If you haven’t already checked out the new-for-2012 Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite, stop what you’re doing and call your reseller. The various industry-specific Design Suites introduced this year by Autodesk accomplish a number of things including, but not limited to making the cost prohibitive, multi-product workflow you’ve heard about for years more attainable than ever. Over the last several weeks I’ve progressed from “kicking the tires” to actually taking the new Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite for a real test drive. While my overall impression of the suite has been positive – I have had to swing at a couple curveballs.

One of the many objectives of the Autodesk Design Suites is to include “hooks” that simplify the workflow between the multiple products within that suite. An excellent example of this is how the 2012 version of Civil 3D and Storm and Sanitary Analysis communicate. A special “hook” reduces the time required to export/import pipes with an up-to-date drawing background from 20-30 minutes to a single click that takes less than a couple of minutes to complete. I’m sure we’ll see the gap between the suite products narrow in future updates and/or releases, but in the meantime here’s a couple disconnects I’ve found:

  • Navisworks Civil 3D Object Enabler: Although I would have expected this to be part of the default install for the Infrastructure Design Suite – it’s not. Therefore, before you can view Civil 3D objects in Navisworks, you’ll need to download and install the object enabler from the Navisworks Utilities and Drivers page.
  • Civil View Plugin: Formerly known as Dynamite VSP, the Civil View plugin bridges the gap between AutoCAD Civil 3D and 3ds Max Design. While this isn’t part of the default install, it is at least on the installation disk (err flash drive). To install this critical component of the Infrastructure Design Suite, browse to the “3rdParty/x86/Partners/CivilView” directory, and double-click the installer.

Have you tried the Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite, and found similar installation disconnects? Let us know in the comments!