Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Number of Pipe/Structure in a network BREACHED. Workaround.

I've been googling on the web to find out the maximum pipe/structure allowed in Civil3d but I don't seem to be able to find an answer. I did get an answer from a local reseller that the maximum pipe/structure allowed is 500, to which I'm not sure whether it is 500 nos each for pipe and structure or combined number of pipe and structure should not be above 500. In any case, I've encountered errors when the combined numbers of pipes and structures reached 500 or above. The error reads "Unable to apply pipe depth query to current structure. The default structure height will be used."

Figure 1

To be honest, 500 is not much, and the limitation is kinda annoying. I'm working on a very large site and to have the nos of pipe/structure limited to 500 is akin to having a site of not more 4 roads for each network. My site contains the following networks:

  1. Storm network
  2. Sewerage network
  3. Drainage network
  4. Electrical network
  5. Telecommunication network

The planning and coordination of those underground utilities for such a large-scale project was extremely challenging. Therefore, I wanted to have an integrated 3D model which will detect collision points that are almost impossible to detect without such simulation. The site I am working on is about 1,000 hectare (approximately the size of 1,200 of football field). I ended up having about 20 drawings for each zone (the site is separated into 4 zones) of the networks mentioned and not to mention the daunting task of referencing all the drawings together. Yet, I managed to pull it off as it is still faster to do it in Civil3D than the old conventional 2D method.

Back to the earlier question. What to do when you encountered the errors mentioned in Figure 1? Many times, when you reached the limit of 500 nodes, you may still need to refine the design by moving/adding manholes and pipes around. However, when you try to insert a new structure, the structure size doesn't look right and you are not allowed to change the structure part by using the swap part command.
The workaround for this is to copy any existing structure/part in the existing drawing and move it to the pipes which it belongs. Then, you will need to reconnect the pipes to the structure. It is tedious but, at least it works and what matters is the end results. You may need to change the values of the invert levels. Once you have completed all the networks, you can compile them into one drawing by using the data shortcuts. Then you can use the interference check feature to detect collision.

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