Alan Sharp

TBC v5.3 Released Yesterday (April 27 2020)

Blog Post created by Alan Sharp on Apr 28, 2020

Trimble Business Center v5.3 Released yesterday (April 27 2020). Hot on the heels of the 5.21 Release that was made a few weeks ago by the CEC Division at the ConExpo Trade Show in Las Vegas. The 5.30 Release is packed with New Features, Product Enhancements and important Bug Fixes for CEC Users, I provide a summary below.


Installation Improvements

The TBC Team are striving to make installation faster and easier with a new Online Installation Option that reduces Installation Time by 25% for a first time installation and >50% for an upgrade from 5.2x.




Hot New Features - Command Line CAD Data Entry

In line with the demand for more CAD Tools, to facilitate people to do more of their finishing work in TBC, Trimble have added Command Line Functionality to the software, to allow Keyboard Hounds to use keyboard entry to rapidly enter common CAD Data using enhanced and refactored CAD Commands like Join, Break, Fillet, Chamfer, Clip, Polyline, Linestring etc. The Command Line can be toggled On and Off using a Toggle Switch in the panel of Toggle Icons at the base of the TBC Window. The Command Line provides access to 26 refactored commands and increases productivity when using these CAD Commands. The command list uses shortcuts that mimic other industry software like AutoCAD to make it easier for AutoCAD users to migrate to TBC.



Hot New Features - Quadri Connector for Trimble Business Center

This one is awesome.



A few years ago Trimble acquired Vianova Systems, a Civil Engineering Design software company in Norway, with strong market presence across Scandinavia and Northern Europe, The crown jewel of the Vianova company back then was the unique Civil Database called Quadri. The Quadri Model BIM Server can be hosted on a Private Cloud or Corporate Network, and provides a connection Hub for Civil Designers using Novapoint Software, allowing them to save their model data as it is being developed into the Quadri Civil Database. This allows engineers of different disciplines to create models using each others data as a reference in real time, and it saves having to create a federated model at the end of each work period by aggregating files from all of the engineering teams engaged on a project. Because Quadri can be hosted outside a firewall on a private cloud, it provides the ability for Engineers, Owners and Contractors to collaborate freely outside of the limits of corporate IS restrictions.


A Quadri connector plugin is now available for Trimble Business Center and more will follow for Trimble and Non Trimble authoring tools including Sketchup, Revit, Tekla, Civil 3D, OpenRoads Designer, Quantm providing the ability to connect Engineering and Construction disciplines like never before.


Watch these Trimble Videos for more information


Quadri Model to TBC



TBC to Quadri Model


Click Here To Download Video


Quadri and Quadri Connector Installation Guidelines


SIngle Sign On for Trimble External Services Using Trimble ID

Trimble External Services like Connect, VisionLink, Works Manager, Machine Data Service, Clarity, Trimble Library and our own Trimble Status all use your Trimble ID for Login. You can now create a single Login profile that is applied to all these services.



Hot New Features - Vertical Design Continues to Evolve

The Create Vertical Design Tools go from strength to strength. The Vertical Design system is now being extensively used for Data Prep processes globally, and is proving highly effective and extremely productive. The Vertical Design Tool has been enhanced in this release as follows


Vertical Design - More Corner Case Support

Because of the great feedback we are getting from users pioneering the use of Vertical Design the tool now better supports many Corner Cases that you have reported - areas where the rules would fail have been reduced significantly, and geometry computations have got stronger, resulting in a better finished product with fewer rules.


Vertical Design - Multiple Line Elevations With a Single Rule

Where you have 2 or more lines that terminate or cross at a common point, if you now add an Elevation Rule to that location it will apply to all lines passing through the same location.



Vertical Design - Full support of Object Snaps and Better Use of Grips

Near Point Snap is now enabled whenever you are in the Vertical Design command, providing quick and easy snapping to linear features. In addition full support has been made for all of the two point snap functions like Perpendicular and Tangent, as well as for all the Point Snaps.


Moving Vertical Design Rules with Grips is now easier, the rules maintain their attachment to the source and target lines where possible.


Vertical Design - Addition of Lock and Unlock Rules

The new Lock and Unlock rules allow you to unlock a portion of a 3D line used in the vertical design, allowing Vertical Design Rules to influence the 3D Geometry of the Unlocked portion of a line.


Vertical Design - Additional Methods To Control Cross Slope

A new property “Cross Slope Method” has been added to the Vertical Design properties. This provides different means of computation of cross slopes (Slope, Offset, Dynamic, Quick Mode). These influence the computations of a Vertical Design, and can improve speed of computation for large Vertical Designs with many instructions.


Vertical Design User Interface Improvements

Various additions have been made to the User Interface including additional controls and additional information for the user. In the Lines List we now show the type of line (Alignment or Linestring for example). Right Click controls to center the current view on the selected rule or line, to delete a rule or reverse a rule while maintaining the endpoints, to remove a line from the vertical design, edit a line, view the profile of a line.


Coordinate System Manager Updated

The Coordinate System Manager has some new and updated Coordinate System definitions including the updated Geoid Model for the HS2 Project in the UK and a new Zone Group “Germany / GK (NTV2)” using the Datum Grid




Trimble Access Road Strings Export From a Corridor Surface

The Trimble Access Road Strings Export that used to only support output to GENIO format now supports output to LandXML format in the same way. LandXML provides support for Station Equations and all International Units whereas the GENIO format did not support US Survey Foot units. This process also sets the “flags” on the Tops and Toes of Sideslopes so that you can use those strings for Slope Staking operations.




New Surface Modeling Tools - Flatten Surface

This is a great new tool for “Despiking Surfaces” created from e.g. Point Clouds. The tool allows you to select a surface, optionally select specific areas of the surface to despike, and enter a tolerance for the “Despiking” (the spike from the surrounding triangles that is used to identify the spike). You can run the command repeatedly to iterate to the desired solution - maybe 4 or 5 iterations will be required to get the desired result. The use of boundaries allows you to constrain the despiking to specific areas of the surface only.



Continuous Product Improvements

Thanks to the Trimble Forum, and from continuous requests streaming in, we have made many enhancements and eliminated numerous bugs and defects as a result of your feedback - here are a few that made it into this release


  • DGN and DWG File Import now supports Mesh Solid Objects
  • DGN importer now supports multi model DGN Files - Each Model is created as a separate Selection Set on Import - this means we now get more data out of DGN Files, when the data is split across multiple models.



  • PDF Output now provides better support for High Resolution Aerial Images
  • PDF Output now fully supports TBC Lineweights correctly
  • Drill Plan Report now can generate a Design Hole Report without any Quality Hole data from Groundworks
  • Feature Processing - Named Polygon Feature Labeling - allows the feature Code Processor to place the Name Attribute of the Polygon feature at the Centroid of the polygon that is created.




  • Cut and Fill Plan Areas were not being reported when the Cut Fill Map was almost 0 - this was fixed in this release
  • CAD Cross Section Conversion - a couple more corner case issues have been trapped further increasing the robustness of this fantastic tool
  • Field Data Bugs reported in v5.21 and SCS Data Manager have been addressed
  • Advanced View Filter Settings Improvement - You can now group select and turn Selectable Flag On and Off facilitating easier protection of data in a model.
  • Georeference PDF Plan Sheets against an Alignment - If the Station and Offset View for an Alignment is Open and the Active View when you are trying to place PDF Sheets, you can now Enter Station and Offset as the Coordinates for the Target Locations of the Georeferencing process. This increases productivity significantly when placing sheets into drawings.
  • Corridor Surface Instructions - We added the ability to clip a Surface Instruction in a Corridor Model Template to another surface so that they tie correctly. This is really helpful when building Corridor Models from Surface Models, where the surface ties are less than perfect.



  • Inverting Layers, Layer Groups and All Layers / Layer Groups - Another relatively small change that has a huge impact on productivity - watch the video



  • Subgrade Adjusted Surface “Walls” removal - watch the video - this is awesome work



  • Moving Imported PDF Section Sheets from One Sheet Set To Another - When working with PDF Section Sheets, sometimes you may bring in e.g. 50 Sheets and hope that you can process them as one set using Multi sheet view, only to find a lot of data on one layer that makes it hard to work with - no longer a problem - you can now create a second Sheet Set and move a selection of Sheets from one to the other by changing the Sheet Set Property on the Sheets - Watch the Video to see how



  • Added Sticky Buttons to the Break Line and Delete Line Segment Commands - this allows you to break a single line in multiple places or break a sequence of lines in a single location each depending on the state of the Sticky Button. On the Delete Line Segments command, the Sticky Button allows you to delete multiple segments from a single line or a single segment from a sequence of lines depending on the state of the sticky button. Again two small changes that deliver productivity gains for Data Prep.


There are many more Bugs, defects and enhancements - these are the Highlights for me - as with each release, the product is getting better and better and faster and faster with your input.


Tunnel Modeling Improvements

The Trimble Business Center Tunnel Module continues to grow in strength with this release with new abilities to create and edit the following data types via the Tunnel View


Shape Geometry

Set Out Points (Drill and Blast)

Horizontal and Vertical Offsets


Template Positions


You can also now see corridor models in the Tunnel View


Point Feature Extraction From Point Clouds

The Point Cloud team have added enhanced methods of extraction Pole and Sign objects from Point Clouds using both Automatic and Manual approaches.


Scanning Module Enhancements

The scanning module has been further enhanced through the following


Enhanced Point Cloud Scaling

  • Grid Scaling and positioning of .e57 files
  • Import LAS / LAZ files with known coordinate systems


TDX Exporter Exports X7 TZF Files

  • Export to TZF-formatted files instead of RWCX files as in the past
  • Enables full point cloud processing functionality when the TDX file and associated TZF files are imported into a different TBC / RealWorks project


Import Trimble X7 Colorized Scans

Import dialog box has been updated so that the “Colorize uncolorized scans” option is automatically disabled if TBC determines on import that all of the scans have already been colorized, still providing you the options to create panorama images as media files and create 3D panoramas from station views.


Compute and Save Vertical Clearance




Create High and Low Points in Point Cloud




All in a great release - Kudos and thanks to the Trimble Business Center Development Team