Introducing 2021 Civil 3D and InfraWorks New Releases

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By Guest Author

Learn about the top new capabilities and enhancements that will advance your civil infrastructure projects. 

By Tim Yarris and Ramesh Sridharan

Allow us to introduce ourselves. I’m Ramesh, InfraWorks Product Manager. I’m Tim, Civil 3D Product Manager.

First and foremost, we recognize that the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect communities, families, and people around the world. This is a difficult time for all of us and our hearts go out to all those who have been affected, directly or indirectly. 

As Autodesk keeps a close eye on the impact the coronavirus is having on the Autodesk community and our industry at large, we’re continuing to explore the best ways we can support our customers, flex to meet their changing needs, and minimize disruptions to their business during this challenging time. We invite you to visit our Resource Center where you can find updates on Autodesk initiatives intended to help our customers and resources that can assist with your collaboration and productivity needs.

Speaking of collaboration – over the course of this past year, we’ve worked hard to deliver the latest Civil 3D and InfraWorks to enable more seamless collaboration across project teams, including the introduction of a new workflow for civil structures design. We focused on the corridor workflows not only to support road design but also bridge, rail, and other civil structure design challenges our customers may experience by strengthening the cross-product data flow that is critical for project success from conceptual to detailed design stages.

Civil 3D and InfraWorks have unique strengths on their own but they’re even more powerful when combined. InfraWorks is an outstanding tool for aggregating data, visually evaluating design concepts, and communicating design intent. Read about the InfraWorks product roadmap to see what’s in store for InfraWorks.

Civil 3D is the best tool available for detailed infrastructure design and documentation. Having good data flow between the products provides more flexibility.

We listened to customers through a variety of ways, from one-on-one meetings to gathering feedback from the Autodesk Infrastructure Futures program.

RELATED: To provide feedback about the future of Civil 3D and InfraWorks, join the Autodesk Infrastructure Futures program

These interactions give us insights into how our customers use Autodesk software to do truly amazing things – things that we never imagined possible while we built a particular feature. We love seeing how even small improvements to the product can positively impact our customers’ productivity. We also get a sense of the demand for certain updates, which helps us prioritize and build our roadmaps.

As we look ahead, our efforts will continue to help customers attain better project outcomes by:

  • Continuing to make it easier for project teams to collaborate at any time, from anywhere in the world.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction by making it easier to do daily tasks.
  • Developing complete end-to-end workflows
  • Deepening the connectivity and interoperability across software

Before we get too far ahead, let’s dive into the best new capabilities just released in Civil 3D and InfraWorks.

Better collaboration for civil structures design

We know that civil structure projects can be complex. Civil engineers, bridge engineers, and BIM technicians often need to collaborate on the same model to improve design efficiency. Autodesk’s new comprehensive solution supports conceptual design through to detailed design. The new workflow connecting InfraWorks, Civil 3D, and Revit enables the rapid development of multiple design options with powerful parametric modeling technology and automated documentation.

Civil 3D corridor interoperability with InfraWorks

The latest release of InfraWorks now uses the power and precision of Civil 3D for corridor models. These upgrades include:

  • Importing all calculated design elements or select elements of the Civil 3D corridor intoInfraWorks directly
  • Define the mapping of materials to apply to the corridor shapes
  • Placing corridors into their contextual environment
  • Seamless updates to the road in InfraWorks when the Civil 3D corridor changes
  • And more downstream benefits.

Updates to Dynamo for Civil 3D

In the previous annual release of Civil 3D, we introduced design automation for civil engineering design through Dynamo for Civil 3D, which quickly became our most popular new capability. This year, we’ve elevated the experience with Dynamo by incorporating the Dynamo Player in Civil 3D. Watch these videos to learn more about design automation with Dynamo for Civil 3D.

Pressure Pipes Layout & Editing

We’ve made several new features for significant enhancements to the pressure network layout and editing functionality in Civil 3D 2021, which offer great design flexibility and efficiency. This new workflow was inspired by customer feedback we received via the Civil 3D ideas forum, as well as our desire to reengage with our core land development customers. Watch the video to learn more:

Plant design

We’re also excited to introduce new integrations with Revit and AutoCAD. Many of our civil engineering customers use Revit and AutoCAD and we’ve improved the interoperability between these two products to enable pipe modeling in Revit.

But the biggest news for plant design is the introduction of cloud collaboration, which released on March 25th. Collaboration for Plant 3D is now a part of BIM 360 Design, our popular common data platform made for AEC. This release expands our BIM 360 platform to include a connection with the AutoCAD Plant 3D toolset.  Now, with Collaboration for Plant 3D, plant designers and engineers can more effectively manage access permissions and enable project teams to share files more securely and collaborate more effectively at any time and from anywhere, whether within one firm or across multiple organizations.

“With AutoCAD Plant 3D integration, the BIM 360 platform now provides a single location for all work-in-progress data – simplifying access for Black & Veatch’s global project teams and helping to increase both internal and external collaboration and communication without the need for specialized IT systems”

Dave Reed, Technology Manager, Black & Veatch

Read the announcement here and watch our video playlist to learn how it works.

Immediately following the introduction of Collaboration for Plant 3D, we’ve unveiled the availability of Europe datacenters for BIM 360 Design projects. BIM 360 Design customers now have the option to host their project data in Europe. Alex Mortiboys, Head of BIM at Dutch architecture firm, Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), says OMA is excited to take advantage of this option.

“We are always looking to drive efficiency in our design process, so we have put cloud-based collaboration at the core of our practice. With the confidence in a European data center, we can expand our ability to propose BIM 360 Design to our public and private clients in Europe and beyond. This will help us provide greater efficiency and transparency to our clients.”

Learn more details, including frequently asked questions here.

And last but not least, we released File Locking for Autodesk® BIM 360®, which provides automatic locking and unlocking for DWG and DWT files that are stored in BIM 360 when they are opened in AutoCAD. Download the app here.

Several of our cloud collaboration products are available through the Extended Access Program, which has been offered to better support our customers facing the new reality of working remotely.

Core infrastructure design solutions, including Civil 3D, InfraWorks, AutoCAD, and Revit remain available for 30-day free trials. These toolsets are packaged in the AEC Collection.

Learn more about free trials for civil engineering software here.

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