Monday, 11 February 2013

Civil 3D to AIM

The following couple of workflows demonstrate taking your design from Civil 3D to Autodesk Infrastructure Modeller (AIM) for visualisation. Next post will cover taking proposed design (corridors) from C3D out to Autodesk Infrastructure Modeller (AIM) for visualisation.

The first thing to be aware of is what format you export your data out of Civil 3D for use in AIM.

Existing Topo:
The best way to get your existing ground surface out of Civil 3D is to export it as a LandXML file and then connect to this in AIM. You can do this a number of ways - right click on your surface in the Toolspace and select Export to LandXML or access the command from thee Output tab of the ribbon - see below:
When you connect to this in AIM it will automatically treat it as terrain. Once connected to in AIM right click on the connection and select Configure to make sure the coordinates are set or you may not see anything in your model. Any aerial imagery will automatically be draped onto this surface.

Areas of Interest:
For any areas of interest on your site that you want to highlight in the AIM model the best format to export them out of Civil 3D is the SDF format. For example in the project (Windfarm site) I am working on there is a CAD drawing which contains all of the site constraints in AutoCAD format. you can isolate CAD objects for each type of constraint and export them as separate SDF files. You can then connect to and control the display of each of these constraints separately in your AIM model. This allows you greater flexibility in controlling the display of the constraints in your AIM model rather than importing them as a CAD drawing underlay or all at once.

One of the constraints in my CAD drawing highlights areas along the proposed internal roads where there is a high risk of peat instability. I want to be able to highlight these in my visualisation.

These are represented by closed polylines in the drawing. In Civil 3D select one of closed polylines, right click and select similar then right click again and Isolate Objects. Once isolated type MAPEXPORT, choose SDF as files of type and give the file a name. In the dialog box that appears choose 'Select Manually' and select the isolated objects from the drawing.
In AIM connect to this file as below:
After connecting to the file, right click on the connection in AIM and select configure. On the Common tab set the 'Type' as Coverage Areas, Set the style.
On the Geo Location tab set the coordinate zone. On the Source tab set the draping options to Drape (since they were just 2D polylines originally they have no level information) tick the box to convert to closed polygons also. Click close and refresh and you should see your areas draped on the 3D model as below:
In my model the red highlights areas along proposed routes where there is high risk of peat instability, blue represents areas of peat greater than 3m in depth and magenta are areas of blanket bog.

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