Navisworks Developer Center

Navisworks® software provides a flexible development platform for specialized viewing and analysis of large projects, allowing users to combine models created by software such as AutoCAD ®, Revit ®, Inventor ®, and more.

Learn more about Navisworks features at the Navisworks product center.

  • Easily extend the power of Navisworks using apps created for the end user community.

  • Blogs

    Get news, expert tips and insider resources directly from Autodesk software engineers.

  • The public Navisworks API discussion group provides an open forum for sharing knowledge and receiving support.

  • Get easy access to APIs and documentation, tutorials, GitHub samples, support and more for Autodesk cloud-based software and components in your own web and mobile applications.

  • Learning

    Self-paced Navisworks 2016 API Training Labs. Most API features in the training labs apply to the releases above 2016. In order to make the samples working with higher releases, please replace with the .NET references of corresponding release and build the samples again.


The SDK (download links below) includes samples and documentation. By default, SDK will be installed under the \api\ folder for Autodesk Navisworks Manage and Simulate. The .NET API includes a Developer Guide (as a PDF) and a Reference Guide (as a CHM file). The Developer 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.

You can download the Navisworks SDK here:

Navisworks SDK

* The Navisworks SDK is subject to the license agreement that's displayed for acceptance during their installation process.


From Navisworks 2011 onward, 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 – allows you 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 – allows you to drive the product from outside, to automate certain tasks and, crucially, invoke plug-ins.
  • Controls – allows you to embed an Autodesk Navisworks file viewer into your own applications or to examine Navisworks Documents without having the full Navisworks program loaded.

Users of the Navisworks .NET API 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 (This 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 creating 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 Naviswork’s 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.

Autodesk Developer Network


For more information on Autodesk desktop product customization and APIs please visit Autodesk Developer Network Open.


If you need more professional customization support, consider joining the Autodesk Developer Network. that includes direct support, and development product licenses.



Trial versions are available for most Autodesk products. Download your free 30-days trial version today. You can obtain Autodesk desktop software for development use on an on-going basis by joining ADN.


All the information and resources needed to use Autodesk cloud-based software and components in your own web and mobile applications can be found on the Autodesk Platform Services (formerly Forge) Developer Portal. Get easy access to APIs and documentation, tutorials, GitHub samples, support and more.

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