How you ask? The task was accomplished with Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler 2012 introduced last week by Autodesk. The company also introduced AutoCAD Utility Design 2012.
In an Autodesk webcast for the media Paul McRoberts, vice president, infrastructure product line group, AEC solutions, pitched, “Imagine if you could create a 3D model of an entire city in less than an hour.” He said they set out two years ago to address the nation's crumbling infrastructure and took on the challenge to move the industry forward, thus developing the two products.
Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler 2012, or AIM it was referred to in the webcast, is essentially a conceptual design solution enabling GIS and civil engineering professionals to whip up design proposals for stakeholders using existing data.
Autodesk’s Lynda Sharkey, technical marketing manager, Infrastructure, covered the key points in the webcast stating AIM is able to 1) use existing data 2) add detail and 3) enhance the model.
In the first category of using existing data Sharkey highlighted the following features:
- make terrains more realistic
- make full use of existing data to make 3D representations above and below the ground
- includes a large number of customizable style catalogs. For example users can change road styles, enhance and change data as more information becomes available.
- incorporate time change, for instance to enhance the model, users can change the date from 2011 to 2012.
In terms of adding detail and evaluating users can drag and drop styles on the road, such as a bridge, instead of spending time creating it. Users can also avoid the most endangered areas with information provided by AIM. Plus, it’s equipped with an extensive library of city furniture such as a bike stand that can be added to the design.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of sharing your ideas and furthermore helping to win a client bid, is being able to share and communicate effectively. A few key points in this area pointed out by Sharkey are that users can take stakeholders on an interactive tour, show them how the environment is going to be affected by a project and mouse over an asset to acquire its attributes.
And last, information can be brought in from Revit, Navisworks and AutoCAD Civil 3D, among other Autodesk products.
With AutoCAD Utility Design 2012 or AUD, a solution for overhead and underground electrical distribution network design, Autodesk hopes to lighten the burden of utility industry challenges including the aging infrastructure and smart grid demands. “The smart grid revolution requires a new way to think about design,” said McRoberts.
Creating a project proposal within hours may sound unbelievable, however, according to Autodesk customer VTN Consulting, the company was able to do what would normally take weeks, within two hours.