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The ODA (Open Design Alliance) Releases New ‘BimNv’ SDK for Navisworks Files

The ODA continues to advance AEC industry data interoperability with the release of BimNv, a new SDK for standalone access to Navisworks files.


The Open Design Alliance (ODA), a leading provider of CAD interoperability and component technology, announced this week the release of its new BimNv SDK (software development kit).

What is BimNv?

BimNv is the industry’s first independent, cross-platform toolkit for working with Autodesk® Navisworks® files.

“We are pleased to add Navisworks file support to our suite of BIM interoperability toolkits,” commented Neil Peterson, ODA President. “ODA members can now import data from Navisworks files into any application, or they can visualize this data in 3d from desktop, mobile or web applications using our complementary Visualize technology.”

01 – The ODA’s latest SDK enables developers to read and interoperate with Navisworks files. More than Navisworks, IFC, Revit and .dwg and .dgn files all can be combined in a 3D view and clash detection can be run on the model.

Sergey Vishnevetsky, ODA Development Director, said, “In addition to the support for Navisworks files, we also offer the ability to combine files of different formats to create a whole-project view of a model.  Supported formats include .dwg, .dgn, Autodesk Revit® files, IFC, and more. Clash detection can be run on the combined model in 3D to detect interferences.”

The BimNv SDK is developed by a Special Interest Group (SIG) within the ODA. A free 60-day trial version is available for download at

Architosh Analysis and Commentary

This SDK is specifically focusing on ODA members who are interested in the development of solutions that import native Navisworks files. This might, for example, be a company and product like Solibri, which works with native IFC files. We have no knowledge of Solibri’s plans to use this SDK, but companies like it that are focused on BIM modeling viewing from multiple sources for aggregation of BIM model content would naturally have a high interest in allowing for their solutions to directly read in native Navisworks files. General BIM authoring solutions would similarly potentially have such interest. 

If you didn’t get a chance to reader special report interview with Neil Petersen, President of the ODA, he explains how the Open Design Alliance will release a new SDK for the open industry format IFC (Industry Foundation Classes, a data model developed by the buildingSMART organization to advance data interoperability within the building industry. 

MORE: INSIDER: A (.dwg) Renaissance—Neil Petersen of the ODA Explains Why

The ODA is developing technology within a new Exchange framework built into their present and future SDKs for developers. The Exchange framework will handle both import and eventually for all file formats, export, for the following file formats—Revit, IFC, Navisworks, (.dwg), and (.dgn) among others. 

The benefits of having the ODA spearhead this initiative around both de factor and open industry file formats is substantial, leading to less friction in workflows that inevitably must process data across competing and various file formats. 

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