Thanks for all your input guys. I have exported structures in csv format as suggested. The manhole/node information is all there but in a random order. From the csv file I created a simple xyz text file, the data from which I pasted into the Autocad command line to generate a 3D polyline. The polyline looks like a spiders web!! The contractor can digitise that into his preferred format.
I cant afford to spend anymore time on this as our original brief from the client was to create a 3D model and hand it over to the contractor (a big multinational using Autocad LT!!), so our fee didn't include all this extra faffing about. As we progressed the model over the last few months, we kept asking the contractor, can you actually use this type of information. We didn't get an answer until they actually wanted to start construction. (Pull out hair time!!)
Looking to the next project, if the pipe networks were exported to Navisworks, could a BIM Manager issue setting out information more easily or universally compatible format than a Civil 3D user.
Glad it worked for you - sort of. We run across the same thing a lot with people not understanding what the C3D deliverable can or should be. The major shortcoming of all of this "BIM" is that in our field, people have to dig away beneath the location of almost everything they are going to build. That renders an export of the center of structures or the vertices of an edge of pavement pretty worthless until you do the next step and generate some sort of offset that can be used in the field.
I'm not sure about the Navisworks, but I suspect that the answer is no. When we create stakeout information for sanitary/storm structures, we start with the point list similar to what you created, and then generate offset points from that. A simple trick is to make a box with the dimensions of the requested offsets, select all of the points and copy them from the center of the box to each of the 4 corners.
Biggest problem I get is the reluctance of consultants/clients to supply any kind of CAD version of anything - typical response to the request being : "We've given you the pdf why do you need anything else.?" or "It's against out policy to supply CAD files".
Presumably until the claims/liability confrontational culture is resolved, the grand BIM dream will remain just that... a dream..!!
We will supply CAD to surveyors for layout. Typically we run ExporttoACAD first and they get a dumb drawing. But we won't send it out without a disclaimer, basically saying that the stamped drawings are your Bible, this is just an assist, and you better make sure that what you're doing agrees with the paper drawings.
So when are we going to be able to model everthing in 3D at the proper coordinates and then just send the robots out with their inbuilt GPS to do the construction for us?
Credit where credit is due! Give kudos or accept as solution whenever you can.