During development of Urbano 9.1 which will be released in Q2 2017, we added new and expanded on the existing BIM workflow features of the program.
Most of the attention is focused on workflow integration with Autodesk Navisworks, a key component of BIM workflows using Autodesk technology.
Urbano and data exchange
Urbano is a BIM ready software solution for infrastructure pipe network design, calculation and analysis based on AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D. Engineers, drafters and technicians designing storm and sanitary sewage, water and gas distribution systems and other pipe infrastructure can use an array of customizable functions to empower and optimize their design process.
A broad set of import/export functions supporting more than 10 data exchange formats offer true BIM for Infrastructure workflow integration. Most notably, these include AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk InfraWorks 360, Autodesk Navisworks, ESRI ArcGIS and EPANET.
In addition to standard design data, Urbano can manage any kind of custom data with the concept of User Data - add, import or export data associated with pipes and structures. User data is accessible
like any other project data and can be used as part of any configuration for profiles, labels, data grids etc.
Urbano and BIM
BIM is spreading to all engineering design software and the need to comply with BIM standards and workflows grows constantly. Thanks to the programs architecture, Urbano satisfies critical BIM requirements and fits into many different BIM workflows:
- 2D & 3D: Urbano supports both design approaches, and it is up to the designer to choose the best tool for the task at hand. 2D plans, profiles and sections remain crucial parts of the design process and a requirement for documentation. At the same time 3D offers superior insight in specific cases like clash detection.
- Data: Urbano supports both design data and additional data (i.e. custom data determined by the user). Both data types share the same usage options (e.g. selection, input, editing, storing), and
availability throughout the programs functions e.g. profiles, labels, reports.
- Communication: The design of infrastructure pipe networks is linked to other activities like surveying, GIS and hydraulic modeling, so the need to exchange data with other software is clear. Urbano supports bidirectional data exchange with a number of software and file formats, e.g. ESRI .shp, Oracle and MS SQL databases, AutoCAD Civil 3D. It also supports export to .ifc and EPANET .inp, and import from EPANET .rpt.
New development for Autodesk Navisworks
Our latest development for Urbano 9.1 focuses on workflow integration with Autodesk Navisworks. Navisworks is a project review software developed by Autodesk. It is a leading software for the holistic review of integrated models and data with stakeholders, allowing to gain better control over project outcomes. Navisworks enables coordination, construction simulation, whole-project analysis and includes some advanced simulation and validation tools. As such, it is an integral part of the BIM workflow for many engineering professionals.
With the release of Urbano 9.0 we supported a data export to the .ifc file format. This enabled users to export any part or the whole Urbano pipe network and import it as a 3D model within Autodesk
Navisworks. On top of that, this feature also allows the export of additional data for pipes and structures, e.g. pipe materials, descriptions, flows.
The limitations of the .ifc file format do not make it the ideal choice for communicating with Navisworks. An alternative was needed, and we found it in existing AutoCAD libraries that enable the
creation of .nwc files and the Navisworks API that enables the creation of add-ins.
The upcoming release of Urbano 9.1 includes the option to export any part of the pipes network (i.e. selected pipes and structures) with accompanying additional data (e.g. pipe diameter, structure type,
construction phase) to the Autodesk Navisworks native .nwc file format. This allows for a seamless BIM workflow, where any editing changes in Urbano plan and profiles need only to be re-exported and then refreshed in Navisworks. The changes appear instantly, providing a data-rich 3D model ready for inspection, clash analysis and 4D construction simulation.
4D construction simulation with Urbano, Microsoft Project and Autodesk Navisworks
The video shows the new Urbano functions for creating top and bottom trench borders, and a full 3D trench. Construction phases can be determined with user data and they will serve for the automatic
creation of Navisworks selection sets. All this data will be written to a .nwc file. Navisworks integrates the data-rich 3D model from Urbano with the construction planning made with Microsoft Project, allowing the performance of a 4D construction simulation.
Collaboration & clash detection with Urbano and Autodesk Navisworks
This video shows the new functions for managing pipe clashes with Urbano and Navisworks. A pipe network is exported to a .nwc file and imported in Navisworks. The clash test was performed with
Navisworks, a clash test report generated and used with Urbano to solve the clashes, and the whole pipe network was re-exported from Urbano and refreshed in Navisworks. In the end, a new Urbano add-in for Navisworks was used to generate a report with pipes sorted according to pipe diameters and the Navisworks quantification tools were used.
New Urbano add-in for Navisworks
Linking external documents with the model can greatly improve the project review experience in Navisworks. External documents add specific technical information and real world insight not available in the 3D model. Urbano Document Linker is a powerful add-in for Autodesk Navisworks that enables you to link multiple external files such as .pdf documents and .jpg pictures, to your Autodesk Navisworks model. The add-in will work with a 3D model from all sources compatible with Navisworks e.g. Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Urbano etc.
Urbano add-in for Autodesk Navisworks links external files with Urbano & Autodesk Revit models
For the smart linking to function, there must be common pre-requisite: a naming rule. Most frequently, the document name must match some data existing within the model e.g. array/axis name, structure name, object name.
The video show three different linking examples:
1. Linking the same document with a large number of different elements
2. Linking a large number of documents of various file types with a large number of different elements
3. Linking a large number of documents of various file types with a large number of equal elements