Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Does Your InfraWorks have "The Works"?

InfraWorks, R1, R2, Pro, 360, Modules, Previews, what does it all mean? Well, here goes:

When I first started writing this, I started with the most basic version - but then I found myself writing about a whole bunch of stuff that wasn't there.  So, I'm going to flip it and start with "the works".

InfraWorks 360 with Roadway Design and Bridge Design: Not including previews, this is everything that you can currently get at the time of this post.  Please take note of the date because these offerings are subject to rapid change.
Your first clue that you're in InfraWorks 360 - "The Works" is the fully loaded Start Page which includes four sections: Model, Specialize, Preview, and Collaborate.
Within the Specialize section, you can see the license state of the add-on modules.  At the time of this post, the only add-on modules available are Autodesk Roadway Design and Autodesk Bridge Design. Also, again at the time of this post, there is a third preview module named Autodesk Drainage Design. You can think of "Preview" as meaning that it's kind of like a Labs project:  It's for folks to test, it's not for production, and it's free.
When you open a model, you'll see more clues that you're using "The Works".  First are the three icons on the top left for collaborative services: Sign In, Design Feed, and Publish/Synchronize.  Also, you'll see three major color-coded icons: InfraWorks (orange), Roadway Design (tan), and Bridge Design (purple). If you turn on the Autodesk Drainage Design preview (the switch is on the Start Page) you'll also see a light blue icon.
Roadway Design and Bridge Design are entitled based on your login.  So, if you log in to InfraWorks 360 (you do this either on the Start Page or using the Sign In icon on the top left of the InfraWorks UI) and you haven't subscribed to these modules or been given access by your software administrator (maybe yourself, or maybe your CAD Manager), you won't see these icons at all.
With the fully loaded version of InfraWorks you can:

  • Compile lots of different data sources to form a base model as well as sketch in design features like roads, buildings, and water features. 
  • Share your model with others via the cloud using the 360 part.  
  • Perform detailed, engineering-based design of roads and bridges using the add-on modules.  You can do it all!

InfraWorks: AKA, "just plain InfraWorks" or "the suites version" of InfraWorks is basic, but still contains a good bit of the functionality listed above. It contains all of the core features of InfraWorks but has absolutely no cloud functions (you don't even log in to it) and is not capable of plugging in add-on modules .  How do yo you know you have this version?  When you launch the product to the Start Page, you will only see the top section entitled Model.
  • Specialize: That would be add-on modules - nope
  • Preview: More add-on modules - no way
  • Collaborate: That would be cloud services - nyet

When you open a model, you will see the most basic form of the Intelligent Tools (that's what the toolbars and their tools are called) consisting of the InfraWorks toolbar and its associated sub-toolbars, along with the Presentation and Settings & Utilities toolbars.  You might also notice that there are no collaboration icons in the top left corner - those all have to do with cloud services, so they're out.
If you dig a little deeper, you'll notice that the Scenario Browser tool is missing because that's also a cloud function.

So with just plain InfraWorks you can only do one of the three bullets listed for InfraTheWorks.  Sorry, had to.
  • Compile lots of different data sources to form a base model and sketch in design features like roads, buildings, and water features - 
But like I said, that's still a lot!

R1, R2, Pro?: Fahgetaboutem.  There is no R anything any more.  And the Pro has been dropped from the title.  If you're talking about the 2015 line of products you've got:

  • Autodesk InfraWorks
  • Autodesk InfraWorks 360
  • Autodesk Road Design for InfraWorks 360
  • Autodesk Bridge Design for InfraWorks 360
And remember that the add-on modules (last two bullets) are not programs that you download and install. They're in there already and your login turns them on if you're entitled to them.  InfraWorks and InfraWorks 360, however, are actual desktop programs that you physically install.

Happy InfraWorking!


  1. It is good introduction. I have IW 2015 included in IDSU 2015. But I can't install trial version of Infraworks 360. Is thei an trial version for it?

  2. What about Autodesk Road Design and Autodesk Bridge Design for InfraWorks 360?
    No trial? Do they work with no Internet connection?

  3. Autodesk Roadway Design for InfraWorks 360: Essentials,miniSiteCd-SYBEX.html
    Chapter 3 zip file is corrupt.

    1. Thanks for pointing this out. I'm working with Wiley to get it straightened out.

  4. So...any idea on the thinking behind creating a separate non-360 application? It is bundled in the Infrastructure Design Suite, which every other application in the Suite is provided to help facilitate collaboration. I would think adding the ability to share the InfraWorks model, even for simple viewing purposes (like basic Autocad and it's verticals) would be a huge collaborative boost.

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