Best practices for working with GEOPAK drainage files exported from StormCAD

Applies To 
Product(s): StormCAD, Subsurface Utilities
Version(s): (StormCAD), SELECTseries 4+ (Subsurface Utilities)
Area:  Output and Reporting
Original Author: Jesse Dringoli, Bentley Technical Support Group


What are some best practices and things to watch out for when exporting a StormCAD (or OpenRoads SS4+) model to GEOPAK and opening that model in GEOPAK Drainage?

Before Exporting

First, several improvements to the GEOPAK export feature have been added in the SELECTseries 5 release of StormCAD (and SELECTseries 4 of OpenRoads). If you have not done so already, it is strongly recommendated that you install SELECTseries 5 or (when available) higher. If you're using SELECTseries 4, these improvements are also included in the latest cumulative patch set. You can read about patches here:

Also, GEOPAK Drainage tends to be more sensitive to any missing data input or other data entry issues compared to StormCAD. First, Validate the StormCAD model and ensure that the data entry is correct and that results are reasonable. Here is a list of other data entry problems to be careful of:

1) The Maximum Gutter Depth, and Manning's n (inlet) and Catalog inlet curb opening length fields for catchbasin nodes need to be set greater than zero
2) All Catchbasin nodes need to reference catalog inlets and need to have at least one attached catchment. Catchbasin nodes that act as junctions should be morphed into transitions or manholes.
3) No gutters should be leaving from an inlet in sag
4) All inlets on grade need to have a bypass gutter
5) The Tc of a catchment needs to be less than the maximum duration in the IDF curve
6) Elements that are topologically inactive will still be exported to GEOPAK. These can either be addressed in GEOPAK or deleted from the StormCAD model before export.

Once the StormCAD or Openroads SS4+ design is finished, (or at an appropriate stopping point) export to GEOPAK. A GEOPAK drainage library is created and the GEOPAK drainage project is created.

After Exporting

After addressing these items, here are some suggestions for opening the resulting GEOPAK Drainage database (GDF) in GEOPAK Drainage. If you are having difficulty finding the option to Export to GEOPAK, see these two articles:

How does StormCAD V8i integrate with InRoads, PowerCivil and GEOPAK?

How do I activate a GEOPAK license inside StormCAD for MicroStation?

  1. After exporting to GEOPAK
    1. Ignore the exported library (DLB) and instead use one which you configure in advance with all the particulars worked out. Things which need to be checked/verified are:
      1. Make sure all the node library items are properly referencing the appropriate cell for display
      2. Make sure the link library items have necessary information configured. For example, the GEOPAK labeler typically depends on a description for labeling the pipe. This will not be populated in the exported DLB.
    2. Create a saved set of GEOPAK Drainage preferences and load this to the drainage project. This DPF file is reusable and is simply a shortcut to get the exported GEOPAK Drainage project operational quickly. The reason this is necessary is that the exported GEOPAK drainage project will not contain some settings which are not part of the StormCAD project. For example, GEOPAK uses slightly different junction loss calculations and the necessary constants will not be defined in the exported file. This really only matters if calculations are needed but it does generate some error message popups when opening the GEOPAK file.

  2. Open the GEOPAK Drainage project GDF file
    1. Once open load the preference file noted in 1B which also in turn loads the library noted in 1A
    2. In the GEOPAK Drainage menu:
      1. Components > Nodes > Update All
      2. Component > Links > Update All
  3. Open the GEOPAK Drainage labeler and complete your annotations as needed.
  4. If you need profiles for annotation or projection to a centerline, then these will need to be recreated inside GEOPAK Drainage.

See Also

Problems opening GEOPAK Drainage file exported from StormCAD

How does StormCAD integrate with InRoads, PowerCivil and GEOPAK?