The technology behind Navisworks was first developed in order to handle large models – 3D design data. Over the years this data has exploded in terms of size, as CAD and BIM design software continues to become more and more sophisticated. And Navisworks itself has had to become more sophisticated in order to continue to handle these monster datasets.
But for all the developments and advantages of a model-based approach to design, construction documentation is still delivered in 2D… on paper would you believe?!
The reality is that when communicating information, there's no 'one size fits all' – different data is better suited to different formats or mediums. Models are great for analyzing coordination between trades, whilst engineering drawings are better suited to the clear presentation style of a 2D sheet.
So the question is, 2D or not 2D? Which is best? I don't know about you, but I like to have my cake and eat it, so why choose? Why not have both!
Check out this short video of Navisworks 2012, demonstrating the new 2D and multi-sheet support:
In all seriousness, this is a fantastic enhancement, and opens up a host of opportunities. Take this Revit workflow for example:
- Export your model as a Navisworks NWC file as usual.
- Export all of the associated 2D sheets, views, elevations, floor plans etc. as a multi-sheet DWF file.
- Repeat this for each project discipline.
- Append all NWC files in Navisworks – creating your multi-discipline model.
- Import the multi-sheet DWF files into the Navisworks Project Browser.
What you now have is a fully integrated project, with all elements in the model cross referenced against each 2D representation. So you can right-click a model element, select Find Item in Other Sheets and Models, and be presented with all 2D views and sheets that contain that element.
Now think how much use this could be in the field – the model could be navigated to see a 3D representation of the area of the project being worked on, including all of the other trades in that area, and then be able to pull up a detailed 2D sheet or plan, which can be easily zoomed, panned, measured…
Try it out for yourself. And leave a comment to let us know what you think of 2D support, and what opportunities it presents for you.