Did You Know? Translating Custom Model Objects with Object Enablers in Navisworks

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Question: How do object enablers work in Navisworks?

Expert Solution from Heidi Boutwell, CADLearning’s Infrastructure Content Manager: Autodesk uses object enablers in all of its platforms, including Navisworks. Object enablers ensure that model objects are displayed properly.

Object enablers can be thought of as translators for custom objects that are stored in libraries and used in 3D platforms, including AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, Bentley products, ArchiCAD products, CAD pipe, and others. These platforms generate custom objects that are saved into the .dwg file format.

The custom objects are typically found in content libraries that are built into these applications. Many applications have the ability to read .dwg files; however, only the native program is able to interpret its custom object. Unless an object enabler is installed on the computer that is reading the .dwg file, most .dwg file readers display custom objects incorrectly, or the reader attempts to use proxy graphics or wireframe geometry to display the model.

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Navisworks uses RealDWG® technology. This means that Navisworks contains all the Autodesk object enablers, and will therefore be able to read the associated .dwg files without any problems. It will also support reading older versions of AutoCAD files.

When you open a .dwg file in Navisworks, if any objects are displayed as wireframe geometry, it usually means an object enabler is missing. To check to see if any object enablers are missing from the scene, on the ribbon, go to the Home tab, then Project panel, and click the Scene Statistics tool. A dialog box appears and reports any missing object enablers.

If you, in fact, have a missing object enabler, it is recommended that you obtain it by requesting it from the person who authored the .dwg file. This ensures that the correct version of the object enabler is used. You can also download many object enablers from the vendor websites, or from authoring applications. If a Civil 3D, Revit, or Navisworks object enabler is not on the Autodesk website, the proper workaround is to use a solid. But keep in mind that the solid is not dynamic and will have to be updated manually.

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CADLearning Playlist: Object Enablers and File Basics

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