There have been a few questions coming our way about Navisworks 2014 and Autodesk Quantity Takeoff (QTO) 2013. Those questions have provided a nice opportunity to get out a blog post on some general Q&A about the two.
As you might have noticed, there are two different release years listed with the software above. Autodesk has not and is not releasing a 2014 version of QTO. Instead, Autodesk is building 3D quantification features into Navisworks Simulate 2014 and Navisworks Manage2014.
If you think about it, when you consider that Navisworks is the software that assembles information from all sorts of places into one evaluation and analysis location – where better to perform quantity takeoffs? In this Navisworks quantification environment, you are able to pull quantities from objects that were generated from a “BIM Platform” that provides object properties (ex. Revit) or non-BIM platforms that don’t provide object properties. The UI for this is something like QTO running in a Timeliner style interface. It needs to be wide and probably best to be docked at the bottom or top of your screen.
(Click image above to enlarge)
In slightly more detail, the quantification features in Navisworks that emulate features from QTO include:
Item and resource catalogs
- Import or create item and resource catalogs
- Associate items with resources
- Use formulas in catalogs
- Export catalogs
- Automated takeoff from object parameters
- Manual takeoff for modeled objects
- Virtual takeoff for non-modeled objects
- Quantification reporting
- Export to Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software
You’ll notice that nothing above reflects a 2D takeoff workflow. This workflow is still supported though Autodesk Quantity Takeoff, and if you have a license of QTO (on its own or through a suite), you still have access to this software and its capabilities. Additionally, while there is a comprehensive API for Navisworks that supports integration with non-Autodesk estimation software, those plugins have not been created… yet. At this point, getting quantification information from Navisworks into other estimation software would be exporting from Navisworks through Microsoft Excel and into the 3rd party software.
I’ll also say that it seems like the quantification process in Navisworks seems to be a fair bit faster than it is in QTO. Probably more complete too since it is able to pull information from multiple modeling sources that might not have been able to be brought into QTO.
So now what?
All of the information above is what is, but the real question we want answered is what does it mean? (Please keep in mind that everything written here is opinion and attempts at prediction. Nothing is based off of knowledge or insider information.)
It would seem to me that QTO is going to remain as-is for the foreseeable future. Updates will be made as needed to maintain functionality with current Autodesk software releases, and there might be an opportunity to enhance the 2D takeoff features of QTO as time moves on. However, it would appear that the focus of development for 3D or Model takeoff has migrated over to Navisworks.
Anyone who has QTO as a stand-alone product can continue working as they are today, but if you do 3D takeoffs, you will need to keep an eye on the developments of Quantification in Navisworks. At some point, you will probably want to make the transition from one to the other. If you have QTO through a suite (and have that software on subscription), you will have access to both the Navisworks 2014 quantification workflow and the QTO 2013 workflow.
We can also make a comparison to Ecotect Analysis and Revit / Vasari. Ecotect Analysis still exists today for building analysis and can do a number of wonderful things, but its features haven’t been updated in years. Most of the critical features of Ecotect (and that is a subjective statement) have made their way to Autodesk Vasari, Revit, or both, but not everything. Revit and Vasari are quite obviously the platform for future analysis capabilities, but Ecotect is still out there if and when needed.
Hopefully everything written above helps to clear any confusion or questions that might exist about how QTO and Navisworks overlap and may be developed going forward – if I failed here, or even if I didn’t – reach out to us and we can help with whatever might be on your mind!
and don’t forget to have fun!