Drape Roads with InfraWorks

by: Eric Chappell | 01/20/2015
Estimated Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes

At times you may need to draw in an existing road to dress up the existing conditions of your model. Perhaps you have no road data or it is lacking in some areas. Whatever the case, you need to draw a road that conforms to the terrain. In past versions, when you did this, the road would adopt terrain elevations wherever you clicked the model but would “straight grade” between your points. The result was (and still is actually) something like this:


If you wanted it to follow the terrain better, you had to add more points and edit them to match the terrain – messy business.

Now, we have the wonderful Drape Feature command and it is sweet! Simply right-click the road (we’re talking about a spline/sketch road now, not a design road) and select Drape Feature.

DrapeRoads2The road will conform itself to the terrain, but not in a jagged, exact-match way that you might expect. The result is actually quite smooth and “natural”


Where’s the Un-drape command, you ask? Well there isn’t one, but you can easily un-drape a road by simply dragging one of its elevation gizmos and it will snap back into its non-conforming self.


But why should the coolness end there? When you drape a road it remains associated with the terrain, so if you change the alignment or location of the road, it will still conform to the terrain.


Or, if you change the terrain (like by adding a design road or a coverage) it will still respect it’s relationship to the terrain.


Be sure to try out this new feature after you’ve installed the latest update.


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