AutoCAD Civil 3D Updates Enhance Interoperability between Autodesk and Bentley Solutions

Categories: Architecture Engineering Infrastructure

By Dave Simeone, Civil Product Manager, Autodesk

While I was out on sabbatical this summer, the development team was busy putting the finishing touches on AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and the AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 Productivity Pack 1. Both of these are available in the languages supported by AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016.


Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 offers civil engineering design and documentation software that supports Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows. Image courtesy of Autodesk.

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 Service Pack 1 Highlights

While AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 SP1 includes an assortment of updates, I thought it was most important to get the word out on some improvements related to the key initiative of enabling interoperability and co-existence between Autodesk civil engineering software and Bentley civil engineering solutions. It’s easiest to understand if I break the improvements into 2 areas.

Microstation .DGN interoperability and visual fidelity

Autodesk and Bentley have implemented incremental improvements over the past five years to facilitate translation of drawings between .DWG and .DGN. AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 SP1 introduces some subtle, yet high-value improvements that will better ensure visual fidelity. The goal is to be able to use AutoCAD Civil 3D to create .DGN files that are indistinguishable from those that were originally authored in MicroStation.

We’ve made a number of improvements related to linetype display within AutoCAD Civil 3D. The goal here is to enable AutoCAD Civil 3D to graphically match how complex linetypes are displayed in Microstation

  • AutoCAD Civil 3D now supports fixed-length linetypes (for example, a line that represents roadway line striping where the line/gap lengths represent the actual design length)
  • 3D polylines can now display complex linetypes. Prior to this, 3D polylines only supported continuous linetype display
  • There are also a number of improvements to the Export AutoCAD Civil 3D Drawing utility when exporting to .DGN that are meant to ensure visual fidelity when the file is opened in Microstation.

These types of enhancements support states like Ohio, where in October 2012, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced that they would begin accepting a deliverable that was created in AutoCAD Civil 3D. In order to support this initiative, Autodesk has developed a State Kit that allows users to use AutoCAD Civil 3D in a way that is consistent with ODOT standards.

Civil 3D 2016 Productivity Pack 1 Highlights

Project Data accessibility

The other part of the story relates to the sharing and accessibility of project data between AutoCAD Civil 3D and Bentley InRoads and Bentley GEOPAK. AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 Productivity Pack 1 includes the latest version of the Autodesk Civil Engineering Data Translator. This is a cloud service where you can upload files that you’d like to convert between Autodesk and Bentley civil design software.

  • Export Civil 3D model objects into corresponding Bentley GEOPAK and Bentley InRoads data files
  • Import Bentley GEOPAK and Bentley InRoads data files into AutoCAD Civil 3D model objects

This service has been very popular since its initial delivery last fall and we continue to make improvements based on customer feedback.

Added Value for AutoCAD Civil 3D Customers

Previously available only to Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite customers on Subscription, three modules are now offered with AutoCAD Civil 3D Subscription – Autodesk River and Flood Analysis Module, Autodesk Bridge Module and Autodesk Geotechnical Module.  These modules help extend the value of an AutoCAD Civil 3D model and improve project delivery.  Civil engineers are able to work on more aspects of a project directly within an AutoCAD Civil 3D model, and benefit from connected workflows that integrate the work of different engineering disciplines. The modules are currently available in English only.

Actions to Take

  1. Listen to my podcast highlighting the key enhancements.
  2. Download and install AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 Service Pack 1 from the Autodesk Knowledge Network. Beyond the .DGN improvements you’ll find a number of improvements that will benefit your overall AutoCAD Civil 3D experience.
  3. Download and install AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 Productivity Pack 1 by visiting your Autodesk Accounts page and logging in with your credentials. Note that this is available for active AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Premium, and Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Ultimate Subscribers.