AutoCAD Plant 3D and Navisworks Object Enabler


Reviewing a design is a major component of the design process.  Many companies are still printing reams and reams of paper which make it a very costly exercise.

With Plant 3D (and any other Autodesk product) you are able to review designs with Navisworks Simulate or Navisworks Manage.  Navisworks Manage is available in both AEC and the Product Design and Manufacturing Collections.

When reviewing the designs you are able to do both clash detection as well as red line items for possible changes.  Before bringing your models into Navisworks there are a few steps that need to be followed.  To open the file in Navisworks select the Application button in the top left corner and navigate down the drop down list to Open.  You will notice that Navisworks is able to open a myriad of files from many different software packages.

When opening the file in Navisworks it displays as the following.  Why?  The below graphic shows just lines and a few shaded surfaces and when reviewing does not fully show off the design intent.   Firstly we need to download the Plant 3D object enabler for Navisworks.  Make sure that you download for the specific version that you are using.  The object enabler  for Plant 2020 can be found here –

Once you have downloaded and installed the Object Enabler, the file looks like the following.  As you can see a remarkable difference.

From here you are able to red line and markup for comment.  Once the markups are done the relevant designers make their changes in the original drawing package (AutoCAD Plant,Revit,Civil 3d etc) and then refresh the Navisworks model to see the changes.