Monday, 11 February 2013

Civil 3D to AIM part 2 - It's all in the (Code Set) Style

In the last post we looked at taking the topo survey and areas of interest from C3D into Autodesk Infratsructure Modeller (AIM). In this post we will look at taking the proposed design (C3D corridors) out to AIM.

While you can export surfaces to LandXML from C3D and import into AIM this does not work well for corridor (proposed) surfaces. The reason is that AIM treats LandXML surfaces as Terrain and will drape your aerial imagery onto them - in effect you will end up with a surface that takes on the shape of your proposed design but has the existing aerial imagery draped onto it as below:
The most efficient method of exporting your proposed design from C3D to AIM is to use the IMX file format. As usual there is a couple of things to look out for. The main thing I have learned is that setting a render material to elements of the corridor in C3D first through the corridor code set style will make life a lot easier when you import in AIM.

First we need to identify what elements of the corridor to attach materials to. Hover over the links in your corridor (these are the corridor lines running perpendicular to the baseline) and you will see in the tooltip what the link code is:
Do this for each of the links in your corridor and note the link code being used by each. There will be a different link between each of the corridor featurelines, see below:
Next select your corridor, go to Corridor Properties on the ribbon and on the Codes tab edit the code set style being used (or create a new one).
We need to make sure that the codes set style contains all of the codes being used in the corridor. In the code set style dialog box click on Import Codes...
...navigate to your assembly in the drawing and drag a selection box around it. This will bring in all the codes used in the assembly to your code set style for editing.
Back in the code set style dialog under the links section assign a render material to each of the link codes used in your corridor. Be careful here as the top code will be used by all links so assigning a material to that will be used for all links. It is better to assign separate materials to the codes such as Daylight_Cut, Daylight_Fill, Ditch etc.
Once you have done this select the corridor in your drawing and choose object viewer on the ribbon, set the view style to Realistic. How the corridor looks in realistic view will give a good indication of how it will look in AIM. If there appears to be any part of the corridor that does not have a material assigned then check your link codes and assigned materials before exporting to AIM.
Now in C3D you are ready to export. On the Output tab of the Ribbon click Export IMX:
You can connect direct to this file in AIM. It will bring in Roads and Surface as two separate connections under data sources. As in the previous post right click on each connection separately and select configure and make sure that the coordinates are set correct. Do not drape these connections as we want to use the design level information. The corridor should now appear in AIM using the materials assigned in C3D:
Looking South from T1
 T2 and Compound with T1 in background


  1. Nice work...
    Do you know whether AIM only uses default corridors? Because I am trying this and my corridor in Civil3D has e.g. a Green Space between the roads. However, the import in AIM only shows the two lanes and two sidewalks (same as your image T8 at the turbine). Thanks

  2. Hello NL_Infra, AIM will use whatever render material you have applied to the corridor links in Civil 3D and apply this to the road surface in AIM. AIM will also style the alignment from Civil 3D so what you see in the T8 image is an AIM road style (grey lanes with road marking) applied to the alignment overlaid on the blacktop render material from the corridor. The road style is a default width and doesn't extend out to the hardstand extents. If I didn't apply a style to the alignment in AIM the entire road would be black similar to the hardstand.