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Utility Module Enhancement Request (Snap to structure face)

  • 1.  Utility Module Enhancement Request (Snap to structure face)

    Posted 09-16-2020 15:08

    It appears that TBC only supports utility lines snapping at the center of utility nodes. I'd be happy to hear if this is not the case. I understand that this functionality makes it simpler to create utility designs, and mimics the functionality of Civil3D and other utility design software. However, this limitation fails to consider the constructibility of the line (perpetuating the age-old battle between designer and builder). 


    For example, see the following screenshot:


    Because utility lines only connect to the center point of the structure, the 30-inch pipe at the top left enters the box through its corner (no good). (Additionally, the exported XML from Civil3D gets translated into the misaligned pink box, but that can be worked around). Unless I am mistaken, there is not a way to resolve this design issue within Trimble Business Center, without resorting to manual trench creation, which doesn't seem very futuristic.



    - The option to snap pipe ends to specific faces of a rectangular box, rather than only the center.

    - An error which occurs if a d=diameter pipe is attached to a <d width structure face.

    - Allow for multiple pipes to snap to a single face at different elevations.

    - It would also be useful to be able to connect multiple points at different horizontal entry points, but I can understand that this would be very complicated to implement.


    I understand that this new functionality would not work correctly if exported back to other utility modeling software, but my main concern is being able to use Trimble Business Center to create good models for our Trimble-enabled machines.

  • 2.  Re: Utility Module Enhancement Request (Snap to structure face)

    Posted 09-17-2020 03:46

    I have run into these as well with square structures, shown below. Very much agree with you that you should be able to create custom shapes and set where the inlets are going to be and then the pipe run could snap to this. A good explain I have run into is distribution boxes for septic systems The center snapping only works 100% of the time for circular structures. 


    The work around that I was told is to use a null node at the end that you want to be have a specific location for. A pain but it does work. You can then move the null node to the desired location.


    If gravity runs supported fittings, assuming this is what you are modeling, you could use a null fitting right before the structure to correct the skew or add a bend node, which may bring you closer to what would actual happen in the field. 



    Septic Systems

  • 3.  Re: Utility Module Enhancement Request (Snap to structure face)

    Posted 09-17-2020 15:14

    This is a good tip, and I was so focused on the problem that I couldn't even think of this simple solution. There's a life lesson in there somewhere.


    Still, I think there's room for some enhancements in this area.

  • 4.  Re: Utility Module Enhancement Request (Snap to structure face)

    Posted 09-17-2020 15:48

    Agreed. I think the utility module is great but it needs some refinement in some areas

  • 5.  Re: Utility Module Enhancement Request (Snap to structure face)

    Posted 09-17-2020 15:59

    Pat is correct - this has been raised previously and is a known issue, the Null Node at the end of the pipe is the only way to handle this issue today. If you need help or adbvice on how to do that let me know and I will try to post a video on how to do that for you.


    Thanks Pat for the response