Seems that things come in spurts. I talked with someone the other day that was about to give up on C3D because, “The only way pipes can connect to a structure is at the insertion point.” The last week or so, there have been two wishes submitted to the AUGI C3D wish list about this.

Well, I have some good news for you, pipes don’t HAVE to connect at the structure insertion point. Here’s an example: I have a storm sewer system that includes a curb inlet. This inlet is 15′ long and the discharge pipe comes out of the end of the box. 15.5′ away from the edge of the inlet s the 4′ diameter manhole it needs to connect to. The distance from center to center of the structure is 25′ but, there is only 15.5′ of actual pipe. According to Civil 3D, the length of the pipe is 25′ and that is the distance that is used for the slope calculations. You can display the edge to edge distance but, for slope calculations or quantity takeoff purposes, the pipe is still 25′ long. So, what do we do? Well, just move the pipe to whatever part of the structure you want!

(click on the image to see the animation)

The trick to get this to work correctly is the pipe must be connected to the structure first. Once it is connected, simply grab the grip and place it anywhere on the structure that you want. Just make sure you still see the glyph that indicates you are connecting to a structure. You have edited the pipe! It’s now as long as it really is. QTO will recognize the true length of the pipe and the slope calculations are done correctly.

There are some things to be cautious of however. If you move one of the structures, the pipes will jump back to the insertion point of the structure. Also, if you create an alignment from the network parts, it goes from start of pipe to start of pipe so you’ll probably end up editing the alignment after the fact but that’s extremely simple to do. Finally, you can snap to the structure but if you do that, it will change the invert elevations of the pipe so, you’ll need to come back and edit them after the fact if you use snaps (that’s why I just eye balled it in the image above).

Now go out there and get your pipes to work correctly!