In this blog, I am going to talk about the Civil 3D Productivity Pack 1 for Civil 3D 2015. There are three components contained in this pack:
1. Open Autodesk Infraworks Model
2. Coordinate Geometry Editor
3. Create AutoCAD Solids.
For this blog, I am going to concentrate on item number one, “Open Autodesk Infraworks Models”. After installing this Productivity Pack, the functions appear in the Toolspace as seen in the figure below.
Before opening an Infraworks model, it is a good idea to go into the “Configure Infraworks” command so that you can see what the current settings are set to. These settings include which types of Infraworks objects to import as well as styles and layers to bring them in on as seen in the figure below.
Additionally, after setting these items, you will notice that in the upper left hand corner of this dialog box, you can save the settings out to an XML file for later use. You can create a new settings file, browse for an existing file, save the current settings, or, do a “save-as”. This will ensure that you have the right settings for the right job. Existing files already created for you can be found at the following location under the Imperial or Metric folder: C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\C3D 2015\enu\Data\InfraWorks Object Settings. At this point, you are now ready to import the Infraworks model elements. Right click on the command “Open Infraworks Model” and click on “execute”. The Open Infraworks Model dialog box will appear as shown below on the left. First, browse out and select the model you want. Then if you get a prompt like the one pictured below on the right, you will have to make a choice for the coordinate system.
You will have a choice of using the current Infraworks coordinate system or you can specify an alternate system. Once the coordinate system is set, you can specify an area of interest. This is nice because with this option, you do not have to grab the entire model if you don’t want to. At this point, you can import a settings file, or refine the selection set. Once you have everything the the way you want, click on “Open Model”. You will see an Import Progress meter until finally, your model elements come into the drawing. The image below shows elements that I was able to bring in from Infraworks such as surfaces and alignments. Why is this important? There are a few reasons, but the two that come to mind that are most important in my opinion are: 1. this is a great way to start a project in Infraworks as a conceptual design, then refine it and finish it in Civil 3D to create your construction documents. 2. Remember when we used to be able to get surfaces from importing Google Earth? Well, we all know that is gone (unless you grab a 3rd party app). With the model builder function in Infraworks, surface data gets imported into the Infraworks model, then gets imported into Civil 3D using this functionality. Try it out!