Infraworks


Creating custom parts for your storm sewer or sanitary sewer networks in Civil 3D is not fun. If you’ve ever had to go into Part Builder, you know what I’m talking about; secret variables, odd objects (what’s a COL object anyways?), and sometimes things just don’t work (haven’t been able to create a cut plane in Part Builder in almost a decade). Most of the time when people need to create a new part for a network in Civil 3D, they end up saying, “Whatever is already there, is probably close enough and I’ll just use that instead of doing it right.”

I have good news for you. In the latest version of InfraWorks (InfraWorks 2018.1) there is a new tool called the Project Infrastructure Parts Editor.

Infrastructure Parts Editor.png

Infrastructure Parts Editor in InfraWorks 2018.1

The Infrastructure Parts Editor has been around for quite a while in the Autodesk Labs (it was known as Project Kameleon, yes, with a K) but has recently graduated from labs and is now a full blown program. This tool will allow you to create new parts for use with InfraWorks as well as Civil 3D.

To access the new tool, within InfraWorks click on the drainage tools, then click the pencil drawing a line, and then click on the button for the “Parts Editor”.

Tool in InfraWorks.png

Where to find the Infrastructure Parts Editor in InfraWorks 2018.1

This will then open up an external application called, you guessed it, the Infrastructure Parts Editor.

Application Image.png

Infrastructure Parts Editor

How easy is this? Basically, it’s just pick and choose the parts you want to use. When you create a new catalog (or edit an existing one), you’ll see three options, Assembly, Structure, and Culvert. The parts that will be used in Civil 3D or InfraWorks are the Assemblies. Each assembly is made up of the structures or the culverts.
Assembly_Culvert_Structure.png

When you click on Structure, you’ll see the three different components that make up the structures: Surface Structure, Underground Structure, and Grates or Covers. The Infrastructure Parts Editor has some parts already created that you can start with or you can create your own using Inventor or Inventor LT.

Various_Parts_Sample.png

Sample of Surface Structures

As you can see in the previous image, if none of the predefined shapes work for you, you can create a new shape template and import a .ipt or a .iam file from Inventor.

Additionally, when adding sizes to the different structures, there is an option to export to and import from Microsoft Excel. This should make editing the sizes much easier!

Export_to_Excel.png

Export to Excel

Once all the structures have been created, they will then be combined to make the different assemblies. When creating an assembly (depending on the type of assembly being made), you’ll simply select the three different structure components that you want to combine together. There’s also a section to validate the sizes (don’t want to put a 5′ long grate on a 3′ long inlet).

Assembly_Creation.png

Assembly Creation – Drag and Drop

Once all your assemblies are made, you can then publish the catalog out to either InfraWorks or Civil 3D or both at the same time.

Publish_Catalog.png

Publish Catalog

So, what do you think? Are you going to give this a try? Personally, I’m really excited about this tool and it capabilities for creating custom parts in Civil 3D.

 

p.s. It also does pressure network parts:
Pressure_Network_Parts.png

Wouldn’t that be amazing? Set up your InfraWorks model with some zones, put in some signal information at your intersections, place some walking paths, and boom! You have cars and people in your InfraWorks model!

If you find this appealing, you need to head over to Autodesk Labs. There is a technology preview for software that, hopefully, will do just this, AUTODESK LABS: PROJECT COMMUTER – INFRAWORKS.

Currently, the application doesn’t run within InfraWorks but, the powers that be are looking for feedback from you, the valued customer that spends money on software, to determine if this would be worthwhile. Would you like to be able to run travel simulations directly within InfraWorks? I know I would! So get over there and tell them what you think!

HERE is a playlist of examples of what can be down withe the current version of the software (outside of InfraWorks).

<edit 4/3/15>Well, you asked for it so here it is! The March 2015 release of InfraWorks 360 has a preview of traffic simulation in it! Go check it out!

A lot of people I’ve talked to recently have been confused on the new release of InfraWorks 2015. Do I have that tool? If not, why? And where do I get it?

First off, if you haven’t checked out the new InfraWorks, you really should. They’ve made some great changes to it! It’ has a brand new user interface (UI) and some great new functionality.

InfraWorks 2015 User Interface

InfraWorks 2015 User Interface

That’s all nice but, what is available? Well, there are now two versions of InfraWorks for 2015: InfraWorks and InfraWorks 360. If you have one of the suites (Infrastructure Design Suite Premium or Ultimate or the Building Design Suite Ultimate) you have InfraWorks.

InfraWorks

What’s available in InfraWorks? Well, pretty much everything you had in the Premium Suite from last year. This includes:

  • Creating the existing model from GIS data
  • Laying out proposed features (roads, buildings, plants, coverage areas, etc.)
  • Visualization and storytelling
  • Sight analysis
  • Theme features based on their data
  • Shadows and lighting
  • Many more

InfraWorks 360

So, what do you get if you have InfraWorks 360? Well, first off, you get everything you get with InfraWorks plus:

  • Online collaboration with other InfraWorks 360 users.
  • Publishing scenarios for online viewing by anyone.
  • Using Autodesk servers to convert 3D models to InfraWorks data.
  • Model Builder – Create a model simply by choosing the area you are interested in on a map (this is a preview function and may not be in the product in the future).
  • Add-on advanced design tools

Basically, if it touches the cloud, you need InfraWorks 360.

Model Builder Preview

Model Builder Preview

Missing Features?

At first glance, it may seem as though there are some missing features such as the Roadway design, profile optimization, intersections, etc. Well, these are available in that “Add-on advanced design tools” listed above but, they are just that, an add-on. They don’t come with either InfraWorks or InfraWorks 360 but if you want that functionality, they only work on InfraWorks 360, not InfraWorks.

Autodesk Roadway Design

The Autodesk Roadway Design add-on allows you to do the things that were available in the ultimate suite from 2014.  This includes:

  • Design Roadways with true curves and spirals
  • Apply different styles and number of lanes for regions of a road
  • Profiles with vertical curves
  • Intersections between design roads
    • Ability to edit curb returns and add in turn lanes
    • Create site triangles
  • Profile optimization (requires cloud credits)
  • Corridor optimization (requires cloud credits and is currently a preview functionality only)
Design Road Intersection with Site Triangles

Design Road Intersection with Site Triangles

Autodesk Bridge Design

The Autodesk Bridge Design allows you to create very realistic bridges as well as edit things such as number of piers, pier locations, concrete or steel, etc.

Bridge created in InfraWorks 360

Bridge created in InfraWorks 360

Other Add-ons

When InfraWorks 360 first came out for the 2015 version, there was some preview functionality (it timed out May 7th, 2014). Examples of this was Drainage Areas and Culvert Design. The Culvert Design tools did just that, it added a culvert under the roadway. The Drainage Areas would delineate the contributory area to a design point or road that crosses a drainage way. Remember, these are previews of upcoming technology and there is no guarantee that they will be a part of the final product (in other words, don’t buy the software expecting this functionality).
Culvert Design

Licensing

This is the important part! If you have a suite version of InfraWorks, you’re good to go. Nothing new here. But, if you want InfraWorks 360, there are some things you have to be aware of.

Desktop Subscription

InfraWorks 360 and it’s add-ons are only available via Desktop Subscription. What is Desktop Subscription? It’s, in essence, a term license of the software. You purchase a license of InfraWorks 360 and you get access to it for a set term (1 month, quarter, or year). Another thing to note, this license is assigned to a specific user. That user needs an Autodesk ID (they are free) and that license will be assigned to that user. Your software manager can assign those licenses to what ever user in your organization you want.

The nice thing about Desktop Subscription is you can get the software for just the time you need. Got a project that you need 10 users to be able to access the software but the project is only going to last a year, you only pay for that software for a year.

More Information

If you want more information, check out the Autodesk website for comparing the different version of InfraWorks. Since the Autodesk website often changes, I’ve printed out that page and included a link to the .pdf HERE.

If you have any questions about this, make sure you talk to your reseller. If they can’t help you, let me know and one of the sales folks at CAD-1 can help you!

<If you don’t like reading, there’s a video at the bottom of the post.>

I’ve been playing around with InfraWorks for a bit now and I’ve always meant to but never got around to figuring out the Style Rules until now. All I’ve seen with regards to the rules is how to randomize your display. Well, I don’t want to randomize it, I want it to be very specific! I want my offroad roads to look like offroad roads, I want my highways to look like highways, and I want my local roads to look like local roads. Well, read on and see how it’s done! It’s actually a lot easier then I expected.

This is what I’m getting, all the roads look the same:

What I Get

What I Get

And this is what I want, the roads stylized based on their classification:

What I Want

What I Want

First of all, you need a data source with information in it that you’ll use to stylize the InfraWorks objects. In the example I’m using, I downloaded the data from the GIS department for Loveland, Colorado. To get a quick idea of the data that’s in the shape file for the roads, I attached it to a Civil 3D drawing (just drag the .shp file into the Civil 3D drawing) and opened the data table. This particular data source has a field called ROAD_CLASS. Some of the values for ROAD_CLASS are: RAMP, LOCAL, HWY, CLCTR-MINOR, etc.

Road Classification Data Field

Road Classification Data Field

This is the data that I want to use to determine the style of the road. I’ve broken the process up into three steps, adding the data to the model, creating the style rule, and applying the style rule.

Adding the Data to the Model

I’m not going to get into how to add the shapefile to the model here, what I’m going to discuss is how to get that particular piece of data from the shapefile and add it to each road in the model. When configuring the data source (this can be done when it’s added or after the fact if needed), you’ll need to tell InfraWorks to include the piece of data you need. In this example, I’m going to add it to the description of the road. On the Common tab of the Data Source Configuration, simply hit the pull down to add the ROAD_CLASS field to the description of the roads.

Adding GIS Data Fields to InfraWorks Objects

Adding GIS Data Fields to InfraWorks Objects

Note: If you want to add the data to a different property, you can do this on the Table tab of the Data source Configuration dialog box.

Close and refresh and now we are ready to create the Style Rules.

Creating the Style Rule

Now, we want the style of these roads to be determined from the description so, let’s create a Style Rule. To open the Style Rules, select the big orange I in the top left of your model (I’m using 2014 R4 for this), select the button just to the right of it, “Create and manage your model”, and then select Style Rules.

Open the Style Rules Panel

Open the Style Rules Panel

In the Styles Rules, select the tab on the left for the feature you want to add the rules to (in this case I’m going to choose Roads) and then add the new rule by selecting the green plus. Give the rule a name (I’m using the roadway classification here) and then click OK.

Add a Rule

Add a Rule

Once the rule is added, double click on it to edit the rule. In the Rule Editor, you can change the name of the rule and add a description to the rule if you would like. The important part here are the “Expression:” and “Styles:” sections.

Rule Editor

Rule Editor

In the “Expressions:” section, select the Edit button to edit the expression (sounds obvious, doesn’t it?). In the Create Filter Expression dialog box, double click the property you want to filter on (in this case expand out Common and choose Description). This will add that property to the expression. Now, I only want this rule to be applied to the roads with a specific description so, type an equals sign “=” in the expression after DESCRIPTION. Finally, add the property to the expression. If you know it, you can just type it. If you want to select one of the properties that is in the data source, on the right hand side, find the property and then double click on the value to add it to the description.

Create the Expression

Create the Expression

After hitting OK, you’ll be back in the Rule Editor. In the “Styles:” section, simply add the styles you want this rule to apply. If you want them all to be the same, simply add the one style you want. If you want them to vary, you can add multiple styles and then adjust the probability to force one style to be added more often then another.

Completed Rule

Completed Rule

Now continue the process until you’ve added a rule for each roadway type you have.

Rules Created

Rules Created

Applying the Style Rule

This is the easiest part, once the Style Rule has been created, all you need to do is click on the Run Rules button at the bottom of the panel.

Run the Rules

Run the Rules

There are also options to export and import the Rule Styles so you don’t have to recreate them every time you need to do this.

Now get out there and have fun playing around with InfraWorks!

Infraworks. Wow. What a great program. I love this thing, I truly do. If Autodesk keeps up development on this, it’s going to rock the industry. The problem with it as it stands today is, there are four different versions of it. That’s right, four.

Infraworks – Comes with the Infrastructure Design Suite Premium
Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro – Available to lease
Autodesk Roadway Design for Infraworks 360 Pro – Available to lease
Infrastructure Design Suite Ultimate – This pretty much tells you what it is.

So, what’s the difference? In short, if you want ALL the tools, you’ll need the Autodesk Roadway Design for Infraworks 360 Pro. It has tools that the Ultimate Design Suite doesn’t have, such as Sight distance analysis and Documentation services. The Documentation services is a cloud service that will allow you to create plan and profile drawings in Civil 3D without needing to open, or even install, Civil 3D (sounds pretty cool to me).

You can find a matrix that shows what each version has HERE. In case the website has changed, I’ve printed a page of the Autodesk website and included it HERE for you to download.