CityEngine for Underground Infrastructure

12-16-2011 04:51 AM
Occasional Contributor
CityEngine looks really cool but all the demos I've seen focus on infrastructure above ground.  Being a civil engineering firm, is it possible for us to use CityEngine to develop a detailed model of underground infrastructure...such as sanitary sewers?

Thanks in advance!
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hi Matthew !

thanks for the kind words !

the CityEngine currently still is missing some important features, such as e.g. dedicated ways to visualize e.g. sewer networks. I guess, with some 'hacks', it would be possible to visualize such datasets.

just a few days ago, we received a similar inquiry and got a small dataset in the form of .stm (storm water file format) which I opened up in a Civil3D trial version. I've seen such inquiries also some time ago while we still were Procedural, but now, under the ESRI flag, we'll have much more capacities in working on solutions for e.g. pipe networks.

since most of us here are programmers/developers (and me being an architect), we have only very limited knowledge of the specific needs for those tasks, so it would be REALLY helpful if you could provide me with a list of functionalities you would need.
I have seen that sewer similar networks are basically polylines with attributes like diameters, material, position, ..
can you provide more insight ?

you could e.g. post the wish also under the CityEngine ideas :

please let me know !

kind greetings !
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I have attached a very simple sample sanitary sewer system.  I think it contains all the necessary information for creating a detailed sewer network.  Some of the key fields that I would imagine that'd be needed are:

1) StructureID - unique ID for structure
2) Structure Rim Elevation - top elevation of structure
3) Structure Depth - depth of structure
4) Structure Invert Elevation - invert elevation of structure
5) Structure Diameter - diameter of structure
6) Structure Material - material of structure
7) PipeID - unique ID for pipe
8) Pipe Upstream Elevation - upstream elevation of pipe
9) Pipe Downstream Elevation - downstream elevation of pipe
10) Pipe Diameter - diameter of pipe
11) Pipe Material - material of pipe

Other interesting thoughts/ideas would be having the ability to input a water/flow elevation at a structure as a way of indicating if the flow is within the pipe or if the structure is surcharging and if so, what is the elevation of the water as a way of visualizing the degree of surcharge severity.

Having the ability to quickly drop in proposed manholes and connecting sewers would be great as well, either at a predefined distance between structures and a predefined slope of sewers...or having the ability to override these with user entries.  CityEngine seems to be great at having these rule-based methods for generating new features, the previous would be an example of rule-based creation for sewers.

These are a few of my quick thoughts on the subject.  I think CityEngine does seem to be a great tool for visualizing and having the ability to use it for underground infrastructure would be awesome.

Thanks for your reply and suggestions Matthias!