Monday, December 12, 2011

Navisworks Keyboard Shortcuts for blazing fast clash reviews

Navisworks is a powerful tool and a very important part of our workflow, but as we dove deeper into Navisworks I realized it was an incredibly slow process working through all the unimportant clashes to focus on what really matters. 

I knew I wanted keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process but Navisworks does not allow you to create new keyboard shortcuts, so I decided to hack my own using Autohotkey; which is a simple programming language that is used to automate tasks in windows.

These shortcuts are specifically aimed at making the clash review process as effecient as possible (I have a feeling this going to make a lot of people VERY happy).

First off all the shortcuts are based on the number pad on the keyboard (if you don't have one you can buy an external one like pictured) or you can modify the included autohotkey source code. Note that the Num Lock must be turned off for this to work!

Navisworks Keyboard Shortcuts

Included in the zip file is the executable, the autohotkey source code if you want to customize this to your liking and a pdf that shows what the shortcuts are.


Most of the shortcuts are self explanatory but they do some very handy things.

0 - sets the clash to 'Reviewed' and brings up the assign to dialog (assign is a great tool to organize your clash reports and add comments for sending out to subs)

1 - sets the clash to 'Reviewed' and then automatically moves on to the next clash (my clash reports only contain clashes set to 'Reviewed', in my world 'Active' means it still needs to be reviewed)

2 - moves to the next clash in the list without changing the status

3 - set the clash to 'Approved' and moves to the next clash

4 - selects the clashing object in the left side of clash detective and zooms to that object

5 - full screen (if you have 2 monitors I recommend putting Navisworks on the second monitor, this way when you use full screen it puts the full screen view on the left monitor and leaves all you tool palletes open on the right monitor)

6 - selects the clashing object in the right side of clash detective and zooms to that object

7 - selects the clashing object in the left side of clash detective and turns on the select filter (the select filter is a great way to quickly slim down the number of clashes, if you don't use it then go learn it now!)

8 - moves to the previous clash without changing the status

9 - selects the clashing object in the right side of clash detective and turns on the select filter

. - focus on the overall clash (this is great if you get lost in your model)

/ - Sets navigation to classic walk mode

* - sets navigation to classic orbit

- - sets the clash view to 'Dim other'

+ - sets the clash view to 'Hide Other'

Keep in mind this is truly a 'hack' way to do this, so there will be times this doesn't work as expected and is provided as-is. Remember to close this application after you exit Navisworks as it might mess with other programs that may have 'Autodesk Navisworks Manage' in the window title. If you use other programs while using Navisworks you can simply turn Num Lock back on and this shouldn't affect any other programs.

I hope this proves to be useful for everyone and I hope it inspires others to share the tools they have developed. I believe sharing is important to move us all forward as a group. 

Please provide feedback and any other ideas you may have to improve the tool. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Navisworks items worth re-posting

First off I didn’t even know about the blog Beyond Design until very recently; check it out, loads of good information.

One of their latest posts is extremely important about inaccurate clash results. I tested this and the conservative test came up with many more results that simply didn’t show up with the traditional hard clash test (very disconcerting)

Another good post is from Dwane’s blog which talks about clashes showing up grey which was very aggravating, thanks Dwane!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Job opening for a Scheduling Specialist

This isn’t directly BIM related but could be in the future, Neenan is looking for a scheduling specialist, you can apply on our website under careers

Scheduling Specialist

The Scheduling Specialist is responsible for improving the overall integrity of Neenan schedules, design through construction, and general scheduling competency of the Neenan employees.  He or she will provide the oversight of all project schedules and be involved with resource allocations to ensure the successful set-up, progress and completion of our projects.  The Scheduler will work to create consistency and integrity of schedules across projects and the company.

Primary Responsibilities:
•    Work with business development to develop proposal schedules for the acquisition of work with team input.
•    Work with design development, preconstruction, project management and field to help them accurately set up a baseline schedule. 
•    Work in the capacity of a technical resource for company personnel managing schedule modifications and updates throughout the overall project progress.
•    Manage a database of schedules and as built data from a variety of projects for reference.
•    Create a database of template schedules of different product types.
•    Provide training and support on Microsoft Project, P6 and expand Neenan’s use and general competency regarding schedules.
•    Assist with large scale schedule modifications as needed. 
•    Assist teams with the use of the 8 week schedule tool.
•    Support the transfer of scheduling information from the master schedule to the 8-week and the 3 or 4 week schedule.
•    Work with Project Executives to ensure effective resource allocation on projects.
•    Maintain open and positive relationship with team members through regularly scheduled meetings and address their concerns.
•    Create a competency matrix relative to schedules – basic skills, 101, and 201.
•    Build a testing protocol to assess employee competence.
•    Verify scheduling competency of Neenan personnel.
•    Capable of helping to create a schedule based on minimal design information and design/build team direction.
•    Help to develop strategies with claims avoidance and how it relates to scheduling.
•    Competency to make a brief assessment of a schedule and determine its accuracy and completeness.
•    Train staff to track actual dates in the schedule.
•    Ability to create and train others on cost loading schedules.
•    Ability to create and train others on resource loaded schedules.


•    Master of Microsoft Project and/or Primavera P6
•    Overall computer competence
•    Seasoned trainer
•    Thorough knowledge of commercial, healthcare and education construction
•    Strong leadership skills including the ability to build alignment and to motivate others
•    Strong collaboration and listening skills
•    Able to hold people accountable
•    Able to quickly gain the respect of all disciplines, especially the Field
•    Sound knowledge of scheduling methodology, standards, and practices
•    Understand scheduling logic from beginning of design through construction completion
•    Ability to periodically travel to remote project sites
•    Understanding of government requirements is a plus
•    Minimum 5 years construction scheduling experience

Additional Responsibilities:

•    In addition to the above, all employees are expected to play by the TNC Rules of the Game and practice Archistruction. 
•    The 4 Key Behaviors of Archistruction are: 1) Collaborate across disciplines, 2) Challenge others and be willing to be challenged, 3) Always focus on value for clients, TNC and our partners, 4) Be responsible beyond your job description. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Revit 2012 Type Catalog Bug

UPDATE - This has been fixed in Service Pack 1

Here’s a nasty little bug I found when editing families with type catalogs in 2012
Steps to reproduce:
Open a family that has a type catalog (W-Wide Flange is a good example) there is only one family type to start with in this family. Save the file. Now if you look at the family types all of them from the type catalog are in the family. At this point if you save (note that the ootb families are set to read only so you need to change this first), close and re-open the family the types go away and still left with one type. But if you change types to something besides W12x26 and save the file ALL of the types are saved in the family.
The development team has acknowledged this as a problem and said it requires a ‘code fix’ and can give no time frame of when it will be fixed.
My advice is to temporarily rename the txt file while editing your family so it doesn’t see it and ruin your day.
Support’s advice was that your library should be read only so this shouldn’t be a problem, that’s all good and fine for end users but when you’re editing the family it can become an issue.