An early look at how this new addition to the Substation Design Suite supports LiDAR-based design

When we announced the future availability of AUD for Substations back in November 2019, we noted that this new member of the SBS Substation Design Suite™ holds a lot of potential to improve brownfield substation design workflows. As we have begun some of our early-stage testing we are finding that the initial results continue to hold a lot of promise.

Much of this has to do with the underlying Map3D platform that powers Automated Utility Design™ (AUD). Map3D is based on AutoCAD®, which has been nicely enhanced over the last several releases to support the handling of large point clouds. This, combined with a number of enhancements we are making to AUD to support 3D viewing and editing, has created a particularly interesting opportunity to facilitate brownfield design.

The video below shows AUD 8.1 set up with a template configured for substation design, running on Map3D 2019. The LiDAR data shown in the video is based on a scan performed by a Leica BLK360 3D imaging scanner. The data was then pre-processed using Autodesk ReCap™ 2020.

In the video you can see the capability of AutoCAD to “snap” to a point cloud using LINE feature (creating “construction line”), first snapping to “structured data” (auto-detected surfaces in point cloud) and then snapping to individual points in the cloud. Structured data allows AUD to accurately place and snap new devices to the “real-world” structures/ connectors represented in the LiDAR scan.

The video continues by showing the placement of lightning arresters that snap to locations along the scanned structural support. AUD can then display the feature attributes of this intelligent design element. Other pieces of equipment, such as the new transformer shown in the video can be placed and connected to the arresters with flexible conductors.

We hope you find this sneak-peek look at AUD for Substations interesting and helpful as you plan out your substation design needs. We welcome your feedback on how AUD for Substations might be able to support your needs for intelligent substation design.