Rail Design in InfraWorks Webinar

Join Autodesk’s Peter Ingels, August 23rd, as he takes you through some of the technical details of how Civil 3D and InfraWorks have been used on successful rail projects.

The topics he’ll be covering include:

  • Using InfraWorks for early project planning and communication
  • Using Civil 3D for detailed rail design
  • Common challenges in rail design projects
  • Top benefits of using Autodesk technology for rail design

Register Now

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What’s New in InfraWorks v.2018.1

Last week Autodesk released InfraWorks 2018.1.  Below you can see what has been added to this new update…

Linear Feature Extraction

Now, in InfraWorks it is possible to extract linear features from point clouds to create breaklines, paint stripes, and more. In addition, with the Automatic option, pick two points on a feature in the point cloud, and InfraWorks will find and follow the line for you – in 3D of course!  Also, this new capability introduces the new Linear Feature object to InfraWorks.

Linear Features (Extended Functionality)

Not only will InfraWorks automatically follow linear features in the point cloud, this latest release also delivers advanced tools to create and modify breaklines and other linear features – including cross section views for linear features from point clouds. Then linear features, vertical features, and ground grid can be exported for use in Civil 3D where a more accurate representation of existing conditions can be established for use in your design project.

Quantities

In this latest release of InfraWorks we made it possible to select multiple roads and calculate earthwork and material quantities on all of them, at once! And, if you want to calculate quantities for a certain area of your roadway project, now worries. Now, you can specific a station range and calculate both earthwork and material quantities for just that area you’re interested in. You can even calculate quantities for particular areas of interest such as a parcel, right of way, or easement.

Labels

The ability to control the appearance of labels using Views is another enhancement in this latest release of InfraWorks. In InfraWorks, labels are now automatically displayed (or not) depending on the current View of your project – conceptual or engineering. Oh, should you so choose, labels can be turned on or off within a View. Finally, we’re also improving clarity when stations are labeled along the road and the automatic labeling of key bridge dimensions whenever you select a bridge or bridge component.

Parts Editor

The new Parts Editor in InfraWorks allows for the management of pipe and structure libraries as well as the creation of custom parts.  Modify out-of-the box parts to create different size variations, or even create new custom parts with Inventor and export them using a free Inventor plug-in that installs with InfraWorks.

Parametric Components

Now, InfraWorks users can benefit from almost limitless configurations for bridge rails, barriers, and more. What’s more, road decorations can now be added using parametric models.  Users can even create their own parametric models in Inventor and make them part of their component road designs.

Make sure you check out this and more at the new blog site Infrastructure-Reimagined.

InfraWorks 360 to Lumion

If you want an extremely realistic scene, you can bring your InfraWorks model into Lumion. These two programs play very well together.  The workflow is rather simple.

First, you export your InfraWorks 360 model out to an .fbx file.  Second, import it into 3ds Max. Once in Max, there are only a couple of things you need to do. The most important (and time consuming) is to rename all the models material. This isn’t so much important when working with Lumion as it is important for bringing into Stingray (a future tutorial).

Finally, you will export your file back out as an .fbx. Make sure not to overwrite the .fbx from InfraWorks. Once it’s exported out of Max, it will create an extra folder (for the materials) and a .pos file.  Import the new .fbx file into Lumion and start assigning some REAL textures to your model.

See the tutorial below…

InfraWorks 2017.3 Has Been Released

Autodesk has released InfraWorks 2017.3 as of this morning. The update will show in your Autodesk Desktop Application Manager or you can download it here. Below are some of the new features in the new release:

Overviews of what’s new:

Updated tutorials for component-based roadway design:

New Help topics about key updates:

  • Assign different modes to Views: views can have a mode, such as select or edit.

Applyto

  • View roadway station and component station labels at key geometric locations such as start and end points of horizontal and vertical curves, points of intersection, points of vertical intersection, and road component and transition lengths.

Annotations

Grading

  • Modify start/end stations for grading areas to create grading zones, and add grading transitions. Specify slopes and materials independently for each zone. Specify length of transition between grading zones.

Roadgrading

Cutfill

  • Right of Ways limits shown on Cut/Fill View. You can also convert any ROW line segment to an arc.

ROWS

Floodsmi

Pointclouds

Beechtree

Videos to acclimate you to new features in 2017:

InfraWorks and WMS

In this article we will take a look at integrating NearMap server with InfraWorks 360. If you are not familiar with NearMap, they are super high-resolution aerial images.

There is a couple of things to keep in mind when doing this;

  1. You MUST set your model extent to a minimal area. You can use as much area you need, but to get the highest resolution, a small area is indeed what is needed. You will see how this works later in the article.
  2. Check the area you are creating the model in from the NearMap website to ensure there is hi-res imagery for that location.

Keep in mind, NearMap is NOT a free service. I am using my trial version to write this article. 

Create a new model, or open an existing one. In the image below, you can see the aerial background. This aerial was created from using the InfraWorks 360 Model Builder. It’s not a very clear image as you can see. This is downtown Houston, Texas…

We are going to start by going to the Model Properties .

Set the coordinate system that you would like to use. In my case, I’m setting it to Texas State Plane. InfraWorks will convert from the NearMap coordinate system, to your set coordinate system. Click OK.

Next, you will need to open the desired XML file I have attached below. Open in Notepad. In this case, I’m choosing the nearmap_USA_GDAL_parameters.xml.

Toward the bottom, you will need to replace Demo:Demo with your NearMap username:password…

Save the file and go back to InfraWorks.

In your Data Sources click on Raster. Browse to the XML file you just edited.

Double click on the new connection to Configure it. Click on the Raster tab and check the box next to Clip to Model Extent. Click Close & Refresh.

Depending on the size of your area, depends on how long it takes to load the raster file. Mine took about 2 minutes for this small area. Why did it take so long? The resolution of these images are amazing!!

Look at the resolution of the image now…

Also, notice that the imagery was automatically clipped to my model extents.

Are You Using Civil View? You Should Be…

I’m sure many of you have noticed when installing Civil 3D (especially if you have a suite or collection), that there is a plug-in called Civil View. This is a plug-in for 3ds Max. If you’re not using this, YOU SHOULD BE! This is an easy way to present to a client or stakeholder your proposed road design animated with cars, signs, lights, etc. 

The most common phrase I hear is, “I don’t have time to learn 3ds Max”, and “It’s a too convoluted to learn”. This is a big misconception. Reason being, is that you don’t have to learn or know 3ds Max, you just use the Civil View plug-in to do it for you.

In the 20 minute video below, I show you how to create a design road in InfraWorks 360, bring it in to Civil 3D, build a corridor, export it out to 3ds Max, then create an animated presentation. This process literally took me 20 minutes to do. Hopefully this will aid you in starting to use your Infrastructure Design Suite or AEC Collection to it’s full potential.

Once you view the video, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at trogers@tcadsys.com, or you can call our office at (281) 445-6161.

InfraWorks 360 2017.2 Update

Autodesk has released an update for InfraWorks 360.  The issues that were resolved are listed below…

Bridge Design

  • A bridge must have 8 or less girders per girder group for deck haunches to be supported.
  • Haunches are not supported if a girder crosses the centerline of the bridge deck. Therefore using an odd number of girders will not allow for haunches unless you offset the center girder from the center of the bridge deck.

Design Views

  • If you are in Engineering View and have Show Sky disabled in View Settings, the sky will becomes visible again if you switch proposals. Toggle to Conceptual View then back to Engineering View to re-disable the display of the sky background.
  • Some component textures, such as the bridge component deck texture, can be difficult to see using the default Conceptual View settings. To improve texture visibility, adjust model time in Sun & Sky settings, or reduce light intensity in the Visualization tab of the View Settings panel. You can also switch to Engineering View.

Drainage Design

  • After creating a flood snapshot, toggling the display of the flood snapshot on and off more than once may cause your view to zoom in too far, and InfraWorks 360 will also select a piece of city furniture and show its attributes in the Stack. Single-click in canvas to de-select the city furniture object, then zoom out to see the flood snapshot area again.

Road Design

  • The workflow to generate Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D drawings of design roads has changed. Instead of using the Generate Civil3D Drawing intelligent tool in InfraWorks 360, open AutoCAD Civil 3D and use the Insert InfraWorks 360 Open InfraWorks 360 Model tool to bring your InfraWorks 360 data into AutoCAD Civil 3D.
  • Roadside grading materials may not display properly when fixed-slope roads intersect with fixed-width roads or planning roads.
  • Roadside grading is not fully supported for roads or intersections with unresolved geometries, and may produce unexpected results.
  • Calculating earthwork volumes is not supported nor excluded in intersections with unresolved geometry, and may produce unexpected results.
  • The Cross Section Viewer does not support viewing intersection area cross sections for left turn lanes.
  • The Cross Section Viewer does not support viewing cross sections for roundabouts.
  • Superelevation is not supported for component roads if your model uses the DMRB Metric Road Standards.
  • Right of Ways are not supported for component roads if your model uses the DMRB Metric Road Standards.

Viewing Models in a Browser

  • Bridge component parts will display a white color instead of material textures when you view an InfraWorks 360 model in a browser.
  • Bridge abutments with offsets will not display when you view an InfraWorks 360 model in a browser.

Where is My Model Builder?

Some of you might not have the Model Builder that is included in InfraWorks 360. If you purchased the Infrastructure Design Suite Premium or Ultimate, you got stuck with having InfraWorks 360 LT which does NOT have the Model Builder. So, where do you get the data to start building you model? 

Some of the major cities have some pretty good GIS data for you to use based on the City or County you are in or are looking for; and then some of them have nothing (at least for free). We don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something we might use once. 

Below I have included some links that will get you started with creating your model in InfraWorks 360 LT. The data that is available on these sites is free. Some of this is for terrain, images, etc. Again, your City of County might have more information like centerline of roads, points of interest, etc.

GeoCommunity

http://www.geocomm.com/

National Elevation Dataset/USGS

http://nationalmap.gov/elevation.html

ETOPO Relief (NOAA)

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/global/global.html

US Raw Data Download

http://nationalatlas.gov/atlasftp.html#shdrlfi

FEMA

https://msc.fema.gov/portal

Trimble Data Marketplace

http://data.trimble.com/market/index.html

If you are looking for some good 3D models of vehicles, people, buildings, etc., then you can download them from them from Trimble 3D Warehouse…

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/

InfraWorks Fundamentals Class

Total CAD Systems now has a 1 day class for InfraWorks. The first class will be held on September 9, 2016.  This is an all day class and book is provided.

Some of the class material is listed below…

  • Connect data through the Data Sources dialog box
  • Stylize the models that are connected
  • Add 3D models from Trimble® 3D Warehouse (formerly known as Google 3D Warehouse) to the Style Palette and then place them in your workspace
  • Basic measurements and surface analysis
  • Create a video flyby

If you are interested in attending this class, please contact Nhi Nguyen.

Register