would be in the Add-Ins Ribbon Panel.  In AutoCAD products it would be available by typing NWCOUT or NWDOUT.  But what do you do when those options are not available after you’ve installed a Navisworks program (except Navisworks Freedom)?

      Some think they have to uninstall and reinstall the Navisworks program, or try and do an Add/Remove Programs to change the install.  Well, the second option is the way to go, but it’s not a change of the Navisworks program.  It’s actually a change to the Autodesk Navisworks Exporter Plug-ins option.


      Autodesk call this “prime the exporters” in Navisworks.  Just in case you aren’t familiar with making changes to a program, here’s how you can access the Exporter Plug-ins and Prime them (using Navisworks 2010  and Revit as the example)…

      1.)  In Windows XP: Access the Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add Remove Programs option.


             In Windows Vista: Access the > Settings > Control Panel > Programs and Features option.

      2.)  Click the Autodesk Navisworks 2010 32 bit/64 bit Exporter Plug-ins option.

      3.)  Click the "Uninstall/Change" button and the Exporter Plug-ins dialog will open.

      4.)  Click "Add or Remove Features".

      5.)  Click "Restore Defaults", or manually check the Revit entry.

      6.)  Click "Next" and follow the prompts to install the applicable exporters.

      Depending on how the program was installed, deployment/disk/download, or how it was installed, the exporters may not install with the program initially. When you prime the exporters they should work just fine.

      Monday, July 13, 2009

      Hotfix – Revit Openings Are Solid in Navisworks 2010

      Some folks have seen an issue come up when using an exported NWC file from Revit (using the NWC exporter add-in) where the openings (e.g. doors and windows) are being displayed as solid objects.  There is a hotfix available for Navisworks, not Revit to fix this problem.  The hotfix can be downloaded here…


      Again, this is a hotfix for Navisworks and how it’s exporting the objects to a NWC file exported out from Revit.  The problem isn’t really with Revit, it’s the exporters that are installed to allow Revit to export to Navisworks.

      Friday, July 10, 2009

      Welcome to my Navisworks Info

      Hello Everyone!! For those of you coming over from my Revit Architecture blog, thanks. And for those of you coming here directly welcome!

      After consulting/teaching/supporting Navisworks for about a year now, I figured it was time to collect my thoughts regarding Navisworks in one place. So, you’ll see some tips/tricks I’ve picked up and just plain ran across. I’ll also be posting news about Navisworks…things like updates (service packs, hotfixes, etc.), new release info, etc.

      This is probably not going to be a daily thing (as those who follow my Revit Arch page can tell), but as I get info I will post it. There aren’t a lot of blogs about Navisworks, so hopefully you find this blog useful.

      I welcome any comments and questions. If you would like to see something talked about here, please let me know!

      Thanks again for stopping by my little piece of the blog world!