What CGS Labs, Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar have in common?

Dear readers,

I am happy to introduce the second quarterly newsletter, which is coming out just before high summer. This is also the season of important sports events, one of them is Tour de France, which we will be passionately watching this year, when Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar, our champions, will fight among the others, for the podium. Here in Slovenia cycling became an extremely popular sport in recent years due to the successes of both of them. And what have these two extreme cyclists and CGS Labs in common? I would say that besides that we are all coming from a small country Slovenia, we all also believe that success can be born only with hard work done before you go to the race.

Image source: www.24ur.com

Let´s take our CGS Labs Civil Solutions 2022, the latest release of our applications Plateia, Ferrovia, Aquaterra, Autopath, and Autosign. They are all built on our efforts in making our software better and better. As you will see in the next article, we are constantly adding important new features and improve existing ones, with one major goal: to make the software user-friendly.

Additionally, in this newsletter, you can read about our CGS Labs Infrachallenge competition for students, who create projects using CGS Labs software and compete for awards and recognitions. Next, we are presenting a BIM pilot project, which was completed in CGS Labs with the purpose to have proof for the usability and also detect issues of the existing BIM features in CGS Labs software. We are going to prepare video tutorials during this summer to give you more insights, in the meantime, please read our article about the so-called “Project Godovič”.

BIM is becoming more and more important for all of us. Besides being CGS Labs managing director, I am actively involved in various BIM initiatives in Slovenia and internationally, for example, I am leading buildingSMART Chapter Slovenia. You can read more about our BIM initiatives in a separate article.

Last, but not least, we are expanding our team. Recently we opened a new subsidiary in Prague, Czech Republic. You can read more about our ambitions in the region.

I wish you enjoy your summer holidays if you have decided on it, if not, we will stay tuned. There is always something interesting happening in »CGS Labs«. We will keep you informed and be ready to assist you with your project efforts.

Matjaž Šajn,
CGS Labs Director

CGS Labs Civil Solutions 2022

CGS Labs has recently released a new version of its civil engineering software – the CGS Labs Civil Solutions 2022.

New version is compatible with the 2022 Autodesk Civil 3D and other AutoCAD verticals, and with the latest BricsCAD V21.

CGS Labs Civil Solutions 2022 is, what we call a major release and features lots of improvements and new functionality. In this article we cover only the most important ones so for a complete overview please visit this link: https://cgs-labs.com/release_notes/

General new features

  • User interface in all CGS Labs software has undergone a complete overhaul and boasts a modern, attractive look.

  • Plateia, Ferrovia, and Aquaterra ultimate packages include a new Site Design ribbon with several surface modeling and analysis tools.

Enhancements have been made in the field of BIM and IFC data to support complex element geometries, various object formats (solids, blocks, standard CAD entities), object properties, and assigned data.

New features for Road design & Road reconstruction design

  • New Traffic Ribbon in Plateia software offers the tools needed for intersections design, roundabouts design, and more. All in one place!

  • Plateia features new automation – Typical Cross-Sections Elements Wizard road templates. Wizard provides multiple ways to automatically define a subassembly and in this way helps engineers to significantly shorten the time required to finish the design process.

  • To speed up the parking lot design process Autosign now supports working with parking lot groups, group reports, etc.

  • Several new libraries of country-specific traffic signs and road markings have been added or updated in Autosign software. Among them are Polish, Latvian, and Estonian!

  • The new vehicle Turning templates tool in Autopath software lets you create a standard vehicle template for any given vehicle in the Autopath library including vehicles with trailers or special transportations.
  • The Tracking point feature in Autopath dynamically tracks any selected point(s) on or next to the vehicle, along the entire path of the vehicle.

New features for Railway design and Maintenance

  • Ferrovia now supports the design of high-speed rail tracks for speeds of +350 km/h.
  • New Sine Half-Wavelength nonlinear spiral has been added to the already comprehensive list of rail track spiral types
  • Narrow gauge support has been added for the design of amusement park rail tracks, tourist train tracks, underground train tracks, and more.

If you are curious to test these new features visit our webpage and apply for a free trial: https://cgs-labs.com/download-free-trial/

Infra Challenge 2021 - International competition for civil engineering students

CGS Labs is running the second edition of an international competition Infra Challenge. The competition is unique opportunity for civil engineering students to win attractive prizes, international recognition and establish their own network of fellow Civil engineering students.

CGS Labs initiated Infra Challenge in 2019 inviting students from Slovenia and the countries of ex-Yugoslavia to apply with their diploma thesis, seminar papers or any other civil infrastructure projects.

2021 is the year when Infra Challenge goes global. Infra Challenge 2021 has now been introduced to Europe based CGS Labs partners in collaboration with the Universities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia and Slovenia.

The call is open world-wide until 30th of June 2021 and invites individual students or their teams to apply with any civil infrastructure project created with CGS Labs software Plateia (roadway design), Ferrovia (railway design), or Aquaterra (channel/river engineering design) for 3D CAD / BIM infrastructure design.

Mark in your calendars the 11th of November 2021 to join the Presentation of the best projects & Award ceremony.

Find out more about Infra Challenge 2022

BIM or not to BIM?

BIM, Building Information Modeling, is getting more and more attention internationally, as many clients, designers and contractors decide to use BIM approach to optimize their projects. But what is the reality of the BIM implementation in our countries and what is to expect?

The reality is that we all talk a lot about BIM. On the other hand, there is still a small percentage of projects, being designed and built with BIM. But the number is growing and mandatory use of BIM is getting closer. By now, many clients decided for BIM approach on their own initiative, but this may change soon. The EU commission is supporting and recommending digitization of the building industry, which means that EU members will need to implement their BIM strategies sooner or later.

The BIM mandates vary from country to country. In Slovenia for example, the BIM will become mandatory for public clients at the beginning of the year 2024. In Germany the use of BIM is already mandatory on many infrastructure projects from the beginning of 2021. It all depends on clients, weather their tender documentation demands BIM, or not. The so called “voluntary” use of BIM is just a half-approach. The real benefit of BIM becomes obvious, when all participants in the project use BIM.

Watchtower Vinarium in Lendava was the first building in Slovenia, built with BIM approach in the year 2014. (Image source: http://vinarium-lendava.si)

Implementing BIM mandates requires a lot of parallel activities, from education, BIM certification, regulatory and standards adoptions etc.. In Slovenia, most of these activities are led by siBIM, slovene BIM association and buildingSMART Chapter Slovenia. CGS Labs is actively participating in both organizations.

CGS Labs has been involved in some of the largest infrastructure projects in Slovenia with BIM requirements. Among them, the most well known and visible to the public are second tube of the Karavanke tunnel (6.4 km) between Austria and Slovenia and Railway project Divača – Koper with the length of app. 35 km, majority tunnel sections. Currently CGS Labs is helping clients to design part of the interchange at Ljubljana highway ring.


Karavanke Tunnel (Image source: www.dars.si)


Second railway track of Divača-Koper line (image source: www.drugitir.si)

We at CGS Labs are taking BIM as an important and long term project. By helping our clients in BIM projects, we learn and further improve our software. Our goal is that Plateia, Ferrovia, Aquaterra, Autopath and Autosign will be the ultimate authoring solutions for creating 3D BIM models, which include precise geometry and non-geometric data. We are interested to help you to realize your first BIM projects. Please contact us, if you need some help or advice.

BIM demo project Godovič

Can you imagine that more than a thousand experts are involved in one project and they are drawing the road on paper? Me neither. The infrastructure projects we know today became demanding and complex, which is the result of well-developed software that enables architects, civil engineers and other users to work easier and get more creative. In construction, 3D modeling brought numerous benefits. The most visible advantages are that those 3D models are easy to create and understand, allow quickly spotting clashes and save us a lot of time and money.

In recent years, 3D modeling has been replaced by Building Information Modeling (BIM). The main difference is that the BIM models allow sharing and managing information, which means that the models are enriched with important data. The major benefits of the BIM process are more accurate and streamlined planning, the output is higher-quality, error reduction, better communication and cooperation between teams and much more.

CGS software has been enabled BIM planning for several years. To further improve this process, we decided to do a demo project in Plateia program, in collaboration with company Bexel, which develops BIM management software that includes the most important 3D, 4D, 5D and 6D applications of BIM technology. In addition, the goal was also to look for possible flaws in Plateia. This project was originally created by the company PNG. This is a Slovenian company with a 20-year tradition in civil engineering, which successfully participates in the most difficult highway projects. They are mostly involved in designing roads and other engineering structures.

3D model of road, made with Plateia software

The construction documentation was prepared in 2015. The project involved the reconstruction of an approximately one-kilometer-long section in the town of Godovič. It included the construction of a new roundabout and pedestrian walkway, reconstruction of the existing three-lane intersection and arrangement of local and regional roads. In addition to the construction of the road, the project also involved the building of resistant and supporting walls, drainage arrangements, plans of public infrastructure and lighting plans.

3D visualization of planned regional road in Godovič

The process of drawing a BIM model in Plateia is very similar to classical design. The main difference is in defining sample lines and making the cross-sections. At the beginning, we defined alignments and sample lines. If the user wants to create a very accurate 3D model, he has to draw a sample line at each location, where the cross section of the road changes. Then we continued with longitudinal profiles and cross – sections. When we were editing cross-sections, we had to planimetry each element that we wanted to draw as a 3D solid. Once we were done with cross – sections, we defined property sets and then drew a 3D model. Then we exported the models to IFC and Bexel made a 4D and 5D simulation.

New retaining walls on the access road, which increase traffic safety

We came to the conclusion that we can make a very accurate BIM model in Plateia, but sometimes it takes a little bit longer. The challenge for the future development is to automate the planning process as much as possible in a user-friendly way. Our main goal is to make the work easier for the users and enable customers to design the most difficult infrastructure with our software solutions.

CGS Labs is opening it´s office in Prague

CGS Labs is constantly expanding it´s resellers network and the network of it´s own offices with the goal to come closer to our users. Following openings of the offices in Wiesbaden, Germany (2016) and in Novi Sad, Serbia (2017), Czech Republic office in Prague is the last addition on our list.

Our first activities in the territory of Czech and Slovak republics originate from late 90s, when we exhibited at specialized events, as it was for example Roadware Praha. During the last 20 years we worked with resellers such as K-DATA, ADEON, ŠTOR Computers and SmartCAD. Many engineers in Czechia and Slovakia used our software during this period of time. In the recent years we felt a growing demand from the local market and a need for localized roadway and railway design solutions.

The decision was made in early 2021 to open our own office in Prague with the goal to better understand the market needs and to offer our clients localized products for the market. The major step in this decision was employing civil engineering software specialist Michal Kostelecky. He gained his experience in several companies, who have been active in the infrastructure field. Michal has an excellent knowledge about the market needs and is also cooperating with several universities, like Ostrava University. CGS Labs is also becoming a member of the Czech BIM association CzBIM and buildingSMART Chapter Czech Republic.

Our most important mission now is to localize CGS Labs products Plateia, Ferrovia, Aquaterra, Autopath, Autosign. We plan to present localized versions of our sotware at autumn engineering events. Our goal is to offer an alternative solution to the currently mostly used products. We believe that with our more than 30-years technical experience, a competitive AutoCAD or BricsCAD platform choice and affordable price, we can create a success story both for our users and CGS Labs itself.

For more information about our activities and products for the Czechia and Slovakia, please visit www.cgs-labs.cz


Michal Kostelecky
Regional manager – Czech Republic and Slovak Republic

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