How to Win More Civil Projects with InfraWorks 360, from CADLearning’s Heidi Boutwell
Successfully winning a civil project can be influenced by your client relationship, team’s industry experience, and project budget. However, in some cases, you can tip the scales in your favor by providing the client with something they have yet to see: what their project will actually look like in a real-world view.
Tools like SketchUp, Civil 3D, or AutoCAD can provide a preliminary look of the project, but does not differentiate your proposal from your competitors. You can use a combination of Navisworks and 3ds Max to provide a more fleshed-out presentation, but that process is very time-intensive. So what’s the solution for getting high-quality 3D visualizations and project presentations easily and quickly?
Heidi Boutwell, Infrastructure Content Manager at CADLearning, suggests using InfraWorks 360. On the CADLearning blog, she explains:
InfraWorks 360 is a planning and analysis tool. The program allows you to plan for different project scenarios and calculate varying cost differences based on those scenarios, all in half the time it would take in, say, Civil 3D.
On top of that, the results are shown in 3D using real-world imagery and topology. This is a huge selling point, as clients love to see their projects in a real-world scenario, more so than in just a sketch created and colored by a graphic artist, or a 2D plan set produced from AutoCAD or Civil 3D.
Unlike most visualization tools, InfraWorks is very user-friendly, despite a slightly different interface than traditional CAD programs. The best part? While you cannot do detailed design in InfraWorks, the design does translate right into Civil 3D for more detailed work.
If you’re looking for ways to get started with creating stunning presentations in InfraWorks, check out CADLearning’s 5-video playlist:
- Exporting Data to InfraWorks and InfraWorks 360
- Understanding Importing Data
- Understanding Data Sharing and Presentations
- Creating a Storyboard
- Making a Panorama View for the Web
InfraWorks 360 is a great tool for civil engineers who have a hard time conveying their designs to clients. In Issue 18 of CADLearning’s The Blast emagazine, Heidi details the benefits of using InfraWorks 360 during the project bidding process, and how it can give you a leg up in the competition:
InfraWorks 360 provides great viewing functionality for your next project. You can create a preliminary project based on whatever information you’re given from the client. At the very least, you’ll need an address to begin. From there, you can bring in surrounding imagery, topography and, in most cases, roads. Even 3D buildings of the surrounding area can be brought in. After that you, can design roads, bridges, subdivisions, parking area, buildings, and landscaping. Next, you can slowly walk, drive, or even fly through the model right there in the conference room with the client looking on.
Once you have that 3D model created, if the client wants to modify your design, it only takes a few minutes. Right there, still in the conference room, they can instantly see the results. At this point, you’ve taken maybe 15 minutes to both show your design and make changes in the program, yet you’ve already sold them on using your firm to carry out their project. They love what they see, and probably ask if they can have an image made from it or maybe even a small movie clip. Because the client was able to both visualize the concept of design for their project and communicate their needs and see changes performed instantly, they feel very confident that your firms is the right one for their project.
So, if you’re looking for a way to create stunning visual presentations for your next civil project bid, then it’s time to start combining the production capabilities of Civil 3D with the impressive presentation tools of InfraWorks 360.
To take advantage of CADLearning’s library of 50,000+ video lessons, skills & knowledge assessments, exercise files and many more tools for Autodesk products like Civil 3D and InfraWorks 360, start your free 30-day trial here.
Do you currently use InfraWorks to help you win projects? Share your thoughts in the comments!