InfraWorks General Discussion

InfraWorks General Discussion

Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-02-2012
Message 1 of 6 (318 Views)
Accepted Solution

Can not Modify Building Styles

318 Views, 5 Replies
02-20-2014 12:22 PM



I created a 3D building model with AutoCAD 2014 and exported to an FBX file.  I am experiencing a few problems trying to get the model to show up accurately in Infraworks 2014.  To ensure the correct location (rather than interactive placement) I imported a SHP. file of the building outline and configured it as a building.  A generic building showed up in my model.  I then imported my FBX building model into the styles pallete and tried to drag my building model over the generic building to change the style.  For some reason my custom model was enormous and had to be scaled way down.  Also, my model came in as a flat gray color.  I would like to change the style settings which I have tried to do through the properties box and upon hitting update nothing happens.  See attached Images.


Is FBX the wrong approach to doing this?  I also tried to import the model via 3D Model, AutoCAD DWG, and Autodesk IMX to no avail... The model would not show up at all.


Please help!

Thank You.


Alex Edwards

*Expert Elite*
Posts: 2,538
Registered: ‎12-18-2002
Message 2 of 6 (304 Views)

Re: Can not Modify Building Styles

02-20-2014 02:01 PM in reply to: aedwards83

Rather than use color on the item in AutoCAD, add a material.

Tim Corey, Owner
Delta Engineering Systems
Redding, CA
Autodesk Authorized Value-Added Reseller
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-02-2012
Message 3 of 6 (303 Views)

Re: Can not Modify Building Styles

02-20-2014 02:07 PM in reply to: tcorey

I tried adding both colors and materials in both the properites box and had no success.  I also tried dragging materials onto the building from the styles palette and the style showed up, but it turned my building into a flat disfigured object.

*Expert Elite*
Posts: 1,310
Registered: ‎09-05-2007
Message 4 of 6 (303 Views)

Re: Can not Modify Building Styles

02-20-2014 02:09 PM in reply to: aedwards83

Notice that Tim said AUTOCAD.  You have to add the material in AutoCAD and then bring that model into Infraworks.

If the issue was resolved by this method, please click on "Accept As Solution"
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Todd Rogers

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Posts: 42
Registered: ‎04-15-2013
Message 5 of 6 (284 Views)

Re: Can not Modify Building Styles

02-21-2014 02:52 AM in reply to: TRogers

There are multiple things to be considered here:



When FBX'ing out a model from ACAD (or any other product allowing FBX export), you should ensure that materials/texture get properly exported with the model geometry (there should be a flag/setting for this within the export configuration). If that still doesn't work for your ACAD case, there might be a problem with the type of material you're using (not all types are supported by InfraWorks -- unfortunately I don't recall which at the moment; overs might chime in here).



For proper geo-context (i.e. real-world geo-location and size), the 3d model should be equipped with that context/information already in order for InfraWorks to pick it up correctly, e.g.:


 > model the 3d model using some geo-coordinate-system (either directly within the system or using some offset into that system)

 > be aware of the used unit type (imperial: e.g. foot, metric: e.g. meter) you are modeling with (I don't know whether and which of the ADSK 3d modeling apps allow to specify to set and store the unit type with the exported FBX)


Geo-context information that is provided by FBX is automatically picked up by InfraWorks (i.e. the coordinate-reference system, the offset, geo-location, and scale should be automatically pre-populated within the import dialog). Missing information can/must be redeemed manually. This way geo-context aware 3d models can be directly imported (e.g. via drag&drop into the scene), without having to use helper GIS files (like your SDF).


I've heard a lot of people are using/preferring NavisWorks to FBX out 3d models that pertain/provide the relevant geo-context for InfraWorks to catch up.


An 3d model style is an explicit 3d model-based replacement of the otherwise procedurally generated feature it is assigned to (Note: "Manual Style" property takes precedence over the "Rule Style" property).


In case of a building "procedurally" means creating facade geometries from the building feature's footprint segments and the currently assigned non-3d-model style, e.g.


  > facade style: describes the floor/cells-arrangement (using a simply grammar) for the segment

  > material: describes which texture/color to use for the segment

  > color-string: describes which color to use for the segment


That means, if you drag&drop a material onto a building feature which currently uses a 3d model style for it's graphical representation within the scene (which is the equivalent to assigning the material/color to the "Manual Style" property), you are essentially switching back to the procedurally generated representation which uses the material/color for all of the building feature's footprint segment. That's why you see the building turning back to the simple block form after applying a material/color to it.

Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-02-2012
Message 6 of 6 (272 Views)

Re: Can not Modify Building Styles

02-21-2014 01:12 PM in reply to: jutters

Thank you to all of you for the Feedback.  I went back into CAD and tried to assign materials to my building, but nothing happened.  Turns out the walls of the building model had been designed in AutoCAD architecture, and it would not accept any material changes in regular CAD.  I eventually remodeled the building with polysolids, and assigned materials to them and it imported perfectly into Infraworks.  


After experimenting, I have found that style properties for models from certain Autodesk products (i.e. Architecture, and Plant3D) are limited when imported into IW via FBX.  

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