Latest update to Autodesk InfraWorks 360 brings a more integrated approach between design and analysis.
Roadway design can be a highly iterative process with designers having to balance multiple factors – the demands of geographic and financial constraints, compliance with geometric guidelines, management of safety, as well as providing suitable capacity for vehicles. The traffic simulation and analysis capabilities included in the latest update to Autodesk InfraWorks 360 brings us closer to a position where all of these considerations can be addressed in a single, intelligent 3D model, drastically cutting the time required to gain approval from all internal parties on the final design.
The addition of Traffic Simulation for InfraWorks 360 isn’t the only update. On the collaboration side, the ability to share models in read-only mode has been added to provide designers better control over their model data, as well as many other new features for Road, Rail and Bridge design.
The ability to run traffic simulation models has been available as an Autodesk Labs Preview for the past few months and has now graduated to become an official part of Roadway Design for InfraWorks 360. This addition gives the designer greater confidence in the roadway design that is passed to the traffic engineer for detailed analysis. Designers have full control over which roads are analyzed and have the ability to input traffic flow and mix, specify time of day (e.g. to model rush hour), define turn lanes and set up signalized intersections. It even works on roundabouts! With the ability to analyze and optimize as part of the design process, it is more likely to comply with capacity requirements so that designers won’t be going back and forth with the traffic engineers making numerous minor enhancements to the design.
The highly intuitive graphical interface of the Traffic Simulation module makes it clear when roads have exceeded capacity requirements and make it easy to identify where changes need to be made.
Beyond the additional capabilities related to traffic simulation and analysis, there are several other new features and improvements:
- Rail Design: Designers can now create their own detailed rail styles allowing greater flexibility in defining the various structures along a rail track. This is especially useful for troughs at tunnel entrances, circular tunnels, viaducts, etc. Rail features can also now be grouped together in InfraWorks 360. For example, when you have two rail tracks, you can create a single bridge to carry both tracks versus having to create a bridge for each track. You can also specify the length of transitions between rail styles.
- Road Design: The main enhancement for road designers in this update is the improved intersection modeling. The intersection editing tool can now be used for staggered intersections bringing greater flexibility to the design. Right-In, Right-Out intersections, and Left-In, Left-Out intersections can now be created simply. Roundabouts have also been updated to support both left and right hand drive roads and include standard-based road markings and yield lines.
- Bridge Design: Piers and Foundations now have a library of alternative design styles which can be used to make models more realistic. These parts can be customized further in detail via the asset card. And if there are multiple components (piers, girders, etc.) any change to one of these can be quickly applied across the design to similar components. Model regeneration and quantity/volume calculations are now carried out only when required, reducing unnecessary model regeneration, significantly improving performance.
The grouping feature in InfraWorks 360 allows a designer to use a single bridge to carry multiple tracks versus having to create a bridge for each track.
Intersection design enhancements in InfraWorks 360 bring greater flexibility to create more complex designs such as staggered intersections.
For more details on all the ways that the latest update of InfraWorks 360 can help improve the design of complete civil engineering projects, read Mark Burgess’ blog post on BIM on the Rocks.
You can also find more information here:
- What’s new video – http://youtu.be/e0MdsPJlUrM
- InfraWorks 360 product center – www.autodesk.com/infraworks
- InfraWorks 360 trial – http://www.autodesk.com/products/infraworks-360/free-trial
- InfraWorks 360 Community Center – http://www.autodesk.com/community/infraworks-360/overview