Civil Designer 6.4 Strings

Soon to be released


In today’s newsletter, we take a closer look at the newly developed Strings tool for Civil Designer 6.4, their multiple uses, how it may be manipulated to suit specific needs and how it works.


The Strings tool is used to facilitate easier design. It works in a similar way to a 3D polyline in that it consists of a sequence of 3D points called vertices. It also differs from polylines in that multiple strings have an effect on each other in a hierarchical manner. This hierarchical structure is the reason for the String’s dynamic nature.


A String is not a CAD entity, nor is it a sequence of DTM points. It is a separate object stored in a separate file but may be created from CAD entities or a series of DTM points. A String can either form a closed figure or an open route.


Strings interact with one another in a hierarchical manner. A newly created or isolated String is known as a platform or master string. Once this string has been created, you can attach a second string called the child string, which in turn can have its own children. The relationship of the platform string to the child string is usually described as the platform being a parent to the child.


Graded Parking Area

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Longsection View

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A change to one string means that all its children will automatically be updated with the change. In this way, when you change the corner of a terrace, all subsequent bank points will be moved accordingly and recalculated in x, y and z. Similarly, if you were to change the elevation of a single vertex, all the vertices in the child strings that are connected to the modified vertex will be updated. A project may contain up to 64 platform strings and each will have their own set of children.



String Functionality


Strings can be used to design complicated terraces. These include side drains benching, and graded surfaces. Strings are therefore ideal for designing parking areas, curved dam walls, berms and channels with complicated benching.


The hierarchical nature of Strings means that a designer can change his design by simply moving a corner of the terrace, grading a string or surface, or moving the entire terrace without having to re-generate all the affected strings. The affected strings and toe points will then automatically be re-calculated in an instant.


3D View of Dam Wall

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Complicated Benching

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String Manipulation


Strings may be created by using any of the following methods:

  • By indicating the position of the vertices graphically;

  • By converting a CAD polyline into a string;

  • By converting a connected series of DTM points to a string;

  • By creating a child string and specifying a specific relationship between an existing string (parent string) and the new child string.

Once created, strings may be modified from both the plan and long section views as follows:

  • Vertices and complete string can be edited, deleted or moved;

  • Strings can be graded to a specified grade, or tapered;

  • Vertical and horizontal curves can be introduced to a string;

  • A surface formed by a closed string can be graded to a specified grade.

When you are satisfied with your string, you can create a triangulated DTM surface from a series of strings by simply running the String to DTM function. You can now use all the regular DTM functionality in Civil Designer to calculate quantities, create a contour plan and generate a 3D view. The Strings tool has been created to be both dynamic and versatile in its operations and is aimed at providing multi-functionality in a matter of seconds


Become a Beta tester

Be the first to view this dynamic functionality


If you would like to obtain the Strings tool and over 200 additional enhancements, you will need to be in possession of a valid Support contract so that you can arrange a copy of our Civil Designer 6.4 beta version from our Customer Support Centre.


As a beta tester you will have the advantage of accessing the new functionality before it is released and will also have the added benefit of providing input on facilities and functions within the version. Your input allows us to ensure that this latest release meets your requirements so that the program will continue to be your number one choice!


The Support Centre may be reached at:

  • Telephone +27 21 701-1850 (international clients)

  • 0860 101 999 (South Africa ONLY, charged at local call rates)

  • or via e-mail on



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