We all know Navisworks mainly as an amazing aggregator of various model formats, but you can also link in data straight to items within the Navisworks file. This might feel like you are editing the data, but you aren’t. It is still simply collecting that data and aligning it, some of that data just happens to be in the form of an Excel file or SQL database.
This is typically handled in some kind of round-trip: you export information from the Navisworks model, you edit or tweak it in Excel or compile into a database, then you link it back in. The reason for this is if you want to connect data to specific elements, you need a key or unique ID for both pieces of software to be able to see and often that key is only in that element. So, you can export data about those elements, including that key, so the external program knows what to match things up with.
We are going to spend a couple posts and focus on exporting some data from a Revit model (in Navisworks) to Excel, making some edits, and then linking it back in. All of this is to enhance the data in your Navisworks model, and any of these steps can be taken as a single activity or part of an overall workflow.
Part 1 will be about collecting the data in Navisworks.
Part 2 will dive into the exporting the information to a format that Excel likes.
Part 3 opens up the Excel file and adds some data and does some tweaks to make it easier for us later on.
Part 4 will cover linking that data back in so we can see it in our Navisworks model.
Part 5 is a wrap-up with some tips and extra resources.
Check back in a few days for Part 1!