Recently, while reading through some of the new posts on the Autodesk InfraWorks 360 IdeaStation, I came across a request for exporting selected model content rather than the entire model. Anyone that has used InfraWorks 360 and tried to do this in the past may have noticed that the export options are fairly limited. There is an option to define a polygon or boundary box interactively, but what if we want a handful of buildings that aren’t near one another, or two specific roads that form an intersection in the model?
In the most recent version of InfraWorks 360 (2016.3) there are two export options that include 3D model data. The Export IMX function produces data compatible with Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D and the Export 3D Model option produces a .FBX file compatible with other Autodesk 3D modeling programs. Both options can be found under the Settings and Utilities icon in the application.
When selecting Export 3D Model, the options include Single File (all Feature Types exported to a single .FBX file) or Multiple Files (separate .FBX files for each Feature Type). Although this does provide a multiple file option, the export still includes ALL objects of the same feature type and not a user defined selection set.
In the IMX Export function, the options are even more limited. It does include the polygon or boundary box selection methods, but that’s it. Beyond defining the area of interest, every feature within that area is automatically included and exported to a single .IMX file. With large models, this also increases the amount of time required to generate the file during export and process the file during import.
Since we are not able to add new features to the program on our own (vote for them by clicking on “kudos” next to the request on the IdeaStation.) we need a workaround to accomplish this process. Because we are defaulted to exporting everything in the model, or everything of a particular feature type in the model, the solution requires a model that only has the features and objects we want in it. In this case, the workaround involves creating a new blank model, and the right-click Copy & Paste In Place options.
Step 1: Copy Features/Objects of Interest from Original Model
1. Open the Original Model File
2. Select Objects (use CTRL+Click to select multiple objects)
3. Right-Click COPY
Step 2: Create a New Blank Model & Paste Content In-Place
1. Use the Switch to Home icon in the upper left to go back to the InfraWorks 360 Home Page
2. Select the New option to create a new model
3. Provide Name and location information for the new model
*The new blank model will open with a default view somewhere on the globe.
4. Right-Click PASTE IN PLACE
*The Paste In Place option ensures that the components are placed in the same location relative to the original source model that they were copied from. The model will NOT automatically zoom to the location of the pasted objects.
5. Click on the HOME icon in the upper right corner of the View Cube to zoom to the model content
Step 3: Export the New Model
1. Use the Settings and Utilities Export 3D Model or IMX Export options to export the new model
Although the workaround does require a few extra steps to create a new model, the end result is what we were looking for; an exported file that includes only the selected objects of interest rather than the entire extent of the original model.
If you would like to see an option for exporting a user defined selection set of objects in InfraWorks 360, be sure to vote for it on the IdeaStation. Until then, copying and pasting content into a new blank model for export gives us an easy workaround solution.
For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.
ENI Manager & Senior Application Specialist
Matt is an ENI Manager and Senior Application Specialist in Ideate, Inc.’s Seattle office. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and is a licensed Civil Engineer. Prior to joining Ideate, Matt worked as a civil engineer, using Civil 3D on a variety of projects including site development, roadway improvements and infrastructure design. With over 10 years of experience in the civil engineering industry, Matt now provides training, consulting, technical support, and implementation strategies for organizations transitioning to Civil 3D. Matt is an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), as well as an Autodesk Certified BIM Specialist: Roads and Highway Solutions. Additionally, Matt is and Autodesk Certified Professional for AutoCAD, and AutoCAD Civil 3D. You can also find Matt on Twitter.