Autodesk Developer Network

Autodesk Navisworks

Autodesk 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 Autodesk Navisworks features at the Autodesk Navisworks product center.


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

Discussion Groups
The public Navisworks API discussion groups provide open forums for sharing knowledge and receiving support.


Cloud Computing: Find out how to develop and integrate Cloud Computing (Software as as Service) solutions with your Navisworks plug-in applications at


Samples and documentation
Samples and documentation can be found under the \api\ folder for Autodesk Navisworks Manage and Simulate. For the .NET API, it 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.

Self-paced Navisworks API training labs:

Navisworks 2016 API Training Labs (zip - 52412Kb)


From Autodesk Navisworks 2011 onward, Navisworks offers a .NET programming interface. Using the Navisworks .NET API, you can write custom plug-ins to Autodesk Navisworks products, drive Autodesk 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 Autodesk Navisworks document viewer.

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

You can also download the Navisworks SDK here:

  Navisworks 2017 SDK (exe - 211 Mb)

  Navisworks 2016 SDK (Updated April 7th) (exe - 207 Mb)

  Navisworks 2015 SDK (Updated July 1st) (exe - 193 Mb)

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

There are three ways of using the .NET API with Autodesk 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 Autodesk Navisworks Documents without having the full Autodesk 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 Autodesk Navisworks documents (open, save, execute plug‐in) without having to fully load the main application.
  • Interoperate with the existing COM API¹

¹This 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 Autodesk 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 Autodesk 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 Autodesk 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.


If you need more professional customization support, consider joining the Autodesk Developer Network.

For more information on API Training please visit