Documentation / Navisworks

Navisworks API

Accelerate project review and extend software capabilities

Autodesk® Navisworks® is project review software for 3D coordination, 4D planning, photorealistic visualization, dynamic simulation, and accurate analysis. It allows you to combine models created by software such as AutoCAD®, Revit®, Inventor®, and more. Use Navisworks and its API as a platform to integrate and speed up your project review and management processes, and extend Navisworks capabilities to your specific needs.

SDKs and tools

The SDK will be installed by default under the \api\ folder for Autodesk Navisworks Manage and Simulate. The .NET API includes a Developer's Guide in PDF format and a Reference Guide as a CHM file. The Developer's Guide takes you through the classes and tools provided with the .NET API, and then introduces you to writing your own plug-ins and applications using the various classes and methods available. 

There are also a number of useful samples which illustrate how to access some of the key features of the API. NWCreate also comes with complete documentation and a set of samples to get you started.


Navisworks offers a .NET programming interface. Using the Navisworks .NET API, you can write custom plug-ins to Navisworks products, drive Navisworks from outside the GUI and automate certain tasks. You can also utilize the new .NET controls by embedding them in your own applications, for example, by creating a Navisworks document viewer.

Assemblies necessary to build your application are included in every Navisworks product. Documentation and samples are available in the product install folder for Autodesk Navisworks Manage and Simulate.

There are three ways of using the .NET API with Navisworks:

    • Plug-In: to write additional functions that extend the Autodesk Navisworks product. Plug-ins are the main entry point for users working with the .NET API.
    • Automation: to drive the product from outside, to automate certain tasks and, crucially, invoke plug-ins
    • Controls: to embed an Autodesk Navisworks file viewer into your own applications or to examine Navisworks documents without having the full Navisworks program loaded

    By using the Navisworks .NET API you are able to:

    • Gain access to Application information.

    • Gain access to Model/Document information.

    • Perform simple operations on Navisworks documents (open, save, execute plug‐in) without having to fully load the main application.

    • Interoperate with the existing COM API, which is a legacy API. New development should use the .NET API whenever possible. The .NET API provides a COM API Interop interface for when functionality is only available in the COM API.


    NWCreate is for making Navisworks models. You can use it to write exporters from third-party applications that create NWC files, or use it to write a loader for your own file format that integrates seamlessly into Navisworks. It provides both C and C++ APIs, which means you can use it with any language that supports calling standard C functions. Tried and tested, this is the same API the Navisworks team uses to write all the file loaders and exporters that ship with the product.

    It supports creation of geometry, properties, text, viewpoints, selection sets, materials and textures, and lights. Geometry support ranges from basic faceted triangle meshes all the way through to support for B-rep entities including basic modeling operations such as union, subtract, intersect, extrude, and revolve.


    Community and support

    Whether you're an experienced Navisworks user or just starting out, this is a good place to ask questions, share tips, connect, and learn from others.