By Henry Coombs
When talking about Navisworks I get asked a lot by Revit users ‘Why do I need Navisworks? I can do clash detection in Revit!’ Which is true you can, but there are other options to consider. In this article, I will give a basic overview of clash detection in Revit, Navisworks Manage and BIM360 Glue, which all offer different functionality and are used in different scenarios.
Revit interference checking
In Revit we can run very basic clash detection or interference checking as it’s called, which will pull off a report of all objects interfering with each other. We can only check for clashes between the model we have opened and 1 linked file, for example; I am in the Structural model with MEP and Architectural models linked in, so I can only run a check between Structure and MEP or Structure and Architecture. I cannot check for clashes between MEP and Architecture as they are linked models.
The report gives you an element id to enable you to go and investigate and will export the report that you are looking at below to HTML. There is very limited visual capability but it does show you where a clash is located in the model, although frustrating at times as you have to manually configure visibility/graphics. I see clash detection in Revit as a sense check for the modeller throughout the modelling process.
Navisworks Manage Clash Detective
Using Navisworks Manage we can append all project models together in an environment that will allow us to interrogate them using its powerful viewing capabilities along with other functionality such as clash detection.
As its primary function, Navisworks can check for clashes between pretty much any models and we can filter certain elements, levels and phases of a project and add in tolerance allowances. With the aid of very helpful visualisations we have the ability to get an overview of all clashes in the project and keep track of those that are new and resolved, which can be used to drive reports.
Revit offers none of the above, if you want to manage clash detection properly on a project then Navisworks Manage is the application for the job.
BIM360 Glue – Clashes
BIM360 Glue is the latest offering from Autodesk that includes clash detection functionality. BIM360 Glue is a cloud based product and looks at clash detection in a different way. The idea of Glue is that all parties upload their models to the cloud which then pulls them together and acts as a live federated model that all project members can access via a web browser.
Because we now have this live federated model we can run clash detection on it in the same way we do with Navisworks. But because we are in the cloud we don’t want or need to run any reports, or need someone updating the models and re running the clash detection like we do with Navisworks. This is very handy and will save a lot of time in managing clashes however, Glue lacks some of the functionality that Navisworks has such as the ability to filter by level, add tolerances and more. Glue is not a replacement for Navisworks.
To conclude I would use interference checking in Revit if you are a Revit user or only have access to Revit to check for clashes whilst you are modelling. If you have an AEC collection you will have Navisworks included, which I would strongly recommend you look at. I would then utilise Navisworks Manage to fully manage the clash detection process on a live project, but strongly consider using BIM360 Glue if you just want basic, easy to use and set up clash detection. Navisworks can come later for more detailed checking.
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