So got designs in other non Autodesk based civil design products?
Want to use InfraWorks for real time visualisation and easy production of realistic environments for your projects.
Then you want to read this post
So this example will take Bentley Mx as a source of data, but the methods are universal to any product that can create surfaces and design strings.
There is always five ways to do things, but I think this method is the better way.
This technique basically takes the final design and merge it in with the existing ground as a combined surface.
Then we use boundaries to define surface textures.
The advantage to this method is that is creates a clean and accurate model. Also when you place objects it will find the surface and you can also drape linework to represent roadmarkings etc.
Other techniques include bringing surface triangles from the other product and using as a 3D model, but then you cannot drape objects and roadmarkings, you would have to do it in the other product. Also you would need to texture the model first.
Final method is to bring in the core geometry and then use InfraWorks360 Design roads to remodel the data. If the design is not detailed, then this method is fine, but if fully designed, then you don’t want to try and remodel the whole project. Also design roads are not capable of every form of design at this point.
Ok, lets get started!
Import your data into AutoCAD Civil 3D, here I am importing a GENIO file through the import tool (available on subscription)
I am importing the design strings and the two surfaces (EG and Design)
Result of the imported strings and surfaces
Create a new _Combined Surface, by pasting the EG and then the design. Then save this file
Copy and paste the strings only into a clean dwg template, I am using ACADISO.dwt
Then convert all the strings to 2D polylines and elevation 0. There is a easy tool hidden in the Modify tab as you see below. Select the results and set the elevation to 0
This next part is a little effort, you need to create closed boundaries from the polylines, so I draw a line to close gaps and then use ‘mpedit’ command to select them all, join and add a small distance of 1 and close.
Then just adjust the layer to suit the type of feature they represent.
Next, use ‘mapexport’ command to export to a SDF file and in the ‘feature class’ tab you can select attributes to add the ‘layer’ to the poylines
Also check the ‘treat closed poylines as polygons’
So that method is a little effort, but is standard AutoCAD methods to create boundaries, you can always use them to create a coloured plan drawings also
There could be some time saving methods to generate these boundaries from the original civil design product that I may not be aware of.
When you use Civil 3D corridor models, these areas are generated automatically and of course is the added value to use Civil 3D as its a integrated solution.
In InfraWorks now, load in your Civil 3D dwg and check the _Combined Surface you made earlier.
You will get a grey surface, add an aerial image etc
Then add the SDF file and set as ‘coverage areas’
Under ‘source’ set to ‘Drape’
Under ‘table’ set the External ID to ‘Layer’
Once you have applied those settings, you can notice that the surface highlights. You can now drag and drop materials onto these areas. But a little extra automation is always a good idea.
So as a previous post described, we can use the new Style Rules in 2015.3 to customise data based on their attributes.
So here we will set the ‘Coverages’ to use the layer names to set the materials
Create a new style and enter this line of text
EXTERNAL_ID=’Carriageway Channels’ etc (for Civil 3D we use TAG as the value)
Then set your material in the style section
Once you have setup the values you want, save them to a file for reuse next time
Worked with this UK survey company this past year and glad to announce they have released their FREE plugin to publish Civil 3D designs for geometry and corridor models to their NRG Survey application for efficient data transfer for Survey Setting Out Engineers
Nice work and a good example of how two companies can work together to find a solution for our joint customers and users with a little API !
In the December release of InfraWorks 360 2015.3, it introduced the concept of ‘Style Rules’
This is for capturing attribute information in imported files.
Its main focus is to be able to transfer corridors from AutoCAD Civil 3D, so to bring in the surfaces and texture them accordingly.
So what’s the best way to harness this ability?
So it starts in Civil 3D and in the code set styles you use to show the corridor model in Civil 3D.
So below you can see the setup I am using.
So coverage's are generated from the render material to separate materials of the corridor model.
When we bring these into InfraWorks, we need to identify the different materials.
So using the Link Style, I have copied my ‘_No Display’ style and renamed it to match the link code name
Also, on the transfer to InfraWorks there is a little change in the workflow that we have been using traditionally.
For years I have been promoting cutting holes out of surfaces so that when in cut situation you don’t have the original ground above your design.
With this workflow, InfraWorks only has one surface at present. So we create a new surface (in this example _CombinedSurface), paste in the existing ground surface and then the final road surface in Civil 3D
Save your civil drawing and open up InfraWorks.
Set your usual coordinates etc.
Then, go to attach your Civil 3D DWG file.
(Note the message here in the tooltip that you require SP2 for 2015 to make this work)
You are then presented with a selection of civil objects, note the names here denoting whether its a road (i.e. alignment/profile), surfaces and coverages.
So only select your combined surface and the coverages
So on import this is what you are presented with.
Your earthwork/daylight to the existing ground could look incorrect
You need to set the coverages to drape
and you will get this result
Next we look at the Style Rules to apply textures to the coverages.
In the Coverages tab you might find some default rules, I personally delete them
Then add a new rule with the big green plus button.
Give it a name and set the Expression and style like you see below
The expression editor is basically reading the link style name that we set in Civil 3D
Once you have your setup, hit the ‘Commit’ and then ‘Run Rules’
Then you should see the update
Export your settings, then you can reuse these rules every time and also build them up as you need.
Then every model you create can be style directly on import of your files.
This workflow only covered corridor models and coverages, but as you will notice you can use these new rules against any data type you import, more fun to be had I think
So now we covered the basics, how about handling multiple surfaces like bridges, there is always a way and I save that one for another post.