Friday, December 30, 2011

Navisworks 2012 Switchback with Revit Video

Way back in July, I posted about a new feature for Navisworks and Revit 2012 being able to now use Switchback.  Well, I finally got around to creating the video that I said I was going to. Smile  It’s amazing how time flies when you’re busy!

The video below shows the interaction of Switchback with Navisworks and Revit.  I didn’t put voice to the video, but did input some “pop-ups” with some explanations.

As you can see, there are some interesting things happening in this first iteration of Switchback with Revit.  Hopefully the 2013 versions have a much better integration.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Autodesk University (AU) Virtual 2011

As much everyone would like to go to Las Vegas in 2 weeks, many of you do not have the opportunity.  Budget limitations and work demands will keep you from attending the Autodesk University in Las Vegas.  To expand the audience and make Autodesk University more accessible to a greater number of people the Autodesk created AU Virtual.  This year AU Virtual is offered at no charge to all AU Members (Membership is free).  If you’re not an AU Member, you can register HERE.

With AU Virtual, you can choose from 100’s of online virtual sessions directly from your desktop.

Register for AU Virtual here:

Registration begins November 15.

After the event, AU Virtual classes will continue to be available on the AU website.  So if a “fire” needs attention and you can’t watch the Virtual event you wanted, you can go back and still get the information you wanted.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Navisworks 2012 Interoperability Pack

A couple weeks ago, an Interoperability Pack was released for Subscription Customers.  The Beyond Design blog has a great post about the contents of this if you haven’t seen it yet.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Navisworks 2012 Deployments with Service Pack 1

With the latest Service Pack/Update 1 for Navisworks 2012, there have been some questions on how to add this to Navisworks 2012 deployments.  When you go to modify an existing Navisworks 2012 deployment (or even create a new one), the option to “download” the service pack isn’t available…the only option you have is to append or merge the .msp file(s).  Typically, this is okay but not for Service Pack 1 for Navisworks 2012.

Service Pack 1 actually has multiple .msp files buried inside the exe you download.  Which again, for appending/merging into a deployment is typically okay to do.  But, Navisworks SP1 also includes a few odbx.msp files that are not supported by the append/merge method as they cannot be added to the deployment image through the installer framework.

Because of this, you cannot modify an existing deployment of Navisworks 2012 to add in the full contents of Service Pack 1 OR even create a new deployment for Navisworks 2012 to include the full contents of SP1.

The only way to have Navisworks 2012 installed with all of the contents of SP1 is to install SP1 separately after Navisworks has already been installed.  For me, this means just run the exe you’ve downloaded to install the SP on each computer.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Navisworks 2012 Service Pack 1 Available

Yes, you may have already heard about this being available, but I wanted just reiterate that the first Service Pack/Update for Navisworks (Manage, Simulate, Freedom) 2012 is available.  You can download the update HERE.  As usual, make sure you download the appropriate version for your OS (32bit vs 64bit).

Also, make sure you look at the available download links…there is a separate download for the NWC Exporters as well.  This is available for those of you who only have the Exporters installed, you don’t actually have Navisworks installed.  If you have Navisworks installed and install the Navisworks update, you do not need to install the Exporter update as well…this is already in the Navisworks update package.  See the comment below from Lee (Beyond Design blog) regarding the Exporter Update…I was slightly incorrect on the above comments about the Exporter Update.

“If you installed Navisworks Manage or Simulate 2012 or the standalone NWC Exporters prior to September 2011, then you should install the separate updated Exporters, this is NOT contained in the Service Pack.”

As for the list of updates, take a look at the PDF HERE.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Using Project 2010 Schedules in Navisworks 2012

Something we just ran across was a customer looking to use Microsoft Project 2010 files inside of Navisworks 2012 for Timeliner.  When you go to add a Data Source in Navisworks 2012, it says you can only use Microsoft Project 2003-2007.  It’s actually lying….you can bring in a Project 2010 file into Navisworks 2012.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Navisworks Switchback to Revit

New in Navisworks 2012 (Simulate and Manage) is the ability to utilize the Switchback feature!  This has been accessible/available to those working with AutoCAD for a while now, but it’s a nice addition to those working with Revit.  I’ve received a few questions about working with Revit Switchback and whether or not you have to export the NWC from the central file or local files?  And if local, how does it know what local file to get and how is it going to get a local that’s on someone else’s computer!?

Ok, well, you don’t have to export from the central and it doesn’t matter what local file you export your NWC from.  The nice thing about Revit Switchback is that is goes strictly by the ID number of the Revit objects…so it doesn’t care what (local) file it’s from.  And as far as what file it will try and open, well, it will look initially for the file the NWC was produced from.  But, not to panic, you will be prompted saying that it can’t find the file and allows you to browse for a new file….your own local file.

The key part about Revit Switchback from the Revit side is that you already have the file open and you’ve initiated Switchback in Revit. 

How do you do this?  Great question, glad you asked! Smile

In Revit, go to the Add-Ins tab and External Tools.  There, you’ll find Navisworks Switchback.


Once you’ve selected Navisworks Switchback, you can now utilize Switchback in Navisworks with Revit.  The nice thing, is that you only have to do this once per Revit session.  So if you have Revit open all day, you only have to initiate the Switchback in Revit once.

I have to say though….as much as I like this, there is some work to be done with this feature.  It’s the first iteration, so I expected there to be some little things to work-around, but I guess I also expected this to work similar to AutoCAD and it doesn’t.  I’m creating a little video explaining some of the things that I’ve found that need work, including some of the things I’ve found to get around some of the issues.  Stay Tuned!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Turn Off Sectioning Planes and Keep Section

Ever since Navisworks 2011, we’ve been able to see the actual section plane when working with the Sectioning Tool.  Since we can actually see the plane, many have asked if you can actually turn it off?  And YES, we can definitely turn it off…and it’s simpler than you may think. 

All you need to do is re-click the Move or Rotate or Scale (for the Section Box only) and it will “remove” that tool/option from being active…which will turn off the sectioning plan, but keep the view sectioned!



Just remember if you’ve saved a Viewpoint of the section….if you turn off the Section Plane (or Box), you’ll need to right-click on the Viewpoint and hit Update so it’s turned off when you come back to that Viewpoint.

Friday, June 3, 2011

BIM and Construction Utilizing the Autodesk 2012 Products

Back in the first part of April, I did a few webcasts around the Autodesk 2012 products and how they fit into a BIM workflow for Architects and Construction firms.  We did record the sessions and I’ve linked below a recording of the BIM for Construction webcast that I did.  It’s about 40 minutes long and since this was done for the company I work for, you get a few minutes of MasterGraphics information at the beginning. 

Hope you enjoy and definitely contact me if you have any questions!!

BIM For Construction Utilizing the Autodesk 2012 Products

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Closing NWC/NWD Files on Load

Ok, show of hands….How many of you work in Navisworks and also work in a “design” application (like Revit, AutoCAD, etc.) at the same time?  A few, that’s what I thought.  Of those that do, how often are you having to close out of your current Navisworks project (NWF) so you can save over the top of your existing/appended NWC (or NWD I suppose) so you can show the changes in Navisworks?  Or you’re (for example) a GC (general contractor) who is gathering NWC or NWD files and when you get a new one, you have to close out of project file in Navisworks so you can save the new version over the top of the previous?  Yeah, that’s what I thought…too many of you!

All kidding aside, this is a very common question I get about working with Navisworks….why do I have to close out of my NWF just so I can overwrite my appended NWC/NWD files?  The reason is one “little” checkbox in the Navisworks options….”Close NWC/NWD files on load”


With this options checked, you no longer have to close out of your current project to re-export your NWC files from the design applications, or when you want to overwrite a previous version when you get a new one from the “designers/engineers”. 

This little checkbox essentially removes the file lock that would get attached to the appended NWC/NWD file.  Without this checked, the file lock is applied and you can’t overwrite the file unless you close out of the NWF file the NWC/NWD is appended to.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Navisworks and Vault Integration for 2012

The last couple days, I’ve been learning some of the ins and outs of how Vault 2012 can now work with the AEC 2012 products like Revit and Navisworks, besides just learning about Vault period.  Brian Schanen at Autodesk has a nice little post over at Under the Hood about this integration with Navisworks.

Here’s a little clip from his post about how to show the Vault tools in Navisworks…


Now, here’s a tip that you’ll need to use before Vaulting Navisworks data. The Vault Ribbon tab is off by default. To enable, go to Options, expand Tools, click Vault, and put a check in the box to ‘Show in User Interface’.

Navis Vault enable


Now, before everyone goes out and starts trying to show the Vault tools in Navisworks 2012, you’ll need Vault 2012 installed for this option to be available.

As far as how Navisworks and Vault work together, this is the first iteration of this integration and a specific workflow at this point hasn’t really been nailed down.  As I learn more about Vault and how it’s going to play with Navisworks, I will be posting more about this new integration.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Symbol in Navisworks 2012 Generated NWC Files

As some of you may or may not have noticed, Navisworks (2012) generated NWC files (meaning you opened or appended say a DWG file) have a new symbol in the NWC name….the # symbol.  This is something new for 2012 NWC files and is meant to differentiate NWC files created as Cache vs. NWC files exported from other programs.

So when you see the # symbol in the file name, leave it there.  Navisworks doesn’t do anything special with the file or anything, it’s just a way to differentiate the files.  If you delete the # symbol, Navisworks will just recreate the NWC again with the # symbol. 

The reason behind this is in the past, there were cases where users would export their DWG files to an NWC file and place them alongside the DWG files in the same folder with the same file name. They would then open the DWG file in Navisworks, thereby overwriting the exported NWC file with an automatically generated NWC.  So by automatically putting the # symbol in the name, this issue should be avoided.

Thanks to Autodesk support for clarifying the new naming convention!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Clashes Not Showing Color in Navisworks 2012

I’ve run across a little issue with Navisworks 2012 where the clashes sometimes will not show the actual color of the Clash Status…i.e. Red for new, Orange for Active, etc.  The issue seems to be with the Lighting for the Render Style.  If the Render Style is set to Full Lights, clashes show up solid gray like this…


In order to fix this, all you need to do is change the Render Style to utilize Scene Lights (or Head Light or No Lights) and then the clashes will show up properly…


This is a defect and Autodesk Support is saying that the Development Team is aware of the issue.  Now we’ll just have to keep our fingers and toes crossed that a fix is released soon.  Once a fix has been released, I’ll post an update.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Navisworks 2012 Available for Download

I know I’m tardy on this, it’s been a very busy last few weeks.  If you’re a subscription customer, you now should have the ability to download your Navisworks 2012 product via the Subscription Center.  If you aren’t on subscription and/or would like to try out Navisworks 2012, you can download a trial HERE.

Navisworks 2012 has some nice new features and I will be blogging about them in the coming weeks.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Downloadable NWC Export Utility


This has been around now for a while, but I know there are people out there that don’t know or didn’t know this was available.

If you go to the Navisworks Product Page, scroll down until you see the link for the NWC File Export Utility (<-or just click the link).  You will be required to fill out the information asked (Name, Company, etc.) and then you’ll be able to download the Exporter.  You can share this with anyone once it’s downloaded…so for those Contractors out there, give this to your subs!!

For those Design people out there, install this so you you can provide the NWC files for those that are using Navisworks to coordinate the design files….even if you are using AutoCAD based products.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Navisworks 2012 Availability

UPDATE: Navisworks 2012 Available for Download

Now that the information is out about the new 2012 Autodesk products, the questions start coming up on when the 2012 products will be available. 

First things first, 2012 will be the same as 2011…it’s going to be available as a download for Subscription Customers unless you specify you want a disk.  So keep an eye out for an email from Autodesk Subscription (if you are a Subscription site manager for your company) as you’ll get your new serial number and notification that 2012 is available for download.

As for the date, the Navisworks 2012 products will probably be available around mid April based on the past couple years.  Remember, this is not a 100% certainty and is purely a guess, Autodesk has the right to provide the download/ship the disks at a earlier or later timeframe.

Hope you enjoy the new 2012 products!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Features for Navisworks 2012

Here’s a quick peek at the new Features for the Navisworks 2012 family of products…which is Manage, Simulate and Freedom Viewer.

Navisworks Manage and Simulate

  • User Interface Updates (Navigation Tools on Ribbon)
  • Timeliner Updates (Interface, Tab Integration)
  • Clash Detective Updates (Assign Clashes, Wireframe Mode, Batch Updates) (Only Manage)
  • 2D DWF & DWFx File Support Enhancements
  • Revit Interoperability (Linked Files, Construction Modeling support, Revit Switchback)
  • Vault Integration
  • Appearance Profiler (Assign Colors per Props, Import/Export)
  • Miscellaneous Enhancements (Avatars, FBX Materials)

Navisworks Freedom Viewer

  • Measurement tools
  • 2D DWF & DWFx
  • Gantt Chart Visible

As time goes on, I’ll be posting more about the new features, so stay tuned!

System Requirements for Navisworks 2012 Products

That time of year for new Autodesk products.  Below are the updated system requirements for Navisworks 2012…
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 Enterprise, Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium, or Home Basic edition, Microsoft® Windows Vista® Enterprise, Ultimate, Business, Home Premium, or Home Basic edition (SP2 or later), or Microsoft® Windows XP Professional Home 32-bit (SP2 or later) or Professional x64 edition (SP3 or later)
  • AMD Athlon™ processor, 3.0 GHz or faster, or Intel® Pentium® 4, 3.0 GHz or faster (recommended)
  • 512 MB RAM (2 GB or greater recommended) (I’d say go with 4 GB minimum)
  • 1 GB free disk space for installation
  • 1,024 x 768 VGA display with true color (1,280 x 1,024 monitor and 32-bit video display adapter recommended)
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 6.0, (SP1 or later)
  • Microsoft Mouse-compliant pointing device

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year and Personal Update

For those of you who still actually follow my blog, I need to first off say Thank You! and sorry for not posting since mid Sept. (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) This past year was an interesting year…work was up and down (mostly up and busy) and I really started getting into photography The latter, is the main reason why I haven’t been posting this past fall and winter. As much as I wanted to post about Revit and BIM, photography just kept pulling me aside and taking up much more of my time during my off-work hours. In the new year though, I will be posting much, much more to this blog and my Revit ArchCenter blog…I promise!

Now, speaking of photography…I need to also share some great news. This past fall I took pictures of an area Freshman football team and had a blast. I stumbled upon a national photo contest from Canon called “Why Do You Love Football?” and decided to submit a few pictures. Much to my surprise, one of my pictures was selected as a finalist in the contest! I could not believe it. The photo below was selected as 1 of 7 finalist in the Adult Action category…


This is where I need to ask for a little favor. There is a public voting period that ends on January 7, 2011 and I need your help! If my photo is selected as the winner in the Adult Category, the picture will be unveiled and hung in the Pro Football Hall of Fame! Not only that, but anyone who votes is entered into a drawing to win a Canon T2i camera kit.

To vote, you can go to When you enter the voting, you will first vote for your favorite Teen Action, then Teen Feature, then your favorite of those two. After this, you will get to the Adult Action category, this is where my picture is. You’ll then do the same as the Teen categories. The name of the picture is “Determined”. After all of your voting, you’ll need to enter your information…this is to enter your votes and yourself into the drawing for the camera.

Again, thank you for still keeping an eye on my little area of the blog-world and I look forward to bringing much more information in 2011. I hope everyone had a safe and great New Years! (And yes, thank you in advance for anyone that votes for my picture)

Dwane Lindsey

::Update on Contest - My photo finished in 2nd place in the Adult Action Category! Thank you to anyone/everyone who voted, it is very much appreciated!