Bentley OpenRoads Designer blends traditional workflows with 3D modeling
During Bentley Systems’ Year in Infrastructure 2016 conference in London in early November, the company made several announcements related to its software offerings for civil and structural engineers. OpenRoads Designer CONNECT Edition is the successor to Bentley’s InRoads, GEOPAK, MX, and PowerCivil. OpenRoads Designer is a comprehensive, multidiscipline 3D modeling application to advance the delivery of roadway projects from conceptual design through construction. It blends traditional engineering workflows for plan, profile, and cross sections with 3D parametric modeling to enable the model-centric creation of all design deliverables.
OpenRoads Designer supports all aspects of a detailed roadway design including survey, geotechnical, drainage, subsurface utilities, terrain, road, roadway furniture, and more. The incorporation of reality meshes, imagery, point cloud, and other geocoordinated data sources can provide the continuous context of real-world conditions throughout the design and construction life cycle.
According to Bentley, new features include:
Progressive conceptual design — Users can directly progress conceptual designs created with OpenRoads ConceptStation, preserving all work and data. OpenRoads ConceptStation enables rapid conceptual and preliminary design, leveraging existing context captured through reality meshes, point clouds, GIS, and other sources.
Contextual design — All detailed design in OpenRoads Designer is driven by functional components, which inherently respond contextually to express appropriate design, annotation, and plan set display behaviors. Design models are expressed in multiple live views, including plan, profile, cross section, and 3D; changes in one view are live and dynamically update all views.
Multidiscipline support — OpenRoads Designer integrates support for each discipline with specific user profiles dedicated to each discipline. Users can switch discipline perspectives, for instance from road design profile to subsurface utility profile.
Reality modeling tools — OpenRoads Designer includes a fully functioned toolset to incorporate and edit all reality modeling data types, including the capability to extract ground-level features from reality meshes and LiDAR, as well as to reference point clouds and imagery.
Geotechnical tools — Users can connect directly to gINT geotechnical databases to incorporate subsurface terrain details into their models for improving grading and piling. Subsurface terrains can be generated or modeled based on the borehole materials and projected in road and drainage profiles, sections, and plans.
Subsurface utilities — Users can select from a large catalog of functional components for utility and drainage to model underground drainage and utility networks. Drainage models can be optimized for water flow using integrated water analysis tools, with results available in data tables or visually in a profile view.
Rich deliverables — An expanded set of deliverables range from traditional plan sets and animations to digital construction models — for automated machine control and field positioning systems, including for excavation, grading, piling, and paving.
Live plan generation — Plan generation does not need to be a separate process limited to a point in time, as settings and annotations are dynamically updated and live in the model. Views are saved with specific display rules and sheet index embedded, making it easy to navigate between model and drawings. Up-to-date drawings can be generated automatically at any time.
Visualization — OpenRoads Designer provides direct integration to Bentley LumenRT for producing cinematic visualization, adding vegetation, reflecting nature and climate, and for traffic simulation with VISSIM.
Designs created in OpenRoads Designer benefit from BIM Review through OpenRoads Navigator, in the office, in the field, and at the site. OpenRoads Navigator enables not only visualization and review of 3D designs, but also status visibility — allowing dispersed teams to progress approvals and resolve issues.
Also at Year in Infrastructure 2016, Topcon Positioning Group and Bentley Systems announced joint intentions to connect cloud services. Each company will bring to market cloud-based offerings, which include services of both and provide construction workflows not previously possible. Initially, Bentley Systems will offer its ProjectWise CONNECT Edition users seamless connectivity with MAGNET Enterprise, and Topcon will incorporate ContextCapture image processing for its mass data collection via unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
Cloud services first bring the construction site conditions to the engineers so their work starts with an accurate model of the current 3D context — as captured by Topcon UAS photogrammetry and laser scanners — and then processed into engineering-ready 3D reality meshes by Bentley’s ContextCapture software. Cloud services subsequently convey the engineers’ work directly to construction processes in the field. This automation process — achieved through the connection between Topcon MAGNET cloud service and Bentley’s ProjectWise CONNECT Edition cloud services — improves project delivery, with design performed in context, and the resulting digital engineering models feeding the 3D machine control that guides the construction machinery.
Information provided by Bentley Systems, Incorporated (www.bentley.com) and Topcon Positioning Group (www.topconpositioning.com).
PaveXpress adds layered elastic analysis, costing modules
PaveXpress, a free, web-based pavement design tool, has been updated to version 3.0 with new modules for estimating material costs and conducting a layered elastic analysis of a pavement structure. These new modules build on PaveXpress’s existing tools for designing new flexible and rigid pavements, as well as asphalt overlays for maintenance and rehabilitation. The update also includes an improved user experience, particularly on smaller screens, such as smartphones.
PaveXpress — www.pavexpressdesign.com — creates technically sound pavement structural designs for flexible and rigid pavements based on widely accepted industry standards from the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO). It is designed for use by local agencies, engineers, architects, consultants, and engineering students who need a reliable way to quickly determine the necessary pavement thickness for a new roadway or overlay, to estimate roadway materials costs for a project, or to analyze the stresses, strains, and deflections in a layered elastic system.
As with its pavement design and overlay modules, the new PaveXpress modules allow users to customize inputs to match locally calibrated data, while providing industry-accepted defaults where appropriate. Context-sensitive help and guidance tools are available at every step of the design process.
PaveXpress is based on design equations from the 1993 AASHTO Guide for the Design of Pavement Structures and the 1998 Supplement to the AASHTO Guide for the Design of Pavement Structures. It supports the design of new flexible and rigid roadway pavements, asphalt overlays, and heavy-duty asphalt parking lots. The new layered elastic analysis module is based on the established Everstress mechanistic tool developed at the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Projects created in PaveXpress can be printed, shared, and saved, and design options can be evaluated in a side-by-side comparison. As a browser-based tool, PaveXpress can be accessed from any computer or mobile device, regardless of screen size or operating system.
Information provided by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (www.asphaltpavement.com).
3D Robotics launches BIM integration for commercial drone, Site Scan
3D Robotics launched Building Information Modeling (BIM) capabilities within its Site Scan application to help reconcile the physical world of construction sites with the digital world of virtual design. Site Scan offers fully autonomous drone image capture and seamless cloud integration with Autodesk, integrating site-wide survey-grade imagery, overlaid with BIM design data.
According to 3D Robotics, features of Site Scan with BIM processing capabilities that benefit virtual design construction managers and site operators include:
Save and Refly Mission — With the new “Refly mission” button, individuals can do their regular check of an area for obstacles, set up the drone, and tap one button to capture all the data needed. Data is then processed in the cloud with another single tap and available to team members both in the field and in the office.
Design overlays — Overlays can be printed out and shared in the field, displayed on an iPad, and stored for future record keeping.
Ground control points — A prerequisite to overlaying vector data is accurately placed imagery. Now, ground control point data can be entered by users.
Information provided by 3D Robotics (www.3dr.com).