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ArchiCAD to Navisworks Parameters

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hi,
Has anyone had any experience converting ArchiCAD files to Navisworks for 'material takeoff's' and element scheduling.

I have a requirement by my client to have a model that have parameters listing the objects properties. For example, if the object is a light fitting, I will need its name, manufacturer, cost, project website, etc.

Is there a way that I can add these parameters in ArchiCAD, so that they will be visible in the Navisworks file??

Thanks,
Tom
12 REPLIES 12

Anonymous
Not applicable
I haven't seen any capability built into Navis to include this information. Am I missing something? I'll have to take a look next chance I get. In any case I'm quite sure that there is no simple way to convey this info from ArchiCAD in the Navis export.

Navis is really not the program for material take off anyway. Your client would be much better served to use ArchiCAD for this purpose. There are also programs such as Artra that are much more suited to this, though I have yet to try exporting ArchiCAD to one.

For scheduling ArchiCAD export to Navis can work quite well but the model will need to be reorganized quite a bit in ArchiCAD specifically for the purpose. Otherwise the selection of elements and assignment of tasks can be quite a chore in Navis.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Thank-you Matthew for your responce.
Unfortunately were a small player dealing with a large client, so we would struggle to convince them to leave Navisworks.
I might need to go to the dark side, and take on Revit

Anonymous
Not applicable
Revit will give you no advantage. In fact ArchiCAD does a far better job of exporting to Navis than Revit does. The Revit export add-in is practically useless unless you go to heroic lengths with filters, etc. I and most I know use DWG out from Revit to Navis. It's not great but it's better than the add-in.

My guess is that your client is using Artra for the take offs, which uses the Navis models and adds the quantities data. In this case it doesn't matter where the Navis models come from (this is Artra's main strength IMHO) and ArchiCAD's superior output will be an advantage.

Just remember that you will have to use ArchiCAD 13 to do the Navis export for now as the AC14 version of the add-on won't be available until the next version of Navis ships (mid-year?).

Anonymous
Not applicable
OK great, thats good to know ArchiCAD isnt too bad for Navisworks.
We are currently going through a quiet period at work, and are looking at improving our template to work better with Navisworks.
Do you know if there are any guides that would recommend proper techniques with ArchiCAD setup for Navisworks export?

We are currently using ArchiCAD 12.

Regards,
Tom

Anonymous
Not applicable
The only guides I know of are in the old fashioned sense of guys like me who know the terrain.

The tricky bit is that there are different ways to set up ArchiCAD for Navis export depending on the desired result. For construction coordination it's mostly a matter of making the layers sensible with options to make it fancy with element IDs and such. For 4D/construction simulation it can get more complex and may require a specially modified/reorganized model. There may even be some extra fancy options to play nice with Artra but I haven't had the chance to explore this in detail.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Matthew wrote:
The only guides I know of are in the old fashioned sense of guys like me who know the terrain.

The tricky bit is that there are different ways to set up ArchiCAD for Navis export depending on the desired result. For construction coordination it's mostly a matter of making the layers sensible with options to make it fancy with element IDs and such. For 4D/construction simulation it can get more complex and may require a specially modified/reorganized model. There may even be some extra fancy options to play nice with Artra but I haven't had the chance to explore this in detail.
"heroic lengths with filters", it does sound like AC isn't so straight forward either?.... One can very simply export from Revit to dwf (openable natively in Navis, and natively exported), which carries the geometry very neatly and and required parametric information.

Material takeoffs are easily obtainable through Navis. I fail to see how ArchiCAD can serve a constructor better than Navis when Navis can generate schedules many different file types that are being coordinated?

If you want to make your model work well for construction simulation, the most important (IMO) factor to consider is "how will the building actually be built" and to model accordingly. I am constantly surprised at models (from both AC and Revit) are modeled with little or no understanding/consideration for how the thing will be built!

2cents buys a great rant!!

Peace

Anonymous
Not applicable
BIMTIM wrote:
If you want to make your model work well for construction simulation, the most important (IMO) factor to consider is "how will the building actually be built" and to model accordingly. I am constantly surprised at models (from both AC and Revit) are modeled with little or no understanding/consideration for how the thing will be built!
You shouldn't be surprised. Architects model the buildings for the purpose of design and documentation and not for construction sequencing. They are not likely to do it differently unless the client coughs up the extra cash for the added effort. Design models are as different from construction models as design drawings are different from shop drawings.

Whether any particular architect actually understands building practices and constructability is another matter. (The ones I know are quite up on this subject.)

Anonymous
Not applicable
BIMTIM wrote:
"heroic lengths with filters", it does sound like AC isn't so straight forward either?.... One can very simply export from Revit to dwf (openable natively in Navis, and natively exported), which carries the geometry very neatly and and required parametric information.
DWF is nice but not much different than DWG since Revit still doesn't give the user any control over the layering which is the simplest way to organize the model for Navis. The fine tuning options in ArchiCAD allow one to improve the output to Navis in ways that are difficult or impossible with Revit.

The "heroic lengths with filters" are to get Revit's output to approach what is easily accomplished with ArchiCAD. Of course there are also the section boxes which are a pain to use even compared to ArchiCAD's ancient 3D cutting planes. The marquee tool and story filters put ArchiCAD's capabilities in this area on another level altogether while still being very easy to use.

The complex and subtler options ArchiCAD offers are to improve the process beyond what Revit is capable of. My best results generating Navis models from Revit have involved exporting IFC to ArchiCAD and then saving the NWCs from there.

Little of this process is "straight forward" but some tools are better for managing the complexity than others.

BTW: If you haven't looked at BIMsight yet you should definitely check it out. It's already pretty good (and usable) in it's first release, and promises to get better quickly with Tekla behind it. This could be a game changer.

Anonymous
Not applicable
dwf and dwg (although similar letters) are vastly different formats.

dwg is a legacy format (and AutoCADs .pln) that is layer/block based. Revit has fine control of layers and output (to dwg) if one has has any interest the integrity of the data output. ArchiCAD on the other hand writes particularly ugly (not as ugly as vectorworks) dwg. I know several consultants who have created their own translators for outputting dwg/dxf (from Revit) and do so on a regular basis (they are ex AutoCAD so actually understand how a dwg works).

dwf is a lightweight 2D/3D file format based on HOOPS. It is not a 'layered' format as it contains a logical hierarchical structure, that is maintained from the modeller (if the modeller writes natively to dwf). This structure helps to create some level of data integrity by not opening up organisation completely to the consultants who think they 'Know best' and do some pretty crazy things with 'layers'.

Maybe a rethink is on the cards....

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