A Note from the President’s Desk

By Bruce Carlson • April 19th, 2018

Precision 3D Hydro 2018 Premiered on April 16. “P3D Hydro”, as we call it, proves beyond any doubt the time-saving value of 3D design. The 3D visualization makes design faster and especially benefits hydrology-related engineering. CAD designers and apprentice engineers can fast-track their proficiency in peak flow and storm sewer calculations using P3D Hydro.

P3D Hydro 2017 covered peak flow and culvert design. P3D Hydro 2018 added channel lining calculations and automated selection based on sheer force calculation from peak flow compared against shear force tolerances associated with a hierarchy of increasing durable liners, as user-defined. But P3D Hydro 2018 offers two major additional power features:

  • The ability to draw polyline-style all main line and tributary storm sewers,
  • Plus the ability to link real-time to CAD.

Using Carlson Hydrology running on IntelliCAD you can design in 3D, then minimize P3D Hydro 2018 and see you are fully drawn storm sewer and culvert design both in plan view and in profile views placed in Layouts, all conforming to your preferred annotation styles. So CAD becomes, in essence, the printer, the deliverable vehicle, for 3D design. Your deliverables are produced the moment you design in 3D, tracking along with your every addition, edit or deletion. We call this “Dynamic CAD”. This is a new level of design automation.

3D Design of Main Storm Sewer Line and Tributary Line

3D Design of Main Storm Sewer Line and Tributary Line

The 3D design environment uses intelligent textures (derived from RoadNet in Carlson Civil, or by use of Tin File Utilities), to compute composite runoff “C” coefficients in all watersheds. The watersheds themselves and their area (A) are calculated from the digital terrain model (DTM) of the site. It’s all automatic. The longest flow lines are found in each watershed, leading to water travel times (Tc) calculation. Applied against rainfall tables (downloaded from NOAA for the Lat/Long of the site or hand-entered), rainfall intensity (I) is computed, leading to peak flow (Q=CIA).

Inlets are fully 3D and are selected from a library that can be expanded by the user. Grate and curb inlet dimensions can be changed and new 3D objects stored, to conform to locally used inlet types. Inflow parameters are associated with each inlet type. The inlets are placed using “gutter snaps” and “low point” snaps unique to P3D Hydro 2018, which even detects the local curb DTM and orients the inlet perpendicular to the gutter. You can click tributary pipes and “snap” to

existing main line pipes. Pipes slopes adjust automatically by preferred rules, such as lowering all downstream pipes if tributary lines are lower (see profile below).

Close-up of Fully 3D Combination Grate and Curb Inlet Structure

Final designs can also be saved as a Carlson “.sew” file and plotted at any time within Carlson Hydrology, using plan view and profile styles that are pre-stored. Here is an example of the main line shown in profile view back in Carlson Hydrology.

The best way to describe it is “pick-pick-pick” your way through the design in 3D. Click the “Analyze” button. Study the water flows. Examine your hydraulic grade line in profile view. Change an inlet type to reduce gutter spread. Watch the effect in 3D, real-time. Lock it in and review the plan and profile back in the CAD. You are done. With Precision 3D Hydro 2018, the promise of 3D design for civil engineering is finally a reality. Civil engineering and hydrology engineering design will never be the same.


–Bruce Carlson, PE, President


Register now for an upcoming webinar on P3D Hydro 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018 10:00 AM EST

Thursday, May 3, 2018 10:00 AM EST

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