I had a chance to check out the borehole import tool for Civil 3D 2012 this weekend.
I think the tool has potential but there are a few improvements that I think could go a long way in making it better. Along with projecting the data to profiles (which I like), I was hoping to use the tool to build accurate sub-surfaces for earthworks volumes.
1) I was hoping the tool would have the ability to make the sub-surfaces automatically.
2) If I make a surface using the information imported, the surface will triangulate to the information imported. Expanding on point 1, It would be nice if the tool could make a sub surface by interpolating the topography (surface points) of the original ground surface above. For example, if there is a valley or depression in the topography and I don't have a borehole there, I don't want the sub-surface to triangulate through it, I want the sub-surface to account for it.
I also want a sub-surface to expand to the limits of the surface above it. Chances are I will not have boreholes located on the outer extents of the site, so I would like the sub-surface to use the topography and interpolate a new sub-surface to the full extent of the surface above it.
4) Unit control. Cm is the only unit avail for metric.
So for now, I will go back to pasting surfaces together to create my 'design stripping surface'.
Yes - this tool could be improved significantly but presumably only if it was brought under the contol of the Autodesk development team and built into the core product.
A lot of your comments can be achieved with a bit of lateral thinking e.g. create vol surface (borehole depth model vs egl) and then convert to subsurface model to accound for undulations in the ground (even though this may not be correct at times). Derived Borehole surfaces can be extended by kriging etc to fill in blanks but this sort of stuff is getting into geological modelling software territory (e.g Vulcan, Datamine etc)
Another tool that might help is KeyHole, http://www.keynetix.com/keyhole, it is designed to provide tools for geotechnical engineers. It has lots of advance tools for creating sections diagrams (profiles), contamination plots and modelling.
It pull geotechnical data out of HoleBASE, (a Geotechnical database) to generate sections and models, sub-surfaces are automatically created and the user can pick any criteria to create a sub-surface from.
I must point out the 3D modelling in is not based on the Civil, but the models can easily be turned in to Civils Surfaces, we are look at much closer integration with Civil.
I think I could hazard a guess as to how much time and cash Autodesk would invest in developing a borehole import/visualization solution for Civil 3D......borehole interpretation and manipulation are just not as "sexy" as the whizz bang BIM visualizations that seem to be the flavour of the month at the moment.....!!!!!!
If you were to consider third party software, take a look at the MapWorks Geology module. We would be happy to work with you to import your existing data and (it's on our todo list anyway) develop routines to create/maintain multiple subsurfaces (as Civil3D surfaces). Feel free to email me at dotson [at] dotsoft [dot] com.
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