Importing and Exporting Pipe Networks from Civil 3D 2019 and Autodesk Storm and Sanitary Analysis

April 10, 2019 Randy McCollum

One of the main advantages of using Autodesk Storm and Sanitary Analysis (aside from it is included with Civil 3D) is the fact that it works natively with Civil 3D.  As such, changes made to one can be imported to the other bi-directionally.  But to take advantage of this functionality, our import and export settings must first be configured.

Here is an example of a simple storm pipe network in Civil 3D including several catch basins flowing to a trunk line composed of drainage manholes.


The pipe network itself consists of varying sizes of circular concrete pipes.  Each catch basin and manhole are 24” x 24” Rectangular Structures and 48” diameter Eccentric Manholes with 24” frames, respectively.  We also have one flared end section at the outlet. 

Before exporting the network, we need to configure our import and export settings.  This is done from the Toolspace>Settings tab, highlighting Pipe Network and right-clicking.  This will display the Edit Feature Settings command. 


From the Edit Feature Settings – Pipe Network Window, left-click inside the Value field to the right of Part Matching Defaults to display the editing ellipsis button and click on this to open the Part Matchup Settings.  Make sure that the parts list selected is the same as the parts list assigned to the pipe network being exported.


Within the Part Matchup Settings window there are two tabs: Import and Export.  The Import settings define how parts from Storm and Sanitary Analysis will be converted to valid Civil 3D Pipe Network parts.  Export converts these Pipe Network parts into valid SSA parts. 


Once we have chosen the settings that we need, we can either go to the Analyze tab and click Edit in Storm in Sanitary Analysis or export the file directly as a Storm Sewer File.  To do the latter, go to the Output tab in Civil 3D and click Export to Storm Sewers.  Save this file to a temporary location.


Open Storm and Sanitary Analysis.  From the File menu, go to Import and import the Hydraflow Storm Sewers File that was just exported from Civil 3D.


After checking the log file to ensure that no errors occurred, we can see that the structure type that we selected in exports settings reflects the one we chose in our Export Settings as do the pipes and their respective sizes.


After performing our analysis in SSA, we will likely need to make a few changes to pipe sizes, inverts, etc.  Once we make these changes and get a working model, we can get the changes back into our Civil 3D Pipe Network by simply reversing the process.

In Storm and Sanitary Analysis, go to File>Export>Hydraflow Storm Sewers File


Return to the Civil 3D drawing that contains the original network.  On the Insert tab, on the Import panel, click on Storm Sewers to import this file.


If done correctly, we will see a pop-up asking whether we wish to update the existing network or import it as a new network.  Chose the Update option and our changes made in SSA will be reflected in Civil 3D according to the import settings from our part matching defaults.



About the Author

Randy McCollum

Civil Solutions Applications Expert<br><br>As a professionally licensed civil engineer Randy provides training, process optimization, and technical support in water resource and site designs. His involvements include a wide range of product types including AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Map 3D, Autodesk Storm and Sanitary Analysis, Raster Design, and Infraworks.

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