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Infrastructure Design

Civil Designer 8.0 to be released in June

In addition to refining and optimising the current functionality, Civil Designer 8.0 sees the introduction of a new DX render engine for drawing the DTM and for better handling of all the software's 3D rendering capabilities. The upcoming version includes the new features below and will extend Civil Designer's position as the fastest and most efficient platform for infrastructure design.
  • It is now possible to use an 'XRef' (referenced) DTM. This allows multiple users to access the DTM file while ensuring that it can be only edited by the current owner of the drawing.
  • Drawing the DTM is now significantly faster due to the new DX render engine. 1 million points can be rendered in less than a second via the processing power of an entry level video card. Hover over this link to view a speed comparison.
  • User defined font settings for the Output bar are now included.
  • The export DXF view is now faster (more than 5x) allowing speedy information interchange where a simple 3D DXF file is required.

  • You can automatically display symbols at low or high points along the road edge string. This is useful to determine the positions of kerb inlets, or to highlight drainage problem areas at sections of super elevation development.
  • low or high points along the road edge string

  • After running the Alignment Horizontal Alignment Point Chainage function (which will give you the chainage value at any indicated point), you now have the option of inserting the calculated chainage into the index file.
  • In Road Strings, we have developed an underlying triangle mesh structure that utilizes state of the art spatial indexing and triangle connectivity strategies. This results in faster redraws of roads and intersection volume calculations as well as better validation of the translated DTM surfaces. This mesh structure enables us to develop very exciting functionality in future versions.
  • The Design Criteria functionality now includes various super graphs for different e-max values.
  • The Strings translate to DTM function has been improved and now uses the new triangle mesh structure as described above.

  • Substantial speed improvements in most data handling functions. This speeds up loading large models, updating the display, selections and the analysis.
  • Added a check of the sum of rural, urban and lake percentages so that they do not exceed 100% when saving spreadsheet data.
  • Search function for nodes/links in all spreadsheets so that you can find a particular entry easily. There is also a Show option which will adjust the plan layout to the position of the selected entity.
  • The Show option in the data editors will now roll up the editor instead of moving it to the bottom left of the display.
  • Changed the Vertical Alignment Editor Smooth and Grade options to only set the fixed slope and not the fixed invert level. This allows the subsequent analysis to run without the conflicts caused by setting the fixed invert for these entities.
  • The Vertical Alignment Editor allows you to graphically select the manhole and specify the drop, soffit, invert or 1/2 pipe condition, as well as set ratio slopes.
  • Added an option to enforce maximum link slopes as specified in the link tables. This will result in the links being placed at the maximum link slope in steep areas of the site. Manhole conditions for the affected nodes will be changed to Drop.
  • Added functions to set erf connection parameters and subcatchment parameters of selected entities. This allows you to change the erf connection/subcatchment parameters of a group of selected entities to reflect local design characteristics.
  • Changed the analysis module during the check that the size of a link is not less than the incoming links so that the recalculated link is placed at the specified minimum slope for that bigger link size.

  • It is now possible to graphically Trim water pipes in a similar fashion to CAD entities. Pipes can be trimmed or split where necessary and there is also the option to automatically remove short cut-offs.
  • The Bends and Junctions analysis feature now displays angles reduced to standard values and creates a summary of all fittings grouped by types and sizes.
  • The Draw Parallel Pipes function has been updated to use the CAD dialogue bar and includes the option to draw through any CAD point or through the last point entered.
  • Import of both horizontal and vertical alignments can be completed in one step. This function also creates new pipes when necessary or updates existing ones.
  • It is now possible to export longitudinal sections of all, or just selected pipes routes, as a comma delimited file.
  • Water objects are now plotted on longitudinal section and reservoirs, pump stations, valves and other object are drawn on the longitudinal section in the proper position and scale. View an example of a longitudinal section showing a borehole and a water tower.
  • Standard fittings like tees, reducers and bends can now be displayed next to nodes. Fittings are updated after changes in alignment or pipe sizes.

  • CAD
  • New DX rendering engine for improved 3D rendering and image manipulation.
  • New properties bar which remembers the collapsed state of the categories.
  • New 'super' toolbar interface making all relevant tools immediately accessible.
  • new toolbar interace

  • Tabbed drawings (see image above).
  • Smooth double-buffered rubber banding.
  • Multiline attribute entity.
  • Speed enhancements to the modify functions via a 'selection display list'. The redraw of the selection display list is many times faster than drawing the selected entities themselves and entities are only modified when the final point in the modify function is indicated. Overall a smoother and faster experience when implementing modify changes (selecting, modifying, and updating the drawing and undo buffer). It is also possible to snap to the original (unmodified) entities in the selection set.
  • Multiline improvements include adding and removing vertices.
  • Polyline improvements include the removal of redundant vertices.
  • Spline edit functions include adding and removing spline vertices.
  • Explode proxies functionality has been added.

We look forward to releasing Civil Designer 8.0 to you in June. If your subscription is not up to date do make sure to contact us.

Client Testimonial


Junctions design Junctions design Junctions design

Henwood & Nxumalo Consulting Engineers deliver a range of civil engineering services. Director of Transportation Engineering Ntembeko Zifuku is currently working on the dualling and upgrade of Main Road 231 in Richards Bay and the screens above are taken from his design process. Ntembeko lists the following Junctions design features which have been significant in saving his design time:
  • No need to work with additional roads as each bellmouth is tied to the road and the 'S' curve can be designed automatically.
  • All curve information can be updated at anytime
  • No need to translate as contours can be displayed on the road
  • If it is necessary to translate to a surface, validations are completed directly
  • Setting out points are coded and can be plotted straight to the drawings and their intervals can be edited anytime
  • On completion all roads can be placed on one surface only which saves space
  • Islands or tapers can be added and they are updated dynamically
  • Low points can be displayed by setting minimum grades
By making use of Civil Designer's Road Strings Junction features Ntembeko explains that a preliminary design which may have previously taken up to half a day can now be completed in about 30 minutes.

We look forward to sharing more news, information and software tips with you in our next monthly newsletter.

The Knowledge Base Team

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New Tech Tip

Road Regression

This tech tip explains how to use the Regression function in the Roads module which can determine the alignments and road edges for single or dual carriageways. View the tech tip here.

Latest Updates
Civil Designer 2015 LATEST BUILD
- Build 4 (2016/02/17)

Civil Designer 2015 HOTFIX
- Build 4 HOTFIX (2016/02/23)

- Driver Update (2015/10)

2016/17 Pricing
While our software and training prices have increased in line with inflation this month, you can rest assured that we do not suddenly hike our prices on the back of forex rates and our pricing is geared towards assisting you to update what you need as and when you need it.

Knowledge Base will always provide the software, support and training that fits your project schedules because we believe a genuine working relationship with our clients builds real mutual success.

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User Group Presentations
We hold regular user group sessions to provide demonstrations and to assist clients get up to speed with our software's latest functionality. This is a great opportunity for you to increase you productivity and ask questions related to our software.

Email us to request a user group at your offices.

Grant for BEE companies
The Department of Small Business Development offers up to 80% off the cost of your software. This is offered to all enterprises that are majority black South African owned. The maximum grant amount you can qualify for is R212 500 towards the procurement of Civil Designer.

Additionally a grant for training on the software for up to R37 500 ex VAT per company is available. While the process can take several months, we are able to lease the software out to you in that period so you can get immediate access at little cost. To qualify for this opportunity your company will need to meet various requirements.

Please contact me about the grant.

CPD Accredited Courses
Our Civil Designer courses have been accredited by SAICE which ensures that they meet the acceptable validation criteria required by the ECSA Continual Professional Development system.

Training ensures that you retain your professional registration status and allows you to invest in your design capabilities at the same time.

Take a look at the training schedules for 2016 or contact us for more details.

Efficient Design Steps
When Civil Designer is put to the test and when its advantages are thoroughly investigated, we are proud to see consulting engineering professionals affirm it as their preferred infrastructure design platform.

This is because Civil Designer allows the engineer to design from the ground up with logical and efficient steps while remaining fully in control of the design process and final outcome. At the same time, reliable support and training services further bolster their decision.

When Gibb Integrated Infrastructure Group (IIG) completed a comprehensive evaluation of all the major civil infrastructure design software packages available worldwide, Civil Designer was selected as their preferred software package for nationwide implementation.

Have a look at this outline of the efficient design steps involved in typical design scenarios which contributed towards their decision in favour of Civil Designer.

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