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The simplest of all actions... opening a file

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Message 1 of 21
ArniVidar
4404 Views, 20 Replies

The simplest of all actions... opening a file

Hey guys.

 

I downloaded A360 under the impression that I can use it to view NWD files on Android. However, I can't find any way to just open a file in the darned thing.

What am I missing?

20 REPLIES 20
Message 2 of 21
ukdxb012
in reply to: ArniVidar

Have you downloaded the A360 app for Android? https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.autodesk.a360

Make sure you have uploaded the file to A360 drive... https://360.autodesk.com/Login Or A360 Team... http://www.autodesk360.com Via IE, Goolge Chrome or Firefox.

FYI, I personally advise using Google Chrome or Firefox as IE will only show 2D Information at present.

Also, check out this link to see if your android device is supported... http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/a360-general-discussion/3d-designs-can-t-be-viewed-on-some-android-dev...


Duncan Brannan
UK/EMEIA CAD Operations Manager
Twitter | LinkedIn

Message 3 of 21
BrettWright
in reply to: ArniVidar

Hi Arni,

In addition to what Duncan has provided, can you tell me which Android Device you're using as well, how large your file is? With the larger files I'm seeing it take longer to translate before it becomes fully visible in thumbnail and full view.

Also are you seeing the same behavior on all nwd files or just one specifically?

If you want to, please email me a copy of the file that you're having trouble with and i'll try it from my end as well. Send to first.last@autodesk.com.

Thanks,
Brett Wright
Community Manager
Message 4 of 21
ArniVidar
in reply to: ukdxb012

Obviously I've downloaded the A360 app. That's the first thing I said.

 

No, the file will not be uploaded to the A360 drive. I'm asking how to open the file in the app.

Message 5 of 21
ArniVidar
in reply to: BrettWright

I was not commenting on the fact that the file does not properly display in A360. Which Android device I'm using is unknown, since there are dozens of contractors and subcontractors that will be using the files, and they simply have their own tablets and phones.

 

I did, however, put the file on the cloud and attempted to view it on my Galaxy S4, my Galaxy Tab S and just on the PC in Firefox. Displaying the file works in none of these places, even after allowing it to properly convert the file and display the thumbnail. Overall I am thoroughly unimpressed by the A360 app on all fronts.

 

I have only tried the one file, yet, and it's a relatively small one. Only 9.7MB. I can not mail you the file, since it is proprietary information.

 

I am asking for an extremely simple thing. I want to open an NWD file on Android devices. Surely it must be possible, and surely I must just be being dumb and missing something simple.

Message 6 of 21
ukdxb012
in reply to: ArniVidar


@ArniVidar wrote:

Obviously I've downloaded the A360 app. That's the first thing I said.

 

No, the file will not be uploaded to the A360 drive. I'm asking how to open the file in the app.


If you dont upload the file to A360 Drive or A360 Team, you cannot access it on the App at present. There are no outside links at present to open files on the App as far as i'm aware.

 

Have you considered opening up access to your Collaboration site to Autodesk to help you and guide you.



Duncan Brannan
UK/EMEIA CAD Operations Manager
Twitter | LinkedIn

Message 7 of 21
ArniVidar
in reply to: ukdxb012

Oh, okay.. I guess that explains that then.

 

And why on earth wouldn't the app allow you to open local files? Not everybody uses or is interested in using Autodesk's 360 Cloud.

 

We have our own online document control and distribution solutions, and connecting dozens of contractors and subcontractors, plumbers, electricians, steel workers and such to the 360 cloud is just not feasible, not to mention the fact that it just doesn't work properly. They need to be able to open the files either from email or from our online sources while outside, then utilizing their own hardware for displaying instead of a spotty internet connection deep in the bowels of giant steel/concrete buildings under construction.

 

So is there no NWD software from Autodesk available for Android? I hear Bim 360 does it for Apple, but I have no iStuff so I can't test that out.

 

I would seriously hate having to move everything to IFC, since I absolutely ADORE Navisworks and prefer our customers to use that.

Message 8 of 21
BrettWright
in reply to: ArniVidar

Arni, again sorry for the trouble you're having.

 

Quick question, is the A360 site you're using to post your nwd files an A360 Drive Account (360.autodesk.com url), or an A360 Team Account (autodesk360.com url) or our A360 Tech Preview (myhub.autodesk360.com url)?

 

What I'm wondering is if you might be trying to view the NWD file from your A360 Drive account (which is based on our older viewing technology and not the new LMV (large model viewer) viewing technology that A360 Team is using).

 

Here is how to know/test it.

 

If the url to the a360 site that you're posting your nwd files starts with 360.autodesk.com, then that would be your A360 Drive Account.

If that is the case, then when you pull that site up in your Android mobile device, you'll eventually see the thumbnail, however, you'll never see the actual view of the nwd file as it will tell you "Sorry, Failed to load model." (that is what it does on my Galaxy Tab S anyway)

 

If you've recently created an A360 Team site, again url would be "autodesk360.com" or, if you were one of our A360 Tech Preview users, url  starting with "myhub.autodesk360.com". If you create a new Project in A360 Team and then reload your NWD file, it should view just fine from your Android device. (this worked for me)

 

Where this can be confusing, is that from A360 Team, we've linked your old A360 Drive account to it, (to make it easy for people to migrate data over), but, from your mobile device it will just look like another data folder (named A360 Drive) that you can select to view the files from. (making it easy for you to try and select that nwd file from the old A360 Drive account causing the issue you're having)

 

Feel free to email me directly at first.last@autodesk.com and I'd be glad to walk you through this to see if there is something else going on.

 

I added a few screenshots, hope they illustrate what i'm stating above.

 

nwd 1.png

 

 

 nwd 2.png

 

nwd 3.png

 

nwd 4.png

Thanks,
Brett Wright
Community Manager
Message 9 of 21
ukdxb012
in reply to: ArniVidar

If you have an idea to suggest RE: A360, please use the Ideastation located here... http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/a360-ideastation/idb-p/206

 

A360 does support NWD files, if there are issues, you need to share these with either screenshots of something you can share, or contact Bud or Brett on the Forums, alternatively you could share your Project collaboration space with them so they can see the issue first hand.

 

Did i catch what browser you are using? If there is no issue in the Browser then they should hopefully be able to view the NWD file on screen and on an Android device.

 

Sending an email to iPad email with a Permalink would work but your model is 3D and wouldn't work in the Safari web browser directly as i dont beleive it supports 3D yet, only 2D.

 

FYI, there is an Offline mode in the App in IOS, cannot confirm for Android as i dont have an Android device. You could check. If so, you could download the models before going on site.



Duncan Brannan
UK/EMEIA CAD Operations Manager
Twitter | LinkedIn

Message 10 of 21
ArniVidar
in reply to: BrettWright

Thanks for the replies guys.

 

I started my A360 project yesterday, expressly for testing purposes. I created a project (Arni's First Project), and loaded the file into that project.

After over an hour of waiting, the phone and online both indicated that the conversion process was finished (by not telling me that it was still being processed), but neither worked. A day later, the file works online right now (albeit of poor quality), but crashes my A360 app.

 

Although I truly appreciate your responses and attempts to help, both of you are still trying to force me to use various Cloud solutions. Smiley Tongue

 

Do Autodesk really expect me to make 100's of my customers sign up for A360 accounts, and connect to multiple (but separate) project clouds that I have to create for them and maintain separately from our regular online file management system, to force them to use a software that only works on a handful of phones and tablets because it is too heavy for anything older than iPhone6 (slight exaggeration Smiley Happy), and for them to then use this software where there is little or no internet access, constantly downloading data off the cloud which costs them money?

 

As I have said, that is simply not a feasible option. It cannot work. It cannot be the aim of Autodesk to sell me a $12.000 piece of software with all the promises of a better future, and then expect every one of my customers to get forced into Autodesk's ecosystem -by me- for them to enjoy the results of my work.

 

If I try that, I will lose them as customers, and I am not willing to cost my company millions just to use Navisworks on mobile. Smiley Very Happy

 

The bottom line is, as it stands, that there is no way to view NWD files on an Android device outside of the cloud, and even on the cloud it's not good at all.

 

I am trying to up the ante in our business, and set our company apart from the rest with better quality solutions. I wanted to start using NWD's on mobile devices, as our company pioneered using NWD's on laptops in Iceland back in 2008, but I guess it's just not time for that yet.

 

Once again, many thanks for your responses.

Message 11 of 21
ilai_rotbaein
in reply to: ArniVidar

Hi Arni,

 

Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Ilai Rotbaein, I lead the A360 mobile development efforts in Autodesk. I have been following your thread and noticed that you run into both some technical difficulties while using A360 as well as some questions about our stratergy with A360. I would be more than happy to try and address both of those issues.

 

As far as our cloud strategy, we look at the cloud as a huge opportunity to provide our customers with possibilities that we could not provide them beofre. We invest heavily on leveraging these possibilities and if you've been following Autodesk's product line in the last two years, you've probably noticed there are some really great examples there on how the cloud has enabled us to provide our customers with tools we weren't able to provide before. With that said, I agree there might be some advantages to software which is disconnected from the cloud but our strong belief is that the advantages of cloud software such as availability, connectivity, collaborative workflows, cloud computing and many others far exceeds the disadvantages.

 

Now that I've taken a stab at explaining our overarching strategy, let's focus specifically on the issues you've been encoutering. Yes, our Android app currently does not allow you to open files from your local storage. You are rightfully asking why and the answer is simple - we just haven't got to adding it yet. If you've noticed, we've just launched a new version of the app last week with a variety of significant improvements around overall experience, performance and offline capabilities. Opening local files is something which is on our roadmap and we intend to make it available before the end of this year.

 

You've also mentioned you have had some issues with a particular Navisworks file, would you be willing to share the file with me on a private thread? I would be more than happy to personally examine this issue and get back to you with a solution.

 

In addition, if you'll be willing to, I would love to have a call with you and answer any other questions or concerns you might have.

 

Best Regards,

Ilai Rotbaein

A360 Team

Message 12 of 21
ArniVidar
in reply to: ilai_rotbaein

Hello Ilai, and thank you for the reply.

 

I am all for the cloud, and as you say you have made some incredible improvements in your software over the past few years, for example by utilizing the cloud to render 3D data.

The cloud does, however, have it's drawbacks... the biggest of which being bandwidth.

 

In Iceland we pay (dearly) for all downloading, and we get all our data from abroad via an older and sometimes slow fiber sitting on the bottom of the ocean. Accessing data on the cloud is therefore both expensive, and prone to lagging and glitches.

The price aside, the lagging and glitching is generally okay when you're just downloading and uploading data (as is the case when collaborating), but for real-time two-way 3D rendering and movement, the cloud just doesn't cut it. Even on my PC, where I have a 1Gb fiber connection to the outside world (and basically all the way to your servers) walking around the model is ugly, jerky and glitchy, not to mention the fact that the movement controls are highly unintuitive for users already used to Navisworks and it's near-perfect Walk Mode function. The script also always crashes relatively quickly.

 

Having to log into A360 to use the software isn't too bad in and of it self, but it needs to be able to run the files off the devices' hardware and not the cloud, and it needs to still function when the internet connection is gone (as in, when in the basement of a building that's in the middle of construction).

NWD's are wonderfully light files (relatively speaking) and although properly viewing them on a mobile device is always going to require a bit of processing power, it will always be better than having to run it through the cloud.

 

Sadly, I cannot share this model (or most models we work with) with you, since it is highly proprietary and confidential. At ~10MB and somewhere north of 100.000 parts, however, it's by no means a small model, so perhaps the problem lies mostly with the inability of your system to display such "large" models. (All things being relative, it's hardly a big model)

 

I am glad to hear that you are planning to add the option to open a file later in the year, and once you've made that change I will be happy to re-address this issue. Happily for me, I have been lucky enough to get to work with Navisworks models every day for 6 years, so I will always have models to test 🙂

Message 13 of 21
ilai_rotbaein
in reply to: ArniVidar

Hi Arni,

 

I appreciate your quick response on this. I completely understand that some models cannot be shared with us, don't worry about it. If you have a model in the future that you can share, please go ahead and do so. In the meanwhile we're using our own repository of models to do the benchmarks and expand the supported model size to be displayed.

 

You're right to say that slow network have issues with supporting real-time rendering of models, that's why in A360 (both web and mobile), our technology is tuned for doing as much heavy lifting on the client side as possible. As I said, we are working constantly on improving A360 and any file you can share with us would be throughly examined.

 

FYI, both Android and iOS do support offline work, you just have to open the file online once for it to be cached and then you can use it offline as much as needed.

 

I'll be happy to be in touch and hear from you. We have some upcoming updates and improvements that are worth tracking, I think you'll find them quite useful.

 

Best Regards,

Ilai Rotbaein

A360 Team 

Message 14 of 21
Anonymous
in reply to: ArniVidar

its been two years since this thread was started, it still doesn't seem that I can open a local nwd file with A360...?
Message 15 of 21
Bud_Schroeder_ADESK
in reply to: Anonymous

Hi Shawn

First of all welcome to the A360 forums, I see this is your first post. And thanks for replying to this thread. The way A360 works, is the files need to be uploaded to our server locations so that they can go through what we call translation. This is what is used to make the files viewable in your browser and on your mobile device. Once the files have been translated, you can view them on your mobile device and then use them in an offline mode. That way if you do not have access to the Internet, you can still view the files. Note that you need to view the files first so that they are in the offline mode.

Hope this helps and please let us know if you have any other questions around this. Also have a great weekend.
Bud Schroeder
AutoCAD Customer Council Beta Programs
Autodesk Inc.

Autodesk Beta Programs!


Message 16 of 21
Anonymous
in reply to: Bud_Schroeder_ADESK

So I am currently based on site in rural Africa with a very poor internet connection. A360 has been 'processing' my nwd file for over an hour and still hasnt opened it. Its about 75mb. I have 10 of these nwd files for the plant ranging from 50-350mb each, that need to be viewed on my tablet. 

 

Also, we have confidentiality contracts that dont allow these files to be loaded on unapproved servers (A360). How do I view and manage my nwds on a tablet?

 

The best thing for Autodesk to do is make the app view off the tablet storage. Requiring an internet and online storage is very impractical in realworld scenerios. 

 

Is there 3rd party software that I can use to view my nwd file directly from my tablet storage? Thanks.

Message 17 of 21
Bud_Schroeder_ADESK
in reply to: Anonymous

Hi Shawn,

Thanks for the update. If the files are complex it can take time for them to process before they can be viewed. Can you tell us what version of Navisworks you are using?

If you are in an area that need to work offline, you might want to check out something like the Surface Pro, or Surface Book. These are amazing tablets that run Windows 10. So you could actually install Navisworks on this tablet and use it to view and make small changes in the field. It can also open up A360 WEB if you have an internet connection. So you could upload the changes from the tablet so that others in the office could see them right away. I have the Surface Book and run AutoCAD on it along with A360 on the WEB and it works great. It may be a great solution for you in the field.

Thanks again for the response and please let us know more about the NWD files that are processing. One other suggestion would be to publish them as a DWF and try uploading that to see if it's faster.
Bud Schroeder
AutoCAD Customer Council Beta Programs
Autodesk Inc.

Autodesk Beta Programs!


Message 18 of 21
ArniVidar
in reply to: Anonymous

I've given up on Autodesk ever adding native NWD support for non-windows tablets. It's simply not in their market plans. Autodesk designs these products exclusively around their 360 cloud service, and will continue doing so until the world finally realizes that they've put all their proprietary, confidential and private data into the hands of faceless corporations and have lost all control and ownership of it 😉

 

I'm using BIM360 Glue and Field on projects, and they are absolutely fantastic tools for collaboration IF you have a stable internet connection and IF you use iProducts. We have relatively stable internet here, but I don't use iStuff so I'm SOOL.

 

So, despite Navisworks being one of the best pieces of software ever designed, I think it's time to move on and stop using it. Not exactly fun when you've spent tens of thousands of dollars on software and untold hours on training, but then again we're only small fish and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

 

Tekla makes a mean IFC viewer for free, so maybe I can get them to create an offline app as well.

Message 19 of 21
Anonymous
in reply to: ArniVidar

Hi All, i found this thread while searching for something similar and am having the exact same issue as described above. Is there now a way to open NWD files locally through this app? I am in the process of working my way through it but if i do this A360 team file conversion thing, can i download that new converted NWD file and give that to all my colleagues and subcontractors to use offline?

Message 20 of 21
pendean
in reply to: Anonymous

If you could you would not be posting, right?
A360 is a dead product line, this forum is no longer being visited or responded to by anyone at Autodesk.

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