Microstation-good for roadway and corridor model, bad for new users
November 10, 2021

Microstation-good for roadway and corridor model, bad for new users

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with MicroStation

Microstation is the product we use most often for transportation design-specifically roadway design-at my organization. I use the inroads add-in very often in my position to model storm sewer networks and draw out basin maps, though I also use Microstation's plain jane features for cutting sheets, annotation, and running corridors too. Microstation is the preferred program for most DOTs and municipalities in my region, so this is why I use it over AutoCAD Civil 3D.
  • roadway and corridor modeling
  • storm sewer and utility layout
  • cutting sheets and production
  • plan and profile annotation
  • adding smart tables to the plans is difficult-I always end up using Axiom
  • tying utilities to a surface-rims, grates, and other features typically need to be assigned elevations manually
  • profiles for pipes are difficult to draw and do not update automatically like they would in ssa
  • corridors! We use this feature constantly
  • surface modeling and triangulation
  • the inroads add-in for modeling storm sewer and utilities-trickle tool is invaluable
  • The trickle tool saves us hours of time and headache
  • The surface tracking tool saves us effort, time, and money in running quick calcs and annotation
  • We constantly fight with manipulating text. It takes hours in production time and a lot of effort to force our text to look/print correctly.
Microstation is not intuitive. It is almost impossible for our newest employees to use effectively, and I strongly prefer to start them with Civil 3D, where possible. With MicroStation, you really need to be an intermediate to advanced user to use the program and know where the buttons to do what you want are located. They need to make their program more command based. Things like snapping to a near point or correcting text size universally are not intuitive like they are in Civil 3D or SOLIDWORKS. For other programs you can just type in commands like "LINE" and draw a line. In Microstation, you need to select between a polyline or smartline from the tools>geometry menu. Why does it need to be so complicated? We ONLY use this program, because we are required to deliver our models in the DGN format to our client. Otherwise, we would use Civil 3D for everything.

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MicroStation is THE program to use for roadway and corridor modeling. Most departments of transportation and municipalities in my region require that the models be delivered in the dgn format, so it is MicroStation or bust. It is an absolute pain to use some of the add-in features though. Things that are easy in other programs like making smart tables that update with the latest information usually necessitate the use of Axiom or similar outside programs/add-ins. I design storm sewer systems, and it takes us 6 months to train up new hires on this software, because it is NOT intuitive. You need to know which buttons to press, since it is not designed to be easily command-based like AutoCAD Civil 3D.

Using MicroStation

MicroStation is very hard to use for our newest employees. It is not intuitive, and you need to know where to find the buttons to perform the commands you would like to perform instead of typing in the commands like other similar modeling programs. Also, it has no good traffic turning add-ins. We continue to run ALL our turning in Autoturn, since this is not a usable feature with MicroStation.
Do not like to use
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Requires technical support
Slow to learn
Feel nervous using
Lots to learn
  • roadway and corridor modeling
  • surface creation, surface grading, and triangulation
  • converting to DWG and other formats
  • drawing basic features like lines or circles
  • updating drainage and utility profiles automatically
  • adding "smart" tables that update automatically when inverts/elevations change