DWG Overlay and Civil 3D Import (12:09 min)

In order to complete the exercise files in this module, you will need to download the data set by clicking below.

Click here to download the data set

InfraWorks provides a great way to see a building in context within its surroundings. In this session, we’ll look at the DWG overlay and the Civil 3D import options in InfraWorks.

There are several importing options:

  • Import 2D DWG vector data as overlays that are draped to terrain. After configuring and placing a 2D overlay in your model, you can position the overlay more precisely in-canvas using reference points. This is a great way to quickly get information in and start drawing.
  • Using MAPEXPORT, users can easily export out objects in Civil 3D as Shapefiles for use in InfraWorks.
  • Import a Civil 3D DWG drawing or IMX file as a data source.


Civil 3D Data that can be brought into InfraWorks:

  • TIN surface: Terrain surfaces.

o   Each surface will be listed in the Data Sources panel in InfraWorks. If a surface that you bring into InfraWorks obscures other surfaces, you can adjust the order of the terrain surface layers by using the Surface Layers dialog box, which you can access from the Data Sources panel.

  • Alignments and profiles: Component roads (horizontal and vertical geometry).

o   Only Centerline type alignments can be brought into InfraWorks as component roads.

o   A single profile is used in InfraWorks for each component road. The first finished ground profile that was created in the Civil 3D drawing is used. You can use the Profile View tool in InfraWorks to review the profile geometry.

  • Corridors and corridor surfaces: Component roads, coverages and terrain surfaces.

o   In InfraWorks, you can specify the component road assembly style to use in the Data Source Configuration dialog box.

o   To visualize corridors properly in InfraWorks, it is recommended that you create one of more corridor surfaces in Civil 3D to bring into InfraWorks (for example, a surface that represents the top of the corridor). The corridor surface is what models the ground in InfraWorks.

  • Pipe networks: Pipelines with inlets and manholes or pipeline connectors.

o   If a structure in the Civil 3D drawing has a Utility Type of drainage specified, and it uses a part from the Generic Drainage Catalog – Imperial or the Generic Drainage Catalog – Metric part catalog, then it will be assigned a part from the part catalog when it is brought back into InfraWorks.



Type in “MAPEXPORT” in Civil 3D.

You can choose to select a point, a line, a polygon or a text. Polygons are useful for coverage areas and initial grading.

 You can select attributes and bring those along with the data.

 Once you treat those as a closed polygon, check the box for “Treat closed polylines as polygons” and click “OK”.

 This will export out Shapefiles.

Modifying a Autodesk Civil 3D data previously brought into a model:

  1. Open Autodesk Civil 3D.
  • Make changes to the drawing which was brought into the model.
  • Close Autodesk Civil 3D.
  1. Open InfraWorks.
  • Use the Reimport command to update the Autodesk Civil 3D drawing in your InfraWorks model and reflect design modification you have already made to the drawing in Autodesk Civil 3D.


Bringing in a 2D Overlay:

You can drag and drop the overlay or bring it in from InfraWorks.

To bring it in from InfraWorks, turn on the "Date Sources" panel.

Turn on the “Data Sources” panel.

Click on the icon and select “AutoCAD DWG as 2D Overlay”.

Grab and drop the retail file from the file explorer window that will appear to your screen.

A window titled “DWG File Import” will appear. Select “AutoCAD DWG as 2D Overlay”.

Hit “OK”.

A “Data Import” window will pop up reminding you you need an internet connection to import this information. Select “Send”.

The overlay will appear in the “Data Sources” panel list on the right. Double-click on the overlay to configure it.

In the “Data Source Configuration” window that will appear, select “Interactive Placing…”.

Place the overlay on the screen by double-clicking on the area you want to place it. It doesn’t have to be a perfect or to-scale placement.

a.From here you can manually scale it by dragging the corners.

Or you can right click on the overlay and select “Place by Reference Points”.

From there, pick a few points and drag them where you want to place the overlay and double-click to place each point and then click “Enter” to place the entire overlay.

Bringing in a Civil 3D file:


Turn on the “Data Sources” panel.

Click on the   icon and select “AutoCAD Civil 3D DWG”.

Select your Civil 3D drawing from the File Explorer window that will appear.

A window titled “Choose Data Sources” will show you everything in that Civil 3D file. Select what you do and don’t want to bring in and click “OK”.

The Civil 3D file will import to the “Data Sources” panel list on the right. First, we’re going to configure the terrain. Double-click on one of the Civil 3D terrain list items.

A window titled “Data Source Configuration” will appear. Select “Close & Refresh”. This will add in the design process over the terrain.

You can see the surface layers of the terrain by selecting “Surface Layers” on the left of the screen. Under “Terrain Surfaces”, you can turn your layers off and on as well as drag layers to the surface.

To configure a road, double-click on a Civil 3D list item under “Roads” in the “Data Sources” panel.

A window titled “Data Source Configuration” will appear. Select an assembly style by clicking on the edit icon next to the drop-down menu. For this example, we’re going to choose a component road.

After selecting a style, click “Close & Refresh” in the “Data Source Configuration” window. This will import the Civil 3D roads into the InfraWorks drawing. Once it’s imported, you can delete the roads you do not want and make adjustments to the roads you want to keep.

From here, you can bring in Shapefiles.

Select a Shapefile from the File Explorer and drag and drop it into InfraWorks. For this example, we’re going to bring in a parking lot.

The “Data Source Configuration” window will appear. Under “Type”, select “Coverage Area” from the drop-down menu. It should drape it automatically.

Under the “Common” tab, add a style by clicking on the edit button next to the drop-down menu.

In the “Select Style/Color” window, select the “Material” tab and click on “Roadway”.

Select a roadway style and click “OK”.

Click “Close & Refresh” in the “Data Source Configuration” window. This will bring in the parking lot surfaces to the drawing.

Now we’re going to bring in some buildings. Drag and drop your building Shapefile from the File Explorer into InfraWorks.

In the “Data Source Configuration” window, select “Buildings” from the “Type” drop-down menu.

Under the “Source” tab in the same window, choose to drape the buildings.

Click “Close & Refresh”. This will bring in an outline of the buildings. From here, you can remove buildings you don’t want to use.

To add in coverage areas, select the Create tab of the ribbon and select the Environment panel.

Select a coverage style and draw it into the drawing.

To shape the terrain of this new coverage area, right-click on it and select “Shape Terrain” and roudtrip that back and forth between Civil 3D.

To add in parking stripes, drag and drop your parking spaces Shapefile into InfraWorks.

In the “Data Sources Configuration” window, select “Coverage Area” from the “Type” drop-down menu.

Add a “Rule Style”. For our example, we’ll use “Restricted Area”.

Choose to drape it by going to the “Source” tab.

Click “Close & Refresh”.

If the parking spaces did not show up, double-click on the parking spaces line under “Coverage Areas” in the “Data Sources” panel on the right.

Under the “Table” tab, select “Buffer” and change the width. In this example, we’ll change it to “0.5 ft”.

Click “Close & Refresh”. This should bring in the parking stalls.