If you are using Pressure Networks within Civil 3D, do yourself a favor and install the new service pack for Civil 3D 2016 (SP3) and Civil 3D 2017 (SP1.1). These fix several pressure networks issues which I’ll talk about here.

A little bit of background, a few weeks ago (not sure of the exact date) the Civil 3D product team released service pack 1 (SP1) for Civil 3D 2017. There were some issues with it so they pulled it down and then just last week they re-released it as service pack 1.1 (SP1.1). As of this writing, it’s not available on the Civil 3D support website HERE but I was able to download it via the Autodesk Desktop App. It should show up eventually. The Civil 3D 2016 SP3 is available at that link.

Autodesk_Desktop_App

Service Pack in the Autodesk Desktop App

So what are the issues that are fixed and why are they important? You can read up on the changes included in the service packs here: 2016 SP3 and 2017 SP1.1. The two issues I’ll be referring to in this post are:

  1. An issue that caused unexpected behavior when using grips to edit pressure network pipes in profile view has been resolved.
  2. An issue has been resolved where edits to the level of a pressure network were not retained when the pressure network was data-referenced

Reference Issue

Let’s talk about number 2 first as, in my opinion, that’s the big one. When you create a pressure network and edit the elevations of the pipe by either putting in a vertical curve or have it follow the surface, when you data reference that pipe into another drawing, the pipe comes in straight.

Reference Issue

Reference Issue

As you can see in the previous image, on the left is the source drawing containing two pressure pipes. One of the pipes has been vertically curved and the other has been set to follow the surface. When referenced into another drawing, they come in straight as can be seen on the right.

After installing the service pack, simply open the same drawings and synchronize the references. You’ll see that the referenced pipes are the same as the source pipes.

Reference Resolved

Reference Issue Resolved

Grip Issue

The second item I will be discussing here is the issue with grip editing. This isn’t always an issue but can be in certain cases. First off, what is the issue? Well, if you set a pressure pipe to follow a surface and then use grips to edit the elevations of the different parts, sometimes the grip will be applied to the adjacent grip instead of the selected grip.

Grip Edit Issue

Grip Edit Issue

After installing the service packs, this is no longer an issue.

Grips Resolved

Grips Working Correctly

So, what causes this issue in the first place? This only seems to be an issue if the alignment and the pressure pipe are going in opposite directions. When you create the alignment from pressure network, make sure the pipes and the alignments are going the same way. Even with the latest service packs, if they are going opposite directions, you’ll still see a small issue, the last grip on the pressure pipe won’t display.

Missing_Grip

Missing Grip

As far as I know, there’s no way to edit that grip in this view, you’ll need to create a different alignment going the opposite direction to be able to edit it. In other words, it’s still a good idea to have your pressure pipes still go the same direction as the alignment but it’s not quite as important.

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<note: In Civil 3D 2018.1, there are some new system variables that deal with these glyphs so go install it now! Just start typing “labelover…” and the autocomplete will finish it off for you>

So, you’ve downloaded Civil 3D 2017 Service Pack 1 to fix those pesky issues. Which issues? These issues. Great, so you close out of Civil 3D, install the service pack, and the next time you’re in your drawing, you notice a whole bunch of warning symbols!

Glyphs

Glyphs Glyphs Everywhere!

What are these things? Well, they are a new feature that was added to Civil 3D 2017 in Service Pack 1. They let you know when a label has a text override. If you hold your mouse over the glyph, it will tell you what it’s there for.

Overriden_Text_Component.png

Tooltip when hovering over glyph

Just like the other warning symbols in Civil 3D, when the drawing is regened (run the REGEN command), the glyphs will always go back to a certain percentage of the screen size (I’m not exactly sure what that is and I don’t have a ruler handy to do the calculations).

I can see these symbols pretty much taking over a drawing so, how do you turn them off? Well, there are two ways:
1) Don’t override the text in your labels. I didn’t say they were both GOOD ways.
2) Turn off all the symbols like this in your drawing. I didn’t say either way were GOOD ways!

Yup, if you want them turned off, you have to disable the display of ALL of these warning symbols (Pressure Network Design Checks, Alignment Tangency Checks, Alignment Design Criteria Violations, Profile Horizontal Changes, etc.). To do this go into your AutoCAD OPTIONS and on the AEC Editor tab you’ll see a section called “Solution Tips” (these symbols are called “Solutions Tips” apparently). The two radio buttons allow you to control if you see the tips when drafting (i.e. in your drawing) and when your plot.

Solutions_Tips.png

Solutions Tips

I suppose the other option is to simply not install Service Pack 1. If you aren’t having any of the issues it says it fixes, and you don’t want these obnoxious symbols all over your drawing, I don’t see any super compelling reason to install it.

What do you think? Do you like the symbols? Do you hate them? Personally, I’ll give them a try. I always recommend to people that when Autodesk does something new to the software, give it a month. If after a month you don’t like it, then go back to the way it was. Now, if I could only figure out how to go back without uninstalling the service pack…