Civil Engineering Design functions

Have some feature requests, feedback, cool stuff to share, or want to know where FreeCAD is going? This is the place.
multipluton
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:36 am

Civil Engineering Design functions

Postby multipluton » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:47 am

Road geometry and topology and terrain model functions should be a very welcomed part in FreeCAD. There is as well a huge need of localisation and custom fittings always for the civil objects and geometry rules so I believe the FreeCAD platform could be ideal and interesting for many to contribute. If anybody interested and want to contribute with input and ideas please reply to this post and we can try to start work out some input descriptions and contributions of code or formulas as a start.
User avatar
yorik
Site Admin
Posts: 8684
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:16 pm
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Contact:

Re: Civil Engineering Design functions

Postby yorik » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:39 pm

Hi,
Interesting... I'm not very familiar with civil engineering for roads (I'm an architect), but interested anyway. Can you elaborate a bit what is a typical workflow, and what kind of tools are needed? What software do you currently use for that?
sanzo
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:00 pm

Re: Civil Engineering Design functions

Postby sanzo » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:28 pm

It seems that this discussion was not that popular... Let me try put some information.
I'm currently working in a Civil Engineering Firm that is trying to bring BIM concepts into Infrastructure design. When I was hired they already choose the Autodesk ecosystem (Civil3D, Revit, Autocad, Navisworks) and now I'm trying to put the pieces together via excel and Revit macros. I'm a Architect/building engineer and I'm learning day after day what are the requirements of Civil engineers.
So far I saw the following tasks:
  • terrain surface and stratigraphy modeling (both as a series of open meshes and solids); we had little luck with Civil 3D geotechnical module (not sure what went wrong), but the idea of getting those surfaces starting from survey boreholes (CSV file with locations and depth of every strata) was great; also the need to import point clouds (XYZ,asc) to make terrain surfaces is frequent for us;
  • Excavation and elevation volumes calculation (need to know how much terrain has to be excavated and how much of it will be used for elevations nearby)
  • Infrastructure alignments - alignment points - profiles: usually the alignment is the track of the road/railway/tunnel drawn in 2D (starting from a given km), then the profile describes the elevation (of the track, the terrain and/or geotechnical informations); combining the two informations you can build a 3D track/terrain profile (or the other way around); points can be specified in relation to the alignment (again using the defined starting km as offset) or with coordinates (and can be extracted via a spreadsheet); We found useful to insert points with a certain offset (left or right) from the alignment, and using an import feature that reads a text file/CSV with the km on the alignment, the offset from the alignment and the elevation of the point.
  • where no more accurate data are available, we would like to extrude the profiles along the normals of the alignment, just to have some surfaces/solids to work on (this is the case of a tunnel where we want to know more or less the quantity of a certain type of terrain excavated)
  • In a linear infrastructure (especially tunnels) the quantity takeoff can be tied to both time and distance from starting point, resulting in a 4D information (and 5D if you add the costs). The problem we face with navisworks is that quantities and timeliner seems to be two separate worlds; we use another (non autodesk) application for the bill of quantities (starting form IFC files) that can output quantites for any given month if we feed it with a schedule (or with the time needed for a unit of work).
  • If I understand correctly Civil 3D has tools to help you choose the best alignment (= with the least amount of earthwork needed) starting from a base alignment (an I suppose some other constraint).
  • WBS creation: our clients gives us an Autocad 3d model and some rules to split it to generate WBS units; then we have to name them (using a defined scheme) and get out some information such as the volume of concrete or earth needed; those units are the starting point for a more detailed modeling and design, and can be used for a preliminary schedule to get 4D and 5D estimations
  • All sorts of FEM analysis (still an unexplored territory for me)...

I've tried FreeCAD for some personal little works only, and I don't know if any of these things are already possible or can be done with little coding.

One of the problems we face is the ability to read the formats that clients provides us and return something that they can read/use.. Most of the time is 2D cad drawings (and unfortunately sometime they want DWGs) and a 3d model (more often a construction sequences video).
User avatar
yorik
Site Admin
Posts: 8684
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:16 pm
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Contact:

Re: Civil Engineering Design functions

Postby yorik » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:24 pm

Very Interesting input, thanks!

The first part of the workflow seems to me, basically: generating a surface mesh from a point cloud, or a list of coordinates (or directly using an imported mesh), then convert this mesh into a solid volume, and calculate volumes to be subtracted or added to it. This is already pretty much doable in FreeCAD, I'm not sure the Points workbench is able to generate a mesh from a point cloud, but apps like meshlab do. In FreeCAD, it is then easy to do the rest (generate a solid from the mesh, and subtract/add/intersect other solids with it, and get the volumes.

All that would be needed here is probably a couple of convenience tools to make all this in one place.

The second part, generating 3D models from 2D profiles and curves, is also something that works quite well already in FreeCAD, but it can be done in a lot of different ways. Here probably the thing would be to identify recurrent tasks that could become a specific tool.

The third part, generate output from all this, also doesn't seem a big problem to me, there are many ways already to output 2D data (even in DWG) and spreadsheet data. What would be needed here is once again mostly to identify common operations.

I would like to see how these alignment data and profiles look like... Can you share some drawing? Or find some good example image on the net?
M-Rick
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:03 pm

FreeCAD integration with/within QGIS

Postby M-Rick » Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:02 pm

I come to share there a message I posted on the QGIS mailing list.

Maybe it will interest you too?

http://osgeo-org.1560.x6.nabble.com/Fre ... 29704.html

I posted a feature request on the QGIS Application forum, it has been told me to post it there which was more appropriate.
http://hub.qgis.org/issues/13581

FreeCAD is Python 2D/3D CAD package with parametric functions.
http://www.freecadweb.org/

It can also be used in console mode only and controlled by the command line.
http://www.freecadweb.org/wiki/index.ph ... figuration

FreeCAD can be run as a simple Python module.

Do you think QGIS could interfer through a plugin and/or scripts to get advanced CAD features from FreeCAD?

FreeCAD could be used for 3D design as well. For example, I want to get a building and then georeference it inside QGIS is the way of SketchUp does.
So FreeCAD could be used to get 3D design inside QGIS.

And maybe it could bring features to create an AutoCAD Map and/or AutoCAD Civil like bundle(s).
It could also bring more simple features of what RhinoCity/RhinoTerrain do with Rhino 3D and GIS.
http://www.rhinoterrain.com/en/home.html#.VhxN969e_MU

Just a set of ideas I wanted to share since I’m using both of them and like both of them. It could give a great open and powerful 3D GIS package.
User avatar
microelly2
Posts: 2453
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:06 pm
Contact:

Re: FreeCAD integration with/within QGIS

Postby microelly2 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:30 pm

For me it sounds intersting to join geodata with technical models.
Build up models of buildings on a realistic landscape, use the data to great sliced landscape models with 3D printed houses ...
can bring a lot of motivation to study cad and architecture.
User avatar
yorik
Site Admin
Posts: 8684
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:16 pm
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Contact:

Re: FreeCAD integration with/within QGIS

Postby yorik » Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:39 pm

It is interesting for me too, but I still need to understand better what would be typical use cases and workflows for GIS + solid modeling. There is another related topic at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6973
M-Rick
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:03 pm

Re: FreeCAD integration with/within QGIS

Postby M-Rick » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:12 pm

This topic you posted seems interesting.

Maybe we can merge them together?
User avatar
yorik
Site Admin
Posts: 8684
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:16 pm
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Contact:

Re: Civil Engineering Design functions

Postby yorik » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:34 am

good idea!
User avatar
bernd
Posts: 3924
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:07 pm
Location: Zürich, Switzerland

Re: Civil Engineering Design functions

Postby bernd » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:35 am

All this is interesting for me too. I'm structural engineer.

I did some excavations for buildings in FreeCAD already. Our commercial CAD uses surface models for excavations. So I did the solid model and the mass calculations in FreeCAD, much easier than than the surface models :D . The drawings where made with our commercial CAD. The models where imported and exported by ifc. Had to solve some problems. One of the related threads is viewtopic.php?t=8018