Pipes in cross sections

I was thinking about this on my way home from work yesterday. I figured out a way that it would actually show them in the cross-section since TBC shows other surfaces in the cross-section when drafting.

If we were able to explode the IFC or whatever Trimble uses to make the pipe geometry into lines, the lines are there if you select the utility. Make two surfaces out of it: a top surface and a bottom surface. Pretty much everything equal to or above the center of the pipe is one surface, and everything equal to or below the center of the pipe is another surface. It would then draw that surface in your cross-section.

I guess my feature request would be for something to explode that geometry, make the top surface and bottom surface for every pipe run, run the combine surface command on them, and delete hundreds of individual surfaces to leave you with two surfaces for all the pipe runs’ top surface and bottom or even four surfaces: top OD, top ID, bottom OD, bottom ID.

This could be done for manholes as well with the circles at the top and the bottom. Resize the bottom circles so TBC does not have a cow about the overlapping lines.


I am of the mind that, since the utility module is an add-on to base TBC (of which i pay a premium for) this should be a functional reference and should display without a lot of work-around. There are a few work-flows that will give some semblance of utility position but we have the ability to create the network as a whole. It should display as/when needed in its whole.

Like your train of thought though!

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@nate_doyle I agree it should be fully functional, but unfortunately it is not. hence why I asked here for a workaround/macro.

oh, I get it - its a shame Trimble doesn’t see it that way.
If you extrude the pipe in sketch-up and bring in as an ifc and explode, your requisite lines should be there. Note that you can increase/decrease the number of lines used to create the shape. You may have to run a couple versions to get exactly what you want from the exploded ifc

The reason I asked for this to be done automagically is because on a complicated pipe network/networks you would have to do this per run and there can be a bunch of them.

It is something I have seen asked for more often than Trimble should allow. I think it would be a useful command that would solve some issues for us TBC users until Trimble fixes this in 2030.


It takes some setup but the multi offset line tool is great for this. I have a few templates setup for common sizes.

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It would solve the issue of the linework. Doing the surfaces trying to make sure you hand picked the correct ones for top and bottom. combining them deleting the potentially 100’s of the left over ones all by hand is going to be quite the process. I think the work to do this would not be worth the end result of having pipes show up in your drafted cross sections. would be great if you had one or two of them but if you needed to do a bunch it would almost be better to draft them all over again in Civil3d and pull your drafting from there.

but again another useful already developed RPS tool that could be used in a macro to achieve the end result thanks Plheureux.

Just be strategic on your layering


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