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 we keep 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 your changing needs, and minimize disruptions to your 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. Please stay safe, stay healthy.
Announcing the release of Autodesk InfraWorks 2021!
Before we move into the InfraWorks development roadmap, I’m excited to have this opportunity to remind you that we just recently released InfraWorks 2021, which contains enhancements and updates to boost your productivity and simplify collaboration with stakeholders. The install is available for those with an active subscription to InfraWorks via the accounts (manage.autodesk.com) and Autodesk Desktop App (ADA). Check out the What’s New in Autodesk InfraWorks 2021 videos on the Autodesk Infrastructure YouTube channel. You’ll see that the release is packed full of powerful features for civil infrastructure design, modeling, analysis, and presentation:
- Civil 3D Corridor support for context modeling in InfraWorks
- Seamless Civil Structures workflow
- Additional parametric bridge content availability
- Support high DPI scaling
- And many more
You can also find more information on the latest release of Autodesk InfraWorks here:
Many of these enhancements, including new cross-product workflows introduced in InfraWorks 2021.0, are the result of ideas and requests that you’ve brought to us. We’ve heard from you about the best ways to connect Civil 3D, InfraWorks, and Revit together for efficient and thorough design workflows. Your warm feedback on our efforts to connect GIS environments to InfraWorks and Civil 3D via the “Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS” over the past few releases encouraged us to add features in the 2021 release that could enhance Civil 3D and InfraWorks interoperability.
To that point – we’re extremely grateful for your feedback, and we want to keep hearing from you! Every interaction we have with you, our customers, brings us more insight and opportunity to improve. Please consider this public roadmap as an invitation to connect with us. We’ll read and respond to your comments on this post in the InfraWorks Idea Forum, or you can also contact us directly.
The InfraWorks roadmap
Now, let’s talk about the roadmap. This is our vision of where InfraWorks is presently headed, and how we expect to continue to make your workday more fun, visual, collaborative, and productive with future releases of InfraWorks.
Also, to be clear, this roadmap may make statements regarding future events and development efforts for our products and services. These statements reflect our current expectations based on what we know today. Our plans are not intended to be a promise or guarantee of future delivery of products, services, or features, and purchasing decisions should not be made based upon these statements. We do not assume any responsibility to update this roadmap to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the publish date of this roadmap.
To better explain the roadmap, we’ve grouped our plans by theme:
Create – The act of model creation
- Efficiently create models that better capture design intent
- Engage in an intuitive, and contextual experience
- Model to higher degrees of accuracy and detail
Connect – Integrating teams and products
- Connect project teams with AEC-focused collaboration tools
- Enable multidisciplinary workflows to help deliver projects
- Extend BIM to all phases of the project lifecycle
Optimize – Better buildings and processes
- Analyze, simulate, and iterate to optimize designs
- Work more productively with software that automates tasks
- Have more time to design with more reliable and efficient software
We use themes, colors, and icons to keep track of the roadmap details.
This theme is about creating project data at any point in the project lifecycle and the overall user experience of creating and aggregating content in InfraWorks.
In recent releases of Autodesk InfraWorks, we’ve helped you Create by building out the Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS functionality. In a previous release, we even added options for publishing your InfraWorks data to ArcGIS Online/Portals. More recently, in InfraWorks 2021, we made it possible not only to publish desired geometry and layer content but also select attributes (and name them whatever you’d like as long as they adhere to ESRI naming conventions) when publishing InfraWorks content to the ArcGIS cloud environment. This feature is also available while exporting InfraWorks content to ESRI File Geodatabase format (FGDB). This provides more flexibility for users to restrict any sensitive information while publishing. We plan to continue this effort to bring reality capture data directly into the InfraWorks environment to cut down extra steps in the point cloud workflow.
For civil structures designers, we added more parametric bridge content in InfraWorks 2021, so that creating bridges and other civil structures can be smooth and customizable for ever-changing infrastructure project requirements and challenges. This, in addition to previously released updates that helped to streamline InfraWorks’ interaction with Civil 3D and Revit, has enabled us to offer a robust workflow for creating parametric civil structures and then connecting your InfraWorks conceptual designs with your detailed design in Civil 3D. Continuing the civil structures momentum, we aim to refine LOD (Level of Details) for civil structure models, editable parametric models for Revit, global analysis models for bridges, and more to make sure to deliver valued capabilities for this workflow.
We plan to focus more on transportation, more specifically roads and highways, and release more workflows to bridge the gap for materializing conceptual design in the transportation industry. We intend to add capabilities to have active decorations for roads, flexible lane markings, remove lane marking shadows, and enhance default lane marking styles for improved design and visualization. We also aim to improve key conceptual design elements like road intersection, ramp design, round-about enhancements to make you can create the conceptual design for transportation more effortlessly.
We also understand that no infrastructure planning project is complete without corresponding site design elements. Hence we hope to enhance and release parking lot tools that are currently being tested in our beta version and continue to add optimization tools so that you can have more comprehensive toolsets for infrastructure project planning.
The Connect theme emphasizes the importance of connecting project teams and creating better multi-product workflows. Our goal is to improve the processes in which you collaborate and exchange information to get things done. In this area, we focus on building better experiences for sharing data across Autodesk tools as well as across the industry.
Civil 3D corridor support in InfraWorks takes the main stage in this release supporting the Connect theme by connecting Civil 3D and InfraWorks for corridor features. With Civil 3D corridor support for InfraWorks 2021, you can now leverage the power of detailed road model geometry from Civil 3D to improve your road models in InfraWorks, not to mention this allows civil structure designers to use precise Civil 3D road geometry in their InfraWorks bridge designs workflows. In our roadmap, we plan to continue enhancing this corridor support and possibly extend it to alignment interoperability to help make sure this workflow is comprehensive and provide full benefits to the users.
Recent release also features enhanced Revit data exchange, updating positional and rotational accuracy while bringing Revit data into InfraWorks.
We also support ArcGIS server-based layers (through ArcGIS Portals) and other enhancements to connect smoothly with GIS data.
Moving forward, we are keeping our eye on more ways to connect InfraWorks models with project teams. Some of the initiatives aim for closer integration with BIM360 for easy model sharing and AR/VR support, along with some long term initiatives like API development for InfraWorks and common data platform between InfraWorks and other infrastructure products.
Through the Optimize theme, we’re looking for opportunities that enable you to do more and do it better. In other words, improving the ease and productivity with which you can work, while also helping you work towards delivering better models.
InfraWorks 2021 (and it’s predecessor InfraWorks 2020.2) comes packed with subtle but powerful enhancements. As you can see, there were many enhancements to traffic/mobility simulation, making that workflow even more powerful. As a side note, with the addition of the Connector for ArcGIS, there were more workflows unearthed with the combination of GIS data with traffic simulation. Feel free to check out this Autodesk InfraWorks LinkedIn group for more details.
I’m also pleased to report that one of the most requested features, “Support high-resolution display,” got delivered in the InfraWorks 2021 release. From now on, no more tiny icons and fonts for you to mess with (although we added the option to see them small if you really want ), making working with InfraWorks more enjoyable.
Looking ahead, we plan to make sure the InfraWorks application Home screen aligns more closely with other infrastructure products so you can encounter consistent behavior across the collection. We also want to optimize our site design capabilities, extend an InfraWorks API towards a Dynamo integration for Infraworks, and pave the road for generative design abilities in InfraWorks.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
There are a variety of other discussions and ongoing work related to connecting workflows from design to modeling and beyond, along with focused efforts towards road design, site design, and API work. If you
don’t see something listed here, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t on our radar. If you have specific suggestions for ways we can make the product better, we encourage you to submit them to the InfraWorks Ideas site for our consideration. As you can see from the roadmap items, many of the features delivered as well as in roadmap are ideas from users like you. Hence we strongly encourage your interaction by any means convenient to you. If you would like to provide feedback on these capabilities, please visit Autodesk Infrastructure Futures to register for InfraWorks Rolling Sandbox.
We continue to post updates periodically, and your feedback helps! As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Ramesh Sridharan, Product Manager & The InfraWorks Team