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Solved: Help a Civil Engineer...

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by bigste78, Sep 28, 2005.

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  1. bigste78

    bigste78 Thread Starter

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    Hi,

    I'm looking to purchase a specialist piece of software and am trying to search out any recommendations or advice from experiences you may have had. I work with AutoCAD and would like a package that can be used to analyse / model ground profiles to calculate the volume of earth contained within a section of ground.

    In simple terms, I am looking for software to help with cut and fill estimating.

    Any pointers would be appreciated.
     
  2. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    That sounds pretty trivial to me. Why do you need a specialized piece of software for that kind of job?
     
  3. Wolfeymole

    Wolfeymole

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    Have a look here Big. It may be of some help.
     
  4. Wolfeymole

    Wolfeymole

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    You have obviously no idea what's involved with Civil Engineering jiml8.
     
  5. jiml8

    jiml8 Guest

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    I wouldn't say "no idea", but for sure it isn't what I do.

    Which leads me to repeat the question; why a specialized piece of software to compute the volume of a hole or a hill, which is how I interpret "the volume of earth contained within a section of ground".

    That which you linked seems to have the capability to detect corners and edges in images, and thereby do a volume or area computation. I can see how that would be useful, but there are any number of products on the market which will compute the volume of an irregular shape given the outline of the shape. In fact, writing such a program is no big deal (depending on the user interface requirements) because the algorithms are simple and 95% of the work is in dealing with the user and the input data format.

    Does OP have some specific interface requirement, or is automatic edge detection needed? I wouldn't expect that to work reliably on a natural shape, such as a hillside, or on many low-contrast corners such as an inside corner.
     
  6. Wolfeymole

    Wolfeymole

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    Did you look at the products section?
    I have a friend who is a quantity surveyor which in a lot of ways is heading in that direction.
    Some one comes to him and states These are the plans for X building, give me the cost for for the job.
    This does not only involve materials but groundworks etc.
     
  7. bigste78

    bigste78 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the link - a couple of products I may be interested in there. I agree with your points on the validity of such software.

    There is usually a very significant amount of work and cost involved with the earthworks section of any major construction project. Being able to calculate accurately the amount of ground which is either in cut or fill is essential. This knowledge can allow a contractor to offset excavated material against the amount that is to be imported, both making considerable savings on transportation and procurement as well as conserving natural resources. At present, this is done manually - after all it is basic maths. To perform the calculations accurately is very time consuming. An automated system would provide savings in terms of man hours (and associated costs) and has the benefit of being able to produce a 3d visual representation of the proposed works, allowing for more efficient project programming.

    Thanks again - any further recommendations would be welcomed. :)
     
  8. Wolfeymole

    Wolfeymole

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    I shall print your initial post off Big and consult my friend and get back to you.
     
  9. bigste78

    bigste78 Thread Starter

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    Been a while since I've posted an update. I've spent a while looking at different products - initially many of the packages that seemed to suit are only available in the US, and not the UK. After looking at some of the more popular systems available, it looks like we've settled on Terramodel, by Trimble.

    Thanks again to everyone who has offered help and advice. Maybe see you around TSG sometime.

    Product info... http://www.trimble.com/terramodel.shtml
     
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