Thursday, 14 April 2011

Civil3d 2012 Pipe Invert Levels at Structure Walls

Rick Graham recently commented on his blog Simply Civil3d about the new pipe options that are going to be available in 2012 to layout pipes from structure to structure by
  • Center to Center (as it has been before)
  • Inside wall of structure
  • Outside wall of structure
Now Peter Thompson and myself have been have been pretty vocal about the lack of ability in Civil3d to accurately model pipe networks and lack of access to pipe network data in the pipe bands over the years (since way back in 2007) for a number of reason but one in particular crops up more often than others. The transition from minimum sloped pipes to steep sloped pipes where the drop across the structure at the centreline can end up being positive and not negative.
Now I have not seen this new feature in action but do hope against hope that it will reduce the number of work arounds we have had to use to employ the pipe functionality in Civil3d.
In my opinion the pipe drafting and layout features in Civil3d still require a  considerable amount of work to improve there efficiency, but updates to this area of the program seem to always remain second fiddle to improvement in the roading and corridor section. Take for example watermains to model these correctly from an engineering perspective a true 3d pipe extruded along a 3d polyline/featureline path will have to be introduced as a base object into the program. To account for total pipe length and therefore pipe friction in head loss calculations.
Otherwise unnecessary pipe network complexity is required to model a flexible MDPE water pipe that typical changes in the horizontal and vertical position between gate values and hydrants. Currently to model this situation the only option is to introduce pointless null structures into the network at changes in pipe direction and elevation.

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