Taking the Stress Out of Pressure Pipe Network Design in Civil 3D 2023

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The design of pressure pipe networks—that collection of pipes, fittings, and appurtenances that make up a pressure system—have long been a tedious and often challenging task with limited tools, flexibility, and capabilities.

That’s begun to change. Leading developers have worked hard to revise and reshape pressure network tools over the last few years. The latest release of Civil 3D is representative of those improvements. From the ability to choose parts from multiple pressure network catalogs to editing pipe runs with easy to use grips, the design and optimization of pressure pipe networks is simpler and far more streamlined than past iterations.

Here are a few features and functionalities in Civil 3D that are taking the stress out of pressure pipe network design.

  • Content Catalog Editor: New options within the pressure pipe software allows users to load different catalogues into the system—instead of just one specific catalog. With the ability to load multiple catalogs, users can easily “mix and match” parts from different catalogs into a single pressure pipe network.
  • Path Based Commands: Within Civil 3D, pressure networks created with new commands are referred to as path-based pressure networks (versus part based in the early solutions). The new commands include a much more dynamic toolset that helps users automatically generate alignments and create profiles and edit the networks. You can still use part based tools, but I recommend using the path because of the additional functionality that is available. Note that a user can also create a pressure pipe network from a layout (2D linework) or object (using existing design lines).
  • Profile View Offset Styles: The Cut Length and Offset at Bends capabilities are two of the best improvements. A Cut Length option specifies the offset that should be applied to each pipe length (based on the cut length defined for the pipe part by the manufacturers) at the top of the pipe geometry in the pipe run. Simply right click on the pipe, select edit and set the cut length. The Offset at Bends feature specifies where the offset is applied to the top of the bend geometry in the pipe run. Users can modify both of these in the profile view. Also, the developers added the ability to break a pressure pipe at a PVI point in profile view when editing the pipe run if the Offset for a pipe run profile is set to Cut Length.
  • Add Appurtenances: Adding fire hydrants, valves, fittings, or other appurtenances is also much easier. Simply select a spot along the pressure pipe, select Add Appurtenance from the drop down menu, select the end point and the software automatically draws that object in at the location. Fittings and appurtenances are kept in place relative to the end of the pipe then use the grips feature to rotate fittings or flip and slide fittings and appurtenances after they have been placed.

Pressure Pipe Networks have come a long way in recent versions of Civil 3D and in this webinar, viewers will watch a demonstration of some of the newer functions in the software and learn tips on best practices and workflows when creating networks.

To see these features in action and get some tips, tricks and best practices, see the Infrastructure Tuesday: Civil 3D 2023 Pressure Pipe Networks: Methods and Workflows video hosted by Garrett Warner, Senior Technical Specialist at U.S. CAD.

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