February 7, 2017

Why InfraWorks 360 is Worth Paying For

The time you save is worth the price of subscription.

As the ENI Manager here at Ideate, I have been working to help sort out some of the software details that went into effect with the transition to Autodesk AEC Collections and the retiring of Design Suites at the end of 2016. One of the larger changes that came with this transition was the packaging and offerings associated with Autodesk InfraWorks 360. Some customers have been asking if they need to upgrade to a full version, or if InfraWorks 360 LT is sufficient, and how they might better justify the cost involved if InfraWorks 360 is right for them.

If you're in that group wondering what version you need, the following might help.

Some of biggest differences between the full version of InfraWorks 360 and the LT version, based on this feature comparison, are the cloud collaboration and the Road, Bridge, and Drainage design features. However, the one function that has been worth the cost of upgrading, in my opinion, is the item listed as "Automate Model Creation." It doesn't seem like much, but it's the one feature everyone will use, regardless of industry or design focus. Not all customers will need Road, Bridge, or Drainage design, and maybe you don't have immediate plans for cloud collaboration, but you can use Model Builder.

Model Builder, listed as "Automate Model Creation" in the PDF matrix, automatically finds, downloads, imports, and stylizes existing GIS data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and OpenStreetMaps to create a functioning model of the existing conditions. If you can search for a place online—think Bing or Google Maps—you can probably find it in Model Builder. Without Model Builder, even the most experienced GIS users may take a few hours to search for, find, and download the right data from their favorite sources. At that point, the data still needs to be imported and stylized manually.

With Model Builder, the entire process from finding data to importing and stylizing in InfraWorks 360 is automatic, and it usually completes in 15 minutes or less. There is a maximum download area of 200 sq.km, but models can be combined after they are created.

For more details on the difference between InfraWorks 360 LT and InfraWorks 360, read my post, Flavors of InfraWorks.

It seems worth noting that the full InfraWorks 360 subscription gives you access to periodic updates that are released throughout the year. If you're wondering what's new in the latest release (v2017.3 at the time this post was written), here's a great article from the Autodesk team.

For more information on purchasing InfraWorks 360, or if you have any questions, please contact sales@ideateinc.com, we are happy to help.

Thank you for reading. For more information on the software solutions, training, and consulting Ideate provides, visit our website at www.ideateinc.com.

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. He can be found on twitter as @MattM_PE