If you're a reader of the Autodesk Discussion Group for Civil 3D, you've probably seen the name Peter Thomson before. Here's a face to go with that name.
At teamblue22 Civil 3D University a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Peter and attending his class on pipe networks. I enjoyed the entire class, but one of his best lines was something like... "...how to label pipes like old people need them to be labeled..." After an initial laugh, I realized what he was getting at. A move to something like Civil 3D requires a huge change in mindset and workflow, but we still need to get our printed pages out the door and through approvals. Ideally, we're all working towards the idea of BIM, electronic delivery, and models for construction, but that will take awhile to become the norm. Peter had some great techniques for getting his work done. Here are some of my favorite takeaways:
-Keep a short alignment and associated profile view in your template so its handy for quick grade checks, but more permanent than a quick profile.
-If you create multiple types of pipe networks in the same drawings, keep an empty pipe network for Storm Pipes, Sanitary Pipes, etc. in your template. Since the template command settings can only store on batch of defaults, the empty networks allow you to precook the parts list and other settings and just begin working.
-When doing pipe design, paste your design surface into a new surface and drop it down a few feet (whatever your cover requirement is). Sample that surface on to your profiles to use as an instant visual check. Similar to the technique shown in this post about water networks.
-If you'd like to show sanitary sewer laterals and take advantage of profile views and interference checks to make sure they are working properly, make a lateral-only pipe network. Some related posts from various blogs: A Lateral Network, Add Laterals to a Pipe Network, Sewer lateral code.
-If you are working on forcemains, try toggling the pipe layout button from downhill to uphill and start your pipe layout from the low spot. Some more ideas: Ideas for water networks, Using a corridor to model forcemains and pressure pipe.
Peter also shared some videos with me which I will share with you tomorrow!