Using Site Design Files (CAD Files) with DatuBIM

Using Site Design Files (CAD Files) with DatuBIM

In this article, we will discuss and give examples on how to add site design files, how to view them, and how to use them in analysis functions. All actions related to design files are done from the Designs left tab shown below.

Adding a design file

To be able to add a design file the file must me in IFC., .DXF, .DGN, .XML, or .DWG format.  Added design files can be saved under different categories.  All added design files are shown in detail including their design layers.  Once a design file is added, its designs layers can be shown or hidden as needed.     In the example shown above, there are three categories of design files; general, volume check, and test.    To add a new category, simply click on the “+ Add Category”, give the new category a name, and save it.  Using the three dots (ellipsis ) drop down options you can always edit the name of the category or delete it. Deleting a category deletes all dxf design files under it. 

Adding design files may be done and design files may be viewed before uploading any flight instances to allow the user to get things ready even before flight instances are uploaded

If a design file that incudes surfaces in it is uploaded, only surfaces will be shown and all other features will be filtered out.   It is very important that surface files only a single surface.  DatuBIM will select a single surface as the default surface to make measurements against.  If  a surface with multiple surfaces is uploaded, it will show an error after processing and will not be displayed properly in the platform.  If a surface is not displaying correctly, please check that it has only a single surface.

To add a design file “+ Add Design” which will open the dialog below.

Select the file you want to upload, give it a name that you can reference it by, and select under which category you would like to add it.    By default, the Name field takes the name of the file, but you can change it.

Press “Add”, and the file will be uploaded under the selected category as shown below.

You can import any file for viewing purposes.  But in order to do some analytics of comparing instances to design, you must generate and upload a separate .dxf file that contains only two layers called BOUNDS and CONTOURS. These two layers should contain the bounding polygon and the contour lines of the project.  The two screen shots below show some examples.

CONTOURS and BOUNDS Design Layers

In order to be able to run analytics against a dxf design surface such as volume differences  or cross sections differences, please make sure that you have the below information within the dxf file :

1- Contour lines ( polylines which describe the elevation of the surface ) it should be under the layer name CONTOURS. Please see the gray lines in the attached example below

2- Bounding polygon -( polygon which includes all the polylines in "1" )it should be under the layer name BOUNDS. Please see the green polygon in the attached example below
If you have created a surface mesh in the dxf , first ,you should convert the surface to polylines (contours) and then generate/draw the bounding polygon (please also make sure the polygon is closed) 
Layer names:

The green polygon is the bounding polygon , and the gray lines are the contours polylines:

Each of the contour polylines should contain elevation as below: 

Viewing design file

To view a design file simply click on it and its design layer will be displayed as shown below. As mentioned above, in design files that include surfaces only surfaces are viewable and all other features are filtered out.  

If the design is under a group it will appear as shown below. 

You may select any of, or all the layers to display.
Using the eye  icon on the design file or on the group, you may show or hide all layers.

Using the eye icon shown below you may hide all design items on the m

Using the three dots (ellipsis ) drop down options you will have access to additional options. 

The "Show processing issues" displays issue and warning that apply to the selected design file. 

The “Projection view” option, when checked, it projects the design file on the terrain, while if not checked it shows the design file as-is. 
All other options are self explanatory.

Running analytics against design file

As mentioned earlier, to be able to run analytics against design you must create and upload a .dxf file that contains only two layers called BOUNDS and CONTOURS. These two layers should contain the bounding polygon and the contour lines of the project.  See an example and more details below.

Additionally, once uploaded it should be marked as a default file as shown in the figure below. 

Once this file is uploaded, the system automatically sees it as another instance when running any of the analytics available.  As an example we will refer to adding a Cross Section progress analytics and adding a few instances to that.  Now we will  also add the design file as one of the instances in the in the cross-section analytics as shown below.  As shown when you press the + to add an instance you will see that the COUNTOURS and BOUNDS .dxf file appears as an option to add.

Once selected it will appear as shown in the figure below. 

Once again, design files can be used in any of the line analytics, area analytics, or point analytics tool only, and not the measurements or the annotations tools.

Creating Measurements & Analytics from Design Items

DatuBIM allows you to create and save measurements, analytics, and annotations from any item in the design file.  Simply right-click on your design file items and DatuBIM automatically shows you the measurement or analytics types you can choose from, such as point, distance, cross-section, or volume.  To use this feature a completed instance model must be opened with the design file shown on top of it and the measurements are given based don that instance.  

If multiple items are selectable when you right click, the system first shows you a list of possible items, and lets you select the item you want to work with, then once you select the item you want to work with it lets you select the types of measurement, analytic, or annotation.
If only one item is selectable when you right click, then the system directly lets you select the  type of measurement, analytic, or annotation.

This new capability will save you a lot of time and eliminate mistakes that might occur from manual drawing areas or lines. 

For more details please refer to our Working with Design Files article/video.

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