Infraworks:  Fixing an Odd Looking Model

January 05, 2017 By Leo Lavayen Leave a comment

The online resource SketchUp 3D Warehouse ( is an incredible source, but some models at times can look a bit odd when compared to the preview seen on the download page.


The use of SketchUp (.skp) models in InfraWorks does come with a minimum requirement, you MUST have Navisworks Manage or Simulate with the same release year as the InfraWorks release installed on the computer.

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It is easy enough to use. Once the model has been added you will have to assign a TYPE and use the INTERACTIVE PLACING button. At times you will need to edit the scale of the model, typically at a factor of 12 or .0833.

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Sometimes the building does not appear the same as shown in the preview.  Upon placement, it may look hollow, transparent, or just plain odd.

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Take a look into the connected Data Source Configuration and navigate to the 3D Model tab.  Here you will find five checkboxes that should help you.

~Invert Orientation — Inverts the direction of the face normals that make up each surface of the model.
~Invert Transparency — Makes the transparent areas of the model solid and the solid areas transparent.
~Invert Up Axis — Flips the model upside-down.
~Flip Y and Z — Controls whether the 'up' axis runs along the Y or Z axis. Some applications use the Y axis as the 'up' direction while others use the Z axis.
~Override All Materials — Replaces model materials with a single uniform color that you select. You can enter the color as a hex code, or click the Browse button to pick a color from the palette.
This option is helpful if you have 3D features and want to depict them in pure form - similar to a physical architectural model where all of the buildings are white.

Source: Infraworks Help File 

In the image below, Invert Orientation worked. Now the building model appears as a solic.  

image 5-1.png

I have applied this fix when encountering issues with other types of connected Models and REVIT buildings. It now appears the way it should. 

  image 6.jpg

Tagged with Infraworks, akn_include, SketchUp

About Leo Lavayen

Cary, NC Infrastructure Technical Consultant

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