Navisworks Plugin

Steps to install and setup the StructionSite Navisworks plugin to import coordinated BIM model images onto your project

Chris Jervey avatar
Written by Chris Jervey
Updated over a week ago


With our Navisworks plugin, users can import images from a coordinated BIM model onto drawings to access the model directly within StructionSite. Since the images extracted from Navisworks are, in essence, "future progress photos," users can leverage various features for side-by-side comparison views between coordinated BIM model images and field-captured Standard or 360 Photos.

Additionally, our Navisworks plugin is used for aligning your BIM model to your drawings for our Autodesk BIM Compare tool which allows you to split view your StructionSite photos with your latest BIM model. See our Autodesk BIM Compare setup article for instructions on how to use the Navisworks plugin for aligning your model to your drawing for Autodesk BIM Compare.

Key benefits of the Navisworks plugin include:

  • Self-service setup process, allowing a near-perfect alignment between the BIM model and drawing.

  • Great control over pushing BIM model updates to StructionSite with an ability to add and manage batches of viewpoints.

  • Sync views between the BIM model and StructionSite content, providing a complete workflow-based solution focused on optimizing collaboration between the BIM coordinator and detailer to get a problem solved for all capture types, including VideoWalks.

  • Create planned areas of capture to streamline collaboration between a centralized team and the teammates capturing onsite, ensuring critical areas of the project are captured at a certain time.

  • Comparing current progress against "what should be installed," according to the latest coordinated content.

  • Generate "BIM PDFs" by filtering a drawing to display only model photos based on the associated tag, allowing anyone on the team easy access to the model without needing special training, software, or access to a BIM model application.

  • Enhances the use of other plugins, such as BIMTrack, Procore BIM, BIM360, and others that rely on saving viewpoints within Navisworks, by providing real jobsite context.

  • Allow non-BIM users to access and collaborate around the coordinated model, without having to learn how to fly around and manipulate a model.

  • Roughly verify installation based on placement relative to other known elements

  • Enables key workflows such as an "Augmented Reality" by taking the model to the field using our mobile app’s X-Ray Mode overlay to allow field personnel to see where something will be built in a later phase.

  • Bulk-import Saved Viewpoints, including mark-ups from Navisworks! This streamlines the export of views created during clash detection and views saved during meetings with detailers and other BIM coordinators.

  • Live view tracker indicating exact model location relative to the drawing. This is very helpful when looking at issues and moving around the BIM model to further investigate downstream elements for planning re-routes or to verify other items against reality.

Downloading and Activating Your Plugin

To access the StructionSite Navisworks plugin, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Executive.

To install the plugin, users need a valid StructionSite login and a current version of Navisworks Manage or Simulate (2016 - 2022).

NOTE: Not compatible with Navisworks Freedom, which does not support plugins.

We have made dramatic improvements to our Navisworks workflow experience. The top benefits include:

  • A significantly more intuitive alignment workflow that just requires a point-and-click to match the drawing to the model, all without ever needing to leave the plugin

  • Uploading images to the Web App is much easier and happens automatically, no need to leave the plugin

  • You can manage all batches that you've uploaded, for easy viewing or bulk deleting in case you made any mistakes in alignment

  • Significant improvements that make the app more stable and complete

Setting Up the Plugin

Once the plugin installation has successfully completed, you will see the StructionSite plugin tab appear as an option in your Navisworks toolbar.

Now you're ready to begin the setup process. Make sure that you have your BIM model open in Navisworks.

Setup Steps

1. Select the "Align" icon on the top left of your screen. Sign-in with your StructionSite user account credentials.

NOTE: Currently, this field does not accept SSO logins with Procore. You must log in directly using your StructionSite user accounts. If you do not have a StructionSite user account login, at the sign-in page, select "Forgot Password" to create this account.

2. Choose the StructionSite project and drawing on which you'd like to import your BIM model images. Then, click "Next."

NOTE: If you have previously aligned the drawing and BIM model, to avoid re-doing this process, you will see an option under this step to select the existing alignment.

3. Select your first alignment point on the StructionSite drawing. Then, hit "Done." Here, we recommend choosing the top left corner of the floorplan.

4. Next, select the same alignment point on the BIM model in Navisworks. You will see a screenshot of where the pin was placed on the corresponding drawing. After selecting your alignment point on the BIM model, a yellow sphere will appear on the model, indicating your selected alignment point. If you need to adjust this, you are able to continue clicking until the point is set correctly. When ready, click "Next" to set this alignment point.

NOTE: If you notice the alignment point on the drawing is incorrect, click the screenshot here to reset.

NOTE: If you change tools to navigate around the BIM model prior to selecting the alignment point, you may notice that you cannot click on the model to set alignment. In this case, choose the "Select point in model" icon, then select the alignment point on the model.

5. Repeat these steps to capture the second alignment point. We recommend selecting the bottom right corner of the floorplan and model.

6. Next, set the perspective for the model photos. Using the Orbit tool, navigate into the BIM model. Choose "Select Floor," and click on the floor. Once selected, a yellow hemisphere will appear.

7. Lastly, confirm the perspective height, which can be set in feet or meters. The plugin defaults to 6 feet.

Your will alignment will then be complete. To import BIM model images, complete any of the steps in the Advanced Tools section below.

Advanced Tools

The latest version of the StructionSite Navisworks plugin includes a few advanced tools for viewing and uploading BIM model images. They are detailed below:

View Sync

The "View Sync" tool allows users to see viewpoints within the BIM model based on the existing pins already stored on the drawing in your StructionSite project all without leaving Navisworks.

To use this tool, follow these steps:

1. In Navisworks, select the “View Sync” icon on the StructionSite plugin toolbar.

2. Next, a pop-up window will open, displaying your drawing and pins as they appear on your StructionSite project.

NOTE: You can click and drag to dock the View Sync window into your Navisworks display.

3. Select any pin on the drawing to have your Navisworks model display shift to a perspective matching the selected Standard Photo, 360 Photo, or VideoWalk location.

4. Any pin selected will open a dockable photo viewer window within Navisworks. Alternatively, you can open a pin in StructionSite by selecting “View in StructionSite.”

Live View Tracker

An added feature to the View Sync tool is a Live View Tracker, which appears as a yellow arrow on your StructionSite drawing in the View Sync window, to indicate location and perspective angle in relation to the floorplan.

The arrow will appear atop selected pins and VideoWalk nodes, or if you use the "Walk" tool to navigate to different, unpinned locations, it will populate independent from these content items on the drawing.

Add Views

In previous iterations of the StructionSite Navisworks plugin, during setup, BIM model images could only be imported to existing pins on the drawing in StructionSite.

Now, using the “Add Views” tool, drawings are no longer required to have any existing pins at the time of setup, as BIM model images can be imported to a newly selected location.

NOTE: This feature is useful to plan and set capture locations before any actual onsite documentation has begun.

To use this tool, follow these steps:

1. In Navisworks, select the “Add Views” icon on the StructionSite plugin toolbar.

2. A new window will open, displaying the drawing as it appears in StructionSite. Here, click on the floorplan to place new Standard Photo and 360 Photo pins. These pins can be assigned a tag and Coordinated Date, which can be used when filtering on your drawing in StructionSite.

Once placed, pins can be moved by clicking and dragging. Prior to uploading, pins can be deleted by first clicking on a pin, then selecting “Delete.”

3. When you have finished placing all the new pins, select “Done.” A window will open, showing import progress and you will receive a confirmation notification once the upload has completed.

Saved Viewpoint

In addition to selecting new pin locations from scratch, you can also use the "Add Views" tool to import Saved Viewpoints.

To do so, follow these steps:

1. In Navisworks, select the “Add Views” icon on the StructionSite plugin toolbar. Then choose the "Add Saved Viewpoints" button.

2. A window containing all of your Saved Viewpoints will open. Here, check the box next to the Viewpoint you'd like to add. Then click "OK" to import.

3. You will see a new pin, containing the Saved Viewpoint image, populate on your drawing. You can access this image, including any mark-up added to it, on the corresponding drawing in your StructionSite project.

Batch Create

If updates are made to your BIM model, you will likely want to re-import Navisworks images to reflect these changes. Now, rather than re-doing the entire alignment process, StructionSite allows users to import images from your most up-to-date model using the “Batch Create” tool.

To use this tool, follow these steps:

1. In Navisworks, select the “Batch Create” icon on the StructionSite plugin toolbar.

2. Confirm the Project and Drawing title, then add a tag and select the Coordinated Date, which will log where in your Progress Photo Timeline these new BIM model images will be displayed and can be leveraged to filter when exporting a BIM PDF. After adding this info, hit “OK.”

NOTE: For tags, you can use anything, though we recommend using a tag like "BIM" or "Model." For the date, many users prefer to set this to a date prior to when the site doc captures began, so the images appear first on their Progress Photo Timeline. Once you've set your tag and date, click "Next.

3. A new window will open, displaying the drawing as it appears in StructionSite. Here, select the pin(s) onto which you’d like to import new BIM model images.

NOTE: We now support Standard Photos for BIM model images, which will point in a singular direction, rather than panoramic, for Split View comparisons.

4. When you have finished selecting the pins, select “Done.” A window will open, showing import progress and you will receive a confirmation notification once the upload has completed.

Common Troubleshooting

If for whatever reason you need to bulk delete images imported from Navsiworks, you can do so by following these steps:

1. At the StructionSite plugin tools menu, select "Manage."

2. Click on the import date for these images, the select the trashcan icon to delete all images imported in this batch.

NOTE: Previously completed BIM model alignments are also accessible from this menu.


If your Navisworks photos import blacked out or with errant color differences in the panels, make sure the model lighting is set to "No Lights." To check, in Navisworks, select the "Viewpoints" tab, then select "Lighting," and set it to "No Lights."


If you're experiencing any advanced technical issue with the StructionSite Navisworks plugin, so our Support team can best investigate and escalate the issue, it will be necessary to export your Navisworks logs and share them with our Support team via email at [email protected]. To export your logs, follow these steps:

1. At the StructionSite plugin tools menu, select "Settings."

2. Under "Advanced," next to "Log Folder," select "Open." A folder containing the logs will open on your desktop. Logs will be stored in this format: "Log-01-02-2021-1356."

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions please reach out to [email protected]

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