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New/Existing Property For Pipes And Ability For Structure Label Components To Interpret The Difference

New/Existing Property For Pipes And Ability For Structure Label Components To Interpret The Difference

    We often have the need to connect new sewer or storm drain pipes to existing manholes or other structures.  It becomes difficult to label only existing inverts for a structure on an existing conditions sheet, then label that same structure on subsequent design sheets and show existing and new pipe inverts on the structure labels.  I assume that every civil engineering firm has this same need.

    Structure Labels are currently designed to have the ability to separate in and out pipes.  We can show all in or out pipes grouped together and even have the ability to leave off in or out pipes if desired.

    I propose an additional existing/new attribute be attached to each pipe.  The structure label components would also nee the ability to distinguish the difference for its invert components.  It would also be nice to have a switch at the top of the pipe network design tool bar that would allow you to switch between the two quickly when adding pipes to the network.

    I would think it would be an easy addition to the Civil3D framework and it would be of the utmost importance as well.  In fact, I am truly astonished that this issue has gone overlooked for so long, and am not aware of any work-a-round that would even come close to truly fixing the issue.

9 Comments
TimYarris
Autodesk
Status changed to: Under Review

Thank you for posting this idea. While we research this request, would using Property Set data to create a New/Existing property work for you? I know that still misses the elevation difference request, but hopefully it will help a bit.

Cadguru42
Advisor

This would definitely be a great option that truly enhances productivity regarding pipe/pressure networks. For years I've had to just create a MTEXT object in the layout on top of any pipe info in a structure label in order to conform to project standards to have bold text for new work and gray for existing. Because MTEXT objects cannot read C3D data (an issue I've requested many times before and is part of the #1 requested C3D feature) these labels cannot be dynamic. 

 

I'd suggest not being limited to just existing versus new. I can see a 3rd status also helping with many as-built projects where the ability to show a proposed design invert that was changed during construction, but needs to show both design and as-built inverts.

 

I wonder if adding phasing to objects (not just pipes) would be a better solution as it would help with other aspects of civil design? But that would require Autodesk to think more about how their product is actually being used versus how they think/want it being used and I don't see that happening. 

Cadguru42
Advisor

If Autodesk wants to truly think of Civil 3D as a BIM product, then the basic ability to add a PHASE property to any object, both AutoCAD objects and C3D objects, should be implemented. 

 

  1. This property should be a user generated string and optional.
  2. The ability to change/update the phase of multiple objects at a time.
  3. There should be a way to freeze/hide objects based on their PHASE property and even globally in a viewport. 
  4. There should be a way to search for and select objects based on the PHASE property of the object.
  5. The QTO system should have a way to report based on the PHASE property of objects.
  6. Ability to create tables and reports based on the PHASE property of objects. If this requires Project Explorer, then so be it.
  7. Plan Production Tools should be able to choose one or more PHASEs and create sheets based on what PHASEs are selected.

For example, a polyline of an existing edge of pavement could have it's PHASE set to "Existing", a proposed manhole structure have its PHASE set to "New", an existing figure have its PHASE set to "Demo", a corridor have its PHASE set to "Phase 2", etc. 

 

This would open up a lot of new possibilities in how projects are structured and would fall in line more with how Revit and other BIMs operate. An advantage of this system would be the ability to remove tons of layering that a C3D drawing has in overhead because there wouldn't be a need to have double, triple, or more layers that represent the same feature. I.e., C-ROAD-EOT, C-ROAD-EOT-N, C-ROAD-EOT-D, etc. Reports could be generated based on the PHASE of objects, thus simplifying it. Exporting drawings for others could be simplified by just selecting everything based on the PHASE. 

sirjoelsph
Collaborator

I feel like I've been asking for this for eons.  Civil 3D can't recognize or react to an object if it's existing vs proposed.  That seems like very basic functionality.  We have to do a bunch of style, label, and layer workarounds to filter out or change visibility based on PHASE.  A simplistic look at it would only require Existing and Proposed, but in reality we get projects that require more detail like Existing to remain vs Existing to be removed, Proposed Now vs Proposed Future, Existing to be Abandoned, Existing already Abandoned, Existing to be removed in phase 2, Proposed Phase 1 to be removed in Phase 2, etc.  There needs to be some customizability to what PHASES are available for us to use, but at a bare minimum Civil 3D needs to be able to react to these PHASES.

TimYarris
Autodesk
Status changed to: Under Review

Thanks for posting this idea. While we research purpose-built phasing, would using the Property Set functionality be an acceptable near-term solution to this?

sirjoelsph
Collaborator

@TimYarris,

 

I can already add custom properties to my pipes and structures that are just text fields like "Ex" and "Prop" that get used in labels.  I imagine you're talking about a very similar thing using Property Sets - that we would just get an extra text field.  I'm pretty sure we can already do that as well, but again, that's just text.  We need intelligence.  We need to be able to query, sort, filter, change visibility, etc based on the Phase.

 

What we really need is for Civil 3D to "Understand" the phase.  For example, if I have an existing manhole with three existing pipes and two proposed pipes connected to it, I want one structure label to be able to label those pipes a certain way.  Not just a text field, but knowing that I want existing pipes labeled with this text style, height, color, etc and proposed pipes with their own text style, height, color, etc.

Structure label.PNG

 

Another example - If I'm evaluating pipe interferences, I don't want to be told about a conflict between a pipe being removed and a proposed pipe.  Yes, I technically have two objects in conflict with each other, but please be smart enough to know that I'm removing one of the pipes and it won't be in the way of the new proposed pipe.

Cadguru42
Advisor

@sirjoelsph Your example is a great one as I run into that issue all the time in regards to pipe info on a structure label. Many jurisdictions want to show proposed pipes bold with existing grayscale, but that can't be done with C3D's labeling system as it currently stands. If pipes had a phase property, then a label style could be created for proposed pipes, a label style for existing pipes, etc. that the structure label style could reference.

sirjoelsph
Collaborator
Cadguru42
Advisor

@TimYarris Why was my idea merged with this one? My idea is NOT the same as this one! My Phase idea is not restricted to just new/existing structure labels and doesn't apply to just pipe networks. 

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