We rang in the start of the new year with the announcement of an InfraWorks update (and even a webcast to share the details) and now that update is available to everyone. We’ve enhanced some workflows with more preliminary engineering design capabilities. Without further ado, let’s get into the details.
Preliminary Engineering Design – Road Modeling
We’ve enhanced road modeling by streamlining the workflow for how a road is defined and edited, providing more control and precision. It includes:
Streamlined interactions. We’ve consolidated menu items, the assembly picker and some other options onto single stack, where you can configure key settings before laying out a road alignment. Geometric data, like tangent length or curve radius, can be directly entered as you model – just look for solid blue tooltips to see where values can be directly typed in.
Expanded road layout options. Choose one of two approaches: PI-based or the new element-based method, which can be used to define a road by placing any combination of tangents and curves. It’s the best choice for designs where the road geometry requires consecutive line segments or back-to-back curves.
Editing behaviors and interactions have evolved, as well. When modifying an individual element – say, a change in location or length of a tangent, or a curve radius – the rest of the road geometry will adjust, with minimal impact to attached geometry while accommodating set design constraints.
Improved feedback. Messages, tips, warnings and other notifications have been spruced up. Now it’s possible to distinguish tips (like keystroke combinations you might use to model more quickly) from warnings (like when the design doesn’t meet the standards) that appear at the bottom of the Infraworks canvas.
Preliminary Engineering Design – Materials and Earthwork Quantities
We’ve enhanced and expanded quantities analyses on an InfraWorks model, by focusing providing information that can be used to develop meaningful quantity and cost estimates.
Visual feedback about quantities data. At a glance, understand which parts of the model are included in the displayed quantities analysis. Whether a single road, or segments of multiple roads, the model will highlight the ranges contributing to the analysis being displayed on the panel. This can be helpful when isolating road quantities for projects that include portions of adjacent roads.
Expanded drainage quantities. Since preliminary construction costs for drainage systems often account for excavation, we’ve added the ability to define up to 4 ranges and use them organize drainage quantities by range. This breakdown can also be exported to a CSV file.
New category: utilities. Materials quantities now include pipelines and pipeline connectors; they are grouped by the assigned styles and, like other quantities data, can be exported to a CSV file.
Preliminary Engineering Design – Reality Capture
Creating an engineering-grade existing conditions model has been an important area of focus for us this year. This update includes improvements that extend and enhance the workflow for extracting 3D linear features from a point cloud model.
Camera Image Lookup. Supplement point cloud data with photos taken during the scan. Use the photos to better understand the details of the scan and correctly convert data to InfraWorks assets.
Creating and editing linear breaklines. We continue to look for ways to further streamline how linear breaklines are extracted from point cloud data. Vertices on the cross section view are smarter; assigning vertices to key points on one cross section will automatically apply points to similar locations on subsequent cross sections.
We’ve also added a couple of options for eliminating gaps between breaklines, and it should feel pretty similar to editing 3D polylines in other applications, like Civil 3D. When joining two breaklines, you now have a choice: merge the two lines into a single type, or to keep them as separate types but still join them together.
Preliminary Engineering Design – Bridges
We’ve focused on extending and improving the workflows for creating and managing parametric content, and also enhanced some of the bridge modeling workflows.
Working with parametric content. When creating parametric content, the model details window now lists all required parameters and displays a green check next to components having all required parameters defined. The ‘Part Sizes’ tab has changed to make the information easier to scan and read. It now uses a vertical column layout to match the UI Appearance tab. Attribute names now correctly reflect the UI label assigned in the UI Appearance tab. Part sizes and UI appearance tables can be imported and exported for use on other, similar parametric parts.
Inventor Assemblies. Inventor assemblies are now fully supported for both bridge components and road decorations, giving you more options for how to build your parametric content.
Bridge Modeling Workflow enhancements. Saving a bridge template now allows you to export that template, including any customized parametric content, for use in another model. The widths of piers and abutments now adjust to match the road directly above them, where they were previously calculated based on the widest part of the road/deck. Automatic creation of bridges on roads that cross water has been removed.
And that wraps up the details of the latest InfraWorks update. To the customers that provided feedback to the development teams working through these features throughout the year, thank you. We deeply appreciate the time, insight and help understanding your workflows and how to make them better. And for those who’d like to be more involved with our development teams (maybe it’s your resolution for 2018?), we look forward to working with you!