Publishing NWD models

Ballot box Share your feedback and vote on which data types or formats we should document next here.

Spatially aligning Navisworks (NWD) model files

Navisworks can be used to federate 3D models, even formats that are not directly supported by an iModel connector. Although it is recommended to connect 3D models directly to an iModel, there are instances where this is not always possible. Navisworks (NWD) files are used to exchange offline models, and often the person responsible for creating an iModel has no access to the original design files.


Before creating a connection to an iModel please consider the following.

Default Navisworks location

Just like Revit has a default location, frequently somewhere in the environs of Boston, Navisworks appears to come with a default location in Montreal. Connecting an NWD file directly will position the model either in Montreal or at a recalculated position, depending on the source file information. As a result, even a perfectly geolocated Revit file might not be aligned correctly when appended to Navisworks and connected as an NWD.

Image 1 - Revit and Navisworks coordinates

Local Grid Coordinates

All appended files must be spatially positioned correctly and have local X and Y coordinates. This applies to any format. For example, IFC files must be exported from the authoring applications with X and Y coordinates. Only spatially aligned models will be positioned correctly.

Best Practice

To ensure correct spatial alignment, it is generally recommended to work with a geolocation file. This can be either:

This geolocation file will have to be connected first and separately from the NWD file, using the appropriate iModel connector. Do not append this file to the Navisworks file set or NWD file.

Creating a Navisworks file

When creating a federated Navisworks file set (NWF) always ensure that the first file is not a DWG model file. Use a Revit model or IFC model as the first file to append.

Navisworks file readers

Before appending any model files, check that the Navisworks file readers are set correctly. For example, Revit models should always be added using shared coordinates.