I Can Count Lines & Blocks With Civil 3D! Can You?


Civil 3D 2010 and 2011 have some great functionality for reporting quantities through the use of the QTO Manager. While the mechanisms for reporting earthwork and corridor quantities have been around for a few releases, the QTO Manager made it’s debut in the 2010 version of Civil 3D. For those that have not taken the plunge into the QTO Manager, it is a means to assign pay items to objects within Civil 3D and then produce a quantity takeoff report for all objects with pay items assigned. For Civil 3D objects such as pipe network and corridor sub assemblies, pay items can be assigned automatically when the objects are created in the drawing. This is something that is set up in the settings of the template. This all sounds great but what does it have to do with the title of this post? What about lines and blocks? Those are AutoCad elements, not Civil 3D objects! I will briefly go through the process for using the QTO Manager with AutoCad objects.

First, open the QTO Manager and start off by opening  a Pay Item catalog. Civil 3D installs with a “Getting Started.csv” file. If you would like to bring in your own Pay Item data you can do so providing that you format the csv file in the manner of the getting started.csv file. After you open the Pay Item list you will see the categories as shown in the figure below.  This list a a very abbreviated list for this demonstration.

Figure 1

Figure 1

After bringing in the Pay Item list, all we have to do is assign pay items and then produce the report. The first thing I will assign Pay Items to are AutoCad blocks. The drawing I have has fire hydrant blocks. I will select one, then right click and choose “select similar” to select all of the hydrant blocks. Then in QTO Manager, I will right click on the Fire Hydrant pay item and click “Assign Pay Item” Now when I hover my cursor over one of the blocks, you will see that a Pay Item has been assigned to it as seen in figure 2 below.

Figure 2

Figure 2

That takes care of AutoCad blocks. Next, I will assign Pay Items to AutoCad linework, or in this case, polylines. In my drawing are polylines that represent curb and gutter. Once again, I will select one of the polylines, right click and choose “select similar” to get all of the curb and gutter selected. Then in the QTO Manager, I will right click on “Curb, Concrete 6 inch depth” and choose “Assign Pay Item” and………Bingo! The Pay Items are assigned.

Now that the Pay Items have been assigned it’s time to report the Pay Item quantities. On the QTO tab of the ribbon, click the “takeoff” button. In the dialog box choose the following: click “summary”, choose “drawing” for report extents, and uncheck “report selected pay items only” , then click “compute”. In the nexr dialog box, in the lower left hand corner click the arrow down to choose the output type for the report. For this example I will use “Summary (HTML).xsl. The results are in Figure 3 below. Notice the ouput quantities. This QTO Manager rocks!

Figure 3

Figure 3

Civil Infrastructure software is my main professional interest. Civil 3D, Infraworks, and Recap are what I work with mostly. I have been with CADsoft Consulting for over 10 years now. I got my start using Softdesk and AutoCAD R12 in DOS. My wife and I have four children and I am a die hard Red Sox fan.