AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

Active Member
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-21-2011
Message 1 of 3 (782 Views)

My Part Builder Experience...

782 Views, 2 Replies
10-22-2012 08:01 AM

Hello Fellow Civil 3D Users!

I have been using C3D for over 5 years now and recently had to work with Part Builder in C3D 2012.  A few things to point out about my experience.  First, a shout out to Cyndy Davenport and Eric Chappell for their very detailed and informative AU instructional videos.  Now, here is my challenge:  I work in central PA and have to deal with using PennDOT standard structures that have recently been updated in their Pub 72M (Standard Construction Details).  One of the changes were that there are three standard ‘tops’ (a combination curb top – Type C, a flat grate – Type M, and a Type S which has a lip on the outer edge).  These top structures fit onto no less than eight base structures that range from about 3 x 4 feet to one that is 10 x 10 feet to accommodate large pipes.  Here is where it gets challenging.  For the larger sizes, the pipe connection point (base structure center and axis of structure rotation) moves farther and farther away from the intended insertion point where you want C3D to get the surface elevation point to subsequently determine the structure height.  Additionally, the larger structures would only have the larger base to accommodate the drainage pipes then transition by using a slab top to a smaller ‘standard’ riser to get to the surface – saving construction costs.  First Question:  Is there a way to have two points for the part – one for the insertion/pipe connection and another from which it derives the surface elevation?  If so, that would be great.  If not? why not?  Seems simple for AutoDesk to program that into Part Builder.

When I attempted to build a standard Type C that has a curb opening top with a standard base, I got a pretty decent 3D part, but when I attempted to bring it into a cross section using ‘Display as Boundary’ under the Section tab within the structure style, I get a rectangular box instead of what would be a true cross section of the part.  I have included some pictures below that depict the part as I built it.  Note that the insertion point is located where the red arrow is pointing (on a work plane that is below the top of the ‘curb top’ elevation.  Is there a limitation within C3D that does not draw the ‘boundary’ of a part that is ‘above’ the insertion point elevation?  If so, then why does it work when you select ‘Display as Solid’? Works great when you select that option but you don’t get the masking of the connecting pipes and if your structure is not perpendicular to the plane of the section, you get additional linework connected with the 3D structure.


Part Builder Views of Type C Inlet Part:



3D Shaded View of Type C Inlet Part:



Type C Inlet in Cross Section - notice I only get a box, that is even the wrong dimensions based on the box size:




Type C Inlet in Cross Section - Style set to use Solid.  Note it is accurate to the part but no hiding of pipes:






I also have to report a bug in C3D 2012 within Part Builder.  When setting the Placement Point for Autolayout Data, the Osnaps DO NOT WORK!!!  As I test, I did a clean install on another machine and got the same error.  I had to create the previous part in C3D 2009 then upgrade the part to 2012.  Also, it seems that the model/size parameters are not being pushed through to the part XML file which should be a simple thing for the coders at AutoDesk to fix.




Any suggestions are welcome and if I am not doing something right, please let me know.  Thanks in advance!




Distinguished Contributor
Posts: 144
Registered: ‎02-28-2007
Message 2 of 3 (751 Views)

Re: My Part Builder Experience...

10-22-2012 12:55 PM in reply to: mdjones3333

Try flipping around the structure length and width in your parts list.

If you have a 4'x3' structure, and you want the section view to show the 3' side, make sure the inner structure width is 3' and the inner structure length is 4'

See attached for example.

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Posts: 816
Registered: ‎09-29-2008
Message 3 of 3 (740 Views)

Re: My Part Builder Experience...

10-23-2012 04:26 AM in reply to: mdjones3333

Having veered away from using the part builder fully for eight years I recently started to try creating a few custom pipes and structures.


Sounds like you are having simmilar problems to me. I created new structures and pipes containing new Context values for sizes, the created structure works correctly in Part builder but the sizes are incorrect when added to a drawing and elements are missaligned.


I thaught I was doing it wrong also so contacted Support who after a while of testing said that they could not see anything incorrect in the part I made and have forwarded it to the product team for further review as a posible bug.


Although I am using R2013 I expect that this is also a problem in 2012 due to there not being many users who model parametric parts.


I learned that if the part works correctly in part builder then it should be ok in the model so change sizes in partbuilder and see if everything is correct. If so you may be out of luck for now, if not then you need some more referance points and constraints to glue it together.


Try to stick to the OTB parts and contexts.


Best advice for the moment I'm afraid.



Mike Evans

Civil3D 2013 / 2014 British UK
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3820 CPU @ 3.60GHz (8 CPUs), ~4.0GHz With 32768MB RAM, AMD FirePro V4900, Dedicated Memory: 984 MB, Shared Memory: 814 MB

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