Setting up a parts library and importing a LandXML file in Civil3D

Applies To 
Product(s): StormCAD, SewerCAD, CivilStorm, SewerGEMS
Version(s): CONNECT Edition, V8i
Area:  Other


How do you set up the parts library in Civil3D and the conduit catalog in StormCAD and SewerCAD so that they are linked to draw the same conduit, type, size, etc, when using LandXML import/export?

How do you import a LandXML file?


After you export a StormCAD or SewerCAD model to the LandXML format and import the .XML file in AutoCAD Civil3D, the structures must be matched to items in a Civil3D parts library, otherwise, Civil 3D will try to use the closest sizes and elements will not come in correctly. Be sure to click the "Edit" button in the import options to designate the correct parts list, containing the same structures as the StormCAD/SewerCAD model. In this same window, you can link StormCAD structures to Civil3D "parts". The parts list used here is just a standard Civil3D parts library.

Here are a couple of points worth noting:

1. Pipe networks in Civil3D are made up of 'parts' from a part catalog. However, in older versions of Civil3D, the default parts catalog only contained two 'Structures' under the 'Inlet-Outlets' category and they were both headwalls. That means that if you try to import a LandXML file created in StormCAD/SewerCAD into Civil 3D, and are using the default Parts Catalog, all of the StormCAD/SewerCAD catch basin elements will come into Civil3D as 'Headwall' structures. This may be confusing and may lead you to believe that there is a problem with the StormCAD/SewerCAD produced LandXML file - but that is not the case. The problem is that more 'Inlet-Outlets' structures need to be added in your Civil3D Parts Catalog.

2. You need to make sure you have the same pipe sizes in the Civil3D parts library as you have in StormCAD/SewerCAD because Civil3D matches based on pipe sizes. For example, if there is a 6 inch pipe in the LandXML data, Civil3D will match that with the pipe in its parts library that is closest to 6 inches. For structures (manholes, catch basins) the structure size needs to match.

Note also that the LandXML import/export process isn't always guaranteed to give perfect results. For example Civil 3D 2010 makes you pick a part catalog to match different elements to. For example, if the Circular pipes in the LandXML file are matched up with the "Concrete Pipe" part catalog. If your circular pipes are a mixture of concrete and, say, PVC, then you need a Civil 3D part catalog that contains both Concrete and PVC, and all of the diameters needs to be unique. Also, Civil 3D doesn't support open channels, or grate/curb/combination inlets so that info won't come across.

For more on configuration of Civil3D parts libraries, please contact Autodesk.

Import Process

1) To import a LandXML file, go to Insert > Import > LandXML



2) Click “edit LandXML settings”




3) Under “Pipe Network Import Settings”, pick the correct parts list:

The parts list is an arrangement of parts contained within Civil3D’s current “parts catalog”.

If you click the ellipsis button, you can pick a different parts list or edit:

When editing a parts list, click the plus buttons to see what sizes are available:


If the StormCAD model contained pipe sizes that aren’t in the parts list, you need to add them, or it won’t be a clean import (it’ll pick the closest size from the parts catalog).

The quickest way to add a size is to right click the folder and choose Add Part Size:

Choose the correct size from the dropdown, which pulls from the parts catalog:

If the size you need to bring in from StormCAD isn’t in the list, you need to add it to the parts catalog itself. To do this, go to the Home tab > Create Design > Part Builder:


Pick Pipe from the dropdown and expand the folders until you see the one you want to edit. Right click > modify part sizes:

This will open up some stuff in the main AutoCAD UI and you’ll eventually see this pane:

Right click “size parameters” and choose edit values:

You’ll see a table of all the sizes available:


This is where things start to get tricky. You can click the “new” button to add a new size, then type in the “PID” (pipe inside diameter) corresponding to sizes in your StormCAD model, but the default catalog in Civil3D uses a function to display the “PrtSN”. This is probably OK if the size you’re adding is the same material as the other ones in the list. If the material is different, you can edit the part size list for that other material (see first screenshot of previous page), but the problem is that you can only select one “part family” when importing the LandXML. Let’s go back to that step:


After selecting your parts list from the first field in this window, you need to match the pipe shapes in the model (left side) to a single part “family” on the right side. So in the above case, circular pipes are matched to the part family called “Concrete Pipe”. As we saw before, the “Concrete Pipe” family only has concrete pipes in it. When you click the ellipsis button next to the part family, it only lets you pick one part family from the part catalog:

Anyways, now that you’ve added the sizes you want to the parts family, you have to add them to the parts list, as seen on the 3 page. Those new sizes will now appear in the dropdown:

Now, any 10 or 12 inch pipes in the StormCAD model will import as the correct diameter.

But what happens if you have different materials for circular pipes? Say, concrete and PVC? This is where it gets tricky; you basically need to set up a parts family so that it has both concrete and PVC materials in the list, then select that family in the “edit LandXML settings” window during import. I was not able to figure out how to do this, since the material seems to be populated based on a function, at least in the default part catalog.

On top of that, if you have two different materials of the same shape and the same diameter, it won’t work. For example 12” circular concrete and 12” circular PVC. The reason is because the diameters in the parts family need to be unique. So, if you made a parts family called “Concrete and PVC”, you can’t add two 12” pipes (one for PVC and one for Concrete). It can only let you add one 12” pipe. So, you’d need to either accept the way this works and modify the material afterwards, or maybe change one of the materials to a 12.1” pipe or something like that…

Bottom line is that these are AutoDesk issues – issues with LandXML or Civil3D, which really have nothing to do with StormCAD. The user just needs to be aware of the way that LandXML import works in Civil3D and match up the sizes/materials as best as they can.

See Also

How does Civil3D integration work?

Catchbasins imported as manholes from LandXML

Catchbasin structure data not being exported to LandXML file