Navistools - Tools for BIM

September 3rd, 2013

Profox, an Autodesk partner, has developed a set of tools to enable and support your collaborative BIM processes and provide asset and facilities management throughout your project lifecycle.

Integrated with Autodesk Navisworks, Navistools allows additional project information to be added and linked to your Navisworks model.

This additional data is held in a separate, relational database that can bring together many forms of data and which is available throughout the entire lifecycle from construction to operation and decommissioning.

Information in the database can be organised, embedded in the model, and extracted to reports or external systems.

Additional modules of Navistools enable automated publishing of Navisworks project data, smarter management of point cloud data in Navisworks, on-site data capture using our Navistools Field application, and easy client-handover of Navisworks-based projects using Navistools Project Export.

Navistools can help streamline your BIM processes, leading to reduced project timescales, reduced re-work, quicker access to project data, and easier collaboration—all leading to reduced project costs.

Figure 1: Navistools through the project lifecycle

Navistools Standard

Use Navisworks as a visual project portal

Navistools for Navisworks is an add-on solution for asset and plant lifecycle management, construction management, and FM (facilities management). Navistools includes Data Management and Reporter modules running a Navisworks-like graphical user interface built around an SQL database that can be easily integrated with other database applications.
Navistools provides the means to manage an entire project containing information and documentation into a single manageable resource that can be handed over or transferred between project stakeholders throughout the design, construction, management, and lifecycle phases.

Running Navisworks with Navistools provides the functionality to search, link, tag, and report on information stored in Navisworks or BIM models, as well as the ability to add new construction and maintenance data captured on-site.
Navisworks with Navistools can be used throughout the fit-out process for QA/QC, progress monitoring, commissioning, inspection, and maintenance.

Navisworks with Navistools used as a Field BIM application using the above process facilitates continuation of the BIM process after the design phase for construction, fit-out, and then FM. Building and associated information is added to the model during fit-out and subsequently handed over to the operations team.

Figure 2: Navistools multiple status

Navistools is a tool for builders, planners, and subcontractors. Information collected in Navistools Data Manager helps define a comprehensive digital model that can be handed over to the project’s owner/operators as a deliverable, thereby allowing our customers to offer extra value to their clients and help them win more business.

With Navistools you can:

  • use with Navisworks on any BIM or CAD model.
  • select any object from database or model to retrieve project information.
  • track multiple status information using colours.
  • generate custom reports of project data.
  • add multi-format asset data.
  • link to third-party applications and services.
  • automatically update database with data captured on-site.
  • export entire project data for easy client hand-over.
  • access embedded project data using Navisworks Freedom.
  • access all the project data you need, when you need it.

Navistools Pointcloud

Manage point cloud data better in Navisworks

Navistools Pointcloud manages laser scan data within the Navisworks environment. Navistools Pointcloud introduces dynamic management and visualisation tools that increase productivity of your renovation projects in Navisworks.

  • Dynamic positional point cloud loading
  • Manage point clouds better in Navisworks
  • Improved point cloud performance
  • Improved visualisation
  • Reduced model sizes
  • Better point cloud analysis, review, and coordination

The software enables dynamic management of large point cloud datasets in Navisworks by giving you control over which point clouds are loaded based on proximity to an object’s location or the user’s navigational position in the model. This gives huge benefits when visualising, reviewing, or coordinating a Navisworks project that contains point cloud data. Navistools Pointcloud uses Navisworks as a platform and so supports the use of all the commonly used point cloud, CAD, and file transfer formats.

Navistools Pointcloud works within the Navisworks model containing the CAD model data and dynamically manages the required structure of point cloud data. The software requires that the scan positions in Excel format and that the scan data is pre-defined in published .nwd files, though the Navistools Publisher software can be used to facilitate this process.

The scan positions are held in the associated Navistools SQL database along with associated user-defined data such as photographs and other required documentation. Navistools is built upon Profox Navistools software, the project portal which allows external project data to be easily linked and managed within Navisworks.

Navistools Pointcloud enables easier management of renovation projects containing large unwieldy point cloud datasets by creating visual demolition project plans. Navistools Pointcloud enables easier comparison through visualisation between as-built data and design data through the design review process and for space management and facilities management.

Navistools Pointcloud saves on project time scales and costs through reducing the traditional requirement to produce costly CAD models from laser scanned point cloud data.

Figure 3: Navistools Pointcloud

Navistools Publisher

Manage Navisworks projects more easily

Let’s say you are project coordinator and on a regular basis you encounter the problem that the Navisworks files available to the project team aren’t up-to-date. In many cases, one of the project members has the responsibility to make sure the Navisworks models are updated several times a week, which can take a serious amount of time.

Navistools Publisher for Navisworks enables you to automatically publish your CAD models to the familiar .nwd format. Publisher is equipped with “AutoDetect” functionality that continuously monitors a designated project folder and detects when a new or modified CAD model appears and publishes it automatically to a specified location.

If you prefer to publish on a given date or time such as overnight, for example, then Publisher is also the tool for you. The “Scheduler” functionality allows you to publish on the time and date that you want. This functionality means all your systems and licenses of Autodesk Navisworks stay available and you can delay the publishing action to the non-productive hours of the day.

Navistools Publisher also includes the following features:

  • If you use Navisworks properties during publishing, then Publisher will use these same properties as well. You can even set the properties for your Navisworks models using the Publisher; it is not necessary to activate Navisworks for that.
  • To use Publisher, Navisworks only has to be installed on the system where you want to use the Publisher. Publisher uses the Navisworks engine in the background; you hardly even notice when it’s running.
  • Publisher is delivered with “AutoDetect” and “Scheduler”—there are no separate licenses required.

Figure 4: Navistools website

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About the Authors

john foster

john foster

John Foster is a Director of Profox Companies Ltd, an Autodesk partner and software development company based in Helsinki, Finland and Cambridge, UK. Profox specialises in all things Navisworks and offers products and services to enhance the benefits and increase efficiency of the Autodesk Navisworks products. Central to this is the unique Navistools suite of products, which is benefitting Navisworks users in the Building and Construction, Process Plant, and Civil Engineering sectors. Prior to Profox, John worked for NavisWorks Ltd and Autodesk Ltd. Find out more and download a free trial at www.navistools.com. John can be reached at john.foster@profox.com or at +44 7770 502456

 

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