Navisworks Files

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Navisworks Manage is a fantastic software package that compresses large files very efficiently. The software is available either through individual purchase or comes bundled in the Architectural or Product Design collections that Autodesk offers.

When working with Navisworks you can open any Autodesk file as well as numerous other files from other software vendors. Once all the files have been opened from the various packages and you need to save your Navisworks file you will have 2 choices. You can either save the file as an NWC or NWF file. Knowing the difference between these 2 files is important as it effects the downstream workflow.

When a NWD file is created think of it as having all the information sitting inside the file. It is basically a snapshot of when you inserted all the external files and does not automaticall update when the original file updates form the source software.

When a NWF file is created an additional NWC (cache) file is also created. These files work together to create a dynamic view of the project and allow for easier updates when the original files are changed. If you have ever worked with Xrefs you will be familiar with this type of scenario. The NWF file is much smaller than the NWD file as it just looks at links like an Xref would.

When working with Navisworks I would suggest working with the NWF file as it is lighter and also updates more easily while your project is WIP. Once the project is done or needs to be sent to a third party then I would create the NWD as you would not have to worry about losing files as everything is contained in that one file.

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