CATIA for road design and construction

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Road design process

Road design process

For over 20 years, CATIA is used to varying level in the Engineering and Construction industry (AEC). We have seen many businesses take advantage of the value delivered by the use of an integrated and parameterized 3D model . So far we can say that this solution is proven in most disciplines of civil engineering, whether in estimating concrete, multi- disciplinary coordination , or as decision support. However road design remained the poor child of all CATIA processes. Basically there is this tolerance for inaccuracy when referring to optimize and plan the road geometry . For too long we have accepted an approach that despite modernization of design solutions , is only representing instead of modeling. Obviously it still leaves room for a lot of imprecise and interpretation , or even loss of information when transferring from one technology to another. With the power of programming knowledgeware (capture of knowledge) , it is easily possible to capture business rules and business know-how that enables the definition of associative road modeling on CATIA .


Volumes, quantities and other information for construction, such as the sections, can then be extracted without effort and shared on other platforms, adapted to the environment of the jobsite. The benefits of a road design approach based on  natively associative CATIA geometry are:

  • The end of the duplication of information with a single version of the truth
  • Support of  transitions (clothoides curves) and vertical parabolas
  • Better coordination through integration into the project digital mockup.
  • Knowledge of the quantities in real time when changes or imports new field data occur.

Scyform is the only developper of such capability inside CATIA.


Use case – Arpentech from Québec, Canada


We are a surveying company working in the construction industry. With emerging technologies such as laser scanning and surveying drone, the company decided to make the transition to these technologies and needed a better performance than what obtained  with existing software such as AutoCAD Civil 3D. After several searches and following the acquisition of CATIA by the public administration at Hydro Quebec, we decided to give it a try for processing and exploiting survey data. However, some processes were not supported by CATIA, especially the creation of road.

Reach to Scyform

Following the acquisition of CATIA we wanted a specific features for road design because the task proved cumbersome and inaccurate with the native mechanical functionalities. We turned to the scyform team to overcome that limitation. The process was really dynamic and engaging…after a few exchange sessions ScyForm team members fully understood what we needed to achieve and how we wanted to do it.

We were really surprised by their ability to integrate that kind of vertical vertical in CATIA … This process was new to us because with AutoCAD it would have been impossible to successfully integrate such extended capability to the program! The collaboration ensured that the functionalities were as user-friendly as possible and compliant with industry standard.

Benefits through ScyRoads

For us ScyRoad was really a mini revolution in CATIA … Along with our savings in time using native CATIA functions, new benefits emerged through ScyRoads. It intuitively allowed for:
• Creating the horizontal road geometry from theoretical geometric data.
• Creating the vertical geometry in relation to the horizontal through theoretical geometric data geometry.
• Integration of values ​​according to different parameters for the realization of 3D curves that are related to the central AXE. (Using Excel tables to ease curve definition)
• Generations of these 3D curves in CATIA
• Creation of Surfaces from 3D Curves always in relation to Central axis even if 3D curves are not the same length.
• Ability to change the design thanks to parameterization and associativity


With the ScyRoads tool, we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel and now we can make our work calculations and preparation of site data without having to use disjointed data on multiple of softwares. That is one tool for all operations. Something we have dreamed of for some so long!
By Jeremie Bolduc-Fradette
Project Manager; Service Arpentech

To know more about what we friendly call ScyRoads, contact our team.

adminCATIA for road design and construction