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How to convert Navisworks (NWD,NWC,NWF) to Universal Scene Description (.usd,.usda, .usdc.usdz)?

PolyTrans|CAD+DCC performs mathematically precise CAD, DCC/Animation, GIS and BIM 3D file conversions into all key downstream 3D packages and file formats. Okino software is used and trusted throughout the world by many tens of thousands of 3D professionals in mission & production critical environments, backed by respectable personal support directly from our core development team.



Autodesk Navisworks products deliver project review software for 3D coordination, 4D planning, photorealistic visualization, dynamic simulation, and accurate analysis. Create a whole-project model by integrating design and construction information, including complex building information modeling (BIM), Digital Prototyping (DP), and process plant data. With Autodesk Navisworks project review software, you can collaborate, coordinate, and communicate more effectively to reduce problems during design and construction.

Navisworks is a key and core product from which Okino customers often receive and/or coordinate their data files. At Okino we have spent the good part of 2 decades writing our DWF-3D importer specifically to import super-ultra-massive files from Navisworks datasets, such as oil & gas rigs, oil refineries, 3D plants, marine vessils, etc.

Note: you would ideally pre-center the model at the origin and pre-scale the model to be of a "sane size" within Navisworks before exporting the DWF-3D file for Okino software consumption. This will ensure that the model displays properly in your final destination 3D software.


Universal Scene Description

The USD format (“Universal Scene Description”) is an open 3D model and scene format designed for efficient storage and streaming of 3D asset data. It is a high-performance extensible framework and ecosystem for describing, composing, simulating, and collaboratively navigating and constructing 3D scenes. An extensive overview of USD is provided in the Okino USD documentation.

Pixar Animation Studios originally created the USD platform (as its fourth generation variation after its Marionette & Preso systems) to improve studio-wide collaborative workflows. USD provides a concept of "scene composition", building a unified scene from potentially thousands of loosely-coupled source assets. For example, the mesh, rigging, materials, and animation for a single model might all come from different "layers" (files), each created and maintained by a different artist or department. Layers can store multiple "variants" of any given data, helping to solve problems of versioning/approval. The coupling between layers is very dynamic and loose, allowing for greater flexibility during the production process. The entire USD system is designed to facilitate a large studio making feature films, with all of the scale that that implies.

USD should be considered more of a code framework (“OpenUSD”) for use in group collaboration, to help with the aggregation of various 3D data sources into a unified scene through a process referred to as scene composition. A subset of that code framework provides for reading and writing USD disk-based files as well as rendering USD scenes (Hydra). The system is rather complex to implement (for software developers) and to use (from first principles) as a 3D graphics artist. The USD file format itself is not for faint of heart and is best read/written using the OpenUSD SDK + various programming APIs. More commonly used ASCII 3D file formats such as COLLADA, VRML2 and Wavefront OBJ are much easier to manipulate/understand/use on a human level basis.

File extensions used by the standard include:

  • .usd, Either ASCII or binary-encoded
  • .usda, ASCII encoded
  • .usdc, Binary encoded
  • .usdz, Zero-compression, unencrypted zip file